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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS NABOB (D 77) - Ruler-class Escort Aircraft Carrier

HMS Nabob after being torpedoed, 22 August 1944  (Photo Ships, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

RULER-Class Escort Aircraft Carrier obtained under US/UK Lend Lease Agreement.  A mercantile which was under construction by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation at Seattle and was requisitioned  by the US Navy for completion as an escort aircraft carrier (CVE) to be named USS EDISTO (CVE41). She was laid down on 20th October 1942 and launched on 9th March 1943. Build was completed on 7th Sept.1943. The ship was transferred to the RN and entered service as HMS NABOB but manned by Royal Canadian Navy  personnel, except Air Group personnel from the Royal Navy. This name was first used for an RN ship in 1777 when given to an East Indiaman, purchased for use as a Store Ship and later used as a Hospital Ship, sold in 1783. During build the ship was fitted with US Navy radar outfits.


B a t t le   H o n o u r s

No British Awards are included in the Official Royal  Navy Record.


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

No details of a  Crest are included in the Official Royal  Navy  Record,



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




Contractors trials.


7th - Build completion and transferred to Royal Navy as HMS NABOB. (See above re manning.)


Carried out Acceptance trials




15th - Passage to Esquimalt. Taken in hand by HM Canadian Dockyard for further modification work prior to sailing for UK. (Note: Extent of work done in USA before passage to be determined.)


November to December


Modification work in progress at Esquimalt. Prepared for ocean passage. (Note: Extent of sea trials and shakedown to be investigated.)



1 9 4 4




Whilst embarking aircraft in Gulf of Georgia, near Vancouver Island grounded. Stores, ammunition and fuel had to be jettisoned to allow ship to be refloated. (Note: Another source records ship grounded in sea bed - To be investigated.)


Taken in hand for repair.




8th - Passage to Panama with call in San Francisco. (Note: Embarkation of aircraft at Alameda to be confirmed).


RN personnel represented complaints about receiving less pay than the RCN ratings on board and about poor food.




Transit of Panama Canal. Passage to Norfolk, Va. (Note: After arrival at Norfolk some RCN ratings deserted. Pay of RN ratings was altered and food was improved.)


Passage to New York.


19th - Arrived at New York. Embarked AVENGER and CORSAIR aircraft from Squantum for passage to UK.


23rd - Joined US military troop convoy UT10 for Atlantic passage.




Detached from UT10 on arrival in Clyde.


7th - Under repair in Clyde shipyard.


10th - Under repair in Liverpool. Taken in hand for further modification.




Under modification (Note: Work done included changes to petrol supply system as in other US-Built CVE following loss of HMS DASHER.)




29th - On completion embarked AVENGER and WILDCAT aircraft and 852 Squadron personnel.




Carried out work-up in Clyde area.




1st - Took passage to Scapa Flow on completion of work-up. Joined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.


8th - Took part in preparatory exercises for planned minelay.


10th - Took part in aircraft minelay off Norwegian coast with HM Fleet Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE and HM Escort Carrier TRUMPETER covered by HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE and KENT screened by HM Destroyers MYNGS, VIGILANT, VERULAM, VIRAGO, VOLAGE, SCOURGE, HM Canadian ALGONQUIN and SIOUX of 26th Destroyer Flotilla. (Operation OFFSPRING). (Note: Aircraft laid mines and attacked airfields and shipping.)


18th - Deployed with Home Fleet units for planned air attacks on German battleship TIRPITZ (Operation GOODWOOD).


20th - GOODWOOD aborted due to adverse weather conditions. (See CONVOY ! by P. Kemp.).


22nd - Hit by torpedo fired from U354 in position 71.42N 19.11E during return passage to Scapa Flow. Sustained serious damage and bent propeller shaft but able to steam and operate aircraft. (Note: HM Frigate BICKERTON hit at same time by U354 torpedo had to be sunk in order to attempt return of HMS NABOB. During anti-submarine operation on passage an aircraft crashed on landing damaging seven other aircraft. As situation later deteriorated some of ship's company were taken off by HM Canadian Destroyer ALGONQUIN and HM Frigate KEMPTHORNE.) (Casualty List - note on casualties)


23rd - Launched night anti-submarine patrol by two AVENGER aircraft despite list.


27th - Ship arrived at Scapa Flow under own steam despite damage. Engine Room bulkhead shored to prevent flooding.




Taken in tow to Rosyth. Paid-off and reduced to Nominal Reserve.


October to December


Declared constructive loss as repair to shaft could not be undertaken. Held in Nominal Reserve and beached in Forth estuary.



F i n a l   N o t e


HMS NABOB was returned to US Navy on 16th March 1945 without repair and sold for breaking up in Holland  later that month. However she was sold by the breaker for further use as a mercantile and arrived in Amsterdam on 21st September 1947 to be rebuilt. Traded as ss NABOB until 1969 she was resold and  renamed ss GLORY for further mercantile use until 1977 when broken up in Taiwan.


Special Note


A photograph exists of a ship identified as HMS NABOB being loaded with MUSTANG aircraft in New York. It is undated, but if taken in March 1944 these aircraft must have remained as deck cargo with the AVENGER and CORSAIR aircraft inside the hangar. See above.


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revised 25/6/11
further editing is required