'Ruler' Class

 Description Shape:
Standard, circular.
Blazon (Heraldic description)
On a field of blue, a trumpet, gold, suspended therefrom the flag of the lord high admiral, proper.
TRUMPETER: A person who proclaims, commends, or extols something loudly or widely. The approved design includes element depicting the office of the Lord High Admiral; established in 1413 tit was one of the nine English Great Officers of State, and the titular head of the Royal Navy until 1828. An unofficial design proposed by the ship’s officers exists depicting a bull elephant, head on, with trunk raised as if trumpeting, with the motto “My challenge is borne by the air”.

For explanations of heraldic terms and examples of unofficial badges see the Badges & Honours page.





Pennant Numbers:


D08 (Atlantic)

R318 (Indian Ocean)



Battle Honours:








Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co. Tacoma, Washington

Completed by: Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oregon

Displacement: 15,390 tons

Length (Overall): 494ft 9in

Beam:  69ft 6in

Flight deck: 450ft x 80ft wood covered mild steel plate

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

Speed:  16 knots

A/C Capacity: 20

Hangar: 260ft 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 H4C hydraulic

Armament: 2 single 5in USN Mk 12, 8 twin 40mm Bofors, 14 twin 20rnm Oerlikon, 7 single 20mm Oerlikon

Crew Complement: 646


Commanding Officers:


Capt. K.S. Colquhoun RN
May 43 - May 45


Capt. C.B. Alers-Hankey RN
May 45 - Apr 46






1831 (Ferry)

Oct 43

Corsair I


1833 (Ferry)

Oct 43

Corsair I



Jul 44-May 45

Avenger I/Wildcat V

856 det

Aug 1944

Avenger II/Wildcat V


Sep-Oct 1944
Wildcat VI


Dec 1944
Avenger II/Wildcat V


Dec 44-Jan 45

Wildcat V


Jan 1945

Wildcat VI


April-Aug 1945

Wildcat VI/

Barracuda TR. III



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Laid down 25 August 1942, at Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co. Tacoma, Washington, a C3-S-A1 type freighter, Maritime Commission hull number 248; Seattle-Tacoma hull number 32. The contract was purchased by the US navy 30 April 1942 and was intended to be completed as the USS BASTIAN AVG-37 (AVG changed to ACV on August 20th, only five days before her keel was laid). She was launched on December 15th 1942; her hull was towed to the Commercial Iron Works yard, Portland, Oregon, for completion and fitting out as an aircraft carrier.

Whilst still under construction it had been decided that ACV-47 was to be transferred to the Admiralty on loan on her completion being assigned to the United Kingdom under lend lease. Her US navy designation was further changed to CVE-47 on July 15th 1943. She was transferred to the Royal Navy on 4 August 1943 and commissioned in RN service, at Portland, as HMS TRUMPETER (D09), Captain K.S. Colquhoun RN in command. (She was initially earmarked to become HMS LUCIFER but this was changed before she was completed)


HMS TRUMPETER broadside on c.1945


Outfitted as an Anti Submarine Warfare carrier, Trumpeter's first operations, in late 1943 and early 1944, were ferrying aircraft and escorting North Atlantic convoys from New York to the Clyde. In the summer of 1944 she was allocated to the Home Fleet and assigned 846 naval air squadron, equipped with Avenger and Wildcat aircraft for offensive operations.

Between August and December 1944 she took part in a series of offensive operations against enemy shipping in the North Sea and against enemy occupied Norway including Operation' Goodwood', the naval sir attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz.

In early 1945 she undertook escort duties with Russian convoys before being returned to anti-shipping operations in the North Sea. Trumpeter was to take part in the last air strike of the European War on May 4th; her aircraft shared the sinking of the German Submarine U711 with aircraft from HMS Queen. Trumpeter was next tasked with providing air cover for the Allied liberation of Denmark.


Corsairs flying over the flight deck of HMS TRUMPETER which several Grumman Wildcats of 846 Squadron parked on deck. © IWM (A 25384)

After a short refit on the Clyde, she was reassigned to the Eastern Fleet, arriving in Colombo, Ceylon in July 1945. In September 1945 Trumpeter was part of a large RN force participating in Operation Zipper, the recapture of Malaya.

HMS Trumpeter was returned to the US Navy on April 6th 1946, reverting to her original name of USS Bastian but was to see no active service with the USN, being marked for disposal on 19 June 1946. She was sold to the Holland America Line and saw merchant service as the 'Alblasserdijk' from i19 May 1948, being renamed'Alblasserdyk' in 1953. She was sold to Panama and further renamed 30 April 1966, becoming the' Irene Valmas'. The ship was eventually scrapped at Castellon, Spain in May 1971.

Ships bearing the name 'Trumpeter'

D09 was second of four ships to bear the name 'Trumpeter' - the first HMS Trumpeter was a  192 ton trawler requisitioned by the Royal Navy for war service between 1914 and 1919.  The third HMS Trumpeter was a Landing Ship (Tank), launched as LST 3524. She became HMS Trumpeter in 1947, before being transferred to the Ministry of Transport in 1956,as Empire Fulmar. She was sold at Singapore in 1968. The fourth HMS Trumpeter is an 'Archer' class coastal training craft in service with the Royal Naval Reserve. Commissioned on 5 November 1988 she was initially used by the Southampton Division of the Royal Naval Reserve as a junior officer seamanship training ship. From February 1991 she was used by the RN's Gibraltar Squadron as a Gibraltar Guard Ship.  She returned to the UK In April 2003  to became Bristol University Royal Naval Unit's tender.


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:

Fold3.com various documents including;

Admiralty War Diaries

US Naval Station, Seattle, Washington

US Naval Station,  Manchester, Washington

Puget Sound  Navy Yard War Diaries

US Thirteenth Naval District War Diaries

Norfolk Navy Yard War Diaries

Mew York Navy Yard War Diaries

Miscellaneous documents

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Topic: A History of H.M.S. TRUMPETER
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Troy Bates
May 2020
Troy Bates (Albion Park) says...
My grandfather Victor Rowley served on HMS Trumpeter 24 June 1945 to 3 Sep 1945 with 821 Squadron
Chris Bulmer
Dec 2019
Chris Bulmer (Eaglescliffe) says...
My late father Harry Bulmer served on Trumpeter as an Artificer working with radios on the aircraft. Does anyone know anything about this job please?
Jan 2019
Grahan says...
Anyway to get copies of the photos of HMS Trumpeter?

My grandfather served during in WWII and would love to get some photo’s for my father.
Judy Cretney
Feb 2017
Judy Cretney (Exeter) says...
My father, Phil Stone, was a radio mechanic on the Trumpeter. He always found it too painful to talk about his experiences. I would love to see any photos anybody may have of the Trumpeter. Sadly, he died in 2012, with Alzheimers, two days after Pariament's announcement of the issue of Arctic medals. My mother applied for the medal.
Peter H
Jan 2017
Peter H (Cranbrook) says...
My late father in law Eric Warren served on HMS Trumpeter as an Able Seaman - arctic convoy. He used to work with batteries I believe. Was subsequently injured in a torpedo attack and ended up in hospital never to return to his ship. Any photos would love to see. I have a good quality group photo.
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