Saturday, 13 May 2017

British escort carrier HMS Nairana 1941-1946, Dutch Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman 1946-1948 and British merchant ship Port Victor 1948-1971

Laid down by John Brown&Company, Clydebank, Scotland on 7 November 1941, launched on 20 May 1943, commissioned on 12 December 1943, decommissioned in 1946, handed over to the Royal Netherlands Navy , commissioned as the Hr. Ms. Karel Doorman )I) on 23 March 1946, decommissioned on 28 May 1948 to the British Royal Navy, converted into the merchant ship Port Victor owned by the Cunard Line and managed by the Blue Star Port Lines until March 1968. Owned by the Port Line went she to Faslane, Scotland to be broken up on 21 July the same year.

Of the British Nairana-class escort carriers consisting of the Nairana, Campania and Vindex, preceded by the HMS Activity and succeeded by the Long Islands-class escort carriers. After the successful conversion of the yet uncompleted former reefer Telemachus into the escort carrier HMS Activity (1942) decided the British Admiralty to repeat this initiative. Three merchant ships still on stocks were purchased and converted into escort carriers especially to protect convoys against submarines and aircraft. The Nairana built by John Brown&Company in Scotland was the first one built and her plans were used for her slightly differing two sister ships.

Displacement 14.280 tons and as dimensions 161,09 x 20,88 x 6,4 metres or 528.”6 x 68.6 x 21 feet. Her crew numbered 728 men. Machinery consisted of diesel engines supplying via 2 shafts 11.000 bhp allowing a speed of 17 knots. The armament consisted of 1x2-10,16cm/4” dual purpose anti aircraft guns, 8x2-2cm/0.8” anti aircraft guns and 4x4-4cm/1.57”/2pd pom pom anti aircraft guns. The 15-20 planes they could take with them consisted of anti submarine or fighter aircraft. She had one hangar with the dimensions 70 x 19 metres or 231x61 feet and one lift with the dimensions 14x10 metres or 45x24 feet. Further more were 8 arrester wires available.