Light Fleet Carrier

Became HMAS Vengeance 1953 (Australia)
Minas Gerais 1960 (Brazil)
Extant 2002

HMS Vengeance in 1944

HMS Vengeance was built by Swan Hunter, Wallsend. Laid down 16 November 1942, and launched 23 February 1944, she was commissioned 15 January 1945 as HMS Vengeance.

HMS Vengeance in 1945

1850 sqdn corsairs ranged on deck of HMS Vengeance in 1945

HMS Vengeance served with the British Pacific Fleet in 1946 and undertook an experimental Arctic cruise in 1948-49.

Former HMS Vengeance as Minas Gerais (Brazil)

Transferred to the Royal Australian Navy from 1953 to August 1955. Sold to Brazil as Minas Gerais December 1956. Refitted at Rotterdam 1957-1960 with 8.5 degree angled deck. Overhauled 1976-1980. Laid up 1987 due to catapult problems. Until 2001 served as a helicopter carrier, though in very poor condition. Decommissioned in October 2001 and in 2002 being sought as a Heritgae Naval Aviation Museum by the Save the Vengeance Appeal (full Save the Vengeance Appeal website available).

Minas Gerais (ex HMS Vengeance) after refuit in 2000 with A-4 Skyhawks

In 1997 she was involved in maneouvres as an attack carrier with Argentina Naval  Aviation Super Etendards attack planes, ANA Sea Kings & ANA pilots as part of the widening collaboration between Argentina & Brazil. She has undergone a refit that will allow her to serve into the 21st century, with upgrades that include the operation of newly purchased A-4 Skyhawks, in effect making her a powerful support vessel again.

Battle Honours
Colossus-class Light Fleet Carrier, RN 1945-53,

Private photo collection of Ron Davis

No information on WWII Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft

Corsair Mk IV KD345 "130" of 1850 sqdn of HMS Vengeance, December 1945
Profile created by Nigel Eastmond.
FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type
1850 Feb 1945-Aug 1946 Corsair IV

The extant Fairey Firefly WB271 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight, Yeovilton (UK) flew from HMS Vengeance 1949-1950

The extant Fairey Firefly WB271 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight, Yeovilton (UK) entered service with 814 squadron at RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall, in July 1949 and spent nine months at sea with HMS Vengeance and afterwards to Korea. She was then transferred to the Royal Australian Navy and served on the Carrier ‘Sydney’ before conversion for target towing duties in 1957 (see RNHF website).
Associations and Reunions

HMS Vengeance Association
Contact: Derek 'Lew' Lewis, Secretary, HMS Vengeance Association, 122 Mill Lane, Portslade, Sussex. BN41 2FH.

Save the Vengeance Appeal
Save the Vengeance Appeal website

Carrier name HMS Vengeance
(renamed HMAS Vengeance (Australia), then Minas Gerais (Brazil)
Class Colossus
Type Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier
Ships in Class Colossus, Vengeance, Venerable, Pioneer, Glory, Ocean, Perseus, Theseus, Triumph, Warrior
Launched Laid down 16 November 1942. Launched 23 February 1944. Commissioned 15 January 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 Laid up 1987 due to catapult problems. Currently serving as a helicopter carrier, though in very poor condition. 
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.

Save the Vengeance Appeal website Appeal to save the last British WW2 aircraft carrier
"HMS. VENGEANCE, No.1850 & 812 SQUADRON" website by Ron Davis.  Website dedicated to HMS Vengeance. Extremely detailed and well researched website about the ship, its squadrons, aircraft and crew, with individual histories and Roll of Honour. Also hosts the HMS Vengeance Association webpage. 
Private photo collection of Ron Davis Ron's father was a Royal Navy FAA Mechanic with the No. 1850 Sqdn attached to the HMS Vengeance during WW II
HMS Vengeance - Dad served from 12-05-46 to 25-09-46
By G@avin Johns (
Portaaviones Minas Gerais (Ex HMS Vengeance)
Royal Navy Historic Flight Firefly of HMS Vengeance still with Royal navy historic Flight
Australia's Aircraft Carrier Era, in the website of the Museum of Flight (Australia) Details of HMAS Vengeance
 Minas Gerais Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier 'Collossus type  
Brazilian V/STOL carrier - Minas Gerais
Museu Aeroespacial- Preserving the History of the Brazilian Aviation Information about the aircrfat of Brazil including Trackers flown from Minas Gerais aircraft carriere (HMS Vengeance)
Minas Gerais-  Pictures by External and internal photos of the former HMS Vengeance into the 2000s
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). 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

     Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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