Light Fleet Carrier

Renamed Karel Doorman then 
ARA Vientecinco de Mayo 1968 (Argentina)
25° de Mayo
(extant 1999-2000)


HMS Venerable was built by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, and laid down 3 December 1942. Launched 30 December 1943, she was commissioned 17 January 1945. Served with the British Pacific Fleet 1945-1946.

Former HMS Venerable as photographed in 1981 is still extant as the ARA 25de Mayo (Argentina) although is reported to be a hulk (2000)

Sold to the Netherlands as Karel Doorman II in May 1948. Reconstructed 1955-1958 with 8 degree angled deck.

The first foreign variant of the Sea Fury was the Sea Fury Mk. 50 for the the Royal
Netherlands Navy for service on the ex-Royal Naval Escort Carrier Nairana. Twelve more
were ordered in 1950, bringing the total to twenty four. A license was acquired for
manufacture of Sea Furies by Fokker, and the license manufacture brought the total of Dutch Sea Furies to 48. Many of these Sea Furies served with the Royal Netherlands Navy aboard the Karel Doorman (previously HMS Venerable).

Paid off from Dutch service April 1968 due to a boiler room fire. Sold to Argentina as Veinticinco de Mayo (25° de Mayo) on 15 October 1968 and refitted with replacement boilers from the incomplete HMS Leviathan. Commissioned into Argentinean Navy 22 August 1969.

Out of service since June 1986, currently survives as a hulk although not yet stricken.

Plans to refit VEINTECINCO DE MAYO, originally issued in October 1990, called for
completion of a refit by 1992 at the latest. However, the aircraft carrier remains laid up at the navy yard at Puerto Belgrano, minus her propulsion plant. In late 1994, Ficantieri of Italy was reportedly examining proposals to completely overhaul and modernize the carrier although reports suggest that lack of adequate funding (see GDI reference of 1996). In January of 1999 she was reportedly towed away for scrapping in India (see Warship1 reference). According to the HMS Venerable Association she was beached at Alang, India March 2000

Battle Honours
None in WWII: Pacific 1945-1946

No information on Captains.

Squadrons and Aircraft
None in WWII

Associations and Reunions

HMS Venerable Association
Contact: Bas Redfern, Hazeldene, 64 Coppice Road, Talke, Stoke on Trent, Staffs. ST7 1UA. Tel: 01782 784876. Reunions at Somerset and Wavecrest Hotel, Llandudno. Reunion 30 March to 3 April 2001

Carrier name HMS Venerable 
(Renamed Karel Doorman II then later sold to Argentina as 25 de Mayo)
Class Colossus
Type Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier
Ships in Class Colossus, Vengeance, Venerable, Pioneer, Glory, Ocean, Perseus, Theseus, Triumph, Warrior
Launched Laid down 3 December 1942. Launched 30 December 1943. Commissioned 17 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 Out of service since June 1986, currently nothing more than a hulk although not yet stricken.
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.

Vientecinco de Mayo Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier 'Collossus type' .  
Argentine V/STOL (25° de Mayo) carrier Former HMS Venerable in the service of Argentina 2000
Aviacion Naval Argentina - Argentine Naval Aviation - Attack Carrier Aviation: 1958 - 1989 Details of 25 de Mayo
  MENU LISTING- ARGENTINA - in GDI - Global Defense Information website (US Naval Institute database record)
Database entry refering to restoring the ship in 1996
HERINNERINGEN AAN DE REIS VAN Hr.Ms. "KAREL DOORMAN"(1) NAAR NED. OOST-INDIE (1946 - 1947) Door A. de Booy (oud-commandant)
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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