Early days and working up


 

  April 9th 1943 - HMS Ravager on her builders trials in the Willamette River, Oregon . Representatives from the Commercial Iron Works and the ship's company are on the flight deck.

 

 

Starboard side view of Ravager as completed

 

 

  One of four  Avenger aircraft of 846 Naval Air Squadron which ditched off the bows of HMS Ravager in Chesapeake Bay during the flying work up period carried out in  the first two weeks of July 1943

 

 


Ship's Company


 

  Captain A. A. Murray RN? commanding officer HMS Ravager  and Commander ?? RNR

 

 

  Members of the radio and radar departments

 

 

  Junior rates of the radio and radar departments; Able Seaman Gordon Christie is seated  second from right 

 

 

  Church service in the hanger

 

 

  A Tug-of War competition held on the flight deck

 

 

V-E Day celebrations

 

 


At sea


 

The following four images show RAVAGER battling through heavy seas

 

  A frightening view in bad weather
  A frightening view in bad weather
  The bow ploughs into the oncoming wave

  Another view looking towards the bow as the ship struggles through a heavy wave

 

 


 

 

The following four images show RAVAGEr at sea without aircraft, probably on post refit  trials off the Scottish coast.The date is not certain but it is possibly Dec 1944 onwards as she has lost her original paint scheme last pictured in Nov 1944 her pennant number 70 is faintly visible

 

 

 

 

 


Deck Landing Training


 

HMS Ravagers primary role was to operate as a Deck Landing Training carrier, providing a deck for a variety of training squadrons off the Scottish coast. Training included visits from individual aircraft and short detachments for more intensive training periods. Aircraft types operated included Avenger, Barracuda, Corsair, Firefly, Fulmar, Hellcat, Sea Hurricane, Seafire, Spitfire, Swordfish and Wildcat.

 

 

 

 

 

A mix of hooked Spitfire Vbs and Seafire LIIIs ranged on Ravager's flight deck as flying operations get under way. The first to launch is already nearly half way down the deck with a second running up its engine on the aft end.

 

 

The air department flight deck personnel: In front are the DLCO (Deck Landing Control Officer) known as 'Bata' and his team, behind them are the aircraft movements party, from the far left these are flight deck tractor, aircraft starter trolley, centre handlers and their chocks, far right manual aircraft starring arms for manhandling aircraft on the deck, and the crash and fire crew with their extinguishers and asbestos suits.

 

 

Deck Landing Sequence

The four images below show a Hellcat coming in to land on Ravager, the DLCO is signalling the pilot from behind the screen near the aft of the flight deck. He uses his bats or paddles to signal (you can see his arm sticking out in the first two shots) and only emerges once the aircraft is about to touch down, Notice how the aircraft drifts to starboard as it nears the deck after passing over the round-down and then corrects itself before touch down.

 

 

 

This Seafire may just make it as he sails over most of the eight arrestor wires

 

Although this pilot caught an arrestor wire cable has snapped and the aircraft has lurched to starboard and will eventually end up in the barriers.

 

A firefly 'pecks' the deck - over doing the brakes results in the nose pitching down and the propeller striking the deck.

 

 

More pictures...


 

Image marked ‡ are from the private collection of Mrs Rona Holmes, Rona's father 

JX/62602H Able Seaman Gordon Christie served aboard HMS Ravager from December 1943 till January 1946

 

Image marked ῼ are from the private collection of Mr. RJB Kenna; Ray's late father Lt(E) CJ Kenna RNR served as an Engineer on H.M.S. Ravager he also served on H.M. Ships 'Thane' and 'Tracker'.

 

Unless stated otherwise all other images are from the Royal Navy Research Archive collection

 

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