Escort Carrier
Ex USS Vermillion ACV/AVG-52
Became Artillero 1948, President Garcia 1965


Smiter (D-55) was built as an Ruler class escort carrier in the USA at Seattle-Tacoma and laid down 10 May 1943 as USS Vermillion ACV/AVG-52, and launched 27 September 1943. She was transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned 20 January 1944 as HMS Smiter.

The Ruler class ships were the third group of escort carriers built in the USA for the Royal Navy, and were generally similar to the preceding "Attacker" Class. The modifications carried out to the earlier class after their arrival in the UK were incorporated in the "Ruler" Class during construction. Many of the class were used as amphibious support carriers, taking part in the invasion of Southern France. Others supported Eastern Fleet operations against Burma and Malaya, and some served with the British Pacific Fleet as escorts for the Fleet Train.

Corsair coded "ZH" landing on HMS Smiter, August 1945

HMS Smiter was operational from August 1945 and saw no action, primarily providing convoy escort in the Atlantic.

Smiter returned to the USN on 6 April 1946, became mercantile Artillero 1948 and President Garcia 1965, wrecked off Guernsey 13 July 1967 and later broken up at Hamburg.

Battle Honours
Atlantic 1944


No information on Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft

FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type
815 July-Aug 1945 Barracuda TR3
888 Dec 1945 Hellcat II

Associations and Reunions
No information


Carrier name HMS Smiter
Ex USS Vermillion ACV/AVG-52
became mercantile Artillero 1948 and President Garcia 1965
Class Ruler
Type Escort Carrier (US built)
Ships in Class Ameer, Arbiter, Atheling, Begum, Emperor, Empress, Khedive, Nabob, Patroller, Premier, Puncher, Queen, Rajah, Ranee, Reaper, Ruler, Shah, Slinger, Smiter, Speaker, Thane, Trouncer, Trumpeter
Launched Laid down 10 May 1943, Launched 27 September 1943. Transferred 20 January 1944, Commissioned 20 January 1944
Tonnage 8,333 tons

Gross displacement 14,000 tons

Load 5667 tons

Engines 2 x Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 x Westinghouse geared turbines at 8500 shp, 1 shaft
Speed in Knots 18 knots 
Armament Gun 2 x 1 x 5"/38-cal DP 8 x 2 x 40mm AA 27-35 x 1 x 20mm AA 
Crew Complement 646 Officers & Ratings including Air Group
Length (ft/inches) 496
Beam (ft/inches) 69' 6"
Draught (ft/inches) 23'3"
Flight Deck length (ft/inches) 470'
Flight Deck width (ft/inches) 70'
Number of aircraft carried 18-24
Fate of carrier  Wrecked off Guernsey 13 July 1967 and later broken up at Hamburg.


Navsource online. Escort Carrier photo archives: HMS SMITER 
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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