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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006

HMS CHASER (D 32), Attacker-class Escort aircraft Carrier
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Chaser (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

Escort Aircraft Carrier obtained under US/UK Lend Lease Agreement. The ship was under construction at Pascagoula, Mississippi by Ingalls and had been laid down on 28th June 1941 for mercantile use as ss MORMACGULF. She was launched on 19th June 1942 after being requisitioned by the US Navy on 26th December 1941 for conversion as an auxiliary aircraft carrier (CVE) to be named USS BRETON (AVG). She was later selected, with 9 others of this Class, for transfer to the RN. Design changes made were based on the experience gained with the earlier  ARCHER Class  Including a larger hangar. The propulsion machinery consisted of two steam  turbines driving a single shaft as compared with the Diesel engine used for previous ships. Build including fit of British radar outfits was completed on 9th April 1943 when the ship was formally transferred to the RN as HMS CHASER. She was the 2nd RN ship to carry this name which was first used in 1781 for a Sloop sold three years later.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


ATLANTIC 1943 - ARCTIC  1944 - OKINAWA  1945


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: Per fess wavy White and Green, a greyhound courant Proper.

(Note: Approved after WW2.)



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



1 9 4 3


April                       Contractors trials.

                9th          Build completed and commissioned for Royal Navy service as HMS CHASER.

                                Began acceptance trials


May                        Took passage to Norfolk Navy Yard on completion of Trials.

                23rd        Arrived at Norfolk, Va

June                        Deployed for work-up in Chesapeake Bay area

                26th        Embarked 12 AVENGER aircraft destined for 845 Squadron for transport to UK

                30th        Joined inward Convoy HX245 at New York for passage to Clyde



                6th          Detached from HX245 and took passage to Greenock. All ships of HX245 arrived without loss

                7th          Sustained damage after an explosion in Boiler Room.

                                Passage to Rosyth for repair.


August                  Under repair by HM Dockyard, Rosyth




October                  On completion took passage to Clyde

                                Embarked nine SWORDFISH and six SEA HURRICANE aircraft with 835 Squadron personnel.

                29th         Deployed work-up in Clyde area.

                                Nominated for service in Western Approaches Command for convoy defence.


November              Under repair in commercial shipyard in Clyde.

                                 835 Squadron disembarked.


December              Under repair.




Award of Battle Honour ATLANTIC 1943 to be investigated as no record of any operational service in Atlantic can be traced.


1 9 4 4


January                  Under repair

                                Embarked 11 SWORDFISH and 11 WILDCAT aircraft and personnel of 816 Squadron


 February               On completion of repair and trials commenced operational service

                Nominated to provide air cover during passage of outward Russian Convoy JW57 during

                passage to Kola Inlet (Operation FX)

                For details of all warships and mercantiles involved in Russian convoys see


                B Schoefield, CONVOY ! by P Kemp and ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman..

                21st         Sailed from Scapa Flow to join JW57 escorted by HM Destroyers WANDERER, WATCHMAN,

                                HM Frigates BYRON and STRULE.

                22nd       Joined JW57 and deployed in Position 63

                23rd        Provision of anti-submarine patrols continued

                to            Shadowing aircraft driven away from convoy.

                26th        (Note: No U-Boat attacks were made on convoy due to the heavy escort with air cover

                See references

                Detached from JW57 and remained in area



                2nd         Joined return Convoy RA57 to provide anti-submarine air cover during transit to Loch Ewe

                                Began air patrols

                4th          Convoy under attack by U-Boat Group.

                SWORDFISH B aircraft B of 816 Squadron attacked U472 and obtained two hits using

                depth charges.

                (Note: HM Destroyer ONSLAUGHT was then directed to position and engaged U472 by

                surface gunfire. Submarine scuttled and sank in position 73.05N 26.40E

                due to depth charge damage. 27 of submarines crew were rescued.

                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

                5th          SWORDFISH aircraft F of 816 Squadron sank U366 in position 72.10N 14.45E using

                                rocket projectiles during defence of RA57. There were no survivors. See above reference).

                6th          SWORDFISH aircraft X of 816 Squadron sank U973 in position 70.04N 05.43E using

                rocket projectiles during defence of RA57. 15 survivors were rescued from sea by

                HM Destroyer BOADICEA.

                (Note: For details of U-Boat deployments and weapons used during the Battle of

                the Atlantic see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO), SEEK AND

                STRIKE by W Hackmann and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D MacIntyre.)

                8th          Detached from RA57 before arrival of convoy at Loch Ewe.

                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R A Ruegg,

                THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and

                CONVOY! by P Kemp.)

                13th        Dragged anchor and grounded after collision with sister ship HMS ATTACKER.

                14th        Towed clear and required repair

                18th        Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard Rosyth


April                       Under repair

to                            Nominated for service as aircraft transport in British Pacific Fleet on completion of repair.



1 9 4 5


January                  Under repair


February                On completion of post refit trials embarked 20 SEAFIRE aircraft for transport to British

                Pacific Fleet destined for 899 Squadron

                Passage to Clyde



                10th        Joined Convoy KMF41 for passage to Gibraltar

                17th        Passage from Gibraltar via Suez


April                       Passage in India Ocean


 May                       After arrival at Sydney and allocated for service in Fleet Train.

                Passage to Manus

                Joined Fleet Train (Task Force 112) at Manus, Admiralty Islands.

                (Note: British Pacific Fleet of which the Fleet Train was a part was under the

                overall command of the US CinC Pacific.)

                Embarked replacement aircraft for delivery to Fleet Aircraft Carriers

                (Note: These are recorded as three SEAFIRE, two HELLCAT, 1 FIREFLY, two AVENGER

                and one CORSAIR.)

                Passage to Leyte

                14th        Sailed from Leyte.

                18th        Transferred aircraft to Fleet Carriers and collected unserviceable aircraft in Replenishment

                Area COOTIE ONE.

                (Note: HM Escort Aircraft Carriers RULER and SPEAKER in Area COOTIE ONE were also

                deployed in Fleet Train in support of ICEBERG II to Joint attacks by RN/USN ships on

                airfields in Sakishima-Gunto Group. For details see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by John

                Winton, OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)

                22nd       Transferred 10 aircraft to Fleet Carriers in COOTIE ONE during further replenishment of TF57.          

                23rd        Transferred four aircraft to Fleet Carriers and on completion took passage to Manus


June        Fleet Train duties for aircraft transport in continuation.

                (Note: Ships of BPF returned to Australia after completion of ICEBERG TWO.

                They were transferred to Task Force 37 in 3rd US Fleet before commencing

                air operations against targets in Japan. Fleet Train deployments included

                provision of aircraft replacements at Manus from Australia.)


July                         Ferry Carrier duties with HMS ARBITER, HMS STRIKER and HMS SPEAKER in support

                                of air operations by British Fleet Carriers in continuation.

                24th        Sailed from Manus

                31st         Deployed with HMS SPEAKER AND HMS RULER in Replenishment Area west of Iwo Jima

                                and delivered aircraft.


August                  Returned to Manus with damaged aircraft for collection of replacements.

                                Deployed for transport of aircraft to operational area.

                6th          Delivered aircraft with HMS ARBITER and RULER during replenishment period.

                7th          Returned to Manus on completion.

                                (Note: First Atom Bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

                Ships of BPF not allocated to Token Force were withdrawn from air operations off Japan and

                aircraft deliveries were not provided after 11th August.

                15th        Reverted to RN control and deployed with British Pacific Fleet for repatriation

                operations as a troop transport.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS CHASER remained in the Far East after VJ Day and was used for trooping duties. After repair at Sydney the ship took passage for return to UK. She was de-stored and British equipment removed before sailing to USA to be returned to the US Navy and was handed over on the 15th May 1946. The ship was sold  in 1948 for use as a mercantile and renamed ss AAGTEKERK. Sold again in 1967 she became ss  E. YUNG. Five years later the ship foundered and after being salvaged in 1973 was broken-up Taiwan at Kaohsuing. This name was carried forward for RN use in 1947 when it was given to LST No 3029 and later to a Patrol Craft in 1984 which was used for training of RNR personnel at Dundee.







by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








JW 057





RA 057








(Note on Convoys)



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revised 15/10/10
further editing and formatting is required