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

HMS RULER - Ruler-class Escort Aircraft Carrier

HMS Ruler  (Navy Photos/Mke Pocock, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

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




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



'Through vigilance'



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


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



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

                                Disembarked aircraft

                                Taken in hand for defect rectification


December              Nominated for operational service and to carry out work-up in Clyde area on completion

                                of repair.

                                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

                                for passage.


February                Passage to Australia.



                16th        Arrived at Sydney. and disembarked aircraft.

                                Joined 30th Aircraft Carrier Squadron attached to Task Force 112, British Pacific Fleet,

                Fleet Train

                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,



                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

                BALLARAT (RAN).

                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

                off Japan.

                (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


                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

                and BURNIE.)

                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.


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