INDEX OF NAVAL
Premier was a member of the "Ruler" Class, which was the third group of escort carriers built in the USA for the Royal Navy, and were generally similar to the preceding "Attacker" Class. The modifications carried out to the earlier class after their arrival in the UK were incorporated in the "Ruler" Class during construction. HMS Patroller on completion was fitted as an assault carrier but employed as a transport ferry. Many of the class were used as amphibious support carriers, taking part in the invasion of Southern France. Others supported Eastern Fleet operations against Burma and Malaya, and some served with the British Pacific Fleet as escorts for the Fleet Train.
Premier's war service included Escort carrier convoy duties in the Atlantic
in 1944 and in the Arctic following outfitted as an ASW carrier. Served
as an escort in European waters and as a ferry carrier.
Premier was returned to the USN on 2 April 1946, then became the mercantile Rhodesia Star 1948 and Hong Kong Knight 1967. Scrapped at Kaohsiung from February 1974.
Atlantic 1944, Arctic.
No information on Captains.
Squadrons and Aircraft
FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type 856 Sept 1944-June 1945 Wildcat V/VII 881 Dec 1944-Jan 1945 Wildcat VI
Associations and Reunions
Carrier name HMS Premier
Ex USS Estero
became Rhodesia Star 1948 and Hong Kong Knight 1967.
Class Ruler Type Escort Carrier (US built) Ships in Class Ameer, Arbiter, Atheling, Begum, Emperor, Empress, Khedive, Nabob, Patroller, Premier, Puncher, Queen, Rajah, Ranee, Reaper, Ruler, Shah, Slinger, Smiter, Speaker, Thane, Trouncer, Trumpeter Launched Laid down 31 Oct 1942. Launched 22 March 1943. Transferred 3 Nov 1944, Commissioned 3 Nov 1943 Tonnage 8,333 tons
Gross displacement 14,000 tons
Load 5667 tons
Engines 2 x Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 x Westinghouse geared turbines at 8500 shp, 1 shaft Speed in Knots 18 knots Armament Gun 2 x 1 x 5"/38-cal DP 8 x 2 x 40mm AA 27-35 x 1 x 20mm AA Crew Complement 646 Officers & Ratings including Air Group Range Length (ft/inches) 496 Beam (ft/inches) 69' 6" Draught (ft/inches) 23'3" Flight Deck length (ft/inches) 470' Flight Deck width (ft/inches) 70' Armour Number of aircraft carried 18-24 Fate of carrier Scrapped at Kaohsiung 1974 Notes
FURTHER INFORMATION NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive: CVE-42 HMS PREMIER (Ex- CVE-42 ESTERO) CLASS - BOGUE 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). 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