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HMS Rajah (D10)
HMS Rajah
Career (USA)
Name: USS Prince
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 17 December 1942
Launched: 18 May 1943
Fate: Transferred to Royal Navy
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Rajah
Commissioned: 17 January 1944
Decommissioned: 7 February 1947
Fate: Sold as merchant ship; sold for scrap 1975
General characteristics
Class & type: Bogue class escort carrier
Displacement: 9,800 tons
Length: 495 ft 7 in (151.05 m)
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draught: 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 1 shaft, 8,500 shp (6.3 MW)
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h)
Complement: 646 officers and men
Armament: 2 × 5 in (127 mm) guns
8 x twin 40 mm Bofors
35 x single 20 mm Oerlikon
Aircraft carried: 24

The USS Prince (CVE-45) (originally named McClure, designated AVG-45 then later ACV-45) was an escort aircraft carrier laid down 17 December 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation of Tacoma, Washington, renamed Prince 13 November 1942; launched 18 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. J. L. McGuigan; reclassified CVE-45 on 15 July 1943; and transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease 17 October 1943.

Prince served the United Kingdom as HMS Rajah (D10). She was returned to the United States Navy at Norfolk, Virginia, 13 December 1946. Struck from the Naval Vessel Registry 7 February 1947, she was delivered to her purchaser, Waterman Steamship Corporation, 7 July, and became the merchant ship Drente (later renamed Lambros, then Ulysses) in 1948. She was scrapped in Taiwan in 1975.

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.

Notes

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

References

  • 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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