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HMS Ranee (D03)
HMS Ranee
Career (USA)
Name: USS Niantic
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 5 January 1943
Launched: 2 June 1943
Fate: Transferred to Royal Navy 8 November 1943
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Ranee
Commissioned: 8 November 1943
Decommissioned: 22 January 1947
Fate: Sold as a merchant ship; scrapped 1975
General characteristics
Class & type: Bogue class escort carrier
Displacement: 7,800 tons
Length: 495 ft 8 in (151.08 m)
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draught: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 890 officers and men
Armament: 2 × 5 in (130 mm) guns
20 × twin 40 mm Bofors
Aircraft carried: 24

The USS Niantic (CVE-46), was a US escort aircraft carrier, that served in the Royal Navy as HMS Ranee (D03).

Niantic, originally given the designation AVG-46, was redesignated as ACV-46 on 20 August 1942. She was laid down by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation of Tacoma, Washington on 5 January 1943; launched 2 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Ray V. Blanco. She was redesignated again to CVE-46 on 15 July 1943; transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease 8 November 1943; and commissioned into the Royal Navy.

As one of the 38 converted C3 escort carriers transferred to the United Kingdom, Ranee joined the merchant aircraft carriers guarding the Atlantic convoy routes. Assigned to the Western Approaches, her aircraft helped to turn the tables on foraging U-boats in the North Atlantic and also assisted in operations to close their northern transit into the Atlantic and track them down in the Bay of Biscay. Serving with Training Squadron, Western Approaches, at the end of 1945, she was returned to U.S. custody at Norfolk, Virginia, 21 November 1946. Declared not essential to the defense of the U.S., she was struck from the Navy List, 22 January 1947 and sold into merchant service 9 June 1947 to the Waterman Steamship Corporation, Mobile, Alabama as Friesland (later Pacific Breeze). She was sold for scrap in Taiwan in 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.

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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