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HMS Tracker (D24)
HMS Tracker
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Tracker
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 3 November 1941
Launched: 7 March 1942
Commissioned: 31 January 1943
Decommissioned: 2 November 1946
Fate: Sold into merchant service as Corrientes. Scrapped 1964
General characteristics
Class & type: Bogue class escort carrier
Displacement: 14,400 tons
Length: 492 ft (150 m)
Beam: 102 ft 6 in (31.24 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
Armament: 2 × 4 inch guns
8 x twin 40 mm Bofors
35 x single 20 mm Oerlikon
Aircraft carried: 16-21
Service record
Operations: Battle of the Atlantic, Normandy Landings
Victories: Sank U-288

HMS Tracker (D24) was a Ruler class escort carrier that was built in the United States and served in the Royal Navy during World War II.

History

She was constructed in the U.S. by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding in Tacoma, originally intended to be the 2nd replacement merchant ship Mormacmail for Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc.. However, before completion she also was purchased by the U.S. Navy, and in 1942 was given the designation BAVG-6 and converted to an escort carrier at Willamette Iron & Steel, Portland, Oregon. Upon completion in early 1943 she was transferred to the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Tracker.

Black smoke rises as the fire is got under control after a Grumman Avenger crashed on the flight deck of Tracker whilst on Russian convoy duty.

Tracker served as an escort during 1943-44 for North Atlantic and Arctic convoys. She originally carried Swordfish torpedo-bomber and Seafire fighter aircraft of 813 Naval Air Squadron; in January 1944 switching to the Avengers and Wildcats of 846 Naval Air Squadron. In April 1944 her aircraft, together with those from HMS Activity were responsible for the sinking of U-boat U-288 east of Bear Island, during convoy JW-58.

On 10 June 1944 while part of the antisubmarine screen of the Western Approaches Command for the D-Day landings, she collided with a River class frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy, Teme, causing damage to both ships. HMS Tracker continued operations despite stove-in bows until 12 June 1944. Thereafter she was repaired and partially refitted in Liverpool until 7 September 1944. On 8 December 1944 the ship sailed to the U.S. to be used as an aircraft transport, and spent the remainder of the war ferrying aircraft and personnel in the Pacific.

In August 1945 she made a final trip to the UK, being returned to the U.S. Navy in November 1945. She was sold in November 1946 and entered service as the merchant ship Corrientes, based in Argentina. She was scrapped in 1964.

Battle Honours

  • 1943 - 44 Atlantic
  • 1944 Arctic
  • 1944 Normandy

Design and description

Twin 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun.

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]

Notes

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

References

External links




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