HMS Colossus file photo [16986]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassColossus-class Light Carrier
Hull NumberR15
Laid Down1 Jun 1942
Launched30 Sep 1943
Commissioned16 Dec 1944
Decommissioned22 Jan 1974
Displacement13,600 tons standard
Length695 feet
Beam80 feet
Draft24 feet
MachineryFour Admiralty 3-drum boilers, Parsons geared steam turbines
Speed25 knots
ArmamentUp to 1943: 24x40mm QF2 2-pounder guns, 32x20mm Oerlikon cannon; after 1945: 21x40mm Bofors guns, 4x47mm QF 3 guns


ww2dbaseHMS Colossus, the lead ship of her class of aircraft carriers, was commissioned into service in 1944. She departed Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom for the Pacific Ocean in Mar 1945 with 24 Corsair IV fighers (No. 1846 Naval Air Squadron) and 18 Barracuda II torpedo bombers (No. 827 Naval Air Squadron) on board, arriving in Australia via the Indian Ocean in Jul 1945. In Aug 1945, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Cecil Harcourt of British 11th Aircraft Carrier Squadron. The Pacific War would end before she was deployed for combat duties. In late 1945, she assisted in post-war occupation of Hong Kong and Shanghai, China. In Dec 1945, she transported liberated Dutch prisoners of war to Colombo, Ceylon.

ww2dbaseIn Aug 1946, the ship was loaned to France. Operating under the new name of Arromanches, she participated in the First Indochina War in 1948. In 1951, France purchased the ship. Between 1953 and 1954, she returned to French Indochina. In 1956, she was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea during the Suez Crisis, during which she would launch air strikes against Egyptian targets. After a flight deck reconstruction between 1957 and 1958, she returned to waters off Southeast Asia. She operated as a training carrier for the most part in the following few years. In 1968, she was converted to a anti-submarine helicopter carrier and was reassigned to the French Troupes de marine. She was decommissioned in 1974 and was sol for scrap at Toulon, France in 1978.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jan 2013


HMS Colossus at Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom, 1945Hangar bay of HMS Colossus while on repatriation duty, Jinsen Prisoner of War Camp, Inchon, Korea, Sep 1945HMS Colossus off Wusong, Shanghai, China, circa Sep 1945SB2C-5 Helldiver and F6F-5 Hellcat aircraft on the flight deck of Arromanches, off French Indochina in the Gulf of Tonkin, circa 1951; note HO3S helicopter in flight
See all 8 photographs of Light Carrier Colossus (R15)

Colossus Operational Timeline

1 Jun 1942 The keel of carrier Colossus was laid down.
30 Sep 1943 Carrier Colossus was launched.
16 Dec 1944 HMS Colossus was commissioned into service.
12 Mar 1945 HMS Colossus departed Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
13 Jun 1945 HMS Colossus arrived at Colombo, Ceylon.
17 Jan 1946 HMS Colossus was drydocked at the Selborne drydock at Simonstown, South Africa for repairs and refitting.
26 Mar 1946 HMS Colossus completed her refitting and repairs at the Selborne drydock at Simonstown, South Africa.
3 Nov 1956 Arromanches launched Corsair fighters to strike airfields near Cairo, Egypt.
22 Jan 1974 Arromanches was decommissioned from service.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Douglas Peters says:
15 Oct 2016 03:17:19 PM

Is there a list of fatal casualties in 'Colosssu' on the journey out? Our church in Bath remembers Leading Aircraftman Roy Wilcox who died 16 May 1945 but we know nothing of his service history
2. Ann Gardiner says:
7 Aug 2018 12:34:32 PM

Where were crew of hms colossus billeted when it did refit in Simonstown South Africa?

3. Jenny Shucksmith says:
22 Feb 2019 02:30:43 AM

My father served on the Colossus. Is there any more information about the crew? Please
4. Claire shires says:
29 May 2019 11:41:19 AM

My dad was part of ships company and flew Corsairs.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB
More on Colossus
» UK Aircraft Carrier Functions
» UK Aircraft Carrier Time Operational

Light Carrier Colossus (R15) Photo Gallery
HMS Colossus at Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom, 1945
See all 8 photographs of Light Carrier Colossus (R15)

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!