Escort Aircraft Carriers (Commissioned June 1942-April 1943)
Bogue, Breton, Card, Copahee, Core, Croatan, Nassau, Altamaha, Prince William, Barnes, Block Island
From C3 Cargo to aircraft carriers
The Bogue class were forty-five (45) escort carriers, all built in the United States and in service both with the US and Royal Navy, through the Lend-Lease program. The first 22 ships of the class were converted from finished, or near finished, Maritime Commission C3-S-A1 and C3-S-A2 ships, with 11 retained by the US Navy, and the other 11 transferring to the Royal Navy, where they were renamed and grouped as the Attacker class. Prince William was the last of the USN ships built and comprised all of the lessons learned in the earlier ships, sometimes it is referred to as its own subclass of the Bogue class. The remaining 23 ships were built from the keel up on C3-class designs and classified as Ruler class, or the Ameer-class. Following the war, those ships that served with the Royal Navy were returned to the United States and were either scrapped or converted for mercantile use.
⚠ Note: This post is in writing.
USS Bogue ACV-9
The Bogue class was the first of many series of "Jeep Carriers" that Americans yards built for the allies during the war. Their common base was their civilian shipyards, C3 cargo ships base, whose large holds were suitable for rapid transormation as hangars, as shown with the USS Long Island and especially USS Charger
, the true prototype for the Bogue serie. Unlike the aircraft carriers, the escorts were slow, walking "in the convoy", that of the cargo ships or assault ships they were following.
Their sober and economical machines gave them excellent autonomy. The "Bugs" derived from a long series lent to the British in the lend-lease, the "Attackers". They were based on the USS Long Island, with C3 standard cargo ships as base, but had a full command bridge. Their DCA mainly consisted of Oerlikon heavy machine guns was generous and relatively effective at close range. Nevertheless, their long-range defense was based on their cover of hunters. The Bugs differed from the Lend-Lease series by their triple expansion machines (instead of diesels).
USS Nassau underway off Attu, May 1943
They all had a catapult and two elevators. Their flight deck measured 141 meters by 21.2. A total of ten ships (nine of the first series Bogue/Attacker and one of the second series Bogue/Ruler) were built by Western Pipe and Steel, Ingalls, and Seattle-Tacoma, commissioned between 1942 and 1943.
They served mainly on the Atlantic, and were part of major strategic convoys until the end of the war. Their aerial complement amounted in standard to 12 F4F Wildcat and 9 Grumann TBF Avengers. The Royal navy deployed about 19-24 planes, mostly the Martlet, but also when possible the Supermarine Seafire and Fairey Swordfish. None was lost and they were all converted back into cargo ships after the war.
USS Altamaha CVE-18
The US Bogue-class in USN service were reclassified as helicopter and aircraft transports , used in Korea and Vietnam.
USS Bogue in 1943, in measure xxx blurred dark ocean blue wavy pattern on light grey system - old author's illustration: More modern and HD awaited.
Bogue class (1942) specifications
|Dimensions||151 x 21 x 7,90 m |
|Displacement||9,636 t, 16,600 T FL|
|Propulsion||1 shaft Allis-Chalmers turbine/TE engine, 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers|
|Speed||8500 hp, 16.5 knots max.|
|Armament||2x1 127mm, 2x2 40mm, 10x1 20mm Oerlikon AA, 24 aircraft|
|Crew||646 (890 with air group)|
The Bogue class in action:
USS Barnes carrying planes underway in the Pacific Ocean, 1st July 1943, with US Army Air Forces Lockheed P-38 Lightning and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft.
USS Bogue (AVG/ACV/CVE/CVHE-9) was the lead ship in the Bogue class of escort carriers in the United States Navy during World War II. The ship was named for Bogue Sound in North Carolina. Originally classified AVG-9, this was changed to ACV-9 on 20 August 1942; CVE-9 on 15 July 1943 and CVHE-9, on 12 June 1955. She was part of an effective force, where aircraft operating from Bogue or ships escorting the carrier claimed nine German and two Japanese submarines between May 1943 and July 1945.
USS Card (CVE-11)
USS Card (AVG/ACV/CVE/CVHE/CVU/T-CVU-11/T-AKV-40) was an American Bogue-class escort carrier that saw service in World War II. She was named for Card Sound, a continuation of Biscayne Bay, south of Miami, Florida. She was the flagship of Task Group 21.14 (TG 21.14) a hunter-killer group formed to destroy German submarines in the North Atlantic. In 1964, while operating as an aircraft ferry, Card was sunk with explosives planted by two Viet Cong commandos in the Harbor of Saigon, South Vietnam. She was refloated 17 days later and returned to service after extensive repairs.
USS Copahee (CVE-12)
USS Copahee (CVE-12) was a Bogue-class escort carrier that served in the United States Navy during World War II. Originally classified AVG-12, was changed to ACV-12, 20 August 1942; CVE-12, 15 July 1943; and CVHE-12, 12 June 1955. She was laid down on 18 June 1941, as Steel Architect, under Maritime Commission contract (hull 169) in Tacoma, Washington by Todd Pacific Shipyards, launched 21 October 1941; sponsored by Mrs. W. M. Wells; acquired by the United States Navy on 8 February 1942; and commissioned 15 June 1942, Commander J. G. Farrell in command.
USS Core (CVE-13)
USS Core (CVE-13), a Bogue-class escort carrier named for the Core Sound in North Carolina, was originally classified AVG-13, but was reclassified ACV-13, 20 August 1942; CVE-13, 15 July 1943; CVHE-13, 12 June 1955; CVU-13, 1 July 1958; and T-AKV-41, 7 May 1959. She was launched 15 May 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding of Tacoma, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. B. B. Smith, wife of Lieutenant Commander Smith; acquired by the Navy, 1 May 1942; and commissioned 10 December 1942, Captain M. R. Greer in command.
USS Nassau (CVE-16)
USS Nassau (CVE-16) (originally AVG-16 then ACV-16) was laid down 27 November 1941 by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation of Tacoma, Washington, as M.C. Hull No. 234; launched 4 April 1942; sponsored by Mrs. G. H. Hasselman, Tongue Point, Oregon; acquired by the Navy 1 May, towed to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, and converted to an escort carrier; and commissioned 20 August, Captain Austin K. Doyle in command. Nassau was one of thirty-seven Tacoma-built C3 CVEs, of which twenty-six went to the Royal Navy. It was one of the ten Bogue-class escort carriers that served in the U.S. Navy.
USS Altamaha (CVE-18)
HMS Battler (D18) was an American-built escort carrier that served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Converted from a merchantman under construction, she was acquired by the United States Navy on 31 October 1942, as a Bogue-class escort carrier; she was transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned Battler on the same day under the Lend-Lease agreement. Battler's first duty was as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic. The ship was active in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and later, the war in the Pacific. She served as a convoy escort, aircraft ferry, and anti-submarine escort during the war.
USS Barnes (CVE-20)
HMS Attacker (D02) was an American-built escort carrier that served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Converted from a merchantman under construction, she was commissioned by the United States Navy on 30 September 1942, as USS Barnes (CVE-7), a Bogue-class escort carrier; she was decommissioned and transferred to the Royal Navy on the same day under the Lend-Lease agreement. Attacker served throughout the war, first as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic. After further conversion by the Royal Navy in October 1943, into an assault carrier, the ship was active in the Mediterranean, and later the war in the Pacific. In late August 1945, Attacker witnessed the Japanese surrender of Penang, in Malaya, as part of Operation Jurist.
USS Block Island (CVE-21)
USS Block Island (CVE-8) (originally AVG and then ACV) was an Attacker-class escort aircraft carrier that served during World War II. The ship was laid down on 15 May 1941 as Mormacpenn under Maritime Commission contract at Pascagoula, Mississippi, by Ingalls Shipbuilding, acquired by the United States Navy on 9 January 1943 and simultaneously transferred via the Lend-Lease program to the United Kingdom as Trailer. On 11 January 1943, the ship was renamed HMS Hunter (D80) and commissioned by the Royal Navy. In March 1945 was attached to the 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron. She participated in Operation Jurist and Operation Tiderace in August 1945, the reoccupation of Malaya and Singapore from the Japanese. The vessel was returned to United States' custody 29 December 1945 and sold into merchant service on 17 January 1947 as Almdijk. In October 1965 the ship was sold for scrapping in Spain.
USS Breton (CVE-23)
HMS Chaser (D32/R306/A727) was an American-built Attacker-class escort carrier that served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Acquired by the United States Navy for conversion to a Bogue-class escort carrier; she was transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned as Chaser on 9 April 1943, under the Lend-Lease agreement. She spent most of her career escorting convoys in Arctic, she transferred to the British Pacific Fleet in March 1945.
USS Croatan (CVE-25)
HMS Fencer (D64/R308) was an American-built Attacker-class escort carrier that served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Acquired by the United States Navy for conversion to a Bogue-class escort carrier; she was transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned as Fencer on 1 March 1943, under the Lend-Lease agreement. She spent most of her career escorting convoys in the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, she transferred to the British East Indies Fleet in October 1944.
USS Prince Williams (CVE-31)
The name Prince William (CVE-19) (earlier AVG-19 then ACV-19) was assigned to MC hull 198, a converted C3 laid down by the Western Pipe and Steel Company, San Francisco, California, 15 December 1941. Designated for transfer to the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease Agreement, she was renamed and launched as HMS Striker (D12), 7 May 1942; redesignated ACV-19, 20 August 1942; delivered to the United States Navy 28 April 1943; and transferred to the Royal Navy 18 May 1943. Redesignated CVE-19, on the US Navy List, 15 July 1943. During November and December 1944, she was in transit between Scotland and Australia with HMS Fencer ferrying Mosquito aircraft for use in the Far East Theatre. From March to August 1945 the ship was part of the British Pacific Fleet attached to the 30th Aircraft Carrier Squadron as its flagship. She served with the Royal Navy throughout the remainder of World War II. She was returned to the US Navy, at Norfolk, 12 February 1946; struck from the Naval Register, 28 March 1946; and sold to the Patapsco Steel Scrap Co., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 5 June 1948 and scrapped