UK Aircraft Carrier Functions

Editor's Note: The following content is a transcription of a period document or a collection of period statistics. It may be incomplete, inaccurate, or biased. The reader may not wish to take the content as factual.

NameClassCommission DateNaval BattlesInvasion SupportRaiding Enemy BasesBlockading Enemy ShippingBattling Enemy RaidersAnti-Submarine ActionCombat & Fleet EscortTransport & ReplenishmentTraining & TrialsRepatriation

Fleet and Light Carriers
Argus (CV-I49)Argus16-Sep-18 XXXXX
Hermes (CVL-95)Hermes18-Feb-24 XXXXXX
Eagle (CV-94)Eagle20-Feb-24 XXXXXX
Furious (CV-47)Courageous15-Sep-25 XXXXXXXX
Courageous (CV-50)Courageous21-Feb-28 X
Glorious (CV-77)Courageous24-Feb-30 XXXX
Ark Royal (CV-91)Ark Royal16-Dec-38 XXXXXXXX
Illustrious (CV-87)Illustrious25-May-40 XXXXXX
Formidable (CV-67)Illustrious15-Oct-40 XXXXXX
Victorious (CV-38)Illustrious29-Mar-41 XXXXXX
Indomitable (CV-92)Illustrious10-Oct-41 XXXX
Unicorn (CVL-I72)Unicorn12-Mar-43 XXXXX
Indefatigable (CV-R10)Implacable03-May-44 X
Implacable (CV-86)Implacable15-Jun-44 XXX
Colossus (CVL-R15)Colossus16-Dec-44
Vengeance (CVL-R71)Colossus15-Jan-45 X
Venerable (CVL-R63)Colossus17-Jan-45 XX
Glory (CVL-R62)Colossus02-Apr-45
Warrior (CVL-R31)Colossus02-Apr-45
Ocean (CVL-R68)Colossus08-Aug-45
Total Carriers20491197610934
Percent of Carriers20%45%55%45%35%30%50%45%15%20%

Escort Carriers
Audacity (CVE-D10)(merchantman conversion)20-Jun-41 X
Archer (CVE-D78/BAVG-1)Archer/Avenger/Long Island17-Nov-41 XX
Avenger (CVE-D14/BAVG2)Archer/Avenger02-Mar-42 XX
Biter/Dixmude (CVE-D97/BAVG-3)Archer/Avenger06-Apr-42 XXX
Dasher (CVE-D37/BAVG-5)Archer/Avenger02-Jul-42 XXX
Activity (CVE-D94)(merchantman conversion)29-Sep-42 XXXX
Attacker (CVE-D02/CVE-7)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)30-Sep-42 XXXX
Battler (CVE-D18/CVE-6)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)31-Oct-42 XXXXX
Stalker (CVE-D91/CVE-15)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)21-Dec-42 XXX
Hunter (CVE-D80/CVE-8)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)09-Jan-43 XXXX
Tracker (CVE-D24/BAVG-6)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)31-Jan-43 XXX
Fencer (CVE-D64/CVE-14)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)01-Mar-43 XXXXXX
Searcher (CVE-D40/CVE-22)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)07-Apr-43 XXX
Chaser (CVE-D32/CVE-10)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)09-Apr-43 XX
Ravager (CVE-D70/CVE-24)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)25-Apr-43 XXX
Striker (CVE-D12/CVE-19)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)29-Apr-43 XXX
Emperor (CVE-D98/CVE-34)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)31-May-43 XXXX
Pursuer (CVE-D73/CVE-17)Bogue (US)/Attaker (UK)14-Jun-43 XXXXX
Atheling (CVE-D51/CVE-33)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)03-Jul-43 XXXX
Ameer (CVE-D01/CVE-35)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)20-Jul-43 XXXXX
Begum (CVE-D38/CVE-36)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)03-Aug-43 XX
Pretoria Castle (CVE-F61)(merchantman conversion)29-Jul-43 X
Trumpeter (CVE-D09/CVE-37)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)04-Aug-43 XXXX
Slinger (CVE-D26/CVE-32)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)11-Aug-43 XX
Empress (CVE-D42/CVE-38)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)12-Aug-43 XX
Khedive (CVE-D62/CVE-39)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)25-Aug-43 XXXX
Nabob (CVE-D77/CVE-41)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)07-Sep-43 X
Shah (CVE-D21/CVE-43)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)27-Sep-43 XXXX
Patroller (CVE-D07/CVE-44)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)22-Oct-43 X
Premier (CVE-D23/CVE-42)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)03-Nov-43 XXXX
Ranee (CVE-D03/CVE-46)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)08-Nov-43 X
Thane (CVE-D48/CVE-48)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)19-Nov-43 X
Speaker (CVE-D90/CVE-40)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)20-Nov-43 XXXX
Vindex (CVE-D15)UK Vindex15-Nov-43 XXX
Queen (CVE-D19/CVE-49)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)07-Dec-43 XXXX
Nairana (CVE-D05)UK Vindex26-Nov-43 X
Ruler (CVE-D72/CVE-50)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)22-Dec-43 XX
Arbiter (CVE-D31/CVE-51)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)31-Dec-43 XX
Rajah (CVE-D10/CVE-45)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)17-Jan-44 XXX
Smiter (CVE-D55/CVE-52)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)20-Jan-44 X
Trouncer (CVE-D85/CVE-47)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)31-Jan-44 XX
Puncher (CVE-D79/CVE-53)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)05-Feb-44 XXXX
Reaper (CVE-D82/CVE-54)Bogue (US)/Ruler (UK)18-Feb-44 XX
Campania (CVE-D48)(merchantman conversion)09-Feb-44 XX
Total Carriers440121280132736810
Percent of Carriers0%27%27%18%0%30%61%82%18%23%

Merchant Aircraft Carriers
Empire MacAlpine(New-built grain carrier)14-Apr-43 XX
RapanaRapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Jul-1943XX
Empire MacAndrew(New-built grain carrier)07-Jul-43 XX
AmastraRapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Sept-1943XX
Empire MacRae(New-built grain carrier)20-Sep-43 XX
AncylusRapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Oct-1943XX
AcavusRapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Oct-1943XX
Empire MacKay(New-build oil tankers)05-Oct-43 XX
Empire MacColl(New-build oil tankers)Nov-1943XX
AlexiaRapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Dec-1943XX
Empire MacCabe(New-build oil tankers)Dec-1943XX
Empire MacMahon(New-build oil tankers)Dec-1943XX
Empire MacKendrick(New-built grain carrier)12-Dec-43 XX
Empire MacCallum(New-built grain carrier)22-Dec-43 XX
MiraidaRapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Jan-1944XX
AdulaRapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Feb-1944XX
Gadila (Netherlands)Rapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)Mar-1944XX
Empire MacDermott(New-built grain carrier)31-Mar-44 XX
Macoma (Netherlands)Rapana (Royal Dutch Tanker)01-Apr-44 XX
Total Carriers19000000191900
Percent of Carriers0%0%0%0%0%0%100%100%0%0%


This table includes only ships that operated between July 1937 and August 1945 and that had flight decks for both launching and recovering aircraft at sea.

Thirty-eight of UK's escort carriers were built in the US. Both countries assigned names, hull/pennant numbers, and ship classes to these carriers. This table uses the UK names and both UK and US hull/pennant numbers and carrier classes.

"Naval Battles" involve ship-to-ship combat with exchanges of munitions via aircraft and/or gunfire.

"Invasion Support" includes close air support for invasion troops, cover for warships at or in transit to invasion area, and support during an amphibious assault, including both Combat Air Patrol and anti-submarine patrols. This does not include only replenishment of aircraft. It must involve combat actions of Air Squadrons.

"Raiding Enemy Bases" includes raiding, related support, and anti-shipping sweeps. This does not include raids immediately prior to or during "Invasion Support."

"Blockading Enemy Shipping" involves sinking enemy merchant shipping and mine laying by aircraft but not routine patrolling.

"Battling Enemy Raiders" involves search and destroy action against enemy surface raiders.

"Anti-Submarine Action" involves specialized action against submarines, such as being deployed in a hunter-killer group. It does not involve only convoy escort or Combat Air Patrol as part of invasion support.

"Convoy & Fleet Escort" involves Combat Air Patrols for transports and warships, including self (in transit or minesweeping), If no Air Squadron embarked, assume CVE is only ferrying aircraft, not providing convoy defense. Does NOT include air cover for warships enroute to invasions or following invasions, which is included with "invasion support".

"Transportation & Replenishment" involves transport of personnel and/or aircraft. It includes transporting CVEs on their initial voyage from US to UK and launching aircraft for Malta.

"Training and Trials" involves training pilots for other carriers, not just training their own air squadrons.

"Repatriation" involves returning troops and/or POWs to home ports, including formal operations such as the US Navy's operation MAGIC CARPET.

An "X" in a column indicates that the carrier performed in the capacity named in the column heading sometime during the war. ww2dbase

Evan Mawdsley (2019). The War For The Seas- A Maritime History of World War II.
Francis Pike (2019). Hirohito's War- The Pacific War 1941-1945.
Stephen Roskill (1960). The Navy At War 19391945.
Craig Symonds (2018). World War II At Sea.
Arch Whitehouse (1962). Squadrons of the Sea.
William Y'Blood (1983). Hunter-Killer US Escort Carriers in the Battle of the Atlantic.
William Y'Blood (1987). The Little Giants- U.S. Escort Carriers Against Japan.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (
Imperial Japanese Navy Page (
Naval War In The Pacific, 1941-1945 (
Royal and Dominion Navy Warships (

Added By:
Bob Bryant

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