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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

(BAVG-2)  /  HMS AVENGER (D14)

Contributed by Tommy Trampp

Battle Honours

Arctic 1942 — North Africa 1942

Archer (similar to US Long Island) Class Escort Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Returned to US Stricken
- 28 Nov 1939 27 Nov 1940 2 Mar 1942    
Builder: Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Chester, Pa.

Fate: Torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-155, west of Gibraltar, 15 November 1942. A single torpedo hit Avenger abreast the bomb room, which exploded, causing the carrier to break up and sink in under 5 minutes, with heavy loss of life.

(As converted, 1942)
Displacement: 8,200 tons standard; 15,700 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 465' x 69.5' x 26.33'  /  141.7 x 21.2 x 8 meters
Dimensions (max.): 492' x 102'  /  150 x 31.1 meters
Armor: None
Power plant: 2 Doxford diesels (6-cylinder); 1 shaft; 8,500 bhp
Speed: 16 knots
Endurance: 14,550 nautical miles @ 10 knots
Armament: 3 single 4"/50 gun mounts; 4(?) twin and 7(?) single 20-mm/70-cal gun mounts
Aircraft: 15
Aviation facilities: 1 elevator; 1 hydraulic catapult (H 2); 9 arresting wires and 3 barriers
Crew: 555

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"FIRST TASTE OF SALT FOR NEW SHIP—Chester, Pa.—The Rio Hudson, $5,000,000 17,500-ton motor ship built for the American Republics Line, gets its first taste of salt water as it slides down the ways after christening ceremonies. The ship will operate in the South American trade after her completion next spring."

"CREDIT LINE (ACME) 11/27/40 (JC)

Tommy Trampp

The future HMS Avenger (D14) seen as SS Rio Hudson at SunShip Chester, PA, in 1941. Photos from the LIFE magazine collection, photographer Dmitri Kessel (for educational and non-commercial use only).

John Chiquoine
53k Rio Hudson, Rio Parana and Rio de la Plata just prior to conversion. Hazegray & Underway
BAVG-2 Avenger

The future USS Long Island (CVE-1) seen as SS Mormacmail (the nearest vessel), and the future HMS Avenger (D14, BAVG-2) in the distance, at SunShip Chester, PA, in 1941. Photos from the LIFE magazine collection, photographer Dmitri Kessel (for educational and non-commercial use only).

John Chiquoine
AVG-1 Long Island
BAVG-2 Avenger

USS Bailey (DD-492), Bethlehem Steel Co., Inc., Shipbuilding Div., Staten Island Yard, Hull 8024, Bow view, 6 January 1942.

BAVG-2, the future HMS Avenger, under conversion, can be seen in the background.

John Chiquoine

HMS Avenger underway before she was handed over to the Royal Navy[, 1942]. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Photo and text from British Carrier Aviation: The Evolution of the Ships and their Aircraft, by Norman Friedman.

Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger
30k Good view of the port side, the enclosed area is the hangar. Hazegray & Underway
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger
61k HMS Avenger underway, date and place unknown. Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

HMS Avenger (ex-mercantile Rio Hudson) underway in rough seas, date and location unknown. Note the unusual camouflage scheme on her flight deck. Six Sea Hurricane IIC fighters are lined-up on the centre line. Imperial War Museum photo #FL1268, from "Naval Camouflage 1914–1945, A Complete Visual Reference," by David Williams.

Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

Undated pic of RN ratings taking a meal aboard HMS Avenger. The photo clearly shows the cafeteria messing, marking the change from the old practice of eating and sleeping in the same quarters. Photo Imperial War Museum No: A10960.

Photo and text from The Fleet Air Arm Handbook, by David Wragg.

Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

A Fleet Air Arm Hawker Hurricane Mk.IB of No.802 Squadron takes off from the flight deck of the escort carrier HMS Avenger (D14), location unknown. Imperial War Museum photo # A10978.

Photo from The Fleet Air Arm Handbook, by David Wragg.

Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

Admiral Sir John Tovey, Commander-in-Chief of the British Home Fleet, visits the escort carrier HMS Avenger (D14) and inspects the ship's company, date and location unknown. Imperial War Museum photo # A10963.

Photo from The Fleet Air Arm Handbook, by David Wragg.

Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

Two Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC fighters (each with one cannon removed from either wing) on outriggers to enable sufficient clearance for a radar and rocket equipped Fairey Swordfish Mk.III to pass along the flight deck of the escort carrier HMS Avenger. Courtesy Tony O'Toole collection.

From Hawker Hurricane and Sea Hurricane, by Tony O'Toole with Neil Robinson and Martin Derry.

Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

A picture taken inside the hangar of the Royal Navy escort carrier HMS Avenger (D14), showing the lift bringing down a Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk. IB of No. 802 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm from the deck. Several mechanics are standing on the lift and in the hangar to move the aircraft into position, circa 1942. Photo taken by Lt. C.H. Parnall, Royal Navy, official photographer. Photo id. A10982, from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.

Robert Hurst
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

USS Cherokee (AT-66) underway off Norfolk Navy Yard, 13 March 1942. The escort carrier in the left background is probably HMS Avenger (BAVG-2), which was delivered without an island.

US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-29463, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.

Mike Green
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger
57k As seen from HMS Victorious (R38), HMS Biter (D97)—near ship—and HMS Avenger (D14) are underway and battling heavy weather in the North Sea, August 1942. Note that Biter has been configured with an island structure, while Avenger has the configuration as completed.

Source: Imperial War Museums (IWM) Admiralty Official Collection, by Priest, L.C. (Lt), Photo © IWM, No. A 15956.

IWM via Mike Green
HMS Biter

The Royal Navy escort carriers HMS Biter (D97) and HMS Avenger (D14) underway in line astern from the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (R38), September 1942. Two Supermarine Seafires of 884 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, can be seen at the far end of the flight deck of Victorious.

Source: Imperial War Museums, Admiralty Official Collection by Priest, L.C. (Lt), Photo © IWM (# A 15957).

Mike Green
BAVG-2 HMS Avenger

Billowing smoke marks the end of the ammunition ship SS Mary Luckenbach, seen from the deck of the escort carrier HMS Avenger (D14), during Convoy PQ-18 to Russia, 13 September 1942. The ship was attacked by several German aircraft, and was hit by an aerial torpedo. The impact of the torpedo struck the ship's cargo of 1,000 tons of TNT. The explosion was so violent the ship was basically vaporized along with the entire crew. The last known location of the ship was 75 degrees north, 10 degrees east. S.W. Roskill, British Newsreel Pictures. Photo id. 12017 from the collections of the Imperial War Museum.

Robert Hurst

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

BAVG-2  /  HMS Avenger (D14) is not listed in DANFS

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Not applicable to this ship

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Last update: 27 May 2018