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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS GLACIER (CVE-33)  /  HMS ATHELING



Contributed by Tommy Trampp


Battle Honours

Burma 1945 — Malaya 1945
CLASS - BOGUE
Displacement 7,800 Tons, Dimensions, 495' 8" (oa) x 69' 6" x 26' (Max)
Armament 2 x 5"/51 4 x 40mm, 10 x 20mm, 28 Aircraft.
Machinery, 8,500 SHP; Allis-Chambers, Geared Turbines, 1 screw
Speed, 17.5 Knots, Crew 890.

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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Name
Glacier Bay
NS0303318
125k

AVG-33 (later AVC-33 and CVE-33) was initally named Glacier, for Glacier Bay, a estuary in Alaska, 18 miles west of Juneau (NS0303318).

She was one of a large group of escort carriers transferred to Great Britain under Lend-Lease. Glacier was transferred 31 July 1943 at Vancouver, B.C. and became HMS Atheling. "Atheling" is an Anglo-Saxon prince or nobleman, and especially the heir apparent or a prince of the royal family. The crown in the Coat of Arms reflects the royal connection, while the sword and spear represent the struggle against Danish invaders.

(Map courtesy of Google Maps. Ship's badge courtesy of Tommy Trampp.)

NavSource
Atheling
NS0303311
5k
HMS Atheling
CVE-33 /HMS Atheling
NS0303301
80k Starboard side, moored. IWM
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303308
118k

Undated pic of the RN officer's wardroom aboard HMS Atheling. The presence of ladies shows that the ship is in port. Photo via the late Mrs M.J. Schupke.

Photo and text from The Fleet Air Arm Handbook, 1939–1945, by David Wragg.

Robert Hurst
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303310
179k

Undated pic showing Corsair and Hellcat fighters stowed away in the cramped hangar deck of the escort carrier HMS Atheling. The photo was taken during anti-shipping operations off the Norwegian Coast, prior to the formation of the British Pacific Fleet. Fleet Air Arm Museum.

Photo and text from The British Aircraft Carrier, by Paul Beaver.

Robert Hurst
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303309
71k

Undated pic of HMS Atheling (D51) underway, leaving an unidentified UK port while enroute to join the BPF (British Pacific Fleet) as a fleet train carrier and spare flight deck. Photo courtesy BBA Collection.

Photo and text from Supermarine Seafire by Kev Darling.

Robert Hurst
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303315
37k

HMS Atheling (D51), ex-USS Glacier (CVE-33), date and location unknown.

Gerhard Mueller-Debus
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303317
45k

HMS Atheling (D51), ex-USS Glacier (CVE-33), date and location unknown.

Gerhard Mueller-Debus
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303318
75k

HMS Atheling (D51), ex-USS Glacier (CVE-33), with tugboat Eagle, date and location unknown.

Gerhard Mueller-Debus
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303312
322k

HMS Atheling (D51), ex-USS Glacier (CVE-33), photographed by a ZP-12 blimp, on 22 December 1943. She has a deck load of U.S. Navy aircraft types in British markings, including: 10 Harvard trainers (SNJ), 18 Tarpon torpedo-bombers (TBM Avenger), and 7 Hellcat fighters (F6F).

National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-450245.

Mike Green
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303305
137k

HMS Atheling (D51) at anchor off Greenock, Scotland, 22 February 1944. Photo by Lieutenant S.J. Beadell, Royal Navy official photographer. Imperial War Museums Photo No: A 21918.

Robert Hurst
Larger copy submitted by Mike Green
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303305a
49k

HMS Atheling (D51) at anchor off Greenock, Scotland, 22 February 1944. Photo by Lieutenant S.J. Beadell, Royal Navy official photographer. Imperial War Museums Photo, No: A 21919.

Mike Green
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303313
72k

HMS Atheling (D51), ex-Glacier (CVE-33), departing Malta (early 1944?).

Gerhard Mueller-Debus
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303316
65k

HMS Atheling (D51), ex-Glacier (CVE-33), departing Malta (early 1944, as above?).

Gerhard Mueller-Debus
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303306
98k

HMS Atheling (D51), ex-Glacier (CVE-33), as a Supermarine Seafire F.Mk.111 of No. 889 Squadron is being lifted by winch up to the carrier's flight deck. Another Seafire F.Mk.111 awaits its turn on the lighter alongside. RNAS Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 13 May 1944. Photo Rick Harding Collection.

Photo and partial text from Supermarine Seafire by Kev Darling. Partial text courtesy of Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers.

Robert Hurst
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303306a
100k

The same Seafire F.Mk.111 of No. 889 Squadron as in picture NS0303306, above, being lowered on to Atheling's flight deck. RNAS Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 13 May 1944. Photo Rick Harding Collection.

Photo and partial text from Supermarine Seafire by Kev Darling. Partial text courtesy of Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers.

Robert Hurst
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303303
75k HMS Atheling at anchor. Colombo, May 1944. Courtesy of Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303304
23k

Wildcat JV508 of 890 Squadron goes into the barrier, 15 May 1944, while HMS Atheling worked up as a fighter carrier with the East Indies Fleet.

Photo from the collection of the late John Vallely, Sub Lt. (A) RNVR.

(Thans to Oliver Prout, grandson of a pilot in 890 Squadron, who provided additional information.)

(Digitally cleaned by Tom Kermen.)

Courtesy of Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303314
137k

Port side view of HMS Atheling (D51) underway on 30 December 1944. The ship is loaded, being used as an aircraft ferry. Hellcats (F6F), Corsairs (F4U), and light observation aircraft are visible, along with equipment and supplies.

Australian War Memorial photo # 302308.

Mike Green
CVE-33 /HMS Atheling
NS0303302
84k

HMS Atheling, 1945. Note side-wheel paddle harbor tug alongside. Photo credit P.A. Vicary.

Robert Hurst
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303307
80k

"[Tuesday,] December 18, 1945: Lend-Lease comes to Melbourne, in the winsome form of the escort carrier HMS Atheling."

Photo by Allan C. Green (1878–1954).

Kim Dunstan
CVE-33 Glacier/HMS Atheling
NS0303307a
54k

Port bow view of HMS Atheling (D51) on 18 December 1945 at Melbourne, Australia. The ship was modified in January 1944 to operate fighter aircraft, but was mainly used as an aircraft ferry transport in the Far East for both the British and U.S. Fleets.

Source: State Library of Victoria, Photo No. H91.108.2080.

Mike Green
Commercial Service
Roma (1)
NS0303320
279k

Ex-HMS Atheling (D51), formerly USS Glacier (CVE-33), was bought by Italian shipping tycoon Achille Lauro in 1949, converted to a passenger vessel in Italy, in 1951, and renamed Roma.

She started, along with her sister Sydney—ex-HMS Fencer (D64), formerly USS Croatan (CVE-14)—as a passenger vessel on the Mediterranean-Australia route, but was transferred to the North Atlantic beat (Mediterranean-USA) in 1953. After a major refit, the ship was transferred again to the Mediterranean-Australia route in 1956. She was laid up in La Spezia, Italy, in 1967 and scrapped in Vado, Italy, starting December 1967.

Location and exact dates of photos are not known. Color photo may have been taken in Australia.

It is worth noting that Sydney was renamed Roma after her sister by that name was withdrawn from service. Both vessels just differed in details and this is a source of many confusions.

Gerhard Mueller‑Debus
Roma (1)
NS0303320a
80k
Roma (1)
NS0303320b
243k

Read the USS GLACIER (CVE-33) / HMS ATHELING (D51) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Not Applicable To This Ship
Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages, by Andrew Toppan.
HMS Atheling, at the Royal Navy Escort Carriers site, by Tony Drury.
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Last update: 24 April 2019