INDEX OF NAVAL
Became Karel Doorman (1) 1946 (Netherlands)
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 Nairana Sea Hurricane
Nairana's wartime service was focused on convoy escort duties 1944 to 1945. In January 1944, Capt Walker's 2nd Escort Group - Capt Walker with sloops "Starling", "Kite", "Magpie", "Wild Goose" and "Woodpecker" accompanied by escort carriers "Activity" and "Nairana" arrives in the waters to the southwest of Ireland. Over the next three weeks the five sloops share in the sinking of six U-boats operating against the convoys passing through the area. Their first success was on 31 January 1944 when "Starling", "Magpie" and "Wild Goose" depth charged and sank U-592.
By the summer of 1944, 825 and 835 squadrons in HMS Vindex and HMS Nairana respectively were flew the last last type of Sea Hurricane (IIc) to see first-line carrier service. Flying North Atlantic convoy patrols, these cannon-armed Sea Hurricanes operated at low level as U-boat strafers, and between March 1944-May 1945 the aircraft of the four carriers Activity, Nairana, Vindex and Campania along with Tracker, Fencer and Striker sunk seven U-boats and shared in three more. On 26 May 1944, Lt. Jamie Haggo RN flying Sea Hurricane Mk IIc (NF672) of 835 squadron, HMS Nairana was credited with shooting down a Ju290.
Convoy JW62, consisting of 31 ships, sailed from Loch Ewe on 29 November 1944 and arrived without loss at the Kola Inlet on 7 December, including the cruiser HMS Bellona, Escort Carriers HMS Campania (Rear-Admiral McGrigor) and HMS Nairana, along with 15 destroyers, 3 sloops, 10 frigates, 4 corvettes including HMS Tunberg Castle (Norwegian), and HMS Eglantine (Norwegian).
Nairana transferred after the war to Netherlands 20 March 1946 and renamed Karel Doorman. 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.
Nairana was eventually scrapped at Faslane 1971.
Lt. Allen Burgham (RNZVR) served in 835 Squadron (Fleet Air Arm) from 1939 to 1945 on HMS Nairana. He would like to contact pilots who flew against the Arctic convoys. Has anyone any suggestions as to how to contact German Veterans' Associations? Do you have any information which may assist, Please contact :-
Atlantic 1944, Arctic 1944 - 5, Norway 1945
No information on Captains.
Squadrons and Aircraft
20 aircraft - 16 Swordfish, 4 Martlets
Sea Hurricane IIc of 835 Squadron, HMS Nairana, 1944
FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type 835 Dec 1943-Sept 1944 Swordfish III/Sea Hurricane IIc 784 Feb-March 1944 Fulmar UU 835 Sept 1944-March 1945 Swordfish III/Wildcat IV 860 Oct-Nov 1945 Barracuda III
Associations and Reunions
Direct at : email@example.com
Lost Comrades at Veterans Rendezvous
Carrier name HMS Nairana. Transferred to Netherlands and renamed HrMS Karel Doorman I
Became mercanbtile Port Victor 1948.
Class Activity Type British builtEscort Carrier Ships in Class Activity, Campania, Nairana, Vindex, Pretoria Castle Launched Nairana D-05 John Brown laid down 20 May 1943 Commissioned 12 December 1943 Tonnage 14,046 tons 17,485 tons Engines 2 sets 5-cylinder Doxford Diesels. 2 shafts (BHP 11,000) Speed in Knots 16-18 kts Armament One 2 x 4"/50-cal HA/LA Eight 2 x 40mm AA Eight 2 x 20mm AA Crew Complement 558 Range Length (ft/inches) 528.5 ft Beam (ft/inches) 68.4 ft Draught (ft/inches) 21 ft Flight Deck length (ft/inches) Flight Deck width (ft/inches) Armour Number of aircraft carried 30 Fate of carrier Scrapped at Faslane 1971 Notes
FURTHER INFORMATION Convoy JW62 in HMS CASSANDRA homepage Details of Arctic Convoy JW62 and its return as Convoy RA62 in 1944 involving HMS Nairana 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, DSC, MiD, RCNVR (Ret’d) (RNZNVR) Details of the war service of Hurricane NF672 on HMS Nairana An A-Z of Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS Aircraft Profiles including HAWKER SEA HURRICANE Mk.IIC, 835 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. Nairana, June 1942, HMS Nairana by Britsih Forces.com BRING BACK MY STRINGBAG, Swordfish Pilot at War, 1940-1945.by John Kilbracken In January, 1945, as one of the youngest lieutenant-commanders in the Navy, Kilbrachen commanded the squadron of fourteen Swordfish and six Wildcats on board HMS Nairana. For his flying from this ship he was awarded the DSC. Squadron 860 History of 860 (Dutch) Flet Air Arm squadron [in dutch] HERINNERINGEN AAN DE REIS VAN Hr.Ms. "KAREL DOORMAN"(1) NAAR NED. OOST-INDIE (1946 - 1947) deel: 1. Door A. de Booy (oud-commandant) History of HMS Nairana once renamed Karel Doorman (1) in the service of the Dutch Navy. Koninklijke Marine 1945-Helden History and photographs of HMS Nairana once renamed Karel Doorman (1) in the service of the Dutch Navy. 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