HMS Smiter

HMS Smiter was a Ruler class escort carrier that saw little service during the Second World War, accompanying a small number of Atlantic convoys in 1944, before sailing to the Far East too late to see any action.

HMS Smiter was laid down as USS Vermillion (CVE-52) on 10 May 1943. Launched in September of the same year, she was completed in an impressive four months.

Some wartime records refer to these ships as Smiter class escort carriers. In 1943-44 some work was done on what would be needed to turn then into assault force flagships, although this project was never carried out.

1944

The Smiter was used to carry Nos.856 and 1841 Squadrons across the Atlantic. She made at least two west-to-east accompanying convoys, starting with CU.27, leaving New York on 8 June and reaching the UK on 19 June, and then accompanies CU.31, leaving New York on 10 July and arriving in the UK on 21 July. A period of working-up and preparations in British dockyards then followed.

1945

HMS Hunter in the Aegean
HMS Smiter

In the first part of 1945 the Smiter served as a deck landing training carrier, operating alongside Ravager and Battler. Between them 375 pupils qualified in deck landing in the first quarter of 1945.

In the summer of 1945 the Smiter sailed to the Far East, carrying the personnel of No.815 Squadron. She arrived on the East Indies Station on 26 July, and was to take part in the operations of the East Indies Fleet before moving on to join the British Pacific Fleet. The end of the war meant that she didn't see any action in the east.

The Smiter was returned to the US Navy on 6 April 1946 and sold off as a merchantman.

Squadrons

No.815 NAS

The personnel of No.814 Squadron travelled to the Far East on Smiter in the summer of 1945.

No.856 NAS

No.856 Squadron crossed the Atlantic on the Smiter with its Avenger IIs during June 1944.

No.1841 NAS

No.1841 Squadron embarked in the US on 5 June 1944 with its Corsair IIs and disembarked in the UK on 21 June 1944.

Displacement (loaded)

11,400t standard
15,390t deep load

Top Speed

18kts

Range

27,500 miles at 11 knots

Length

495ft 3in-496ft 8in oa

Armaments

18-24 aircraft
Two 5in/38 US Mk 12 in two single mountings
Sixteen 40mm Bofors guns in eight double mountings
Twenty seven to thirty five 20mm cannon

Crew complement

646

Launched

27 September 1943

Completed

20 January 1944

To USA

1946

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 July 2010), HMS Smiter , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Smiter.html

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