Classes

Ships built to the same design or a particular batch of a design is usually grouped together as a ‘class’. This is distinct from a ship ‘type’, which might reflect a similarity of tonnage or intended use.

In the Royal Navy there were five classes of auxiliary escort aircraft carriers, and five individual vessels. Class names were AVENGER, ATTACKER, RULER, SMITER Note:
Evidence has emerged supporting a SMITER class; a group of 6 vessels form the second order of Bogue class vessels are not named after rulers within the AMEER class. They have names similar to those in the ATTACKER class. Weaver, D. (2004) page 5 cites Admiralty documents (ADM 1/17193 & 1/18420) and correspondence between Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co and Burrards in Vancouver which reference a ‘SMITER’ class.
, and NAIRANA.

 

AVENGER CLASS

Modified US Long Island Class

The first batch of escort carrier conversions utilizing merchant C3 passenger-cargo liners; generally similar to Archer but conversions carried out prior to the vessels completion as freighters. All four vessels ordered for RN service, but Charger was retained by USN for joint USN/RN training purposes. Avenger had no Island.

Specifications:

Displacement 15,120 tons gross

Length 465 ft (Hull) 492 ft (Flight deck)

Beam 69ft 6 in (Hull) 78 ft (Flight deck)

Sped: 16.5 Knots

4 Ships: AVENGER BITER CHARGER DASHER
 


 

ATTACKER CLASS


US BOGUE CLASS (C3 conversions)

Developed from, and generally similar to, Avenger class, this design was the final development of the US C3 type conversion program. Converted from incomplete C3 merchant hulls, this class of CVE benefited from a greater degree of conversion being possible compared to the earlier C3 conversions which were completed on completed hulls.

Specifications:
Displacement 14,630  tons gross
Length 465 ft, (Hull)
495 ft 6 in (Flight deck)
Beam 69ft 5 in (Hull)
111 ft 6in (Flight deck)
Sped: 18 Knots

11 Ships:
ATTACKER
BATTLER
CHASER
FENCER
HUNTER
PURSUER
RAVAGER
SEARCHER
STALKER
STRIKER
TRACKER
 


 

 

NAIRANA CLASS


British built

Two fast freighters converted into escort carriers by British shipyards. Although there are two vessels in this class, HMS VINDEX was not a duplicate of HMS NAIRANA.

Specifications:
Displacement 17,210 tons gross
Length 424 ft,
Beam 68 ft
Sped: 16 Knots

2 Ships:
NAIRANA
VINDEX
 


AMEER CLASS


US BOGUE CLASS ( Purpose built based on C3 hulls)

 A second batch of Bogue class vessels, ordered in response to a continued need for escort carriers. Built from the keel up as carriers, these ships were almost identical to the first batch of Bogue conversions. All but one of this batch of ships were to be transferred to the RN.

Specifications:
Displacement 15,646 tons gross
Length 465 ft (Hull)
495 ft 6 in (Flight deck)
Beam 69.5 in (Hull)
111 ft 6 in (Flight deck)
Sped: 18 Knots

17 Ships:
AMEER
ARBITER
ATHELING
BEGUM
EMPEROR
EMPRESS
KHEDIVE
NABOB
PREMIER
QUEEN
RAJAH
RANEE
RULER
SHAH
SPEAKER
THANE
TRUMPETER
 


 

SMITER CLASS


US BOGUE CLASS (Purpose built based on C3 hulls)

 A sub class of the second batch of Bogue class vessels named with aggressive action names, possibly carried over from the ATTACKER Class.


Specifications:
Displacement 15,646 tons gross
Length 465 ft (Hull)
495 ft 6 in (Flight deck)
Beam 69.5 in (Hull)
111 ft 6 in (Flight deck)
Sped: 18 Knots

6 Ships:
PATROLLER
PUNCHER
REAPER
SLINGER
SMITER
TROUNCER
 

ONE OFF VESSELS
 


AUDACITY

 

Audacity was the RNs first escort carrier, intended to provide basic air cover for convoys. This was a very basic conversion, but well over 100 merchant-hulled escort carriers followed her.

Specifications:
Displacement 15,646 tons gross
Length 465 ft
Beam 69 ft 6 in
Sped: 18 Knots
 


 

ACTIVITY


Second RN-converted escort carrier, taken over prior to completion as a merchant ship she was converted to an improved design which included a small hanger and a small Island.

Specifications:
Displacement 14,250 tons gross
Length 512ft
Beam 66 ft 6 in
Sped: 18 Knots
 


 


CAMPANIA

A fast freighter converted before completion. Very similar in layout to the two NAIRANA class vessels.

Specifications:
Displacement 15,970 tons gross
Length 540 ft
Beam70 ft
Sped: 16 Knots
 


 


PRETORIA CASTLE

The largest of the RN escort carriers, Pretoria Castle could operate up to 21 aircraft. Converted from a passenger liner she was initially employed as an Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC) early in the war, Purchased by the Admiralty in 1943 for conversion to an escort carrier.

Specifications:
Displacement 23,450 tons gross
Length 592 ft,
Beam 76 ft
Sped: 18 Knots
 


 


ARCHER

US LONG ISLAND CLASS

One of the first US-built escort carrier conversions, she was originally ordered for the USN but transferred to the RN.

Specifications:
Displacement : 12,860 tons gross
Length 465 ft, (Hull)
492 ft (Flight deck)
Beam 69ft 5in (Hull)
102 ft (Flight deck)
Sped: 17.5 Knots
 


 

 

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