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HMS Emperor (D98)
HMS Emperor
Career (USA)
Name: USS Pybus
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 23 June 1942
Launched: 7 October 1942
Commissioned: 31 May 1943
Decommissioned: 6 August 1943
Fate: Transferred to Royal Navy
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Emperor
Commissioned: 6 August 1943
Decommissioned: 28 March 1946
Fate: Sold for scrap 1946
General characteristics
Class & type: Bogue class escort carrier
Displacement: 15,126 tons (full load)
Length: 492 ft (150 m)
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draught: 26 ft 3 in (8.00 m)
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 1 shaft, 8,500 shp (6.3 MW)
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h)
Complement: 646 officers and men
Armament: 2 × 5 in (127 mm) guns
Aircraft carried: 24
Service record
Operations: Operation Tungsten (1944)
Operation Overlord (1944)
Operation Dragoon (1944)
Operation Tiderace (1945)

The USS Pybus (CVE-34) (originally AVG-34, then later ACV-34) was laid down 23 June 1942 as MC Hull No. 245 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding, Washington; originally classified AVG-34, she was reclassified as ACV-34 on 20 August 1942; launched 7 October 1942; commissioned 31 May 1943 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Wash.; reclassified as CVE-34 15 July 1943 and assigned for transfer to the United Kingdom under Lend Lease agreement.

F6F Hellcats on HMS Emperor, 4 April 1944

Pybus reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet after shakedown, in a temporary status, before she decommissioned 6 August 1943 at New York. She was accepted that day by the UK and placed in service as HMS Emperor (D98). During her British service, she helped provide fighter cover for a strike on the German battleship Tirpitz, served on anti-submarine detail during Operation Overlord, and helped support the invasion of Vichy France (Operation Dragoon). She was returned to the U.S. Navy 12 February 1946, struck from the Naval Vessel Register 28 March 1946, and sold 14 May to the Patapsco Scrap Co., Baltimore, Maryland for scrapping.

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, Grumman F6F Hellcats, Vought F4U Corsair or Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft.[1]


  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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