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Activity file photo [1082]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassActivity-class Escort Carrier
Hull NumberD94/R301
BuilderCaledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
Laid Down1 Feb 1940
Launched30 May 1942
Commissioned29 Sep 1942
Decommissioned20 Oct 1945
Displacement14,480 tons full
Length513 feet
Beam67 feet
Draft25 feet
MachineryTwo diesel engines, two screws
Power Output12,000 shaft horsepower
Speed18 knots
Armament2x100mm guns, 20x20mm anti-aircraft autocannon
Aircraft14 Swordfish fighters, 4 Marlet fighters
Elevator1 (13m by 6.1m)


ww2dbaseOriginally laid down as the refrigerated cargo ship Telemachus for the civilian firm Alfred Holt Line, the ship was taken over by the British Ministry of War Transport and renamed Empire Activity. In Jan 1942, her ownership again changed, this time taken over by the British Admiralty, which dictated that she was to be rebuilt as escort carrier HMS Activity. After post-trial repairs, she began operating as a deck landing training carrier on 1 Jan 1943. In Oct 1943, she sailed to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom for a refitting to prepare her for front line service, which involved convoy escort duties in the North Atlantic until Aug 1944; during this period her aircraft shared credit in the sinking of German submarines U-288 and U-355, as well as the damaging of three others. In May 1944, she received repairs at the Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom, briefly interrupting her role as a convoy escort vessel. In Aug 1944, she was designated a ferry carrier, making one round trip to Trincomalee, Ceylon with aircraft and personnel on board. In Dec 1944, she again entered the Clyde for repairs. On 29 Jan 1945, she departed Britain with convoy KM 39 with the new pennant number R301, destined for her new assignment with the East Indies Fleet; en route, she rescued 92 survivors of the American liberty ship Peter Silvester which had been sunk by German submarine U-862 on 6 Feb. She spent the remainder of the war ferrying aircraft in the Indian Ocean region. After the war ended, she sailed to Singapore to receive and transport Allied prisoners of war. She was decommissioned from service upon arrival at the Clyde. In 1946, she was sold to the civilian firm Glen Lines, converted to become a merchant vessel (by Palmers of Hebburn-on-Tyne, England), and began her civilian career in Sep 1947 with the new name Breconshire. Breconshire would remain in civilian in service until Apr 1967.

Fleet Air Arm Archive

Last Major Revision: Dec 2011

Escort Carrier Activity (D94/R301) Interactive Map


HMS Activity at anchor in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom, 1942British escort aircraft carrier HMS Activity underway in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom, Oct 1942
See all 4 photographs of Escort Carrier Activity (D94/R301)

Activity Operational Timeline

1 Feb 1940 The keel of refrigerated cargo ship Telemachus was laid down.
30 May 1942 Escort carrier Activity was launched.
29 Sep 1942 HMS Activity was commissioned into service.
1 Jan 1943 HMS Activity began hosting deck landing training.
12 Jan 1944 HMS Activity embarked the No. 819 Naval Air Squadron.
29 Jan 1944 HMS Activity began convoy escort duties with the Second Escort Group.
3 Apr 1944 Aircraft from HMS Activity and HMS Tracker sank German submarine U-288 in the Barents Sea.
23 Oct 1944 HMS Activity arrived in Trincomalee, Ceylon.
29 Jan 1945 HMS Activity departed Britain with convoy KM 39.
20 Feb 1945 HMS Activity arrived in Colombo, Ceylon.
24 Mar 1945 HMS Activity departed Sydney, Australia.
15 Sep 1945 HMS Activity departed Singapore for Trincomalee, Ceylon with former prisoners of war on board.
20 Oct 1945 HMS Activity was decommissioned from service upon arriving at the Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom with former prisoners of war from Singapore.
30 Jan 1946 HMS Activity was placed in Category B Reserve.
25 Mar 1946 HMS Activity was sold to the civilian firm Glen Lines; she was to be renamed Breconshire.
24 Apr 1967 Breconshire arrived from Kobe, Japan to Mihara, Japan for scrapping.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

14 Jun 2014 09:54:48 AM

My uncle was on this ship. His record says from 13-8-1944 to 15-1-1945. But he has an injury report from this vessel dated 21-6-1944, and by4-5 1945 was at Golden Hind via Mercury, so how did he get to Australia? There is a gap in his record from12-5-1944 t0 13-8-1944. Any ideas to sort this out? Any help much appreciated!
2. Anonymous says:
3 Nov 2014 07:01:56 PM

There is a 1/48th professionally built model of HMS Activity in the "Art Gallery of Ontario" (the AGO) in Toronto Canada . It is part of the "Thomson Collection of Ship Models"

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Escort Carrier Activity (D94/R301) Photo Gallery
HMS Activity at anchor in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom, 1942British escort aircraft carrier HMS Activity underway in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom, Oct 1942
See all 4 photographs of Escort Carrier Activity (D94/R301)

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