Saturday, 13 May 2017

British escort carrier HMS Vindex (D15) 1942-1947 and reefer Port Vindex 1947-1971


Laid down by Swan Hunter, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, England on 1 July 1942, launched on 4 May 1943, commissioned on 3 December 1943, after August 1945 laid up and bought by the Port Line Company for which firm she originally was built in October 1947, converted into a reefer, renamed Port Vindex, serving on the shipping Line United Kingdom-Australia and at Kaohsiung, Taiwan broken up in August 1971.

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 y John Brown&Company in Scotland was the first one built and her plans were used for her slightly differing two sister ships

Displacement 13.671 tons and as dimensions 160 x 20,88 x 6,4 metres or 5240 x 68.6 x 22.8 feet. Machinery consisted of diesel engines supplying via 2 shafts 13.250 bhp allowing a speed of 18 knots. With a speed of 17 knots was her range 17.000 nautical miles. The 18 planes they could take with them consisted of anti submarine or fighter aircraft. Fitted out with a hangar of 60x18,75 metres/198x61.6 feet. An lift of 14x10 metres/45x34 feet. 6 arrestor wires and a flight deck of 151 metres/495 feet length. 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. Crew numbered 639 men.