Escort Carrier
Ex Port Sydney 
Became MS Port Vindex 1947


Vindex (D-15) was built at Swan Hunter, Tyne, laid down 1 July 1942 as uncompleted refrigerated cargo hull Port Sydney, and subsequently bought by the Royal Navy in October 1942. She was launched on 4 May 1943 and commissioned 3 December 1943 as HMS Vindex.

In February 1941 the Ministry of War Transport agreed to reserve ships then under construction for possible conversion to escort carriers, although they refused to release existing ships. The one exception was Activity, who was completed in August 1942 as the refrigerated cargo carrier Telemachus (ex-Empire Activity), and operated by the Alfred Holt Line. Campania, Nairana and Vindex were all converted from refrigerated cargo ships, while Pretoria Castle was converted from a passenger liner. These were "naval" escort carriers as opposed to the "merchant" escort carriers of the "Empire" and "Rapana" Classes. Unlike the American conversions, which had short wooden flight decks, and many of which had open-sided hangars and a single screw, these British conversions were all twin-screw vessels with enclosed hangars and relatively long steel flight decks. HMS Vindex used empty oil drums to fill void space as Torpedo protection.

HMS Vindex war service was mainly in the Atlantic and Arctic where she provided convoy escort during 1944-45, at which time her aircraft sank the German submarine U-344 on 22 August 1944 and assisted in sinkings of U-653 on 15 March 1944, and U-765 on 6 May 1944.

825 Squadron provided anti-submarine protection for Atlantic convoys during the winter and spring of 1944, flying off HMS Vindex. The Squadron CO, Lt. Cdr. Percy Gick, had five of the squadron aircraft adapted to use the 60-lb RPs that were carried by the Swordfish that accompanied the Sea Hurricanes, with two rockets carried under each wing to supplement the four 20mm cannon.

On 22 August 1944, the German submarine U-344 (U-354?) was sunk in the Barents Sea northwest of Bear Island, in position 74.54N, 15.26E, by depth charges from a RN Swordfish Mk III of HMS Vindex.

On 2 September 1944 when the German submarine U-394 was sunk in the Norwegian Sea southeast of Jan Mayen island, Norway, in position 69.47N, 04.10E, by rockets and depth charges from a RN Swordfish Mk III of 825 Squadron in the escort aircraft
carrier HMS Vindex, and the destroyers HMS Keppel and HMS Whitehall and
the sloops HMS Mermaid and HMS Peacock.

HMS Vindex acted as a replenishment carrier in the British Pacific Fleet in 1945. August 13th 1945 saw 1851 & 814 squadrons re-embark from Schofields in HMS Venerable, and 1790 squadron's Firefly I NF.s disembarked from HMS Vindex.

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Sold 1947 and became MS Port Vindex 1947, and subsequently scrapped at Kaohsiung from Aug 1971.

Battle Honours
Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific.

No information on Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft
20 aircraft - 825 sqdn -16 Swordfish, 4 Martlets

FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type
825 Dec 1943-Jan 1945 Swordfish I/II
784B April 1944 Fulmar II
811 Sept-Dec 1944 Swordfish II/Wildcat V
813 April-May 1945  Swordfish III/Wildcat VI 
1790 June-Aug 1945 Firefly INF

HMS Vindex Sea Hurricane model of 825 sqdn, 1944

Associations and Reunions

Telegraphist / Air Gunner Derek Foster (Fleet Air Arm)

Trained as a Telegraphist Air Gunner, Derek Foster's first posting was with 825 Squadron aboard HMS Vindex in the North Atlantic, searching for German submarines. Later, in the Far East, Foster served on HMS Victorious attacking Japanese islands as well as the clip
Carrier name HMS Vindex
Ex uncompleted Port Sydney
Became Port Vindex 1947
Class Activity
Type British built Escort Carrier 
Ships in Class Activity, Campania, Nairana, Vindex, Pretoria Castle
Launched Vindex D-15 Swan Hunter 1 July 1942 4 May 1943 3 December 1943
Tonnage 13,455 tons 16,830 tons 
Speed in Knots 16-18 kts
Armament 1 x 2 x 4"/50-cal HA/LA 4 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA 8 x 2 x 20mm AA 
Crew Complement  700-728
Range   13000km at 16kts
Length (ft/inches)  524' 
Beam (ft/inches)  68' 
Draught (ft/inches)  25'9"
Flight Deck length (ft/inches)  153m
Flight Deck width (ft/inches)  20.11m
Armour  1inch Plating on Magazine crowns.
Number of aircraft carried 30
Fate of carrier  scrapped at Kaohsiung from Aug 1971

HMS Vindex in My Fathers Royal Navy and Merchant Navy Service  
THE STORY OF "NICKI" Sea-Hurricane IIc NF 672- (7K) of  FAA 804 and 835 Squadrons - Royal Navy AS SEEN BY ONE OF HER PILOTS 
by Ian Burgham with Lt.-Cmdr Allen Burgham, 
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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