Merchant Aircraft Carrier (MAC) Auxillary Ship

Became Granpond, Condor 1951, Saltersgate 1959, Vassil Levsky

Empire MacKendrick was built by Burnisland, launched 29 September 1943, and completed December 1943. Scrapped at Split starting June 1975.

Merchant ships (bulk grain carriers) built with flight decks to serve as bare minumum aircraft carriers as an emergency measure pending the availablilty of the US-built escort carriers. These ships operated with civilian crews, under merchant colors, and carried their regular cargo while serving as aircraft carriers. Their planes were primarily meant to attack long-range reconniassance aircraft to prevent tracking of convoys. They were designated as Merchant Aircraft Carriers (MAC). Design: Flight deck fitted above the main deck; small island. No hangar, catapult or other aircraft support facilities. These ships were built in this configuration, not converted. Departure from Service/Disposal:

Empire MacKendrick operated on Atlantic convoys throughout WWII, and was returned to merchant service postwar and named Granpond, Condor in 1951, Saltersgate in 1959, Vassil Levsky. She was marooned in the Great Bitter Lake, Suez Canal, 6 June 1967 to 5 June 1975 during the Arab-Israeli War. Scrapped at Split starting June 1975.

Battle Honours
No information

No information on Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft
No information

Associations and Reunions
No information

Ship name Empire MacKendrick
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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