1 9 4 1
6th Laid down by the Western Pipe & Steel Corporation in San Francisco as a C3 type merchant ship.
26th Requisition by US Navy for conversion to an escort aircraft carrier identified as CVE15
1 9 4 2
5th Launched as USS HAMLIN.
21st Formal transfer to Royal Navy
Commissioned for RN service as HMS STALKER.
30th Build completion and commenced sea trials.
British radar was fitted during build.
1 9 4 3
January Trials and shakedown for service in continuation.
30th Sailed for New York.
27th Arrived in New York.
(Note: Ship carried out exercises on passage to east coast via Panama Canal.)
5th Sailed with convoy UGF6 carrying a load of US aircraft for Casablanca.
16th Aircraft unloaded for US use at Casablanca.
19th Passage to Gibraltar
20th Arrived in Gibraltar.
28th Sailed for the Clyde in routine Fast Convoy MKF11. during passage to Liverpool,
5th Detached on arrival in Clyde and joined Western Approaches Command.
Passage to Sheerness.
17th Taken in hand in for modification to RN standards by HM Dockyard, Chatham.
May Under conversion and fit of RN equipment.
Nominated for support of planned allied landings on Italian mainland.
26th Sailed for the Clyde from Sheerness.
(Note: One source suggested that 833 Squadron SWORDFISH and SEAFIRE aircraft were
embarked before sailing. This is most likely to have been done on arrival in Clyde.)
July Worked-up for operational service in Clyde.
19th Carried out repair work in the Clyde.
3rd Allocated to Force V in the Western Mediterranean and sailed for Gibraltar with HM Escort
Aircraft Carrier ATTACKER.
9th Arrived in Gibraltar.
Embarked 880 Squadron and SEAFIRE aircraft and disembarked SWORDFISH Flight of 833
1st Took passage from Gibraltar to join Force V in Malta.
5th Arrived at Malta for AVALANCHE deployment.
Joined HM Escort Aircraft Carriers BATTLER, HUNTER, ATTACKER and HM Light
Fleet Aircraft UNICORN In Task Force 88.
(Note: Other ships in TF88 were HM Cruisers EURYALUS, SCYLLA and CHARYBDIS with HM
Destroyers CLEVELAND, HOLCOMBE, ATHERSTONE, LIDDESDALE, FARNDALE,
CALPE, Polish destroyers ORP SLAZAK and ORP KRAKOWIAK.)
8th Provided air cover during passage of assault convoy.
9th Provided air cover during assault landings at Salerno.
(Note: HMS ULSTER QUEEN a Landing Ship converted for use as a Fighter Direction Ship
was used for control of aircraft during the landings.
265 sorties were flown and air attacks on anchorage ware repulsed.
Sustained some casualties in a landing-on accident.
10th Retained off beach head Instead of planned withdrawal due to delay in provision
of airfield ashore.
(Note: Enemy air attacks on the anchorage Include use of radio controlled bombs
for the first time in the Mediterranean theatre. See above references.)
One source records visit to Bizerta.)
12th Landed Squadron aircraft to operate from captured airfield.
Released from AVALANCHE and took passage to Bizerta with Force V.
(For details of AVALANCHE see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett
and the Naval Staff History.)
13th Arrived at Bizerta
20th Took passage to Gibraltar from Bizerta after Force V was disbanded.
(Note: Some sources record passage to Palermo. Destination to be confirmed.)
24th At Gibraltar and 833 Squadron aircraft re-embarked
30th Part of escort from Gibraltar for military convoy MKF24 and provided air cover
during passage to UK.
(Note: MKF24 is not recorded in THE ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM by A Hague
and this date is to be confirmed.)
October Nominated for further conversion for use as an Assault Carrier.
6th Detached from MKF24 on arrival In Clyde.
833 and 880 Squadron aircraft and personnel landed.
Passage to Liverpool for refit
11th Taken in hand for refit.
(Note: Ship was required for future landing operations.)
Improved facilities were provided in Operations Room for command and
control during assault operations. See RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
November Under refit.
16th On completion of post refit trials took passage from Liverpool to Clyde.
Deployed in NW Approaches for work-up and flying exercises based at Belfast
809 and 897 SEAFIRE Squadrons embarked.
1 9 4 4
January Work-up in continuation.
Further refit and conversion work arranged at Thames commercial shipyard
(Note: Modification to Petrol distribution system to be confirmed.
This change was arranged as a matter of high priority after loss of HMS DASHER.)
28th Passage to Thames.
March Under refit.
(Note: Lift was replaced by one from HMS SLINGER.)
See Chronology for HMS SLINGER.)
28th Refit work completed and took passage to join Home Fleet at Scapa Flow for deployment in
planned attack on Norwegian coast shipping with HMS STALKER and HMS HUNTER.
(Note: This operation was cancelled.)
May Released from Home Fleet service.
14th Joined routine Convoy KMS51 with 809 (Seafire) NAS embarked.
23rd Detached from KMS51
25th At Gibraltar.
June Passage to Algiers
3rd At Algiers.
July Deployed in Mediterranean for defence of convoys in western Mediterranean.
Nominated for support of allied landings in south France
(Operation DRAGOON – Formerly ANVIL).
(See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and INVASION OF THE SOUTH OF
Took passage to Malta to join Carrier Task Force (TF88).
Joined Carrier Task Force ships in Malta for preparatory exercises.
Allocated for service in Task Group 88.2 with HMS STALKER to provide air cover
and gunfire spotting during landings.
(Note: For details of all ships involved see INVASION OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE (HMSO)
and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.)
Took passage to Malta to join Carrier Task Force (TF88).
August Joined Carrier Task Force ships in Malta for preparatory exercises.
2nd Worked-up off Malta with ships of TF88
15th Arrived in Assault area and commenced flying operations.
Deployed in position south of beaches and carried cut patrols, gunfire spotting, shore
attacks and other duties as required by Air Task Force Commander.
Damaged Corvette UJ 6081 which was later sunk by US destroyer USS SOMERS
16th Support of landings in continuation.
to (Note: Carriers retired to south of beach heads overnight and went to Maddalena to
26th replenish. See above references for details.
27th Completed operations off southern France. Her aircraft had flown a total of 337 sorties
Fall of Shot reporting during bombardments by HM Battleship RAMILLIES.
For details of DRAGOON see Naval Staff History.)
28th Released from DRAGOON and returned to RN control by CinC Mediterranean.
Took passage to Alexandria.
2nd Arrived at Alexandria and joined British Aegean Force for support of operations to occupy
Islands in East Mediterranean.
(Note: Other ships In British Aegean Force Included HM Escort Aircraft Carriers
ATTACKER, EMPEROR, SEARCHER, PURSUER, KHEDIVE, HM Cruisers
BLACK PRINCE, ARGONAUT, ROYALIST, AURORA, AJAX, ORION and
COLOMBO with destroyers of 24th Flotilla and HUNT Class destroyers.
See WINE DARK SEA by Lew Lind.)
Deployed for attacks on Crete and Rhodes (Operation OUTING I)
Returned to Alexandria to replenish and re-arm..
14th Relieved HMS ATTACKER on station.
25th Deployed with HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE. HM Destroyer TENACIOUS and
HM Escort Destroyer CATTISTOCK (Operation CABLEGRAM).
26th Covered minesweeping operations off Kithera.
27th Provide air support during bombardment of Lythia by HM Destroyer CALPE.
28th Deployed in Aegean for attacks on shipping taking stores and personnel
to to Rhodes and Leros.)
30th Returned to Alexandria to replenish and resumed CABLEGRAM deployment.
5th Sailed from Alexandria with HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE, HM Destroyer TENACIOUS
to and HM Escort Destroyer CATTISTOCK.
10th (Note: During CABLEGRAM successful attacks were made on evacuation craft off Leros,
Kos and Piskopi
13th Carried out strikes on shore targets before landings in Greece,
15th Provided air cover during main landings in Greece (Operation MANNA)
17th Carried cut air attacks on railways and shipping off Cape Stavros.
19th Carried out bombing attack on Rhodes during return passage to Alexandria.
For details see Military History of Mediterranean operations.)
20th Sailed for Alexandria
(Note: 277 sorties flown and five SEAFIRE aircraft lost.)
21st Arrived at Alexandria and prepared for return to UK
29th Sailed for the UK via Gibraltar with HMS HUNTER and HMS STALKER.
809 Squadron remained on board.
10th Arrived at Plymouth.
Nominated for service in East Indies Fleet based in Ceylon after refit at Gibraltar
29th Sailed for Gibraltar with 809 NAS embarked.
3rd Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.
1 9 4 5
January Under refit.
21st On completion of post refit trials took passage to join 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron,
in East Indies Fleet.
March Passage to Trincomalee via Red Sea.
Arrived at Trincomalee and prepared for operational service in Squadron.
Nominated for support of landings at Rangoon (Operation DRACULA).
(For details of East Indies Fleet operations In 1945 see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET
by J Winton, OPERATION PACIFIC by Edwin Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
23rd Sailed with Squadron from Trincomalee to Akyab on coast of Burma.
(Note: Other ships to Squadron were HM Cruiser ROYALIST, HM Escort Carriers
HUNTER, KHEDIVE and EMPEROR. HM Cruiser PHOEBE was attached to
act as Fighter Direction Ship. HM Destroyers VENUS, VIRAGO, VIGILANT
and SAUMAREZ ware deployed as screen.)
30th Provided air cover and air strikes on coastal targets during passage of assault convoys from Akyab
2nd Provided air cover and support during landings at Rangoon. (Operation DRACULA)
(Note: Air Operations at Rangoon and on Tenasserim coasts with Escort Aircraft Carriers
in Squadron included 70 CAP sorties over the force, 4 fighter-bomber and 10 strike
attacks and air cover for a total of 124 hours by the ship.).
5th Deployed with Squadron ships for series of air attacks on Japanese bases on the coast
of southern Burma between Mergui and Victoria Point until 6th May.
(Part of Operation BISHOP by East Indies Fleet.)
9th Returned to Trincomalee with Squadron.
June Deployed with Squadron In Eastern Fleet.
Nominated for reconnaissance operations and shipping attacks in northern Sumatra
and Malacca Strait off southern Malaya with ships of Squadron (Operation BALSAM).
18th Deployed In Force 63 with HMS ROYALIST, HMS KHEDIVE and HMS AMEER for
a series of photo reconnaissance flights over southern Malaya (Operation BALSAM).
(Note: Covered by HM Cruiser SUFFOLK screened by destroyers of 11th Flotilla.
HMS ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE, RELENTLESS, REDOUBT and ROEBUCK.)
20th On completion of reconnaissance flights carried out attacks on air fields.
5th Deployed with Squadron for exercises off Trincomalee.
7th Operational training off Trincomalee with HMS EMPRESS.
(Note: Other Escort Carriers of Squadron provided cover during minesweeping
in Nicobar area and off Malayan west coast (Operation COLLIE).
August Deployed with Squadron at Trincomalee
(Note: Planned landings in southern Malaya (Operation ZIPPER) were delayed due
to problems related to return of personnel under the PYTHON Scheme.
Passage in Indian Ocean prior to approval for landings.
(Note: Intended landings in Malaya again delayed by US insistence.)
See above references and Final Report of SEAC (HMSO).)
September Deployed with East Indies Fleet covering force in Malacca Straits.
(Note: Ships of covering force included HM Battleship NELSON, French battleship
9th Launched aircraft for reconnaissance in Port Swettenham area.
Provided air cover during landings near Port Swettenham (Operation JURIST.)
10th Entered Singapore with ships of Squadron for support of re-occupation.
13th Released from ZIPPER and sailed from Singapore for Trincomalee
20th Arrived in Trincomalee.
28th Visited Colombo.
October Nominated for return to UK to Pay-off and de-store before return to US Navy.
2nd Sailed for the UK via the Suez Canal.
22nd Arrived in the Clyde.
Paid-off except for Steaming Party and de-stored.
British equipment landed.
28th De-storing operations complete.
December Prepared for Ocean passage manned by Steaming Party.
2nd Sailed for the USA.