HMS Ameer

HMS Ameer was a Ruler class escort carrier that served with the East Indies Fleet from the summer of 1944 until the end of the war, taking part in most major operations during 1945.

1944

HMS Ameer arrived in the Far East in July/ August 1944, along with Begum and Shah, and joined the East Indies Fleet. A period of trade protection duties followed, and lasted for the rest of the year.

1945

At the start of January 1945 the Ameer picked up No.804 Squadron from South Africa.

At the start of 1945 the Ameer took part in Operation Matador, the invasion of Ramree Island, and Operation Sankey, the invasion of Cheduba Island. Matador took place on 16-17 January, and saw aircraft from Ameer fight off an attack by eighteen Japanese aircraft. The carrier provided a CAP for HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Phoebe during their bombardment of Ramree, and strafing and dive bomb attacks during Sankey (26 January).

On 22 February 1944 Ameer and Empress sailed as the start of Operation Stacey, a photographic reconnaissance mission over the Kra Peninsula, Penang and the north of Sumatra. Seven awards were won by men serving on the two carriers before the fleet returned to port on 4 March.

No.896 Squadron with its Hellcat FB.IIs joined the Ameer from Wingfield, South Africa, on 24 April 1945, and the carrier then returned to Ceylon.

Ameer, Khedive and Stalker took part in Operation Balsam, which involved photographic reconnaissance of airfields in southern Malaya on 16-20 June, followed by an attack on Medan and Bindjai airfields and Somawe Bay in north-east Sumatra on 20 June. Ameer provided No.804 Squadron. One aircraft was lost in the attack.

From 5-11 July Ameer and Emperor provided fighter cover for a minesweeping operation off Car Nicobar (Operation Collie). During this period aircraft from the carriers made attack on nearby targets, including Nancowry (Nicobar Islands) on 7 July and Kotaraja (Northern Sumatra) and Ldonga on 11 July. Seven aircraft were lost during these attacks, but seven of the pilots were rescued.

On 17 July No.896 Squadron transferred to HMS Empress, before Ameer and Empress took part in Operation Livery, providing cover for minesweepers operating off Pkuket Island, as well as providing aircraft for attacks on the Isthmus of Kra. This operation saw the first kamikaze attacks in the Andaman Sea, on 26 July, one of which caused some damage to the Ameer. The cruiser HMS Sussex was damaged and the minesweeper Vestal sunk.

On 10 August a fleet including the escort carriers Ameer, Emperor, Empress, Khedive and Shah left Trincomalee to attack airfields and shipping in the Penang and Medan areas. The Japanese surrender came before the attack was carried out, and the fleet returned to harbour on 15 August.

The Ameer was returned to US Navy control on 17 January 1946 and sold as a merchantman.

Squadrons

No.804 NAS

No.804 Squadron reformed at Wingfield (South Africa) in September 1944 with Hellcats. It embarked on the Ameer in January 1945 and provided air cover for the landings on Ramree Island, Operations Balsam and Livery, but not for Operation Collie.

No.845 NAS

No.844 Squadron embarked with its Avenger Is in July 1944. Wildcats were added in August and the squadron disembarked in October 1944.

No.888 NAS

No.888 Squadron was a photo-reconnaissance squadron equipped with PR Hellcats. During 1945 it served on at least five carriers, including the Ameer.

No.896 NAS

No.896 Squadron embarked with the Hellcat FB.II on 24 April 1945. The squadron took part in the July 1945 attack on the Nicobar Islands, before transferring to the Empress on 17 July.

No.1700 NAS

No.1700 Squadron was formed as an amphibian bomber-reconnaissance equipped with the Walrus and Sea Otter. It travelled to the Far East on Khedive between 8 January and 8 February 1945 and then dispersed onto Stalker, Hunter, Emperor, Ameer, Attacker, Shah and Khedive, performing mine-sweeping and search and rescue duties. It returned to shore bases at the end of the war.

Displacement (loaded)

11,400t standard
15,390t deep load

Top Speed

18kts

Range

27,500 miles at 11 knots

Length

495ft 3in-496ft 8in oa

Armaments

18-24 aircraft
Two 5in/38 US Mk 12 in two single mountings
Sixteen 40mm Bofors guns in eight double mountings
Twenty seven to thirty five 20mm cannon

Crew complement

646

Launched

18 October 1942

Completed

20 July 1943

To USA

1946

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 July 2010), HMS Ameer , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Ameer.html

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