HMS Campania
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Escort Aircraft Carrier
Slip Number
Launch Date
June 17, 1943
Launched By
Miss E Herdman
March 7, 1944
12450 grt
BP Length
198-6 feet
70 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
16 knots
Direct Acting (D.A.) Diesel
Official No.
 HMS Campania

[HMS Campania at Hughes Bolkows, Blyth]

Pennant No. D-48
She was laid down 12th August 1941. She was launched 17th June 1943 and converted from an uncompleted hull of a refrigerated cargo ship. She was commissioned 7th March 1944.
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. Campania, Nairana and Vindex were all converted from refrigerated cargo ships. These were "naval" escort carriers as opposed to the "merchant" escort carriers of the "Empire" and "Rapana" Classes. British conversions were all Twin-screw vessels with enclosed hangars and relatively long steel flight decks with only one lift. The five were to have had identical conversions, but Campania, who was not launched until 17 June 1943, received several improvements not fitted in the other four ships. She received the first Action Information Organization (AIO) suite to be fitted in a British carrier, and also had Type 277 radar which gave height indication and good coverage at low level. Her modern Air Direction Room (ADR) and radar outfit proved invaluable for directing both her own and other carriers aircraft. The war record of HMS Campania includes escort for convoys to Gibraltar in September 1944, and whilst on Russian convoys her aircraft sank the German submarine U-921 on 30 September 1944 and U-365 on 13 December 1944.
HMS Campania was laid up in Gareloch in 1946, and loaned to the Festival of Britain Organization in 1950 for use as a mobile exhibition ship.
She was put on reserve in 1951 then carried the "equipment" for the atom-bomb trials on Monte Bello Island on 3 October 1952.
She was paid off at Portsmouth on 15 December 1952, where she arrived at Hughes Bolckow, Blyth to be broken up 11 November 1955.