Escort Carrier
Ex USS Bastian ACV/AVG-47/CVE-37
Became USS Bastion 1946
Alblasserdijk 1948, Irene Valmas 1966.


HMS Trumpeter (D-09) was built as a Ruler Class escort carrier in the USA at the Commercial Iron Works, Seattle-Sacoma. She was laid down on 25 August 1942 as USS Bastian ACV/AVG-47, and launched on 15 December 1942, and completed 4 August 1943 by Commercial IW (Portland). She was transferred to the Royal Navy on 4 August 1943, and commissioned as HMS Trumpeter on the same day.

The Ruler Class was 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.

Trumpeter's war service was primarily as a convoy escort. Arriving in Norfolk in October 1943 she embarked 848 (Avenger) squadron and 1831 and 1833 (Corsair) squadrons  for passage to the UK, where she was allocated to Western Approaches Command as a ferry carrier and ferried aircraft from New York to the Clyde in two Atlantic crossings. Following modifications she was allocated to the Home Fleet and started work-up based on the Clyde with 846 squadron equipped Avenger and Wildcat aircraft. Sailing on 8 August 1944 for strikes against Gossan with 846 squadron, she took part in Operation Goodwood in company with Formidable, Furious, Indefatigable and Nabob. On 28 September 1944 she sailed for operations off the Norwegian coast with 846 and 852 (Avenger) squadrons embarked. Minelaying operations followed off Norway in October 1944.

In December 1944 Trumpeter took part in more operation off Norway with 881 (Wildcat) squadron. In February 1945 she sailed from Scapa Flow with escort for JW65 with 846 squadron embarked, arriving at the Kola Inlet, Russia on 21 March 1945, and returned to the UK with the RA65 convoy.

A strike on German shipping in Kilbotn occurred near Harstad, in company with Queen and Searcher in the last air strike of  the European War, when HMS Trumpeter's aircraft shared sinking of the German Submarine U711 with aircraft from HMS Queen on 4 May 1945. During May 1945, she covered the Allied liberation of Denmark. She was then refitted in the Clyde again, and was allocated to the Eastern Fleet, before sailing for Colombo.

After arriving in Colombo, she was used as a DLT carrier in the Ceylon area beginning at the end of July 1945. After the war in the Far East was officially over on 15 August 1945 the main activity for both British fleets was to accept the Japanese surrender in the numerous islands and areas of coast were they had been in control. In many cases there was still the risk of continued resistance, particularly in Malaya. On 9 September 1945 Operation Zipper, the recapture of Malaya, was put into effect, but without a previously arranged air and sea bombardment. Over 100,000 troops landed at various points escorted by HMS Nelson, Richelieu, Nigeria, Cleopatra, Royalist and Ceylon, with the escort carriers Hunter, Stalker, Archer, Khedive, Emperor, Pursuer and Trumpeter with 15 destroyers.

Trumpeter was returned to the USN on 6 April 1946. She then became USS Bastion again, then subsequently mercantile Alblasserdijk 1948, and Irene Valmas 1966. Scrapped at Castellon 1971.

Battle Honours
Atlantic 1943-1944, Arctic 1944, Norway 1945

No information on Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft

FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type
846 July 1944-May 1945 Avenger I/Wildcat V
856 dt Aug 1944 Avenger II/Wildcat V 
852 Sept-Oct 1944 Wildcat VI
856 Dec 1944 Avenger II/Wildcat V 
881 Dec 1944-Jan 1945 Wildcat V 
828 Jan 1945 Wildcat VI
822 April-Aug 1945 Wildcat VI/Barracuda TRIII

Associations and Reunions
No information

Carrier name HMS Trumpeter
Ex USS Bastian ACV/AVG-47
Became USS Bastion again 1946, mercantile Alblasserdijk 1948, and Irene Valmas 1966.
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 Aug. 1942, Launched Dec.1942. Transferred Aug. 43, Commissioned August 1943 
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  Scrapped 1971

NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive CVE-37 HMS TRUMPETER (Ex- CVE-37 BASTIAN) CLASS - BOGUE  
Career History: HMS Trumpeter  Detailed career history for Trumpeter
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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