1 9 4 3
June Contractors trials.
14th Build completion date and carried out sea trials.
Transferred to Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS PURSUER.
Prepared for ocean passage.
Sailed for Panama.
Transit of Panama Canal.
26th Arrived at Norfolk, Va
Taken in hand for some modification to suit RN Use.
July On completion of dockyard work took passage to New York
30th Joined inward Convoy HX250 for passage to Clyde.
(Note: Use of ship to transport aircraft to UK to be confirmed.)
11th Detached from HX250 and took passage to Liverpool.
12th Taken in hand in Liverpool commercial shipyard to complete extensive modifications
to suit RN use as an Assault Carrier.)
September Under modification
to (Note: Changes as result of loss of HMS AVENGER to be confirmed.)
November Prepared for operational service
16th Sailed for Clyde
Embarked 20 WILDCAT aircraft and personnel of 881 AND 896 Squadrons.
Deployed at Greenock.
26th Under repair in Belfast.
December On completion of repair prepared for work-up
19th Commenced work-up in Irish Sea.
1 9 4 4
January Allocated for deployment in Western Approaches for convoy defence.
Work-up in continuation.
February On completion of work-up deployed with Support Group for provision of anti-submarine air
cover during passage of Atlantic convoys.
(For details of anti-submarine operations in the Atlantic see THE BATTLE OF THE
ATLANTIC by D MacIntyre, U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and SEEK
AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.)
6th Provided cover for passage of outward joint Convoy OS67/KMS41 during passage.
(Note: During this period aircraft from Gibraltar shot down FW200 aircraft
reporting convoy movements on 12th for subsequent U-Boat attacks by He177 aircraft
used to carry cut Glider Bomb attacks.
See BATTLE OVER THE BAY by N Franks and the above references.)
Transferred to support inward Convoy SL149 later.
6th Returned to Clyde on release from Atlantic convoy defence
(Note: SL149 arrived in Liverpool on 7th.)
17th Sailed for Scapa Flow for detached service with Home Fleet ships during planned provision
of Distant Cover for passage of Convoy JW58 to Kola Inlet and air attacks on German
battleship TIRPITZ (Operation TUNGSTEN).
30th Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Battleships ANSON and DUKE OF YORK, HM Aircraft
Carrier VICTORIOUS, HM Escort Carriers EMPEROR, SEARCHER and FENCER, HM
Cruisers BELFAST, SHEFFIELD and JAMAICA screened by 14 Home Fleet destroyers to
cover JW58 and TUNGSTEN operations.
For details see CONVOY ! by P Kemp and Naval Staff History.
2nd Deployed with the Escort Carriers as Force 8 to provide fighter cover and patrols
to intercept U-Boats.
HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS joined operation after independent passage from Scapa Flow.
3rd Provided fighter cover during attacks on TIRPITZ in Altenfjord by HMS VICTORIOUS
and HMS FURIOUS.
(For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and The Naval Staff
5th Return passage to Scapa Flow with TUNGSTEN ships.
Resumed Atlantic convoy defence duties.
26th Deployed with HM Fleet Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS, FURIOUS, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers
SEARCHER, EMPEROR and STRIKER for air attacks on shipping in Bodo and Rorvik areas
off Norway (*Operations RIDGE ABLE and RIDGE BAKER.)
27th RIDGE BAKER attacks off Rorvik cancelled due to weather conditions.
(Note: Ship sustained storm damage.)
28th On return to Scapa Flow took passage to Liverpool for repair.
1st Taken in hand for repair
Nominated for support of planned allied allied landings in Normandy on completion.
(Operation NEPTUNE - For details of naval activities before and during landings see OPERATION
NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO).
June Deployed with HM Escort Aircraft Carriers TRACKER and EMPEROR in a position 150
miles west of Lands End to carry out anti-submarine patrols to intercept U-Boat attempt
to enter English Channel for attacks on invasion traffic. Sic Escort Groups were also deployed
in this area to provide additional support.
(Note: Few contacts were made. See above reference.)
19th On release from NEPTUNE landed WILDCAT aircraft of 896 Squadron.
Resumed convoy defence role in Western Approaches.
15th Nominated for support of planned allied landings in South France.
(Operation DRAGOON formerly ANVIL)
25th Passage from Clyde to join Mediterranean Fleet in Malta with Squadron 881 embarked.
August Joined HM Escort Aircraft Carriers KHEDIVE, EMPEROR , SEARCHER and ATTACKER
in Malta to provide air cover during assault phase of operation. as part of Carrier Task Force (TF88)
(Note: TF88 commanded by Rear Admiral T Troubridge, RN in HM Cruiser ROYALIST.
12th Passage to assault area with TG88,1
(Note: HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE, TUSCAN, TUMULT, TEAZER, TYRIAN, WHEATLAND
and the Greek NAVARINO deployed as screen.)
15th Arrived in assault area with carriers of TG88.1.
Carried out air strikes and spotting for naval gunfire support as Combat Patrols for defence of area
(For details see INVASION OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE (HMSO).)
18th Took passage with Task Group to Maddalena to replenish, refuel and rest crew.
21st Returned to assault area and resumed operations.
Attacks carried cut on retreating enemy transport.
23rd Took passage to Maddalena.
27th Released from DRAGOON and resumed RN control.
(Note: 180 sorties were launched during DRAGOON support.
Five aircraft were lost.)
Nominated for service in British Aegean Force and took passage to Alexandria with British
CVE and destroyer screen.
2nd Arrived at Alexandria.
Joined British Aegean Force with HM Escort Aircraft Carriers EMPEROR, ATTACKER,
HUNTER, STALKER, SEARCHER and KHEDIVE for support of the reoccupation of
islands in the Aegean.
9th Took passage to operational area with Force A including HM Escort Aircraft Carriers SEARCHER,
KHEDIVE and HUNTER with destroyer screen (Operation OUTING I)
(Note: Air cover for snore operations and protection of warships was provided.
Strikes made on shore targets.)
12th Provided air defence patrols during operations
14th Carried out air attacks made on evacuation shipping.
17th Aircraft carried out reconnaissance flights and continued air defence patrols
19th Aircraft from carriers carried out bombardment of Rhodes.
(For details of Aegean operations see Military Staff History (HMSO).
20th Sailed for Alexandria
(Note: 136 sorties were launched during OUTING.)
21st Deployed at Alexandria.
1st On release from British Aegean Force took passage to UK.
8th At Gibraltar
12th Arrived in Clyde
28th Arrived at Scapa Flow to resume Home Fleet service.
November Deployed at Scapa Flow.
Nominated for support of planned attack on shipping off coast of Norway
12th Provided air support during attack on German convoy KS357 off ListerfJord with
HM Cruisers KENT, BELLONA HM Destroyers MYNGS, VERULAM, ZAMBESI
and ALGONQUIN (RCN) as Force 2.
(Note: Post war assessment of losses included two mercantiles, CORNOSAILLES and
GRIEF, Minesweepers M416 and M427.)
14th Embarked aircraft carried out attack on shipping in Trondheim and shore target at Titran.
16th Returned to Scapa Flow.
20th Deployed with HM Escort Carrier PREMIUM for air minelay in Salhusstrommen.
26th Deployed with HM Fleet Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE and HM Escort Aircraft Carrier
PREMIER to carry out air attacks on shipping between Mosjoen and Rorvik.
27th Returned to Scapa Flow with HMS PURSUER due to weather conditions.
(Note HMS IMPLACABLE was able to execute attacks during which two ships were sunk.
On return to Scapa Flow took passage to Clyde for repair.
(Note: Squadron aircraft and personnel were landed,)
Refit arranged in USA and took passage.
12th Took passage to Norfolk from Clyde with US Convoy UC48B.
24th Taken in hand for repair by US Navy Yard, Norfolk.
1 9 4 5
January Under repair
4th Embarked CORSAIR aircraft for transport to UK.
(Note: Destined for 1831 Squadron)
Passage to Belfast
15th A rived at Belfast and disembarked aircraft
March Nominated for service in 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron, East Indies Fleet based at
Trincomalee after refit in Durban
Embarked 899 Squadron aircraft and personnel
31st Joined outward convoy KMF42 for passage to Gibraltar
7th Detached from KMF42 on arrival.
9th Took passage to Durban with calls at Freetown and Cape Town.
May Passage in Indian Ocean
3rd Taken in hand for refit in Durban
June Under refit
July Carried out post refit harbour and sea trials
7th Took passage for Colombo
25th Arrived at Colombo
Took passage to Trincomalee to join Squadron.
1st Arrived at Trincomalee and joined HM Escort Carriers HUNTER, STALKER, ARCHER
KHEDIVE and EMPEROR in 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron
Prepared for support of British landings in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER).
15th Operation was delayed by US insistence and problems in UK relating to the release
of service personnel in Far East. See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by John Winton and
Final Report by Supreme Commander SEAC (HMSO).
18th Nominated for duty as Communications Ship during landings in Port Swettenham.
Landed embarked aircraft and prepared for new duties.
September Embarked Royal Marines for shore duties, military and air personnel.
4th Sailed for Port Swettenham area from Trincomalee and joined an assault convoy.
8th Arrived at Port Swettenham and made ready for requirements after planned landings
at Fort Dickson and Morib. See above references.
Medical party sent to troopship WINGSANG which reported case of suspected Bubonic
Plague. This later proved to be a glandular infection.
9th Landed armed party and accepted formal surrender of local garrison.
October On release from ZIPPER returned to Trincomalee.
6th Arrived at Trincomalee and deployed for trooping duties.
November Nominated for return to UK for Paying-off
20th Took passage from Colombo on release from East Indies Fleet service.
12th Arrived in Clyde to prepare for transfer to US Navy
(Note: Ship was de-stored and British equipment removed.)