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HMS Begum (D38)
HMS Begum
Career (USA)
Name: USS Bolinas
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 15 May 1941
Launched: 22 May 1942
Commissioned: 22 July 1943
Decommissioned: 11 August 1943
Fate: Transferred to Royal Navy
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Begum
Commissioned: 12 August 1944
Decommissioned: 26 February 1946
Fate: Sold as merchant ship; scrapped in 1974
General characteristics
Class & type: Bogue class escort carrier
Displacement: 15,390 tons
Length: 494 ft (151 m)
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draught: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 1 shaft, 8,500 shp (6.3 MW)
Speed: 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h)
Complement: 646 officers and men
Armament: 2 × 4 in (102 mm) guns
8 x twin 40 mm Bofors
35 x single 20 mm Oerlikon
Aircraft carried: 24

The USS Bolinas (CVE-36) (originally AVG-36, then later ACV-36) was an escort aircraft carrier launched 11 November 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding, Tacoma, Washington; sponsored by Mrs. G. B. Sherwood, wife of Commander Sherwood; and commissioned 22 July 1943, Captain H. L. Meadow in command.

Service history

On 2 August 1943 after being decommissioned Bolinas was transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease and renamed HMS Begum (D38). Begum served with the Royal Navy during World War II, doing anti-submarine sweeps in the Indian Ocean with 832 Squadron as her complement, participating in the sinking of U-198.

After her return she was declared surplus by the U. S. Navy. She was stricken for disposal 19 June 1946 and sold by the Navy into merchant service 16 April 1947 as Raki and later I Yung. She was scrapped in Taiwan in March 1974.

Design and description

These ships were all larger and had a greater aircraft capacity than all the preceding American built escort carriers. They were also all laid down as escort carriers and not converted merchant ships.[1] All the ships had a complement of 646 men and an overall length of 492 feet 3 inches (150.0 m), a beam of 69 feet 6 inches (21.2 m) and a draught of 25 ft 6 in (7.8 m).[1] Propulsion was provided a steam turbine, two boilers connected to one shaft giving 9,350 brake horsepower (SHP), which could propel the ship at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph).[2]

Aircraft facilities were a small combined bridge–flight control on the starboard side, two aircraft lifts 43 feet (13.1 m) by 34 feet (10.4 m), one aircraft catapult and nine arrestor wires.[1] Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck.[1] Armament comprised: two 4 inch Dual Purpose guns in single mounts, sixteen 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in twin mounts and twenty 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons in single mounts.[1] They had a maximum aircraft capacity of twenty-four aircraft which could be a mixture of Grumman Martlet, Vought F4U Corsair or Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft.[1]

Twin 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Cocker (2008), p.82.
  2. Cocker (2008), p.79.


  • Cocker, Maurice (2008). Aircraft-Carrying Ships of the Royal Navy. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4633-2. 

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