HMS Queen

HMS Queen was a Ruler class escort carrier that spent most of her active career on convoy escort or trooping duties, although she did take part in some active combat off Norway early in 1945.

The Queen was laid down on 12 March 1943 as USS St. Andrews (CVE-49).


The Queen crossed the Atlantic in May 1944, accompanying convoy TCU24. This left New York on 12 May and arrived in the UK on 23 May. No.855 Squadron and its Avenger IIs crossed the Atlantic at this time, disembarking once in the UK to operate with Coastal Command during the D-Day landings.


On 20 March 1945 Queen, along with Premier and Searcher laid seven mines in Granesund, suffering no losses.

The Queen also took part in two anti-shipping strikes off Norway in March, Operations Prefix and Muscular. One of these saw Queen, Puncher, Searcher and Nairana sail from Scapa Flow on 24 March, and on 26 March their aircraft searched the leads between Trondheim and Kristiansund. Avengers from the Queen attacked a 4,000-5,000 ton tanker and a minesweeper, while fighter aircraft from Search and Puncher provided an escort.

On 4 May Queen, Trumpeter and Searcher took part in the Home Fleet's last major combat operation of the war - Operation Judgement, an attack on the German U-boat base at Kilbotn in the Lofoten Islands, to the north of Narvik. This was a total success and resulting in the destruction of the depot ship SS Black Watch and the submarine U-771. The three carriers then escorted elements of the Home Fleet on their way to Copenhagen, which had been liberated by British airborne troops on 8 May.

Between 14-20 May the Queen escorted Arctic Convoy JW.67 from the UK to Kola, before returning with Convoy RA.67, the final Russian convoy of the war, between 23-30 May. Neither convoy was attacked.

In August the Queen provided part of the escort of the fast military convoy MKF33, leaving North Africa on 4 August and reaching the UK on 11 August. She finished 1945 with a trip from Fremantle to Sydney, leaving in December 1945, and returning to the UK in February 1946.


In 1946 carried out a series of long journeys. Between 4 March and 10 May she sailed from the UK to Colombo and back. On 10 May she left Portsmouth for another trip to Colombo, arriving on 25 June, before continuing on to Singapore then Hong Kong, before returning to the UK by 24 August.

The Queen was returned to the US Navy on 31 October 1946, after a trip to Norfolk, Virginia, via Canada, and sold off as a merchantman.


No.853 NAS

No.853 Squadron transferred to the Queen from Tracker with its Avenger IIs and Wildcat VIs on 27 January 1945, remaining with her until the squadron disbanded on 30 May 1945.

No.855 NAS

No.855 Squadron embarked on the Queen with its Avenger IIs on 6 May 1944 in the US to cross the Atlantic. On arrival in the UK the squadron disembarked to cover the Normandy landings.

Displacement (loaded)

11,400t standard
15,390t deep load

Top Speed



27,500 miles at 11 knots


495ft 3in-496ft 8in oa


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



31 July 1943


7 December 1943



Fleet Air Arm Carrier Warfare, Kev Darling. A complete history of the Fleet Air Arm's use of aircraft carriers, from the earliest experiments during the First World War, through the Second World War, where the carriers became the most important capital ships in the navy, the Korean War, which saw the Fleet Air Arm involved from the beginning to the end, the Falklands War, which re-emphasised the important of the carrier and right up to the current 'super-carriers'. [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 August 2010), HMS Queen ,

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