ATTACKER-Class Escort Aircraft
Carrier obtained inter US/UK Land Lease Agreement. The ship wasunder
construction at Pascagoula, Mississippi by Ingalls
and had bean laid down on 15th May 1941 For mercantile use as ss MORMACPENN. She was launched on 22 May 1942 after being
requisitionedby the US Navy on 26th December 1941 for conversion as an auxiliary aircraft carrier
(CVE) to benamed USS BLOCK ISLAND. She was
later selected, with 9 others of this Class, for transfer to theRN and
intended to be given the name HMS TRAILER. Design changes made, based on the experiencegained during build of the
earlier ARCHER Class, included a larger
hangar. Propulsion machineryconsisted of two steam turbines driving a single shaft as compared
with Diesel engines used for previous conversions. The intended name was
changed in November 1942 and she was commissioned as HMS HUNTER (ii) when handed over
to the Royal Navy on 9th January 1943, two days before build
completion date. She was the 18th RN warship
to carry this name, introduced for a
captured vessel in 1646 and last used in 1936 for a destroyer lost
during the Battle of Narvik on 10th April 1940. British radar was fitted during build.
Nominated for support of landings
at Rangoon (Operation
(See OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray, THE FORGOTTEN
FLEET, by J.Winton and
Naval Staff History.but this latter referencedoes not include HMS HUNTER as
at Trincomalee and prepared for service with Squadron.
sailed from Trincomalee with ships of Squadron and HM Cruiser PHOEBE to Akyab
to provide air cover during
passage of assault convoys to Rangoon.
(Note: Screened by HM
Destroyers SAUMAREZ, VIGILANT, VENUS and VIRAGO.
30th Squadron provided air cover during
passage of assault convoys until 4th May.
May Squadron Experience poor weather conditions during covering
2nd Assault landings covered by aircraft
from Squadron commenced.
4th Squadron released from DRACULA.
6th Squadron carried out air attacks on
targets between Mergui and Victoria Point.
7th On completion of air strikes Squadron
took passage to Trincomalee.
9th Squadron returned to Trincomalee with
East Indies Fleet ships.
with HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, French battleship RICHELIEU, ships
of 21st Squadron, HM
Cruisers ROYALIST and CUMBERLAND, Dutch Cruiser TROMP and
screen of eight destroyers
from Trincomalee as Force 61.
(Operation DUKEDOM to intercept and destroy enemy
ships evacuating Andamans and
13th Provided fuel for
14th Detached from Force 61 with HMS CUMBERLAND and destroyers of
Carried out search for Japanese
ships (Operation MITRE).
15th Aircraft took part in search operations
for Japanese evacuation ships.
(Note: Enemy ships sighted
by an AVENGER aircraft of 351 Squadron which carried
out an attack and was shot
down. These were KUROSHIO with SC57 as escort
on passage from Nancowry to Malaya. Search for crew failed and
they were taken
prisoner after drifting on
to coast of Burma.
Another AVENGER aircraft of 851 Squadron also
operating from HMS EMPEROR sighted
the Japanese cruiser HAGURO
and destroyer KAMIKAZE. A subsequentattack by three
AVENGER aircraft from HMS EMPEROR caused no major
damage. HAGURO then
altered course to east. For
details see Naval Staff History.)
HAGURA was sunk in outstanding night destroyer attack
by 26th Destroyer Flotilla.
(For full details of the search operations and
sinking of HAGURO see references
above and SINK THE HAGURO by
16th Carried out air attacks on Andaman Island with HMS KHEDIVE.
17th Passage to
Trincomalee with Squadron.
with HM Escort Carrier ATTACKER for transport of aircraft from India to
toCeylon for use during future
for support of landings in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER)
Prepared for support of landings.
(Note: These landings were
delayed by the need to implement policy relating to
return of military personnel
under the PYTHON Scheme.
Revised date for ZIPPER became 9th September
See above references and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J
15th Sailed from
Trincomalee with East Indies Fleet to implement ZIPPER.
Fleet commanded by Admiral Walker, 3rd Battle
Squadron in HM Battleship NELSON.
(Operation JURIST - Setting up of advanced base at Penang.)
16th JURIST delayed for 48 hours at US
19th JURIST again delayed until after signing
of surrender in Tokyo.
28th East Indies ships arrived off Penang.
1st Present at
formal surrender at Penang on board
HM Battleship NELSON.
4th Passage to Singapore with occupation ships
9th Provided air cover during landings
near Port Swettenham with the other carriers
(Note: Ships deployed
during occupation included HMS ROYALIST, HM Escort Carriers
STALKER, ARCHER, KHEDIVE, EMPEROR and STALKER with
and the French battleship RICHELIEU,
See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET, OPERATION PACIFIC and
10th Deployed at Singapore for re-occupation.
P o s t W a r
N o t e s
HMS HUNTER returned to UK after formal surrender at Singapore and took passage to UK. Thisship was de-stored and British Equipment was
landed in Clyde during November. She return to the US after call at Portsmouth in early December and was
handed back to the US Navy on 29th December 1945. Later the ship was sold for
use as amercantile and renamed ALMDIJK. She remained in commercial
use until 1973 when sold for breakingup in Spain at Valencia. This name was carried
forward in 1983 when given to a Patrol craft which waswas deployed for training
Reserve personnel in London.