Description Shape:
Standard, circular.
Blazon (Heraldic description)
On a white field: A bloodhound’s head erased red, collared gold.
SEARCHER: One who searches for, hunts down or sniffs something out. The bloodhound is representative of the hunt and symbolises one who perseveres in hunting the enemy while always being mindful of his foes.

For explanations of heraldic terms see the Badges & Honours page.





Pennant Numbers:





Battle Honours:


ATLANTIC 1943-44



NORWAY 1944-45




Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co. Tacoma, Washington

Completed by: Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oregon

Displacement: 14,170 tons

length (Overall): 486ft

Beam:  69ft 6in

Flight deck: 442ft x 80ft wood covered mild steel plate

Propulsion: 2 Foster Wheeler boilers; 1 x Allis-Chalmers geared turbine driving 1 shaft

Speed:  18.5 knots

A/C Capacity: 20

Hangar: 262ft x 62ft x 18ft

A/C lifts: 2; aft 34ft long x 42ft wide; forward 42ft long x 34ft wide

Arrestor wires: 9 with 3 barriers

Catapult: 1 x H2 hydraulic

Armament: 2 single 4in USN Mk 9, 8 twin 40mm Bofors, 14 twin 20rnm Oerlikon, 7 single 20mm Oerlikon Note: Although one of the eleven batch 1 Bogue class CVEs built for lend-lease as the ‘Attacker’ class, SEARCHER has the armament configuration of the second batch which were the ‘Ruler’ and ‘Smiter’ class ships. This also gives her a confusing outline since her island matches the ‘Attacker’ class.

Crew Complement: 646


Commanding Officers:


Lt. Cdr. L.J. Sedgwick RN OIC

Jan - Feb 43


Capt. G.O.C. Davies RN

Feb 43 -Jan 45


Capt. J.W. Grant RN

Jan 45 - Nov 45





825 (Det)

May 1945

Barracuda II



Dec 43-Jul 44
Wildcat V


Feb-Oct 45
Wildcat VI


Oct 43-Jul 44
Wildcat V




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HMS SEARCHER at sea c.1944.

Laid down 20 February 1942, at Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co. Tacoma, Washington, a C3-S-A1 type freighter Maritime Commission hull number 238, Seattle-Tacoma hull number 22; purchased by the US navy, to become AVG-22 (no name announced) 27 July 1942. Whilst still under construction it had been decided that AVG-22. later changed to ACV-22) was to be transferred to the Admiralty on loan on her completion as an aircraft carrier. ACV -22 was launched on 20 June 1942 and was towed from Seattle to Astoria, Washington on June 24th by th USS Tatnuck (AT--27). ACV-22 was assigned to Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oregon, for the completion of her construction as an escort carrier.. She was transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend Lease and delivered on 7 April 1943; commissioned into RN service at Portland, Oregon as HMS SEARCHER (D40), Captain G.O.C. Davies RN in command. US Navy designation changed from ACV to CVE on 15 July 1943


HMS SEARCHER carrying a ferry load


In UK waters Feb - April 1945, DLTs by 746 Night Fighter Interception Unit from RNAS Ford.

CVE-22 was returned to US Navy custody on 29 Nov 1945, and was stricken for disposal 7 Feb 1946. She was sold into merchant service as Captain Theo. Later renamed Oriental Banker in 1965. She was scrapped at Taiwan starting 21 April 1976.


A fuller account of this ships history will be added at some time in the future.




Content revised: 31 October 2021


Sources used in compiling this account:

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources: various documents including;

Admiralty War Diaries

Norfolk Navy Yard War Diaries

Mew York Navy Yard War Diaries

Miscellaneous documents

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