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Eagle file photo [15851]

HMS Eagle

CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassEagle-class Aircraft Carrier
Hull Number94
BuilderArmstrong-Whitworth, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Laid Down20 Feb 1913
Launched8 Jun 1918
Commissioned20 Feb 1924
Sunk11 Aug 1942
Displacement22000 tons standard; 27229 tons full
Length667 feet
Beam115 feet
Draft27 feet
Machinery32 Yarrow water-tube boilers, 4 Parsons steam geared turbines, 4 shafts
Bunkerage3,040 tons of oil, 14,000 liters of gasoline
Power Output50000 SHP
Speed24 knots
Range2,780nm at 17.5 knots
Crew791
Armament9x6in guns, 12x20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns
Armor114mm belt, 25-38mm deck, 102mm bulkheads
Aircraft21-30
Elevators2

Contributor:

ww2dbaseIn 1913, British shipbuilder Armstrong-Whitworth laid down the keel for what was meant to be the battleship Almirante Cochrane to be delivered to Chile. In 1918, the British Royal Navy took over the contract and ordered the already under construction ship to be converted to become an aircraft carrier. Renamed Eagle, she was commissioned into service in 1924 as the world's largest aircraft carrier and as the only ship in the British fleet with instruments labeled in Spanish and in metric units due to its previous life as the beginnings of battleship Almirante Cochrane. She spent the bulk of her 1920s career in the Mediterranean Sea, and, after a lengthy refit, she was sent to the Far East in 1933. When the United Kingdom entered the war in Sep 1939, she was docked at Singapore for a refit. Her first mission in the war was to search out for German warships in the Indian Ocean. On 14 Mar 1940, she suffered an accidental bomb explosion while off the Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean, killing 14 men while damaging many aircraft. She was sent to Singapore for repairs, which completed in May. She joined the Mediterranean Fleet later that month. On 9 Jul, her aircraft, flying from the land base at Sidi Barrani, Egypt, struck the Italian base at Tobruk, Libya, sinking destroyer Zeffiro and merchant ship Manzoni and damaing destroyer Euro, troop transport Liguria, and merchant ship Serenitas. On 9 Jul, her aircraft participated in the Battle of Calabria as reconnaissance aircraft. On the following day, her aircraft struck Augusta, Sicily, Italy, sinking destroyer Leone Pancaldo. On 13 Jul, while under heavy attack by Axis aircraft, Sea Gladiator aircraft launched from HMS Eagle shot down three Italian bombers; six days later, they shot down an Italian SM.79 medium bomber. On 9 Sep, together with aircraft from HMS Illustrious, she attacked Italian airfields on the Greek island of Rhodes. On 12 Oct 1940, she was damaged by near misses from bombs released by Sicily-based Italian SM.79 bombers, which would later necessitate repairs at Alexandria, Egypt, but not until she launched an attack on the Italian seaplane base at Maltezana, Rhodes on 27 Oct. Upon completing the repairs in early Nov 1940, she escorted a number of convoys to Malta, and launched an attack on Tripoli, Libya during the night of 24 to 25 Nov. She spent most of Dec 1940 in port at Alexandria, but her aircraft were disembarked and operated from airfields. In Jan and Feb 1941, she continued to escort convoys to and from Malta. She departed from Alexandria on 9 Apr and passed through the Suez Canal for patrols in the Indian Ocean, searching for German surface raiders. From Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa, she sailed into the South Atlantic in search of German shipping starting from 29 May 1941, sinking blockade runner Elbe on 6 Jun and assisting in the capture of tanker Lothringen on 15 Jun. She returned to Britain in Oct 1941 and underwent a refit, during which her quadruple .50 machine guns were replaced by twelve 20-millimeter Oerlikon anti-aircraft weapons, and she received a Type 285 gunnery radar and a Type 290 air warning radar. She returned to duty in Feb 1942, returning to the Mediterranean Sea to join Force H, with No. 813 and No. 824 Squadrons aboard, flying Swordfish and Sea Hurricane aircraft. She made several runs for Malta in Feb and Mar 1942, delivering several Spitfire fighters to reinforce Malta. After returning to Gibraltar, she spent most of Apr 1942 in port for steering gear repairs. On 7 May, HMS Eagle and USS Wasp delivered 17 and 47 Spitfire fighters to Malta, respectively, followed by several other missions through Jul 1942 that delivered further aircraft. In early Aug 1942, she sailed with the convoy of Operation Pedestal with 16 Sea Hurricane fighters on board as an escort. In the early afternoon of 11 Aug, she was attacked by German submarine U-73, which hit her with four torpedoes, sinking her 130 kilometers south of Cape Salinas on the Spanish island of Majorca. 131 were killed; 929 survivors were rescued by destroyer HMS Laforey, destroyer HMS Lookout, and tug HMS Jaunty.

ww2dbaseSources:
Fleet Air Arm Archive
Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2012

HMS Eagle Operational Timeline

20 Feb 1913 The keel of battleship Almirante Cochrane was laid down by Armstrong-Whitworth at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom.
8 Feb 1918 The British Director of Naval Construction began planning the conversion of battleship Almirante Cochrane, still under construction, into a carrier.
28 Feb 1918 The British Royal Navy purchased the under construction hull of battleship Almirante Cochrane; she was ordered to be converted to become an aircraft carrier.
8 Jun 1918 Carrier Eagle was launched at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom.
18 Jun 1918 Carrier Eagle was towed to Armstrong-Whitworth's High Walker yard on the Tyne River in England, United Kingdom for fitting out.
21 Oct 1919 The work on carrier Eagle was paused as Chile negotiated with the United Kingdom to regain ownership of the ship still under construction, offering 1,500,000. The British Admiralty rejected the offer after calculating that it would cost 2,500,000 to convert the ship back to battleship configuration that Chile wanted to receive.
11 Nov 1919 British Admiralty approved carrier Eagle for flight trials.
10 May 1920 Carrier Eagle held taxiing trials with Sopwith Camel fighters and Parnall Panther reconnaissance aircraft while still being docked.
1 Jun 1920 The first landing took place aboard carrier Eagle.
24 Mar 1921 Carrier Eagle underwent a reconstruction at Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom.
20 Feb 1924 HMS Eagle was commissioned into service.
7 Jun 1924 HMS Eagle was assigned to the British Mediterranean Fleet.
8 Jan 1931 HMS Eagle departed Malta.
28 Nov 1932 HMS Eagle completed a refit at Devonport, England, United Kingdom.
1 Jan 1937 Captain Clement Moody was named the commanding officer of HMS Eagle.
16 Jun 1939 Captain A. R. M. Bridge suceeded Captain Clement Moody as the commanding officer of HMS Eagle.
12 Aug 1939 HMS Eagle began her refitting work at Singapore.
10 Sep 1939 HMS Eagle arrived at Colombo, Ceylon.
5 Oct 1939 HMS Eagle made rendezvous with light cruiser Liverpool.
14 Mar 1940 HMS Eagle suffered an accidental bomb explosion while off the Nicobar Islands, killing 14 and damaging many aircraft.
15 Mar 1940 HMS Eagle arrived at Singapore for repairs for damage caused by the accidental explosion of 14 Mar 1940.
9 May 1940 HMS Eagle completed her repairs at Singapore and departed for Colombo, Ceylon.
26 May 1940 HMS Eagle arrived in the Mediterranean Sea.
5 Jul 1940 Nine British Royal Navy Swordfish aircraft of 813 Squadron from HMS Eagle flew 100 miles west from Sidi Barrani, Egypt to attack the Italian naval base at Tobruk, Libya. Destroyer Zeffiro was sunk, destroyer Euro's bow was blown off, troop transport Liguria was damaged and was beached to prevent sinking, merchant vessel Manzoni was sunk, and merchant vessel Serenitas was damaged.
10 Jul 1940 Nine British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Eagle attacked Augusta, Sicily, Italy at 0940 hours, sinking destroyer Leone Pancaldo.
13 Jul 1940 While under heavy attack by Axis aircraft, Sea Gladiator aircraft launched from HMS Eagle shot down three Italian bombers in the Mediterranean Sea.
20 Jul 1940 Six British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Eagle attacked Tobruk, Libya in search of Italian cruiser Giovanni dalle Bande Nere that escaped the Battle of Cape Spada on the previous day. The cruiser was not found in port, thus destroyers Ostro and Nembo and transport Sereno were attacked and sank instead.
29 Jul 1940 Sea Gladiator fighters from HMS Eagle shot down an Italian SM.79 bomber while escorting a convoy in the Mediterranean Sea.
22 Aug 1940 Three Swordfish torpedo bombers of 824 Squadron of HMS Eagle sank Italian submarine Iride, killing most of the crew of 45, and the depot ship Monte Gargano in the Gulf of Bomba, Libya. Italian torpedo boat Calypso was also damaged.
9 Sep 1940 Aircraft from HMS Illustrious and HMS Eagle attacked Italian airfields on the island of Rhodes, Greece; Eagle lost 4 aircraft in this attack.
12 Oct 1940 HMS Eagle was damaged by near misses from bombs released by Italian SM.79 bombers.
27 Oct 1940 Aircraft from HMS Eagle struck the Italian seaplane base at Maltezana, Rhodes, Greece.
28 Oct 1940 HMS Eagle patrolled the western coast of Greece.
5 Nov 1940 While at Alexandria, Egypt, a leak was found in the fuel system of HMS Eagle, requiring her to receive repairs; the damage was caused by near misses by Italian bombers on 12 Oct 1940.
24 Nov 1940 After dark and into the next date, aircraft from HMS Eagle struck Tripoli harbor, Libya.
26 Nov 1940 Eight Swordfish aircraft from British aircraft carrier HMS Eagle attacked Tripoli, Libya at 0520 hours.
25 Mar 1941 Two Swordfish aircraft squadrons of HMS Eagle were temporarily transferred to Port Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
9 Apr 1941 HMS Eagle departed Alexandria, Egypt.
13 Apr 1941 The two Swordfish aircraft squadrons of HMS Eagle which had been temporarily transferred to Port Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan three weeks prior returned to the carrier shortly after she had transited the Suez Canal.
26 Apr 1941 HMS Eagle arrived at Mombasa, Kenya.
1 May 1941 HMS Eagle was ordered to sail for Durban, South Africa.
18 May 1941 British battleship HMS Nelson and aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, en route from Cape Town, South Africa to Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa in search of German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis, sailed within 7 kilometers of the German ship without detecting her.
25 May 1941 HMS Eagle arrived at Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa and refueled.
29 May 1941 HMS Eagle began patrolling the South Atlantic for German shipping.
6 Jun 1941 Aircraft from HMS Eagle sank German blockade runner Elbe in the South Atlantic.
15 Jun 1941 Aircraft from HMS Eagle damaged German tanker Lothringen in the South Atlantic, allowing the ship to later become captured by the crew of HMS Dunedin.
20 Sep 1941 An accidental fire aboard HMS Eagle killed one aircraft mechanic and damaged many Swordfish aircraft while sailing in the South Atlantic.
26 Oct 1941 HMS Eagle arrived off Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom.
1 Nov 1941 HMS Eagle arrived at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
9 Jan 1942 HMS Eagle completed her refit at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
16 Feb 1942 HMS Eagle made rendezvous with Allied convoy WS 16 toward Gibraltar.
23 Feb 1942 HMS Eagle arrived at Gibraltar and was assigned to Force H.
27 Feb 1942 HMS Eagle departed Gibraltar with 15 Spitfire fighters on the flight deck to be delivered to Malta.
7 Mar 1942 HMS Eagle launched 15 Spitfire fighters to reinforce Malta.
13 Mar 1942 HMS Eagle completed engine repairs.
21 Mar 1942 British aircraft carriers HMS Argus and HMS Eagle departed Gibraltar, escorted by battleship HMS Malaya, cruiser HMS Hermione, and 9 destroyers, with Spitfire fighters for Malta. Italian submarines Mocenigo and Dandolo attempted to attack the force in failure.
29 Mar 1942 HMS Eagle delivered 7 Spitfire fighters to reinforce Malta.
7 May 1942 HMS Eagle, with 17 Spitfire fighters aboard for delivery to Malta, joined the convoy containing USS Wasp off Gibraltar.
17 May 1942 HMS Eagle launched 17 Spitfire and 6 Albacore aircraft for Malta; the Spitfire fighters successfully reached Malta, but the Albacore torpedo bombers returned due to engine trouble. Later in the day, 6 Italian SM.79 torpedo bombers attacked her, but all torpedoes missed.
3 Jun 1942 HMS Eagle launched 31 Spitfire fighters for Malta.
9 Jun 1942 HMS Eagle launched 32 Spitfire fighters for Malta.
17 Jun 1942 HMS Eagle arrived at Gibraltar.
14 Jul 1942 In Operation Pinpoint, HMS Eagle departed Gibraltar to deliver 32 Spitfire fighters to Malta; she was escorted by cruiser HMS Cairo, cruiser HMS Charybdis, and five destroyers.
15 Jul 1942 In Operation Pinpoint, HMS Eagle launched 32 Spitfire fighters for Malta; 1 was lost en route.
20 Jul 1942 HMS Eagle departed Gibraltar with 31 Spitfire fighters and 4 Swordfish torpedo bombers for Malta in Operation Insect.
21 Jul 1942 HMS Eagle launched 29 Spitfire fighters and 4 Swordfish torpedo bombers for Malta in Operation Inspect; 1 Spitfire fighter would be lost en route from a leaky fuel tank.
11 Aug 1942 German submarine U-73 sank British carrier HMS Eagle 130 kilometers south of Cape Salinas on the Spanish island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea; 131 were killed, 929 survived.

Photographs

HMS Eagle underway, 1931, as seen in Jul 1978 issue of US Navy Naval Aviation NewsHMS Eagle underway, circa 1930s
See all 10 photographs of Aircraft Carrier HMS Eagle (94)



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. peter miller says:
16 Feb 2015 04:47:19 AM

just wondered if you had any information about my dad - George 'Dusty' Miller. I think he was a petty officer on Eagle. Thank you.
2. Alison Cameron says:
1 Nov 2017 11:04:41 PM

Is the any reason why the Battle of Taranto isnt mentioned. Planes from the Eagle were involved and returned to the Eagle after the raid.

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Event(s) Participated:
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Aircraft Carrier HMS Eagle (94) Photo Gallery
HMS Eagle underway, 1931, as seen in Jul 1978 issue of US Navy Naval Aviation NewsHMS Eagle underway, circa 1930s
See all 10 photographs of Aircraft Carrier HMS Eagle (94)


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