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

HMS THANE (ii) (D 48) - Ruler-class Escort Aircraft Carrier

HMS Atheling, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, 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 auxiliary aircraft carrier (CVE48). She was laid down on 23rd February 1943 and  launched on 15th July that year as USS SUNSET. Her build was completed on 19th November 1943 and the ship was then transferred to the RN as HMS THANE (ii). This ship was fitted with US Navy radar outfits during build. She was the  first  RN ship to carry this name. (Note : This ship was transferred in place of another similar mercantile being modified for use as a CVE by  the US Navy. However in 1943 this ship was retained for US Navy service and became USS TONOWEK BAY.)


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

None is  recorded  in  the official List  of  Heraldic  Crests.



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


November              Contractors trials.

                19th        Build completed and transferred to RN and commissioned for service as HMS THANE.


December              After trials and shakedown this ship was retained for use as an Accommodation ship.

                                (Note : This was found necessary because of difficulties in providing personnel from

                                UK Manning Depots for ships being built in USA.


1 9 4 4


January                  Deployment as an Accommodation ship in continuation.




April                       Accommodation deployment terminated.

                15th        Took passage to Esquimalt for modifications to suit Royal Navy use.

                                Taken in hand by HM Canadian Dockyard, Esquimalt

                                (Note : Work was put out to contract and carried out by a commercial engineering

                                organisation which had limited experience in ship work and standards



May                        Under modification


June                        Carried some sea trials and preparation for ocean passage.

                8th           Sailed from Vancouver for Norfolk Va via Panama.


July                         Arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard.

                                Nominated for service in Western Approaches Command as a Ferry Carrier.

                                Under repair.


August                  Embarked US aircraft for delivery to South Africa.

                14th        Sailed for South Africa,



                2nd         Disembarked aircraft in South Africa.

                15th        Took return passage to Norfolk.



                3rd          Deployed at Norfolk

                5th          Took passage to Clyde.

                17th        Arrived in Clyde.


November              Deployment as Ferry carrier in continuation.

                                Embarked aircraft for delivery to Port Said.

                6th          Sailed from Clyde as part of outward Convoy KMF36

                15th        Called at Gibraltar

                20th        Disembarked aircraft at Port Said.

                30th        Sailed from Port Said for return passage to UK.



                1st           Sailed from Gibraltar for Clyde

                16th        Took passage to Norfolk Va

                28th        Sailed from Norfolk with CORSAIR aircraft for transport to UK.


1 9 4 5



                14th        Disembarked aircraft at Belfast.

                15th        During passage from Belfast hit by torpedo fired from U482 in Clyde

                                Position 55-10N 05.30W.

                                Sustained major damage with 10 casualties. (Casualty List - note on casualties)

                                Taken in tow to Greenock.


February                On survey declared to be a constructive total loss.

                                Paid off and laid up at Faslane after de-storing and removal of any British equipment.


March                    Under Care and Maintenance at Faslane.

to                            (Note : Pennant Number R316 had been allocated for use when deployed to conform

August                  with US Navy identity for this type of warship if ship were to be deployed with

                                British Pacific Fleet.)


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS THANE was formally returned to the US Navy on 5th December 1945 and then sold for breaking-up at Faslane by Metal Industries.


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revised 18/10/10
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