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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS RAJAH - (D 10) Ruler-class Escort Aircraft Carrier

HMS Arbiter, sister-ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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RULER-Class Escort Aircraft Carrier.  (Also designated (CVE) was obtained under the US/UK Lend-Lease Agreement. The ship was a C3 mercantile hull laid down on 17th December 1942 by the Seattle-Tacoma SB Corporation. but later requisitioned  by the US Navy for conversion as an auxiliary aircraft carrier (CVE45)Although originally to be named PRINCE this name was changed to USS McCLURE when launched on 18th May 1943. Conversion was carried out by Willamette Iron & Steel Corporation at Portland and transferred to the Royal Navy on 17th October 1943 before completion on 17th January 1944. She was moved from Portland back to Tacoma for formally commissioning as HMS RAJAH. This name had been used for a trawler hired in 1915 but not used previously for a major warship. US Navy radar equipment was fitted during build and the ship was intended for use as an Assault Carrier but never deployed in that role. Pennant Number D10 allocated had previously been used by HMS AUDACITY, lost in 1941.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s



(Note: The reasons for this award are to be investigated.)


H e r a l d i c  D a t a

Badge: On a Field Purple, a Turban white with  gold  signet  and  emerald Jewel

                                         between two scimitars Proper in saltire, pommels and hilts also Gold.

(Note: This Badge is unusually recorded in the Official List although

not previously used.)



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 4


January                  Contractor's trials.

                17th        Build completion and commissioned as HMS RAJAH.

                31st         On completion of sea trials took passage to Esquimalt for modifications to suit RN use

                                for convoy defence.


February                Under modification by HM Canadian Dockyard, Esquimalt.



                5th          During trials off Vancouver sustained damage to turbine gearing.

                                Taken in hand for repair.


April                       Under repair


May                        On completion of repair and trials took passage to New York via Panama.



                26th        Deployed at New York

                                (Note: Calls during passage to be confirmed.)

                29th        Embarked CORSAIR and AVENGER aircraft for passage to UK

                                (Note: these were intended for use by 1842 and 857 Squadrons.)

                30th        Took passage from New York for Liverpool.



                12th        Arrived at Liverpool.

                13th        Disembarked aircraft and sailed for Clyde

                                Nominated for service as a Deck Landing Training Carrier on completion of repair

                                in Clyde shipyard.

                30th        Embarked 768 Squadron with various types of aircraft for deck landing training.



                11th        Embarked aircraft and personnel of 769 Training Squadron.

                12th        Embarked aircraft and personnel of 767 Training Squadron.

                14th        Disembarked aircraft of Training Squadrons.

                                Nominated for transport of AVENGER and HELLCAT aircraft to Eastern Fleet



                10th        Embarked aircraft at Belfast for transport to ports in southern India

                11th        Took passage to Ceylon with calls at Alexandria and Aden.


October                  Passage in Indian Ocean

                9th          Disembarked aircraft at Cochin,

                11th        Disembarked aircraft at Coimbatore

                19th        Embarked personnel of 822 Squadron for passage to UK

                                (Note: Squadron aircraft were not embarked.)

                                Took passage to UK with calls at Port Said and Gibraltar..


November              Disembarked passengers.

                11th        Arrived in Clyde for repair.



                20th        Transferred for detached service for ferry of US Navy aircraft

                                Took passage to San Diego


1 9 4 5


January                  Passage to Panama

                15th        Arrived at San Diego

                                Commenced transport of US Navy aircraft to and from Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes was changed to R310 to conform

                                with US Navy identity for this type of warship.)


February                Ferry deployment in continuation




July                         Released from detached service at San Diego

                7th          Passage to New York from San Diego.

                28th        Took return passage from New York to Clyde.


August                  Nominated for trooping duties

                5th          Commenced conversion on arrival in Clyde.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS RAJAH commenced trooping duties in November 1945 and made two round trips to Colombo for collection of personnel for passage to Plymouth.. In April 1946 after disembarking personnel she was taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Chatham. On completion the ship was again deployed for trooping until November when de-stored and prepared for return to US Navy at Norfolk Va. on 13th December 1946.  Placed on the Sales List this ship was sold for mercantile use and traded as ss DRENTE after 1948. Subsequently she was again sold and was renamed LAMBROS. By 1969 she had again been  renamed as ULISSE and continued in mercantile use until sold for demolition at Savona in 1975.


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revised 16/10/10
further editing and formatting is required