Not exactly OT - she is in AE, and one of her Captains was the only RAN officer to command a carrier in WW2, as far as I can tell...
Is this a record for rebuilds & role-changes, both in peace and war?
1941 - Laid down as SS Steel Artisan, a C3SA1 cargo vessel, at Western Pipe & Steel, launched 27 September 41...
Requisitioned, to be converted to Bogue class AVG-7 USS Barnes, The hull was towed to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard on October 10th 1941 for conversion.
AVG 7 was reallocated to the United Kingdom on 1 March 1942 (per DANFS - wikipedia is wrong).
Redesignated BACV 7 on 20 August 1942, then on 30 September 1942, commissioned HMS Attacker, then ...
Yarded for conversion, carried out at Burrards (BC), and modified for RN convoy escort role, which she carries out until October 1943
Yarded for further conversion work at Caledon Shipbuilding, Dundee, involving the installation of communications and combat operational facilities, together with increased crew facilities, an emerges in assault carrier configuration - meaning she carries only one type of aircraft (in this case #879 Sqn FAA Seafires) and dispenses with search/ASW activities.
Serves in the Mediterranean and Pacific theatres 1943-1945
January 1946, returned to the USN (query ever recommissioned/renamed?) struck from service February 1946.
1947 - sold to National Bulk Carriers, war service fittings stripped off (including flight deck} at Newport News, ... work suspended...
1950 - purchased by Navcot, intended use as a cargo ship, renamed Castel Forte
1957 - transferred to Sitmar Line, and taken back to the yard at Bethlehem Steel, and later Genoa, for conversion to a passenger liner, after which she operated mainly as a migrant transport from the UK to the antipodes until 1974, named Fairsky.
1974-77 operates as a cruise ship
1977 holed in an "operational" accident, to use AE terminolgy (hit a wreck) and beached; not economically repairable
1978 sold to ???? and converted to a floating hotel/casino (static role) and re-named Philippine Tourist;
1979 - damaged by fire, and subsequently scrapped.
I count at least 6 role changes requiring yard conversions, or total rebuilding, and some 6 name changes*.
(*although for the brief period she was back in USN hands in early 1946 - not sure about the naming, because CVE-20 used the name Barnes, DANFS does not have anything, but the RN archive page says she reverted from her RN pennant D02 to CVE-7 on hand-back. Navsource states the re-designation from D02 to CVE-7 was on 15 July 1943- I suspect that was for the purpose of USN records, and accorded with the general AVG -> CVE change at that time.)
Interesting trivia points:
- Australia's first female PM, Julia Gillard, traveled to Australia on the Fairsky when her family emigrated from Wales in 1966.
- in stock scen 1, #879 Sqn FAA is a Canadian nationality unit (database slot 1900). I am not sure why - it appears to have formed in the UK, with British & some Commonwealth personnel - RNZNVR pilots.
Someone must have better info on this than me. Attacker also carried aircraft from 809 & 886 squadrons, for periods in 1944. #809 is in AE, on HMS Stalker; #886 is not.
- As HMS Attacker in the Mediterranean theatre, she was commanded by Captain Harold Farncomb, RAN, who more lately had a Collins class submarine named in his honour.
After that posting, he returned to the Pacific as a Commodore, and later Rear Admiral, commanding HMA fleet.
Farncomb, H.B., appears in leader slot 9632 in stock scen 1. Perhaps he ought to be given an air rating greater than 30, so you can use the merger work around to put him in charge of a CVE group.
The best history on line is here:
RN Archive Link
I hope forumites will find this discussion interesting, and that it has been a productive use of covid lockdown time.
< Message edited by Ian R -- 9/15/2020 4:46:54 AM >
"You may find that having is not so nearly pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Cdr Spock