|HMS Slinger (D26)|
|Builder:||Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation|
|Laid down:||25 May 1942|
|Launched:||19 September 1943|
|Fate:||Transferred to Royal Navy|
|Commissioned:||11 August 1943|
|Decommissioned:||12 April 1946|
|Fate:||Sold as merchant ship, scrapped 1969-1970|
|Class & type:||Bogue class escort carrier|
|Length:||496 ft (151 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:||18 knots (33 km/h)|
|Complement:||646 officers and men|
2 × 5 in (127 mm) guns|
8 x twin 40 mm Bofors
35 x single 20 mm Oerlikon
The USS Chatham (CVE-32) (originally designated AVG-32, then later ACV-32) was built at the Seattle-Tacoma S/Y, Hull #27, Seattle WA and transferred to the United Kingdom 11 August 1943 under lend-lease and renamed HMS Slinger (D26). Outfitted by the British as a transport carrier, the ship was mined on 5 February 1944 but returned to service, 17 October. In 1945, she was transferred for service in the Pacific as a fighter carrier. Following the war, she was returned to United States custody on 27 February 1946 and was sold/converted by Robin Line 21 November 1946 as Robin Mowbray. Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc purchased Robin Line in 1958. She was scrapped in Kaohsiung Taiwan in 1969-1970.
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. 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). Propulsion was provided by one shaft, two boilers and a steam turbine giving 9,350 shaft horsepower (SHP), which could propel the ship at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph).
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. Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck. 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. 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.
- Cocker (2008), p.82.
- 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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