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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

(later CVE-15)

Contributed by Tommy Trampp

Battle Honours

Atlantic 1943-1944 — Salerno 1943 — South France 1944 — Aegean 1944 — Burma 1945

Attacker (US Bogue) Class Escort Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Returned to US Stricken
- 6 Oct 1941 5 Mar 1942 21 Dec 1942 29 Dec 1945 20 Mar 1946
Builder: Western Pipe & Steel Corporation, San Francisco, Calif.

(As converted, 1942)
Displacement: 7,800 tons standard; 14,170 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 465' x 69.5' x 24' 8"  /  141.7 x 21.2 x 7.5 meters
Dimensions (max.): 495' 8" x 111.5'  /  151.1 x 34 meters
Armor: None
Power plant: 2 boilers (285 psi); 1 steam turbine; 1 shaft; 8,500 shp
Speed: 18+ knots
Endurance: 27,300 nautical miles @ 11 knots
Armament: 2 single 4"/50 gun mounts; 4 twin 40-mm/56-cal gun mounts; 8 twin and 10 single 20-mm/70-cal gun mounts
Aircraft: 12+
Aviation facilities: 2 elevators; 1 hydraulic catapult (H 2); 9 arresting wires and 3 barriers
Crew: 646

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Hamlin Sound

AVG-15 was assigned the name Hamlin, for a sound on the coast of North Carolina, northeast of Charleston (NS0301510, map courtesy of Google Maps).

Transferred to the United Kingdom, 21 December 1942, she was renamed HMS Stalker. A "Stalker" is someone who pursues quarry or prey stealthily, making a silent approach. The ship's badge, as with other ships in the Attacker class, has the figure of a Native American warrior, renowned for possessing skills that reflect the ship's name. (Image courtesy of Tommy Trampp.)

Hamlin  /  HMS Stalker (D91)
AVG-15 / HMS Stalker

Hamlin was built by Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Francisco, launched (as AVG-15) on 5 March 1942 and sponsored by Mrs. William H. Shea.

"U.S.M.C. Hull No. 174 A.V.G. 15 / U.S.S. Hamlin - Launched March 5, 1942 / Western Pipe & Steel Co. Hull No. 65"

Tommy Trampp
AVG-15 / HMS Stalker
CVE-15 / HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker (D91) at anchor at Greenock, Scotland. Photo taken by Lt S. J. Beadell, Royal Navy official photographer. Photo # A 17688, Imperial War Museum.

Robert Hurst
CVE-15 / HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker underway off San Francisco, 15 January 1943.

Source: Imperial War Museums American Ministry of Defense Foxhill Collection of Ships Photographs, Photo No. © IWM(FL 19295).

Robert Hurst
Larger copy submitted by Mike Green
CVE-15 / HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker, ex-Hamlin (ACV-15), seen 135° off centerline off San Francisco, Calif., January 15, 1943.

Mare Island Naval Ship Yard Ship Files, U.S. National Archives, San Francisco (MINY photo #525-43).

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-15 / HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker, ex-Hamlin (ACV-15), seen 45° off centerline off San Francisco, Calif., 15 January 1943.

Mare Island Navy Yard photo (#527-43).

Robert Hurst
CVE-15 Hamlin/HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker (D91), ex-Hamlin (ACV-15), at anchor, 19 January 1943, probably off San Francisco, Calif. Division of Naval Intelligence, Identification and Characteristics Section, June 1943.

Courtesy of Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers
CVE-15 / HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker, apparently taken on the same occasion as the photo above.

CVE-15 / HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker (D91) raises steam while at anchor, March 1943. Ministry of Defence (Navy) photo, courtesy of Ray Burt.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers of the World, 1914 to the Present: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, by Roger Chesneau.

Robert Hurst
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker

Brit jeep carrier HMS Stalker is arriving at port piers in Casablanca, 18 March 1943. After building on the US West Coast, this was her first convoy East and was employed as an aircraft ferry. This view is as seen by Dmitri Kessel, LIFE magazine, who made the ocean convoy crossing in UGF6 on USS Nicholson (DD-442). Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.

John Chiquoine
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker

As seen from USS Nicholson (DD-442), an expanded view of HMS Stalker (D91) entering Casablanca Harbor in March 1943. As part of convoy UGF6, along with HMS Hunter (D80), the ships were ferrying aircraft from the United States. LIFE magazine Archives, J.R. Eyerman Photographer. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.

Mike Green
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker

Close up view of HMS Stalker (D91) entering Casablanca Harbor in March 1943. LIFE magazine Archives, J.R. Eyerman Photographer. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.

Mike Green
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker

"Two off-loading British jeep carriers are seen from USS Nicholson (DD-442) as she gets underway in the Casablanca harbor channel. HMS Hunter (D80) and HMS Stalker (D91) in convoy UGF6 had only arrived hours before on 18 March 1943. The jeeps headed out to Gibraltar the next morning, and Nicholson with photographer Kessel drew screening duty with the approaching convoy UGS6. Photo by Dmitri Kessel, LIFE magazine. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose."

John Chiquoine
CVE-15 / HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker (D91), ex-Hamlin (CVE-15), passes through the Suez Canal[, early 1945,] to join the British Pacific Fleet (BPF) with the Seafire F.Mk.IIIs of No.809 Squadron on deck. Note [that] what appears to be a North American Harvard can also be seen. In the background another escort carrier can be seen. Photo BBA Collection.

Photo and text from Supermarine Seafire by Kev Darling.

Robert Hurst
CVE-8 Block Island/HMS Hunter

The escort aircraft carrier HMS Hunter (D80, ex-USS Block Island, CVE-8), foreground prepares to anchor off Singapore[, September 1945]. The leading aircraft Seafire F.Mk.III (NN300), D-5O, is that of Lt. Cdr. Baldwin. Its camouflage paint has been removed and the aircraft now has silver finish with black SEAC [South East Asia Command] recognition bands and anti-dazzle panel. HMS Stalker (D91, ex-USS Hamlin, CVE-15) can be seen in the background. Photo FAAM Yeovilton.

Photo and text from Supermarine Seafire by Kev Darling.

Robert Hurst
Commercial Service
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker

Postcard. Merchantman Riouw, ex-HMS Stalker (D91), ex-U.S. Hamlin (CVE-15), steaming at full speed. Date and location unknown.

Tommy Trampp
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker / Riouw

The Dutch-flagged Riouw, ex-HMS Stalker, ex-Hamlin (CVE-15), circa the mid-1950s.

Gerhard Mueller‑Debus
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker

The Dutch-flagged Riouw, ex-HMS Stalker, in the Weser River, leaving Bremen, Germany, October 1965.

Photo by Gerhard Mueller‑Debus
CVE-15 Hamlin / HMS Stalker

Lobito (ex-Riouw, ex-HMS Stalker, ex-US Hamlin) shortly before being sent to the breakers.

Gerhard Mueller‑Debus

Read the Hamlin (ACV-15 / CVE-15)  /  HMS Stalker (D91) DANFS history entry

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Last update: 22 February 2021