HMS Empress (D42)

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HMS Empress
United States
NameUSS Carnegie
Laid down9 September 1942
Launched30 December 1942
FateTransferred to Royal Navy
United Kingdom
NameHMS Empress
Commissioned12 August 1943
Decommissioned28 March 1946
IdentificationPennant number:D42
FateSold for scrap 1946
General characteristics
Class and type
Displacement7,800 tons
Length495 ft 7 in (151.05 m)
Beam69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draught26 ft (7.9 m)
PropulsionSteam turbines, 1 shaft, 8,500 shp (6.3 MW)
Speed17.5 knots (32.4 km/h)
Complement890 officers and men
Aircraft carried28

USS Carnegie (CVE-38) (previously AVG-38 then later ACV-38) was an escort aircraft carrier built in 1942-43 for transfer to the United Kingdom. She was reclassified ACV-38 on 20 August 1942, and CVE-38 on 15 July 1943. She was commissioned on 9 August 1943 for a period of three days prior to being turned over to the United Kingdom, under whom she served as HMS Empress (D42).

Design and description[edit]

Twin 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun.

These ships were all larger and had a greater aircraft capacity than all the preceding American built escort carriers. They were also all laid down as escort carriers and not converted merchant ships.[1] All the ships had a complement of 646 men and an overall length of 492 feet 3 inches (150.0 m), a beam of 69 feet 6 inches (21.2 m) and a draught of 25 ft 6 in (7.8 m).[1] Propulsion was provided a steam turbine, two boilers connected to one shaft giving 9,350 brake horsepower (SHP), which could propel the ship at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph).[2]

Aircraft facilities were a small combined bridge–flight control on the starboard side, two aircraft lifts 43 feet (13.1 m) by 34 feet (10.4 m), one aircraft catapult and nine arrestor wires.[1] Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck.[1] Armament comprised: two 4"/50, 5"/38 or 5"/51 Dual Purpose guns in single mounts, sixteen 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in twin mounts and twenty 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons in single mounts.[1] They had a maximum aircraft capacity of twenty-four aircraft which could be a mixture of Grumman Martlet, Vought F4U Corsair or Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft.[1]

Service history[edit]

An 845 NAS Avenger taking off from HMS Empress off Trincomalee.

During World War II, she served in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In September 1945, Empress was involved in Operation Tiderace, the reoccupation of Singapore from the Japanese. On 28 January 1946, she was restored to United States custody, was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 28 March 1946 and was sold for scrap 21 June 1946.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cocker (2008), p.82.
  2. ^ Cocker (2008), p.79.


  • Cocker, Maurice (2008). Aircraft-Carrying Ships of the Royal Navy. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4633-2.