INDEX OF NAVAL
Fighter Catapult Armed
Pegasus was a Catapult Armed ship or Fighter Catapult ship. It was a representative of the Pegasus Class consisting of Ariguani, Maplin, Patia, Pegasus and Springbank with FAA aircraft. Each of these merchantmen were equipped with one Fleet Air Arm or RAF fighter and a temporary catapult. When threatened by enemy planes, the fighter took off. When it was done, it ditched, and the pilot was (theoretically) picked up by the merchant ship's convoy. As an interim measure until more escort carriers could be made, selected British or Dominion merchant ships were fitted with an obsolescent Hawker Hurricane fighter to protect the ship convoys against air attack or reconnaisance overflights. The pilot was the only Fleet Air Arm or RAF crew member on board, and had little to do unless the plane was needed. If an emergency arose, the aircraft would be catapulted off to do combate, then the pilot had to ditch and be fished out of the water. Though the aircraft could only be used once, they even had their landing gear deleted to save weight, they could save a convoy from air attack.
Photograph of example of catapult launched aircraft - Kingfisher
Pegasus was converted to become a catapult ship in 1940, saw war service in the Atlantic 1940, and became a training ship from 1941-1944, and put into reserve from September 1944 and subsequently relegated to being an accomodation ship.
Cam Ship with Hurricane Fighter on the Catapult .. Atlantic Convoy 1942
Pegasus was sold as mercantile ship Anita I in 1946. Scrapped Greys Yard, Essex October 1950.
Atlantic 1940 - 1
No information on Captains.
Squadrons and Aircraft
Associations and Reunions
Ship name Pegasus (ex HMS Ark Royal I). became Anita I Class Pegasus Type Catapult and Maintenance Trials Ship Ships in Class Ariguani, Maplin, Patia, Pegasus, Springbank Launched Tonnage 2,070 standard; 3,315 tons deep load Engines 2 shaft Brown-Curtis geared turbines; 6 boilers developing 9,500shp Speed in Knots 20 Armament Two single 3inch Anti-Aircraft, Two Single 12-pounder Anti-Aircraft. Air Weapons: 18inch torpedoes, light bombs, 0.303in ammunition, flares and pyrotechnics Crew Complement 258 Range Length (ft/inches) Length (ft/inches) 332/4 Beam (ft/inches) Beam (ft/inches) 43/0.75 Draught (ft/inches) Draught (ft/inches) 18/9 Flight Deck length (ft/inches) 82 Flight Deck width (ft/inches) 28 Armour Number of aircraft carried 9 seaplanes and wheeled fighters Fate of carrier Notes
FURTHER INFORMATION World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway British Forces.com and HMS Pegasus - Further information. 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). Janes London 1941 1st ed.
Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II by Francis E. McMurtrie (Editor)(1984). 320 pages. Crescent Books; ISBN: 0517679639