HMS Chaser (D32)
HMS Chaser in 1945
|Laid down:||28 June 1941|
|Launched:||15 February 1943|
|Fate:||Transferred to Royal Navy|
|Commissioned:||9 April 1943|
|Fate:||Sold as a merchant ship; scrapped between 1972 and 1973|
|Class and type:|
|Length:||491 ft 6 in (149.81 m)|
|Beam:||105 ft (32 m)|
|Draught:||26 ft (7.9 m)|
|Propulsion:||Steam turbines, 1 shaft, 8,500 shp (6,300 kW)|
|Speed:||18 knots (33 km/h)|
|Aircraft carried:||28 aircraft|
|Operations:||Battle of the Atlantic, Arctic convoys (1943-45)|
|Victories:||Sank U-472, U-366, U-973 (1944)|
She was laid down on 28 June 1941 under Maritime Commission contract at Pascagoula, Mississippi by Ingalls Shipbuilding. The ship was commissioned by the United States Navy on 9 April 1943 and simultaneously transferred via the Lend-Lease program to the United Kingdom. That same day, the ship was renamed HMS Chaser and commissioned by the Royal Navy. Chaser was assigned to convoy escort on Arctic routes, assisting in the sinking of U-472 on 4 March 1944 and U-366 and U-973 in the next two days.
The carrier was returned to United States' custody 12 May 1946 and sold into merchant service 20 December 1946 as Aagtekerk. The ship was renamed E Yung in 1967.
Design and description
There were eight Attacker class escort carriers in service with the Royal Navy during the Second World War. They were built between 1941 and 1942 by Ingalls Shipbuilding and Western Pipe & Steel shipyards in the United States, both building four ships each.
The ships had a complement of 646 men and crew accommodation was different from the normal Royal Navy's arrangements. The separate messes no longer had to prepare their own food, as everything was cooked in the galley and served cafeteria style in a central dining area. They were also equipped with a modern laundry and a barber shop. The traditional hammocks were replaced by three tier bunk beds, eighteen to a cabin which were hinged and could be tied up to provide extra space when not in use.
The ships dimensions were; an overall length of 492.25 feet (150.04 m), a beam of 69.5 feet (21.2 m) and a height of 23.25 ft (7.09 m). They had a displacement of 11,420 long tons (11,600 t) at deep load. Propulsion was provided by four diesel engines connected to one shaft giving 8,500 brake horsepower (BHP), which could propel the ship at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph).
Aircraft facilities were a small combined bridge–flight control on the starboard side and above the 450 feet (140 m) x 120 feet (37 m) flight deck, two aircraft lifts 42 feet (13 m) by 34 feet (10 m), and nine arrestor wires. Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79 m) by 62 feet (19 m) hangar below the flight deck. Armament comprised two 4"/50, 5"/38 or 5"/51 in single mounts, eight 40 mm anti-aircraft gun in twin mounts and twenty-one 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons in single or twin mounts. They had the capacity for up to eighteen aircraft which could be a mixture of Grumman Martlet, Hawker Sea Hurricane, Vought F4U Corsair fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft.
- Cocker (2008), p.79.
- Poolman (1972), pp.74–75.
- Cocker (2008), p.80.
- Cocker (2008), pp.80–81.
- Poolman (1972), p.57.