(originally named Audacious) 

 Fleet Air Craft Carrier


HMS Eagle leaving Valetta harbour, Malta 1965
Three ships of the Audacious class were laid down with the third, Eagle II, cancelled when partially built at Swan Hunter. The first ship, Audacious, was then renamed Eagle III, built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast and was laid down 24 October 1942. She was launched on 19 March 1946 and completed 1 October 1951.
At the end of the Second World War, work was halted for three years. Eagle was then completed to its original axial deck design. Ark Royal was completed to a modified design, being considerably delayed to allow the incorporation of new technologies such as an angled flight deck and steam catapults. Eagle was then refitted to a similar standard to Ark Royal. Both ships underwent a complicated series of refits, each making one ship slightly more advanced than the other.

Eagle was paid off on 26 January 1972, she was de-stored and de-equipped on February 1972, after which she was towed to Plymouth 6 August 1972 and used for spares to support Ark Royal over the next six years. She was stricken October 1978 and broken up at Cairn Ryan, Wigtownshire.

Battle Honours
No WWII Battle Honours.

No WWII Captains.

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Squadrons and Aircraft
No WWII squadrons and aircraft in 1939-1945.

Associations and Reunions
HMS Eagle Survivors 1942 Association. Also see HMS Eagle website
Contact: A `Les` Goodenough, 3 Brimpton Road, Reading, Berks. RG30 3HY.

HMS Eagle Communications Department 1962 to last commission Email: or Email:

Carrier name HMS Audacious (renamed Eagle on Commissioning)
Class Audaceous
Type Fleet Aircraft Carrier
Ships in Class Audacious, Eagle, Ark Royal
Launched Built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast. Laid down 24 October 1942. Launched 19 March 1946. Completed 1 October 1951.
Tonnage As built: Displacement: 41,200 tons standard ; 49,950 tons full load 
Engines Propulsion: 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 4 shafts, Parsons SR geared turbines, 152,000 shp
Speed in Knots Speed: 30.5 knots
Armament Armament: 8 twin 4.5-inch / 45 Mk 6 DP turrets ; 8 sextuple Bofors 40 mm AA ; 2 twin Bofors 40 mm ; 9 single Bofors 40 mm ; 4 single 3 pdr saluting guns
Crew Complement Complement: 2750 (including air group)
Range  Range: 7,000 nmiles at 14 knots ; 5,500 tons fuel oil
Length (ft/inches) Dimensions: 803.75 oa x 112.75 x 35.6 feet
Beam (ft/inches)  
Draught (ft/inches)  
Flight Deck length (ft/inches)  
Flight Deck width (ft/inches)  
Armour Armour: 4.5 inch belt ; 1.5 inch hangar sides ; 1 to 2.5 inch hangar deck ; 4 inch (above hangar) 1.5 inch (rest) flight deck
Number of aircraft carried Aircraft: over 60
Fate of carrier Paid off January 1972. De-stored and de-equipped February 1972. Stricken October 1978 and broken up at Cairn Ryan, Wigtownshire. 
Notes Due to the various refits undergone by these ships their technical details are listed individually.

Paid off for modernisation and major refit at Devonport Dockyard 11 May 1959. Refit commenced 30 October 1959.

This ship became the last of the Royal Navy's conventional carriers in the 20th century.

H.M.S. EAGLE 1964 - 1966  
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

        Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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