Maintenance and
Replenishment Carrier


Perseus was built by Vickers Armstrong, Newcastle, laid down 1 June 1942, launched 26 March 1944 and named HMS Edgar. She was commissioned 19 October 1945 as HMS Perseus.

HMS Perseus in 1945

On commissioning in October 1945, Perseus served as a maintenance support ship, she went into reserve in June 1946. In the first three months of 1952, the US Navy carried out tests of the RN developed steam catapult, launching  US naval aircraft at sea from HMS Perseus, and on land at the Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, and the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk. In April 1952, the US Navy announced that this catapult would be adopted for use on US aircraft carriers, with the first installation on the USS Hancock. Perseus was subsequently stricken in the late 1950's, and broken up May 1958 at Port Glasgow.

Battle Honours
None in World War II

None in World War II

Squadrons and Aircraft
None in World War II

Associations and Reunions
No information

Carrier name HMS Perseus
Class Colossus
Type Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier
Ships in Class Colossus, Vengeance, Venerable, Pioneer, Glory, Ocean, Perseus, Theseus, Triumph, Warrior
Launched Laid down 1 June 1942. Launched 26 March 1944. Commissioned 19 October 1945
Tonnage Displacement: 13,400 tons standard ; 18,330 tons full load
Engines Propulsion: Steam Turbines (4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, Parsons geared turbines), 40,000 shp.
Speed in Knots Speed: 25 knots
Armament Guns: 24 x 2 pdr AA ; 32 x 20 mm 
Crew Complement Compliment: 1300 (including air group)
Range  Range: 12,000 nmiles at 14 knots
Length (ft/inches) Dimensions: 630 pp, 650 wl, 695 oa x 80 x 23.5 feet
Beam (ft/inches)  
Draught (ft/inches)  
Flight Deck length (ft/inches)  
Flight Deck width (ft/inches)  
Number of aircraft carried Aircraft: 48
Fate of carrier Stricken late 1950's. Broken up May 1958.
Notes Scaled down version of Illustrious class but with a large aircraft compliment achieved by a lack of armour. Designed for rapid construction in merchant yards to make up for the shortfall in carriers but much more capable than escort carriers. Perseus and Pioneer were completed as maintenance carriers without catapults. After the war various units of the class were sold or reconstructed with angled decks or as helicopter carriers.

Further information by British  
British and HMS Pegasus - Further information.  
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

World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway
       Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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