INDEX OF NAVAL
Merchant Aircraft Carrier (MAC) Auxillary Ship (Netherlands)
Gadila was a Merchant aircraft carrier converted from a Shell oil tanker, with a flight deck built over the hull. There was no hangar and she retained her cargo capabilities. She was identical to the "Rapana" class and operated under RN control, but was crewed by Dutch merchant crews. The Merchant Aircraft Carriers (MACs) were an emergency measure to provide air support for convoys. Gadilla took part in Royal Navy Atlantic convoys with 4 aircraft manned amongst others by Dutch Fleet Air Arm squadrons 860 (Dutch) squadron Fleet Air Arm and 861 (Dutch) squadron.
Gadila was withdrawn 30 May 1945 and reconverted to a tanker. During this period her crew reported seeing an UFO in 1955. Later she was sold to a British shipbreaker and arrived Hong Kong 6 June 1958 for scrapping.
No information on Captains.
Squadrons and Aircraft
Fairey Swordfish of 860 sqdn 'Gadila' (as S flight, embarked February 1944 - 15 May 1945)
Swordfish HS187 landing on deck of MV Gadila
Associations and Reunions
Ray Hartman Kok
"Great to see another Indo Web Page. Help us trying to find our roots. Father born Grissee served Dutch Fleet. Arm via RAF 320,860,701,861 Squadrons, also Royal Navy Atlantic convoys on HMS Macoma and Gadilla, Dutch oil tanker flat tops for submarine hunting, also HNMLS Karel
Doorman. Anyone with any info/knowledge, please contact me."
Ship name Gadila (Netherlands Mercantile Marine) Class Rapana (ex tankers) Type Merchant aircraft carrier (MAC) Ships in Class Rapana, Gadila Launched Launched Dec 1934. Into Service March 1944. Tonnage 16,000 tons full load Engines Diesel, 1 shaft, 4,000 bhp Speed in Knots 12.75 knots Armament One 4 inch, two 40 mm, six 20 mm Crew Complement 118 Range Length (ft/inches) 463 x 59.5 x 34 feet/141.12 x 18.08 x 10.32 meters Beam (ft/inches) Draught (ft/inches) Flight Deck length (ft/inches) Flight Deck width (ft/inches) Armour None Number of aircraft carried 4 Fate of carrier Withdrawn May 1945 and reconverted to tanker. Sold to British shipbreaker and arrived Hong Kong June 1958 for scrapping Notes
FURTHER INFORMATION Netherlands Naval Aviation Squadrons & Flying Units Histories 1955: UFO seen by the crew of a cargo ship Het oorlogsverleden van een Swordfish-vlieger - 'Ik heb ontzettend geluk gehad' Magazine article about a Dutch FAA aviator's recollections of flying Swordfish for 860 squadron [in Dutch] Vliegtuigssquadron 860 Brief history of Dutch Fleet Air Arm squadron [in Dutch] On-line database of over 3000 Dutch merchant ships (collection is from Alkmaar Nautiek and contains data) World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway Sturtivant, R & Ballance, T (1994). 'The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994 ISBN: 0 85130 223 8
The World’s Warships 1941 by Francis E. McMurtrie (1944). Jane's London 1941 1st ed.
Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II by Francis E. McMurtrie (Editor)(1984). 320 pages. Crescent Books; ISBN: 0517679639