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

HMS TRUMPETER (D 09) - Ruler-class Escort Aircraft Carrier

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

RULER-Class Escort Aircraft Carrier obtained under US/UK Laid Lease Agreement.  A mercantile which was to be named LUCIFER and under construction by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation, Seattle  The ship was requisitioned by the  US Navy for completion as an escort aircraft carrier.. She was laid down on 25th August 1943 and launched on  15th December 1942 as USS BASTION (CVE37). Build was completed to suit US Navy service by Commercial Ironworks at Portland on 4th August 1943 and then the ship was transferred to the RN  and commissioned at Portland as HMS TRUMPETER. This ship was fitted with US Navy radar outfits during build.  She was the second RN ship to carry this name which had previously been used by a trawler hired during WW1.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


ATLANTIC  1943-44 - ARCTIC  1944-45


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a trumpet gold  suspended therefrom  the  flag

of The Lord High Admiral 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


July                         Contractors trials



                4th          Build completion and commissioned for Royal Navy service as HMS TRUMPETER

                                Carried out sea trials and shakedown.

                26th        Took passage to Norfolk

                29th        Transit of Panama Canal.


October                  Passage to east coast of USA.

                6th          Arrived at Norfolk Va.

                                Embarked AVENGER and CORSAIR aircraft for delivery to RN.

                23rd        Sailed for New York


November              Deployed at New York.

                                Sailed from New York for Clyde.

                                (Note: Passage with routine convoy to be confirmed.)

                1st           Disembarked aircraft at Belfast

                                Nominated for service as a Ferry Carrier

                                Commenced service and took passage to New York to embark aircraft.


December              Completed first ferry carrier trip and returned to New York for second load.


1 9 4 4


January                  Completed second passage and nominated for refit at Dundee.



                4th          Taken in hand for refit by commercial shipyard.


March                    Under refit

to                            Nominated for Home Fleet deployment on completion.



May                        Carried out post refit trials on completion of shipyard work

                21st         Passage to Rosyth for further modifications to suit RN service.

                                (Note: These may have included changes to petrol distribution system required after loss

                                of HMS DASHER in 1943.)


June                        Deployed in Clyde after embarking 846 Squadron AVENGER aircraft and personnel.

                                Worked-up in Clyde are for operational service.



                18th        Under repair to post work-up defects in Clyde shipyard.

                                Passage to Scapa Flow on completion


August                  Joined 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet..

                8th          Carried out rehearsal in NW Approaches for planned operation off Norway.

                9th          Deployed with HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE and HM Escort Carrier NABOB,

                                HM Cruisers KENT and DEVONSHIRE screened by HM Destroyers MYNGS,

                                VIGILANT, VERULAM, VOLAGE, VIRAGO, SCOURGE, ALGONQUIN (RCN) and

                                SIOUX for air attacks on airfield at Gossen and shipping (Operation OFFSPRING).

                10th        During air operations six Me110 aircraft and three steamers were damaged.

                15th        Joined HM Aircraft Carriers INDEFATIGABLE, FORMIDABLE, FURIOUS and sister ship

                                HMS NABOB for air attacks on German battleship TIRPITZ lying in Kaafjord.

                                Ships of 5th Escort Group provided screen.

                                (Note: Cover was provided by HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruisers

                                DEVONSHIRE and BERWICK screened by HM Destroyers MYNGS, VIGILANT,

                                SIOUX (RCN), ALGONQUIN (RCN) KEMPENFELT, ZAMBESI and Norwegian

                                STORD.). For details see CONVOY ! by P Kemp.

                20th        Operation delayed because of weather conditions.

                22nd       Launched aircraft to carry out diversionary attacks on airfields at Hammerfest and Banak.

                                Attacks made by Fleet carriers were unsuccessful as approach of aircraft had been detected.

                                Heavy fighter opposition and AA fire experienced (Operation GOODWOOD.)

                                See above reference for details.

                                (Note: During the operation HMS NABOB was torpedoed by U354 and had to be taken

                                in tow. HM Frigate BICKERTON was also hit and had to be sunk.

                25th        Passage to Scapa Flow.



                11th        Deployed with HMS FURIOUS for air minelay and shipping attacks.

                                Cover was provided by HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE and Force was screened by

                                HM Destroyers MYNGS, MARNE, MUSKETEER, VIGILANT, VERULAM,

                                and Canadian ALGONQUIN.

                12th        Carried cut minelay south of Vosko Island. (Operation BEGONIA)

                13th        Returned to Scapa Flow on completion.



                13th        Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Cruiser EURYALUS and HM Escort Carrier

                                FENCER as Force 9 to carry out air minelay and shipping strikes screened by

                                HM Destroyers MYNGS, ALGONQUIN, SIOUX, VOLAGE, SCORPION and

                                SERAPIS (Operation LYCIDAS).

                                FENCER screened by HM Destroyers MYNGS, VOLAGE, SERAPIS,

                                ALGONQUIN (RCN) and SIOUX (RCN) for air minelay (Operation LYCIDAS).

                15th        Embarked aircraft carried out minelay off Sado and Aaramsund in error

                                (Note: This was due to poor identification of land position.).

                16th        Minelay carried out successfully and took return passage to Scapa Flow with ships

                                of Force 9.

                30th        Deployed with Part of Force 9 to carry out anti-submarine air patrols in support of transit

                                of return Convoy RA60 during passage to Loch Ewe from Kola Inlet.

                14th        Air minelay carried out near Ristos Island and Aarumsund Leads.

                15th        Second air minelay carried out in Ramsosund and shipping attacks in Fro Havet.

                16th        Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 9.

                23rd        Sailed from Scapa Flow with HMS DEVONSHIRE, HM Escort Carrier CAMPANIA

                                as Force 2 for air minelay and shipping strike, screened by HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ,

                                SERAPIS and three other destroyers for air minelay and shipping strike.

                                (Operation HARDY).

                24th        Air minelays carried out south of Lepsoy Island and in Haramsfjord.

                                Shipping strikes were cancelled and air strikes carried out on airfield at Gossen

                27th        Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 2.


November              Home Fleet deployment in continuation.



                6th          Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE and HM Escort Carrier

                                PREMIER in Force 1 to carry out air minelay in Karm Sound and attacks on coastal

                                shipping between Bergen and Stavanger (Operation URBANE).

                7th          AVENGER aircraft carried cut minelay.

                                Coastal targets attacked instead of shipping.

                8th          Attacks made on shipping at Fro Havet.

                10th        Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 1.

                12th        Sailed from Scapa Flow for minelay.

                14th        Deployed with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PREMIER and a

                                destroyer screen comprising HM Destroyers ZEALOUS, ZEPHYR, SAVAGE, SERAPIS,

                                SIOUX (RCN) and ALGONQUIN (RCN) (Force 2) for joint shipping strike and air minelay.

                                (Operation LACERATE).

                                Air minelay carried out in Ramosund.

                                Under air attack by Ju88, one of which was destroyed.

                                Two AVENGER aircraft crashed on landing without casualties.

                                Diversionary air strikes on air fields at Hammerfest and Banak not possible due to low cloud

                                in target areas.

                                Later one aircraft ranged on deck lost overboard. in bad weather.

                                Planned air minelay in Skatestromme cancelled due to deteriorating weather

                                (Note: Minelay in Skatestrommen was cancelled after Force was shadowed.

                15th        Ship sustained weather damage.)

                17th        Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 2

                                881 Squadron aircraft embarked for planned operation.

                21st         Planned air attacks on shipping off Statlandet unsuccessful due to weather conditions.

                                (Operation FRETSAW.)


1 9 4 5



                11th        Deployed as Force 3 with HMS PREMIER, HM Cruiser DIDO, HM Destroyers

                                OPPORTUNE, ZEST, ZODIAC and CAVENDISH to provide air cover and anti

                                -submarine patrols during joint Home Fleet operations SPELLBINDER and


                                (Note: Force 1 comprising HM Cruisers NORFOLK and BELLONA with screen of

                                three destroyers were to carry out attacks on convoy off Egersund.

                                (Operation SPELLBINDER)

                                HM Minelayer APOLLO screened by two destroyers was to carry out

                                minelay in Karm Sound (Operation GRATIS)

                                During attack on convoy an escorting minesweeper M273 and two mercantiles

                                were sunk with three others damaged.

                                Aircraft from carriers prevented torpedo attack by KG26.

                                For details see Naval Staff History (Mining).

                                Air minelay was carried out during GRATIS.)


February                Under refit in Clyde shipyard.



                15th        Joined Russian Convoy JW65 with HM Destroyers SAVAGE and SCOURGE.

                                (Operation SCOTTISH)

                                (Home Fleet ships including HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Carrier CAMPANIA and

                                a destroyer screen were already with this convoy. For details of all warships and

                                passage of Russian convoys see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS by R Woodman, CONVOY ! by P Kemp and THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS

                                by B Schoefield.)

                20th        HM Sloop LAPWING of Close Escort was sunk by honing torpedo from U968.

                21st         Detached from JW65 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                23rd        Joined return Convoy RA65 with same ships.

                                (Note: Close escort sailed early for attacks on an assembly of U-Boats off Kola Inlet.

                30th        Detached from RA65 with Home Fleet ships and took passage to Scapa Flow.


April                       Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

                6th          Took part in operation to attack U-Boat facilities at Narvik with HM Escort. Aircraft

                                Carriers PUNCHER, QUEEN and SEARCHER (Operation NEWMARKET)

                                (Note: Operation called off due to adverse weather conditions.



                4th          Deployed with HM Escort Carriers SEARCHER and QUEEN as part of a Home Fleet

                                Task Force to carry out attack on U-Boat facilities at Narvik.

                                (Operation JUDGEMENT Last offensive operation by Home Fleet during WW2.)

                                (Note: Home Fleet ships included HM Cruisers NORFOLK and DIADEM,

                                HM Destroyers CARYSFORT, OPPORTUNE, SAVAGE, SCOURGE

                                and ZAMBESI joined later by HMS OBEDIENT and ORWELL on

                                passage from Murmansk.)

                                During this operation the Submarine Depot Ship BLACK WATCH was sunk

                                together with U711 which was alongside. This was the last U-Boat sunk by

                                aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm. See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

                5th          During return passage to Scapa Flow joined ships of Home Fleet deployed for

                                liberation at Copenhagen. (Operation CLEAVER)

                6th          Provided air cover during transit to Denmark.

                8th          Took return passage to Scapa Flow with Home Fleet ships.

                                Nominated for refit and took passage to Glasgow.


June                        Under refit in Clyde shipyard

                                Nominated for duty in East Indies Fleet and prepared for foreign service.

                                (Note: Pennant Number R318 allocated for use to conform with US Navy identity

                                for this type of warship.)



                7th          Sailed to join Fleet at Trincomalee.

                30th        Arrived at Colombo

                                Joined 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron.

                                (Note: Other ships in Squadron were:

                                HM Cruiser ROYALIST, HM Escort carriers AMEER, ATTACKER,

                                EMPEROR, EMPRESS, HUNTER, KHEDIVE, PURSUER, SHAH,

                                SEARCHER, SMITER and STALKER


August                  Nominated for support of planned landings in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER)

                                (Note: This operation was delayed for various reasons including implementation

                                of the PYTHON scheme to return servicemen to UK and American

                                insistence after VJ Day. See Final report by SEAC and THE FORGOTTEN

                                FLEET by J Winton

                                Deployed as deck landing training carrier pending execution of ZIPPER


September             Embarked SPITFIRE aircraft for delivery to RAF after landings by assault forces.

                                (Note: HMS SHAH and HMS SMITER were also deployed as General Purposes Carriers.

                                See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).

                4th          Sailed from Singapore with ships of Squadron/

                6th          Launched air patrols to provide cover for passage of Assault Convoy ME1F during


                8th          Deployed at Port Swettenham.

                                (Note: Passage in Malacca Strait to provide air cover during landings to be confirmed.)

                26th        Arrived at Singapore


P o s t    W a r   N o t e s


HMS TRUMPETER was deployed for trooping duties within East Indies area until January 1946. The ship sailed for UK from Colombo on 6th January via the Mediterranean and called at Bombay and Toulon on passage. On arrival in Clyde she was de-stored and British equipment removed before return to USA during March that year. She was handed back to US Navy custody on 6th April 1946 and sold for use as a mercantile in 1948 renamed ALABASSERDJIK. After being resold in 1966 her name was changed to IRENE VALMAS until sold for demolition at Castellon, Spain in 1971. The name was re-introduced into RN use in 1947 when given to a Landing Ship, Tank (LST 3524) until 1956 when that ship was transferred to the Ministry of  Transport. The 4th RN warship to carry this name was introduced again in 1988 for a Fast Training Boat deployed for training Royal Naval Reserve personnel at Southampton. She is still in commission.






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 065





RA 065








(Note on Convoys)



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revised 18/10/10
further editing and formatting is required