Ruler class escort carriers

The Ruler class of escort carriers were the largest group of aircraft carriers to serve in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Although they saw some service in the Atlantic and North Sea, most members of the class spent most of the war in the Indian Ocean or with the British Pacific Fleet. 

The Ruler class carriers were built around a US C3 merchant hull. Twenty four were completed as members of the American Prince William class, and twenty-three transferred to the Royal Navy, where they became the Ruler class. Only the USS Prince William remained in American service.

HMS Begum
HMS Begum

The Ruler class carriers were similar to the previous Attacker class. The Attacker class ships had been built with two 42ft x 34 lifts, a 438ft flight deck that was often increased to 450ft and hangers longer than in previous escort carriers, at 262ft by 62ft with 18ft of clear head room. Most of the Ruler class carriers had the 450ft flight deck and the same hanger size. The catapult was made more powerful, and could launch an 8,500lb aircraft. The fuel capacity was reduced. Sources differ on the number of aircraft that could be operated, with some stating 18 to 24 and others suggesting as many as 30. Three times as many aircraft could be ferried. 

The Ruler class ships were built by Henry Kaiser's Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation (although five were completed elsewhere). Most were completed during 1943, although they were further modified on arrival in the United Kingdom.

None of the Ruler class ships were sunk during the war, although HMS Nabob and HMS Thane were both so badly damaged that they were not repaired. At the end of the war the Royal Navy ships were returned to American control. Some were scrapped, but most were converted into merchant ships and sold.

Specifications

Displacement

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

Ships in Class

HMS Ameer
HMS Arbiter
HMS Atheling
HMS Begum
HMS Emperor
HMS Empress
HMS Khedive
HMS Nabob
HMS Patroller
HMS Premier
HMS Puncher
HMS Queen
HMS Rajah
HMS Ranee
HMS Reaper
HMS Ruler
HMS Shah
HMS Slinger
HMS Smiter
HMS Speaker
HMS Thane
HMS Trouncer
HMS Trumpter

American CVE Numbers and Names


CVE Number

US Name

Royal Navy Name

CVE-32

USS Chatham

HMS Slinger

CVE-37

USS Bastian

HMS Trumpter

CVE-39

USS Cordova

HMS Khedive

CVE-40

USS Delgada

HMS Speaker

CVE-41

USS Edisto

HMS Nabob

CVE-42

USS Estero

HMS Premier

CVE-43

USS Jamaica

HMS Shah

CVE-44

USS Keweenam

HMS Patroller

CVE-45

USS Prince then
USS McClure

HMS Rajah

CVE-46

USS Niantic

HMS Ranee

CVE-47

USS Perdido

HMS Trouncer

CVE-48

USS Sunset

HMS Thane

CVE-49

USS St. Andrews

HMS Queen

CVE-50

USS St. Joseph

HMS Ruler

CVE-51

USS St. Simon

HMS Arbiter

CVE-52

USS Vermillion

HMS Smiter

CVE-53

USS Willapa

HMS Puncher

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 July 2010), Ruler class escort carriers , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ruler_class_escort_carriers.html

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