Military Wiki
Ruler-class escort carrier
HMS Puncher.jpg
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
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 description[]

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]


First group[]

Second group[]

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]


  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. 
  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.
  • 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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