RULER-Class Escort Aircraft Carrier obtained under US/UK Lend/Lease Agreement. A mercantile under construction by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation at Seattle and requisitioned by the U S Navy for completion as an auxiliary aircraft carrier (CVE) to be named USS ST. JOSEPH. She was laid down on 25th March 1943 and launched on 21at August that year. Build was completed by Willamette Iron and Steel at Portland on 20th December 1943 and she was transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS RULER. This ship was fitted with US Navy radar outfits during build and the first RN ship to carry this name.
B a t t le H o n o u r a
ATLANTIC 1944 - OKINAWA 1945
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Blue a dexter gauntlet proper grasping a baton
ensigned to the dexter with a crown and held
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i ce
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1 9 4 3
December Contractors trials
20th Build completion and moved to Seattle for transfer to Royal Navy
22nd Commissioned for RN service as HMS RULER
31st Took passage to HM Canadian Dockyard, Esquimalt to commence modifications to suit RN service
and to carry out further sea trials.
1 9 4 4
January Under modification
March On completion carried out further trials based in Vancouver
20th Took passage to east coast of USA to embark aircraft for delivery to UK.
April Nominated for initial deployment as a Ferry Carrier in Western Approaches Command.
8th Arrived at Norfolk, Va
Embarked aircraft for delivery to UK
21st Sailed from New York for passage to Liverpool
6th Arrived at Liverpool
9th Sailed for New York to embark aircraft for delivery to UK
23rd Arrived at New York.
26th Sailed from New York with embarked aircraft.
11th Disembarked aircraft on arrival at Liverpool.
24th Under refit in commercial shipyard at Liverpool
August Under refit
(Note: Completion of modifications to suit RN service is to be confirmed)
18th Moved to Clyde
30th Sailed from Clyde to embark aircraft
October Passage to Norfolk to collect aircraft.
16th At Norfolk.
31st Sailed from Norfolk to New York.
November Passage to Clyde from New York.
18th Arrived in Clyde
Taken in hand for defect rectification
December Nominated for operational service and to carry out work-up in Clyde area on completion
Embarked HELLCAT aircraft and personnel of 885 Squadron for work-up..
30th Commenced work-up for operational service.
1 9 4 5
January Work-up in Clyde area in continuation
28th. Nominated for service as replenishment carrier in British Pacific Fleet.
Sailed from Clyde to join Fleet in Sydney
(Note: In addition to 885 Squadron, 1772 Squadron FIREFLY aircraft were also embarked
February Passage to Australia.
16th Arrived at Sydney. and disembarked aircraft.
Joined 30th Aircraft Carrier Squadron attached to Task Force 112, British Pacific Fleet,
Nominated for deployment as transport for replacement aircraft to operational area.
(Note: CVE deployed in this role also provided additional air cover during refuelling periods.)
April Passage to British Pacific Fleet forward Baas at Manus, Admiralty Islands
(Note: British Pacific Fleet had joined US Fifth Fleet and designated as Task Force 57 for
deployment with US Navy to carry out air operations to neutralise Japanese airfields
in Sakishimo-Gunto Island Group (Operation ICEBERG I)
This operation was in support of US assault landings on Okinawa.
For details of BPF operations in Pacific see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winter,
OPERATION PACIFIC by E Grey, TASK FORCE 57 and WAR WITH JAPAN
Took passage from Manus for US Navy Forward Base at Leyte to join Logistics Group of
British Fleet Train.
(Note: 885 Squadron had been expanded to an AVENGER/HELLCAT squadron to
ensure adequate air cover during replenishment operations.)
6th Deployed with Logistics Support Group of Fleet Train in Area COOTIE and provided air
cover during replenishment of TF 57 ships during replenishment of TF57 during second
phase of operations in Sakishima-Gunto Group (Operation ICEBERG II).
(Note: HM Escort Carrier STRIKER was also present and the Fleet Train was screened by
HM Destroyers NAPIER, NORMAN, NEPAL, HM Frigate AVON, HM Sloops
WHIMBREL and PHEASANT.)
10th Deployed with HM Escort Carrier SPEAKER during replenishment of Task Force 57
ships in Area COOTIE ONE.
(Note: Screen for Fleet Train was provided by HM Destroyer NEPAL, HM Sloops CRANE,
WOODCOCK, PHEASANT, HM Minesweepers WHYALLA (RAN) and
14th Deployed with HM Escort Carrier STRIKER daring further replenishment in Area COOTIE.
(Note: Screen mm provided by HM Sloops CRANE, WOODCOCK and PHEASANT.)
18th Deployed with HM Escort Carrier CHASER during further replenishment of TF57.
(Note: Screen was provided by HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, NORMAN. HM Frigate
PARRET and HM Minesweeper BENDIGO (RAN).)
20th Deployed to provide air cover during tow of HM Destroyer QUILLIAM by HM Destroyer
NORMAN to Leyte.
(Note: HMS QUILLIAM had sustained serious damage to bow structure after collision with
HM Aircraft Carrier INDOMITABLE in fog.
HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE was deployed to provide surface cover and later took
over tow .
. 21st Tow transferred to HM Tug WEASEL
27th Arrived at Leyte on release from air cover.
Passage from Leyte to Sydney
June Nominated for further service with Task Force 112 in support of planned BPF operation,
Joined HM Cruiser SWIFTSURE and HM Destroyer TERMAGANT at Manus
for an attack on Truk by BPF ships. (Operation INMATE.)
. (Note: Other ships in TF112 included:
Unit One: HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE.
Unit Five: HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND, UGANDA (RCN) and ACHILLES
Unit 15: HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE, TERPSICHORE, TENACIOUS and
12th Sailed with TO 112.2.2 from Manus for INMATE
. 14th Provided air cover for HMS IMPLACABLE during air strikes on Truk.
16th Returned to Manus with Task Group 112 ships.
Took passage to Australia, to embark aircraft and for maintenance.
Nominated for deployment as a Replacement Carrier in Forward area during BPF operations
(Note: Ships of BPF were transferred to US Third Fleet and re-designated as TF37
This change was made as a result of re-organisation of US naval command in the Pacific
Theatre. See above references.)
4th Passage to Forward area with ships of Fleet Train.
20th Deployed with HMS RULER and HMS STRIKER in Forward Area during replenishment
of BPF ships in operational area off Japan.
(Note: Screen was provided by HM Destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM, HM Sloops
PHEASANT, REDPOLE, WHIMBREL, HM Frigate FINDHORN and HM
Minesweeper GAWLER (RAN).
Nominated with HM Escort Carrier ARBITER for conversion as an auxiliary Oiler to ensure
minimum delays during replenishment periods caused by shortage of fuel from British
Passage to Mamas for conversion.
(Note: Conversion was delayed and further deployment required as a Replacement Carrier.)
28th Deployed with HMS SPEAKER and HMS STRIKER during BPF off Japan.
(Note: : Screen was provided by HMS NAPIER, HMS NIZAM, HMS NEPAL, HMS
PHEASANT, HM Frigates PARRET, PLYM, HM Australian Minesweepers
LAUNCESTON, WHYALLA and PIRIE..
31st Deployed with HMS CHASER and HMS SPEAKER during replenishment of the ships of
BPF off Japan.
(Note: Screen was provided by HM Destroyer QUEENBOROUGH, NORMAN, HM
Sloops PHEASANT, REDPOLE, CRANE and WOODCOCK, HM Minesweeper
PIRIE, HM Frigates ODZANI and DERG.
6th Deployed with HMS ARBITER and HMS CHASER during replenishment of the ships of
the BPF off Japan.
(Note: Screen was provided by HMS NORMAN, HMS NIZAM, HMS PHEASANT,
HMS CRANE, .HM Frigate BARLE, HM Australian Minesweepers BALLARAT
13th Deployed off Japan during last replenishment of BPF ships during attacks on the Japanese
mainland screened by HMS PHEASANT, HMS CRANE, HM Frigates FINDHORN, USK
BARLE, HM Australian Minesweepers BALLARAT, BURNIE, GERALDTON and
On completion withdrew from operational area and took passage to Manus.
(Note: British Pacific Fleet ships, except for token force was withdrawn from the Joint
US/RN operations against targets on Japanese mainland because of a lack of fuel
from British sources. See above references.)
15th Reverted to RN control and nominated for transport of allied prisoners of war and nationals
interned after December 1941.
Passage to Japan to collect passengers.
31st Arrived in Tokyo Bay
2nd Present during formal surrender of Japanese
13th Sailed from Tokyo Bay to Manila with 445 passengers.
P o s t W a r N o t e s
HMS RULER continued deployment for transport of RAPWI and support Royal Navy ships and shore bases in the Far East until 22nd October 1945 when she returned to UK to Pay-off.. The ship arrived in the Clyde on 3rd December 1945 and commenced de-storing with removal of British equipment. On 4th January 1946 the ship sailed fro Southampton took passage to Norfolk a few days later. She was Paid-off returned to US Navy custody on 28th January 1946 and formally returned to US Navy the next day. Later that year she was sold for demolition by a US ship breaker.