HMS Eagle
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Ark Royal' Class Aircraft Carrier
Musgrave Yard
Slip Number
Launch Date
March 19, 1946
Launched By
Hrh The Princess Elizabeth
October 31, 1951
36800 grt
BP Length
720 feet
112 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
31 knots
4 shaft geared steam turbines 8 boilers 152,000 shp
Official No.
 HMS Eagle

Pennant: R05
Initially laid down on the 24th October 1942 as Audacious (one of four new carriers of the Audacious Class ordered). In January 1946 she was renamed Eagle the fifteenth Royal Navy ship to be so named, after the proposed ship of that name was subsequently cancelled and her namesake was Torpedoed in the Med. on 14th November 1941. With her sister ship Ark Royal, she was one of the two largest Royal Navy aircraft carriers yet built.
At 11,40 am on 19th March 1946 HRH Princess Elizabeth taking a bottle of wine in both hands, she sent it crashing against the bow of the ship, declaring "I name this ship Eagle may God protect her and all who sail in her".
Eagle was first commissioned in 1952, had a major refit in 1964 which included the angled deck and enlarge island, modernisation of her accommodation, weaponry and machinery.
She had six commissions the final one ending on the morning of Wednesday 26th January 1972 when she made her way into Portsmouth Harbour flying her 450ft long paying-off pennant. On Wednesday 9th August 1972 with a smoke from her funnel, caused by a flare set off for show, she was towed out of Portsmouth Harbour for the last time.
When Eagle left Portsmouth, She was towed to Devonport and used as spare parts for the HMS Ark Royal, to keep her going, then in 1978 she was taken to the old military port of Cairnryan on the west coast of Scotland, she was bought by a Swansea company called Steel Supply Western who subcontracted her demolition to Dean Marine a firm headed by Sid Dean and his three sons. She took three years to break up.