Escort Aircraft Carrier obtained under
US/UK Lend/Lease Agreement. A mercantile
under construction by Seattle-Tacoma
Shipbuilding Corporation at Seattle and
by the U S Navy for completion as an
auxiliary aircraft carrier (CVE) to be
named USS ST. JOSEPH. She was laid down
on 25th March 1943 and launched on 21at
August that year. Build was completed by
Willamette Iron and Steel at Portland on
20th December 1943 and she was
transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS
RULER. This ship was fitted with US Navy
radar outfits during build and the first
RN ship to carry this name.
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ATLANTIC 1944 - OKINAWA 1945
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9 4 3
Build completion and moved to Seattle
for transfer to Royal Navy
Commissioned for RN service as HMS RULER
Took passage to HM Canadian Dockyard, Esquimalt
to commence modifications to suit RN
and to carry
out further sea trials.
9 4 4
On completion carried out further trials
based in Vancouver
Took passage to east coast of USA
to embark aircraft for delivery to UK.
Nominated for initial deployment as a
Ferry Carrier in Western Approaches
Arrived at Norfolk,
Embarked aircraft for delivery to UK
Sailed from New
for passage to Liverpool
Arrived at Liverpool
Sailed for New
to embark aircraft for delivery to UK
Arrived at New
Sailed from New
with embarked aircraft.
Disembarked aircraft on arrival at Liverpool.
Under refit in commercial shipyard at Liverpool
Completion of modifications to suit RN
service is to be confirmed)
Moved to Clyde
Sailed from Clyde
to embark aircraft
Passage to Norfolk
to collect aircraft.
Sailed from Norfolk
Passage to Clyde
Arrived in Clyde
Taken in hand for defect rectification
Nominated for operational service and to
carry out work-up in Clyde
area on completion
Embarked HELLCAT aircraft and personnel
of 885 Squadron for work-up..
Commenced work-up for operational
9 4 5
Work-up in Clyde
area in continuation
Nominated for service as replenishment
carrier in British Pacific Fleet.
Sailed from Clyde
to join Fleet in Sydney
addition to 885 Squadron, 1772 Squadron
FIREFLY aircraft were also embarked
Passage to Australia.
Arrived at Sydney.
Joined 30th Aircraft Carrier Squadron
attached to Task Force 112, British
deployment as transport for
replacement aircraft to operational
deployed in this role also provided
additional air cover during refuelling
Passage to British Pacific Fleet forward
Baas at Manus, Admiralty Islands
British Pacific Fleet had joined US
Fifth Fleet and designated as Task Force
with US Navy to carry out air operations
to neutralise Japanese airfields
Island Group (Operation ICEBERG I)
This operation was in support of US
assault landings on Okinawa.
For details of BPF operations in Pacific
see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winter,
OPERATION PACIFIC by E Grey, TASK FORCE
57 and WAR WITH JAPAN
Took passage from Manus for US Navy
Forward Base at Leyte to join Logistics Group of
British Fleet Train.
(Note: 885 Squadron had been expanded to
an AVENGER/HELLCAT squadron to
adequate air cover during replenishment
Deployed with Logistics Support Group of
Fleet Train in Area COOTIE and provided
replenishment of TF 57 ships during
replenishment of TF57 during second
operations in Sakishima-Gunto
Group (Operation ICEBERG II).
Escort Carrier STRIKER was also present
and the Fleet Train was screened by
HM Destroyers NAPIER, NORMAN,
HM Frigate AVON, HM Sloops
Deployed with HM Escort Carrier SPEAKER
during replenishment of Task Force 57
ships in Area
Screen for Fleet Train was provided by
HM Destroyer NEPAL,
HM Sloops CRANE,
WOODCOCK, PHEASANT, HM Minesweepers
WHYALLA (RAN) and
Deployed with HM Escort Carrier
STRIKER daring further replenishment
in Area COOTIE.
Screen mm provided by HM Sloops CRANE,
WOODCOCK and PHEASANT.)
Deployed with HM Escort Carrier CHASER
during further replenishment of TF57.
Screen was provided by HM Destroyers
GRENVILLE, NORMAN. HM Frigate
PARRET and HM
Deployed to provide air cover during tow
of HM Destroyer QUILLIAM by HM Destroyer
QUILLIAM had sustained serious damage to
bow structure after collision with
HM Aircraft Carrier
INDOMITABLE in fog.
HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE was deployed to
provide surface cover and later took
over tow .
Tow transferred to HM Tug WEASEL
Arrived at Leyte
on release from air cover.
Passage from Leyte
Nominated for further service with Task
Force 112 in support of planned BPF
Joined HM Cruiser SWIFTSURE and HM
Destroyer TERMAGANT at Manus
for an attack
on Truk by
BPF ships. (Operation INMATE.)
Other ships in TF112 included:
Unit One: HM Aircraft Carrier
Unit Five: HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND,
Unit 15: HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE,
TERPSICHORE, TENACIOUS and
Sailed with TO 112.2.2 from Manus for
Provided air cover for HMS IMPLACABLE
during air strikes on Truk.
Returned to Manus with Task Group 112
Took passage to Australia,
to embark aircraft and for
Nominated for deployment as a
Replacement Carrier in Forward area
during BPF operations
Ships of BPF were transferred to US
Third Fleet and re-designated as TF37
This change was made as a result of
re-organisation of US naval command in
Passage to Forward area with ships of
Deployed with HMS RULER and HMS STRIKER
in Forward Area during replenishment
of BPF ships
in operational area off Japan.
was provided by HM Destroyers NAPIER,
NIZAM, HM Sloops
PHEASANT, REDPOLE, WHIMBREL, HM Frigate
FINDHORN and HM
Nominated with HM Escort Carrier ARBITER
for conversion as an auxiliary Oiler
delays during replenishment periods
caused by shortage of fuel from British
Passage to Mamas for
Conversion was delayed and further
deployment required as a Replacement
Deployed with HMS SPEAKER and HMS
STRIKER during BPF off Japan.
Screen was provided by HMS NAPIER, HMS
NIZAM, HMS NEPAL,
PHEASANT, HM Frigates PARRET, PLYM, HM
LAUNCESTON, WHYALLA and PIRIE..
Deployed with HMS CHASER and HMS SPEAKER
during replenishment of the ships of
BPF off Japan.
Screen was provided by HM Destroyer
Sloops PHEASANT, REDPOLE, CRANE and
WOODCOCK, HM Minesweeper
PIRIE, HM Frigates
ODZANI and DERG.
Deployed with HMS ARBITER and HMS CHASER
during replenishment of the ships of
the BPF off Japan.
Screen was provided by HMS NORMAN,
HMS NIZAM, HMS PHEASANT,
HMS CRANE, .HM Frigate BARLE, HM
Australian Minesweepers BALLARAT
Deployed off Japan
during last replenishment of BPF ships
during attacks on the Japanese
screened by HMS PHEASANT, HMS CRANE, HM
Frigates FINDHORN, USK
BARLE, HM Australian Minesweepers
BALLARAT, BURNIE, GERALDTON and
On completion withdrew from operational
area and took passage to Manus.
British Pacific Fleet ships, except for
token force was withdrawn from the Joint
US/RN operations against targets on
Japanese mainland because of a lack of
sources. See above references.)
Reverted to RN control and nominated for
transport of allied prisoners of war and
after December 1941.
Passage to Japan
to collect passengers.
Arrived in Tokyo
Present during formal surrender of
Sailed from Tokyo
with 445 passengers.
P o s t W a r N o t e s
HMS RULER continued deployment for transport of RAPWI and support
Royal Navy ships and shore bases in the
Far East until 22nd October 1945 when
she returned to UK to Pay-off..
The ship arrived in the Clyde on 3rd
December 1945 and commenced de-storing
with removal of British equipment. On
4th January 1946 the ship sailed fro
Southampton took passage to Norfolk a
few days later. She was Paid-off
returned to US Navy custody on 28th January
1946 and formally returned to US Navy
the next day. Later that year she was sold for demolition by a US ship