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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive


Contributed by Tommy Trampp

Battle Honours

Atlantic 1944
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.
Fate: 1948: Converted to a cargo ship by Gulf SB Co., Mobile, AL, and renamed South Africa Star (British flag). June 1967: Scrapped at Mihara, Japan.

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Winjah Bay

ACV-54 was assigned the name Winjah (an alternative spelling to Winyah), for a bay off the coast of South Carolina which serves as the estuary of the Pee Dee, Black, and Waccamaw Rivers and is located slightly above Georgetown, S.C. (NS0311016, map courtesy of Google Maps.)

Transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease, she served in the Royal Navy with the name Reaper. A Reaper is a person or machine that harvests a crop (ship's blazon courtesy of Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers.)

HMS Reaper (D82 / R324)
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper. Date and place unknown.

Haze Gray & Underway
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper (D82) ferrying aircraft, date and location unknown. Photograph received on 14 October 1944, now in the collections of the National Archives (#80-G-285271).

The original caption misidentified the ship as USS Saginaw Bay (CVE-82), in all probability because of her hull number. C. Haberlein correctly identified her as HMS Reaper in October 1967.

Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper (D82) underway off Hampton Roads, VA., with a deck load of Corsairs for delivery to the Fleet Air Arm. Note that the pennant superior letter has been dropped and the US-style number only has been adopted. Photo from unknown source.

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

Robert Hurst
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper (D82), ex-Winjah, underway on 9 July 1944. Photographed by a unit of ZP-24.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-239227.

Mike Green
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper (D82), ex-Winjah (CVE-54), moored at Greenock, Scotland, 21 September 1944. Photo by Royal Navy official photographer Lieutenant R.G.G. Coote. Imperial War Museum. Photo no. A 25715.

Robert Hurst
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper [?]

This photo was taken from USS Brough (DE-148). Although it has not been possible to positively identify the CVE alongside, her camouflage scheme and Brough's operational history suggest that she might be HMS Reaper, in the Atlantic Ocean, en route to San Diego via Panama, January 14, 1945.

(Thanks to Neil White; Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers; and John Adriani, USS Brough historian, for their help in researching this photo.)

Photo from the Judson Goodrich Collection.

Submitted by John N. Adriani Sr.

Reference: USS Brough DE-148 History Booklet.
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper (D82) photographed at Malta in March 1946, when she was on her way back to the UK to pay off, prior to being returned to the U.S. Navy.

John Spivey
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper paying off, May 1946.

Courtesy of Tony Drury, Royal Navy Escort Carriers
Winjah (CVE-54)/HMS Reaper

HMS Reaper bell, 1944, cast iron, brass hardware 7lb.

Tommy Trampp
Commercial Service
South Africa Star

Ex-Winjah (CVE-54), ex-HMS Reaper, as South Africa Star, date and location unknown.

Ex-Winjah was purchased in 1948 by Blue Star Line Ltd. and converted to a cargo liner by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Mobile, Alabama. In 1967 she was sold to Nichimen Jitsugyo K.K., Japan, for scrapping.

Photo by Alex Duncan. Submitted by Gerhard Mueller-Debus

© Ships in Focus. Used with permission.
South Africa Star

Two photos of the Blue Star Line cargo ship South Africa Star, formerly the Royal Navy escort carrier HMS Reaper (D82/R324). Date and location unknown.

Both items held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

NS0305413: File StateLibQld 1 168955.

NS0305413a: File StateLibQld 1 169799.

Via Robert Hurst
South Africa Star
South Africa Star

Ex-Winjah (CVE-54), ex-HMS Reaper, as South Africa Star, date and location unknown.

Note that South Africa Star had just been equipped with new heavy lift equipment midships, but it did not prevent the owners from sending her to the scrapyard only two years later.

©World Ship Society Photo Library,
via Gerhard Mueller-Debus
South Africa Star

Ex-Winjah (CVE-54), ex-HMS Reaper, as South Africa Star, date and location unknown.

via Gerhard Mueller-Debus
South Africa Star

Ex-Winjah (CVE-54), ex-HMS Reaper, as South Africa Star (British flag), leaving Bremen, Germany, July 1965.

Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus

Read the Winjah (CVE-54) / HMS Reaper (D82/R324) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Not Applicable To This Ship
Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages by Andrew Toppan
Royal Navy Escort Carriers by Tony Drury

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Escort Carrier
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Last update: 1 March 2024