HMS Activity

Escort Carrier
Ex Telemachus (ex-Empire Activity)
HMS Activity (D-94) was built at Caledonia S.B. She was laid down on 1 February 1940 and launched 30 May 1942. She was commissioned early in 1944.

In February 1941 the Ministry of War Transport agreed to reserve ships then under construction for possible conversion to escort carriers, although they refused to release existing ships. The one exception was Activity, who was completed in August 1942 as the refrigerated cargo carrier Telemachus (ex-Empire Activity), and operated by the Alfred Holt Line. These were "naval" escort carriers as opposed to the "merchant" escort carriers of the "Empire" and "Rapana" Classes. Unlike the American conversions, which had short wooden flight decks, and many of which had open-sided hangars and a single screw, these British conversions were all twin-screw vessels with enclosed hangars, relatively long steel flight decks and only one lift. The five were to have had identical conversions, but Campania, who was not launched until 17 June 1943, received several improvements not fitted in the other four ships.

HMS Activity's war career included escorting convoys to Gibraltar and Russia in 1944-45, duriung which time her aircraft assisted in sinking the German submarine U288 on 3 April 1944.

Activity was sold into mercantile service in March 1946.

Battle Honours
Arctic convoys 1944-45.

No information on Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft
18 aircraft, 14 Swordfish and 4 Martlet fighters


FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type
813 Oct-Nv 1942 Swordfish

Associations and Reunions
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Survivors of the SS Peter Sylvester as seen in photo of lifeboat, picked up by the ship HMS Activity after torpedoing off Australia in Feb. 1945
Carrier name HMS Activity. Ex refrigerated cargo carrier Telemachus (ex-Empire Activity)
Class Activity
Type British built Escort Carrier 
Ships in Class Activity, Campania, Nairana, Vindex, Pretoria Castle
Launched Activity D-94 Caledonia S.B. Laid down 1 February 1940 Launched 30 May 1942 Commissioned early 1944
Tonnage 11,800 tons 14,250 tons 512'9" 66'6" 26'
Speed in Knots 16-18 kts
Armament 2 x 1 x 4"/50-cal HA/LA 24 x 1 x 20mm
Crew Complement  
Length (ft/inches)  
Beam (ft/inches)  
Draught (ft/inches)  
Flight Deck length (ft/inches)  
Flight Deck width (ft/inches)  
Number of aircraft carried 36
Fate of carrier  

British Forces website information Details of the ship
World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway American based World Aircraft Carrier Lists & Photo Gallery - one of the definitive online sources for British and world aircraft carrier & seaplane tender data, histories and images - over 1000 photos. 
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)(1944). 320 pages. Crescent Books; ISBN: 0517679639

        Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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