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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

AIRCRAFT CARRYING SHIPS

AVENGER escort aircraft carriers (1941-1942)

Dasher 1943

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Avenger (ex-BAVG2, ex-Rio Hudson) D14 186 Sun SB, Chester, USA // Bethlehem, Staten Is, USA 28/11/1939 27/11/1940 2/3/1942 sunk 15/11/1942
Biter (ex-BAVG3, ex-Rio Parana) D97 187 Sun SB, Chester, USA // Atlantic Basin Iron Wks, Brooklyn, USA 28/12/1939 18/12/1940 1/5/1942 to France 9/4/1945 (Dixmude)
Charger (ex-BAVG4, ex-Rio de la Plata) D27 188 Sun SB, Chester, USA // Newport News, USA 19/1/1940 1/3/1941 2/10/1941 to USA 4/10/1941
Dasher (ex-BAVG5, ex-Rio de Janeiro) D37 189 Sun SB, Chester, USA // Tietjen & Lang, USA 14/3/1940 12/4/1941 1/7/1942 sunk 27/3/1943

 

Displacement standard, t

10366

Displacement full, t

15125

Length, m

150.0

Breadth, m

21.2 wl 23.7 fd

Draught, m

7.67 deep load

No of shafts

1

Machinery

4 Sun-Doxford diesels

Power, h. p.

8500

Max speed, kts

16.5

Fuel, t

diesel oil 3061

Endurance, nm(kts) 15000(15)

Armament

3 x 1 - 102/50 Mk 9, 4 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk 1/2, 7 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk 1/2, 6 x 1 - 12.7/90, 15 aircraft (Fulmar, Sea Hurricane, Seafire, Buffalo, Martlet fighters, Swordfish torpedo bombers)

Sensors type 79, 271 radars
Complement 555

Aircraft facilities (fd - 2,963 (3,192)m², ha - 1,275m² / 6,222m³): Flight deck: 125 (later 134.7)x23.7m, hangar: 57.9x14.3x4.88m. There was 1 lift (12.8x10.4m, 5.4t) and 1 catapult H-II (3.2t plane was launched at 113km/h). Aircraft fuel stowage was 341,000l, but immediately after commissioning stowage was decreased to 164,000l.

Year Fighters Torpedo bombers
4/1942 Avenger --- 4 Swordfish
7/1942 Dasher --- 4 Swordfish
8/1942 Avenger 12 Sea Hurricane (+6 spare) 3 Swordfish
10/1942 Biter 15 Sea Hurricane ---
10/1942 Dasher 12 Sea Hurricane ---
2/1943 Dasher 6 Sea Hurricane 12 Swordfish
4/1943 Biter 3 Wildcat 9 Swordfish
10/1943 Biter 6 Wildcat 6 Swordfish
1/1944 Biter 4 Wildcat 11 Swordfish
4/1944 Biter 7 Wildcat 11 Swordfish

Ship project history: First (with Archer) British escort aircraft carriers ordered in the USA by the agreement about lend-lease. They were converted from merchant hulls. Works were begun in April-May, 1941. Avenger was flush-decked, without an island. Remaining ships had small island on the starboard.

Carriers had hulls of standard type ΡΗ transports. The stability was ensured with a solid ballast (1930t of concrete). Besides, holding of 1000t of water ballast was recommended. Ships had no armour or underwater protection.

Machinery included two diesels, working on one shaft through a reducton gear. Diesel fuel stowage consisted from 1362-1600t of ship stock and 1100-1700t in additional (cargo) tanks, used mainly for refuelling of the ships of escort at sea.

Modernizations: 8/1942, Biter; 10/1942, Dasher: - 3 x 1 - 102/50; + 3 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V

10/1943, Biter: - 4 x 1 - 20/70; + 4 x 2 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, displacement was 12850/15300t with load draught of 7.75m, oil stowage was 1308t of fuel oil and 1097t of cargo oil.

Naval service: Avenger was torpedoed by German submarine U155 in 100nm W of Gibraltar 15/11/1942. She has blown up and sunk in three minutes. 505 people dead. Dasher was lost as a result of explosion of aviation petrol tanks 27/3/1943 in river Clyde mouth. 378 people were lost.

© Ivan Gogin, 2008-14