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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006

HMS SLINGER (D 26) - Ruler-class Escort Aircraft Carrier

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Slinger (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

RULER-Class Escort Aircraft Carrier obtained under US/UK Lend Lease Agreement. A mercantile which was under  construction by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation at Seattle and was requisitioned by the US Navy for completion as an auxiliary aircraft carrier (CVE) to be named USS CHATHAM. She was laid down on 25th May 1942 and launched on 19th September that year. Her build was completed on 11th August 1943 and then transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS SLINGER. She was the 2nd RN ship to carry the name first used in 1917 for an aircraft catapult vessel. This ship was  fitted  with US Navy radar outfits during build..


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field White, an  arm  embowed,  the  hand grasping a sling all Proper.

(Note: Approved after WW2)


M o t t o

Debellare  superbos : 'To overcome  the  proud'



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r  S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



1 9 4 3


August                  Contractors trials

                11th        Build completion and transferred to RN as HMS SLINGER.


September             On completion of sea trials took passage to east coast USA

                29th        Transit of Panama Canal


October                  Passage to Norfolk, Va.

                6th          Arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard.

                9th          Embarked CORSAIR aircraft for transport to UK.

                                Passage to New York

                15th        Sailed for Clyde

                                (Note Passage with routine convoy to be confirmed.)

                31st         Arrived at Belfast and disembarked aircraft.


November              Nominated for refit at Chatham

                20th        Took passage to Sheerness.

                                Taken hand for refit and modifications to suit RN deployment.

                                (Note:  Modification to improve bomb stowage safety carried out as carried out in all US

                                Built Escort Carriers transferred were after HMS AVENGER was lost in November 1942.)


December              Under refit

1 9 4 4


January                  Under refit.


February                Carried out post refit trials

                5th          During passage to Clyde for work-up sustained major damage after detonating a mine

                                off Lowestoft.

                6th          Towed to Sheerness by tugs.

                                (Note: Largest warship successfully salvaged after damage by mine in North Sea.)

                11th        Extensive repair work arranged at commercial shipyard in London.

                                (Note: In view of delay in availability of operational service and prior to passage to London

                                some items of equipment were removed in Chatham for use in repair of other US Built

                                CVE. See HMS STALKER Chronology.)

                12th        Passage from Chatham to Thames shipyard.

                                (Note: It is presumed tow was necessary.)

                14th        Taken in hand for repair.


March                    Under repair




October                  Carried out post repair trials and prepared for work-up in Clyde.

                17th        Took passage to Clyde


November              Embarked aircraft and carried out flying trials.

                                Deployed for work-up in NW Approaches.

                3rd          Deployed for deck landing for aircraft of 768 Squadron.


December              Clyde deployment in continuation.

                                Nominated for service as replenishment carrier for support of British Pacific Fleet

                                operations as part of Fleet Train


1 9 4 5


January                  Embarked 1845 Squadron aircraft and personnel for passage to Australia.

                11th        Sailed from Clyde with sister ships HMS KHEDIVE and SPEAKER

                                Called at Gibraltar.

                17th        During passage in Mediterranean with HMS SPEAKER both ships launched aircraft

                                to carry our search for U-Boat off North African coast.

                                Calls made at Port Said and Colombo



                11th        Diverted during passage to Sydney and deployed with HM Escort Carrier SPEAKER, US

                                Frigate USS HUTCHINSON, Australian Corvettes WARRNAMBOOL and CASTLEMAINE

                                to carry out air search for two mercantiles off west coast of Australia.

                                (Note: search was unsuccessful)

                22nd       On arrival at Sydney joined HM Escort Aircraft Carriers SPEAKER, RULER, STRIKER

                                and CHASER in 30th Aircraft Carrier Squadron for service in Fleet Train.

                                (Note: Fleet Train had been created to support Royal Navy warships deployed with

                                US Navy for operations in SW Pacific. It was designated Task Force 112.)

                                For details of function and composition of Fleet Train see THE FORGOTTEN

                                FLEET BY J Winton and Naval Staff History.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes was changed to R313 to conform

                                with US Navy identity for this type of warship.)


March                    Embarked 23 aircraft for delivery to Fleet aircraft carriers.

                11th        Passage to British Forward Base at Manus, Admiralty Islands.

                19th        Sailed from Manus to US Navy Forward Base at Leyte.

                                Allocated for transport of replacement aircraft to operational area.

                23rd        British Pacific Fleet joined US Fifth Fleet at Leyte and designated Task Force 57.

                26th        Arrived at Leyte.

                29th        Sailed from Leyte with replacement aircraft.

                30th        Deployed with HM Escort Carrier STRIKER IN Fleet Train during replenishment of BPF

                                ships carrying out air operations against Japanese airfields in the Sakishima-Gunto

                                Group (Operation ICEBERG ONE).

                                (Note: Ships of Fleet Train transferred to the US Forward Base at Leyte which was

                                nearer to operational area.)


April                       Deployed with Fleet Train for aircraft delivery during replenishment period.

                5th          Supplied 22 replacement aircraft to ships of Task Force 57 and recovered two flyable

                                but unserviceable.

                                (Note: HMS SLINGER and HMS STRIKER carried 56 replacement aircraft during ICEBERG

                                ONE, of which 43 were delivered to Fleet carriers.)

                6th          Passage to Leyte.

                8th          Arrived at Leyte.


May                        Deployed for transport of aircraft to Manus for delivery to Fleet during further

                                joint attacks by TF37 and US ships on Sakishima-Gunto (Operation ICEBERG TWO).


June                        Replacement ferry duties in continuation during preparations for attacks by BPF on

                                Japanese mainland.


July                         Passage to Sydney from Manus.


August                  After withdrawal of the majority of BPF from operations off Japan took passage to

                                Hong Kong for support of re-occupation


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS SLINGER remained in the Far East after VJ Day and was deployed at Hong Kong where she attended the surrender ceremonies. The ship was deployed for transport of repatriated personnel and transport of stores in the Far East. In October 1945 the ship was under  repair at Sydney before taking passage to UK. In November she was deployed for trooping duty during return passage from Colombo. After arrival at Plymouth on 24th  December she was de-stored in the Clyde and British equipment removed before taking passage to USA. Manned by a Steaming Party she sailed for Norfolk Va on 25th January 1946 and was handed back to the US Navy on 27th February. Placed on the Disposal List she was sold for mercantile use and renamed ss ROBIN MOWBRAY. By 1970 she had been taken cut of service and sold for demolition in Taiwan. This name was again used for an RN warship in 1947 when given  to HM LST3510 which was sold  in 1962 for mercantile use as ss EMPIRE KITTIWAKE. HMS SLINGER (iii) was sold at Singapore for breaking-up in 1968.


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revised 18/10/10
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