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Ruler-class escort carrier
HMS Puncher
HMS Puncher
Class overview
Name: Ruler-class escort carrier
Builders: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Operators: Royal Navy
Preceded by: Attacker-class escort carrier
Succeeded by: None
Built: 1942–1943
Planned: 26
Completed: 26
Lost: 2
General characteristics
Type: Escort carrier
Displacement: 11,420 long tons (11,600 t)
Length: 492 ft 3 in (150.0 m)
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.2 m)
Draught: 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)
Installed power: 9,350 shp (6,970 kW)
Propulsion: 1 shaft geared steam turbines
Speed: 17 kn (20 mph; 31 km/h)
Complement: 646
Armament:
Aircraft carried: 24
Aviation facilities:
  • Hangar 260 ft (79 m) x 62 ft (19 m)
  • Two 42 ft (13 m) x 34 ft (10 m) lifts
  • Nine arrestor wires
Notes: Built in two groups of 11 and 15

The Ruler class of escort aircraft carriers served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War. All twenty-eight ships were built by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in the United States and supplied under Lend-Lease;[1] They were the most numerous single class of aircraft carriers in service with the Royal Navy.[2]

As built they were intended for three types of operations, "Assault" or strike, convoy escort, or aircraft ferry.[3]

Design and descriptionEdit

These ships were all larger and had greater aircraft capacity than all preceding American built escort carriers. They were laid down as escort carriers and were not converted merchant ships.[4] 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).[4] 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).[5]

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.[4] Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck.[4] 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.[4] 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 torpedo bomber or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft.[4]

ShipsEdit

First groupEdit

Second groupEdit

X = Fitted for anti-submarine warfare.[4]
XX = Fitted for strike-operations.[4]
All the others were mainly used for aircraft transport with an added strike capability.[4]

NotesEdit

  1. Cocker (2008), p.81
  2. Cocker (2008), 74–84
  3. Gordon Smith, ed. "US-built escort aircraft carriers". Lt Cmdr G Mason - His Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2 and Other Researches. naval-history.net. http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-00-ClassInfo.htm#uscve. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Cocker (2008), p.82.
  5. Cocker (2008), p.79.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cocker (2008), p.83.
  7. http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/3330.html
  8. http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/3425.html
Bibliography
  • 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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