HMS Nabob (D77)
Nabob returning home after being torpedoed in August 1944
|Builder:||Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation|
|Laid down:||20 October 1942|
|Launched:||22 March 1943|
|Fate:||Transferred to Royal Navy|
|Commissioned:||7 September 1943|
|Decommissioned:||10 October 1944|
|Identification:||Pennant number D77|
|Fate:||Returned to US, sold for mercantile use|
|Port of registry:|
|Out of service:||1977|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 1977|
|Class and type:|
|Displacement:||15,390 tons (full)|
|Length:||495 ft 7 in (151.05 m)|
|Beam:||69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)|
|Draught:||26 ft (7.9 m)|
|Propulsion:||Steam turbines, 1 shaft|
|Speed:||18 knots (33 km/h)|
|Complement:||1,000 officers and men|
|Aircraft carried:||18-24, Grumman Avenger TBR.I, Grumman Martlet/Wildcat|
|Operations:||Operation Goodwood III|
HMS Nabob (D77) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier which served in the Royal Navy during 1943 and 1944. The ship was built in the United States as USS Edisto (CVE-41) (originally AVG-41 then later ACV-41) but did not serve with the United States Navy. In August 1944 the ship was torpedoed by the German submarine U-354 while participating in an attack on the German battleship Tirpitz. Nabob survived the attack, but upon returning to port, was considered too damaged to repair. The escort carrier remained in port for the rest of the war and was returned to the United States following it. Nabob is one of three Royal Navy escort carriers built in the United States which is listed as lost in action (2 sunk and 2 heavily damaged and never repaired) during World War II.
The ship was sold for scrap by the United States but found a second life when purchased and converted for mercantile use under her British name, Nabob. Later renamed Glory, the ship was sold for scrapping in 1977.
Design and description
The Bogue class were larger and had a greater aircraft capacity than all the preceding American built escort carriers. They were also all laid down as escort carriers and not converted merchant ships. All the vessels in the class had a complement of 646 men and an overall length of 492 feet 3 inches (150.0 m), a beam of 69 feet 6 inches (21.2 m) and a draught of 25 ft 6 in (7.8 m). Propulsion was provided by a steam turbine, two Foster Wheeler boilers connected to one shaft giving 9,350 shaft horsepower (6,970 kW), which could propel the ship at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph).
Aircraft facilities were a small combined bridge–flight control on the starboard side, two aircraft lifts 43 feet (13.1 m) by 34 feet (10.4 m), one aircraft catapult and nine arrestor wires. Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck. Armament comprised: two 4-inch (102 mm) dual purpose guns in single mounts, sixteen 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in twin mounts and twenty 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons in single mounts. They had a maximum aircraft capacity of twenty-four aircraft which could be a mixture of Grumman Martlet, Vought F4U Corsair or Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft.
Construction and career
Edisto was laid down on 20 October 1942 at the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp yard in Tacoma, Washington. The ship was launched on 9 March 1943, and transferred under Lend-Lease to the United Kingdom on 7 September 1943 prior to her commissioning as HMS Nabob with the pennant number D77 into the Royal Navy at Tacoma.
Following her commissioning, the ship travelled to Vancouver, to undergo modification to Royal Navy standards beginning on 1 November at Burrard Dry Dock. The conversion completed on 12 January and an arrangement was agreed upon where the crew of the ship would be drawn primarily from the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with the exception of the air component, which would be provided by the Fleet Air Arm. Nabob sailed to San Francisco in February under the command of Captain Nelson Lay of the RCN, where the escort carrier embarked 852 Naval Air Squadron equipped with Avengers.
Intended for service as an anti-submarine warfare carrier, Nabob was assigned to the British Home Fleet. The ship sailed for New York City to collect a deck load of P-51 Mustangs for the United Kingdom. The mixed crew of British aircrew and engine room personnel with the rest Canadian, led to issues. The entire crew received the lesser British rate of pay and used British food and disciplinary standards. This led to a near revolt among the Canadians and to desertions at a stopover at Norfolk, Virginia. This led Captain Lay to fly to Ottawa to demand Canadian standards of pay for the entire crew before the ship set sail again. He received this boon.
Nabob joined the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow on 1 August. After dropping off the Mustangs, 856 Naval Air Squadron joined the ship that month. In August, Nabob participated in two operations off the Norwegian coast, the second being air strikes against the German battleship Tirpitz (Operation Goodwood). Nabob was a member of Force 2 during Operation Goodwood, where her Wildcats of 852 Squadron flew combat air patrol over the carrier and her Avengers of 852 and 856 Squadrons flew anti-submarine patrols. On 22 August, while the main force attacking Tirpitz prepared for another strike, the escort carriers went to refuel the destroyers. During these operations, Nabob was torpedoed by the German submarine U-354 in the Barents Sea. The torpedo impact made a hole 32 sq ft (3.0 m2) below the waterline on the starboard side aft. The stern sank 15 feet (4.6 m) before flooding could be controlled. Eventually the damage control parties effected enough repairs that the ship could make 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). Five days later she steamed into Scapa Flow under her own power but had lost 21 men.
She was eventually judged not worth repairing, was beached and abandoned then cannibalized for other ships on 30 September 1944, but retained as part of the Reserve Fleet. On 10 October 1944, Nabob was paid off at Rosyth. She was returned to USN at Rosyth and stricken for disposal 16 March 1946.
Nabob was sold for scrapping in the Netherlands in September 1947. However, the vessel was resold and converted as the merchant Nabob of Norddeutscher Lloyd in 1951, entering service in 1952. In 1967 the ship's registry changed to Panama and was the ship was renamed Glory. She was sold for scrap in Taiwan on 6 December 1977.
- List of aircraft carriers
- List of ship launches in 1943
- List of ship commissionings in 1943
- List of ship decommissionings in 1944
- Cocker (2008), p.82.
- Chesneau, p.25
- Cocker (2008), p.79.
- Macpherson and Barrie, p.45
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- German, Tony (1990). The Sea is at our Gates: The History of the Canadian Navy. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Incorporated. ISBN 0-7710-3269-2.
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- Milner, Marc (2010). Canada's Navy: The First Century (Second ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-9604-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HMS Nabob (D77).|
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
- A History of HMS Nabob