Light Fleet aircraft carrier ordered under an Emergency
War Programme to be built by Fairfield at Govan,
Glasgow. She was laid down on 6th January 1943 and launched on 6th July 1944.
as the 3rd RN ship to carry
this name, introduced in 1786. It had
last been used for a cruiser in
1892 which was sold in 1921. Build was
completed on 9th January 1946.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
TENERIFE 1797 -
NILE 1798 -
ACRE 1799 - BASQUE ROADS
1809 - BENIN 1897
- DARDANELLES 1915-16 - KOREA 1950-51
r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a field Blue,
a demi Minotaur
transfixed with a sword proper.
t t o
This ship saw no
service during WW2.
S u m m a r y o f
P o s t W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search
1 9 4 6
Accepted into RN service.
Work-up and embarked aircraft
and work up for operational service.
Prepared for duty in Far East.
Passage to join Fleet at Singapore as
Flagship for FO Air, Far East.
1 9 4 7
Deployed as Flagship, 1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron in British
return to UK refitted for service in Home
1 9 4 8
completion joined 3rd Aircraft Carrier Squadron, Home Fleet.
Deployed with Home Fleet.
1 9 4 9
duties in continuation.
1 9 5 0
Home Fleet service in continuation.
out first carrier landings at night by jet aircraft (19 June).
Taken in hand for refit.
for service with United Nations naval units off Korea as relief for HM
Fleet Aircraft Carrier TRIUMPH.
Passage to Singapore after
(Note: Leads for gyro compass circuits were found to have
been cut. but damage was repaired
without major delay to ship's deployment).
Deployed off Korea with UN in
British Task Group.
Embarked helicopters from US Cruiser USS WORCESTER for mine
Deployment off east coast of Korea in support of shore
This was first occasion on which helicopters were flown from a British
warship in an operational role.
conditioning was not available in accommodation spaces).
United Nations duties in continuation.
Sikorski S51 Helicopter loaned by US Navy used for
Plane-Guard duty instead of SEA OTTER
(Note: Korean War experience of the value of a helicopter in
this role saw the beginning of
operational use of Rotary Wing aircraft by the RN).
Group was awarded Annual Boyd Trophy as the most outstanding naval
unit. Over 2,500 landings had been made since entering
(Note: Since October 1950 no aircraft had been unserviceable
for more than two hours and 1,300
landings had been made without incident
Rocket. Assisted Take-off was used in periods of low wind
Relieved in UN Task Group by HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier GLORY
relief took passage to UK to rejoin Home Fleet.
Transferred some aircraft and aircrew but retained some SEA FURY aircraft in case of
deployment in the Persian Gulf at Abadan during return).
Joined Home Fleet as Flagship 2nd Aircraft Carrier Squadron.
1 9 5 2
Home Fleet Flagship duties in continuation.
to Mediterranean to relieve sister ship HMS
GLORY for deployment east of Suez for
service with UN in Korea.
Took part in joint exercises in Mediterranean with Home
1 9 5 3
Home Fleet Flagship service in continuation.
for service in the Mediterranean to relieve HMS OCEAN for UN service (April)
Coronation Review at Spithead (June).
(Note: 197 RN ships including HMS VANGUARD, 5 Fleet Aircraft
Carriers, two Light Fleet
Aircraft Carriers and 10 cruisers).
Returned to the Mediterranean. Aircraft carried out a
photographic survey to assess damage after
an earthquake in Cyprus to assess damage.
party assisted civil authority at Paphos.
1 9 5 4
Refitted for service in Training Squadron, Home Fleet.
Home Fleet Training Squadron as Flagship as relief for HM Fleet Aircraft
(Note: General Service Commissions, introduced in 1954
lasted 18 months but for aircraft
carriers the period was 2 years. Previously the period on foreign service
had lasted two and a half years
Training Squadron deployment in continuation.
Detached for service in Mediterranean to support
military operations in Cyprus.
Deployed with HMS OCEAN to carry military equipment to Cyprus.
Resumed Home Fleet training duties
1 9 5 6
Training Squadron deployment in continuation with HMS OCEAN and HMS
Egypt nationalised Suez Canal embarked troops and stores
for passage to Cyprus.
to UK on completion (July)
for use as helicopter carrier and on completion deployed with HMS OCEAN in
support of operations against Egypt (August - September)
Royal Marines of 45 Commando with HMS OCEAN (November)
were also used to bring back wounded from landing are (November).
(Note: The success of use of helicopters for amphibious
operations at Suez later influenced
the decision to carry out major conversion of HMS ALBION and
for service as Commando Carriers using only helicopters and
carrying Royal Marines).
1 9 5 7
Resumed Training Squadron duties
the success of this type of carrier for amphibious operations it was decided
to place the ship in Reserve (October).
1 9 5 8
off and reduced to Reserve status.
Placed on Disposal list (Sales).
(Note: A suggestion made at a NATO Council meeting that HMS
GLORY, HMS OCEAN and
THESEUS be considered for conversion into troop transports was not approved by
the British government.
1 9 5 9 t o
1 9 6 1.
Laid up in Reserve.
1 9 6 2
Sold to BISCO for breaking-up at Inverkeithing,
Arrived at breakers yard on 29th May 1962.
by Bill Grace
with thanks for the crest image