Merchant Aircraft Carrier (MAC) Auxillary Ship


Empire MacAlpine was built by Burnisland, laid down 11 August 1942, launched 23 December 1942, and completed 14 April 1943. Sold April 1970 and subsequently scrapped at Hong Kong.

Empire MacAlpine was a MAC conversion from a grain ship, similar to the Empire MacAlpine class. Officially she was a member of two classes, but nearly identical. Merchant ships (bulk grain carriers) built with flight decks to serve as bare minumum aircraft carriers as an emergency measure pending the availabililty of the US-built escort carriers. These ships operated with civilian crews, under merchant colours, and carried their regular cargo while serving as aircraft carriers. Their aircraft were primarily meant to attack long-range reconniassance aircraft to prevent tracking of convoys.

Empire MacAlpine operated on Atlantic convoys throughout the war. Returned to merchant service postwar and named Derryname, then Huntsbrook in 1951, Suva Breeze in 1960, Djatingaleh, San Ernesto, Pacific Endeavour in 1968. Sold 4/1970 and subsequently scrapped at Hong Kong.

Battle Honours
Atlantic 1943-1945

No information on Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft
No information

Associations and Reunions
No information

Ship name Empire MacAlpine
Class Empire MacAlpine class (bulk grain carriers)
Type Merchant aircraft carrier (MAC-ship)
Ships in Class Empire MacAlpine, Empire MacKendrick
Tonnage Displacement: 12,000 tons full load
Engines Propulsion: Diesel, 1 shaft, 3,500 bhp 
Speed in Knots 12.5 knots 
Armament Armament: 1 4 inch, 2 40 mm, 4 20 mm 
Crew Complement 107
Length (ft/inches) 459 '
Beam (ft/inches) 60'
Draught (ft/inches) 24'
Flight Deck length (ft/inches)  
Flight Deck width (ft/inches)  
Armour None
Number of aircraft carried Aircraft: 4 
Fate of carrier  

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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