Motto: None


Pennant Number:

D19 - R320


Battle Honours:

Atlantic 1944-45

Norway 1944-45




Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co.
Tacoma, Washington


15,390 tons

length (Overall):

 494ft 9in


 69 ft 6 in


 18 knots

Crew Complement:


A/C Capacity:


Commanding Officers:

Capt. K.J. D'Arcy RN Dec 1943 - Feb 1946


Capt. C.W. Byas RN Feb 1946 - Oct 1946



Dec 44-May 45


855 (Ferry)

May 44

Avenger II







A History of HMS QUEEN


HMS QUEEN in her trooping role, January 3rd 1946. Sydney, Australia. Photo: David Weaver

Laid down 12 March 1943, by the Seattle-Tacoma shipbuilding Co. Tacoma, Washington as a C3-S-A1 type freighter, Maritime Commission hull number 260, Seattle-Tacoma hull number 44; purchased by the US navy to be the USS ST. ANDREWS ACV-49 (changed to CVE -49, July 15th, 1943). She was launched 31 July by her sponsor Mrs. Robert W. Morse. Whilst still under construction it had been decided that CVE 49 was to be transferred to the Admiralty on loan on her completion as an aircraft carrier.


Upon her completion she was delivered to the US Navy as USS St. Andrews December 7th 1943, and was transferred to the Royal Navy on that date,  commissioned into RN service as HMS QUEEN (D19) , Captain K.J. D'Arcy RN in command.


After completing sea trials Queen sailed for Vancouver, British Colombia, entering Burrard Drydock at Vancouver  to begin modification to bring equipment to RN standards and to  outfit her as a strike/CAP carrier.  On completion she sailed for the Panama Canal, stopping over in  Miami for two weeks before sailing on to Norfolk, Virginia.  On May 6th 1944 she  embarked the 12 Avenger II aircraft of 855  squadron  for passage from Norfolk to the UK.  The squadron was disembarked to RAF Hawkinge on May 31st. HMS Queen served as an escort for Russia convoys late in the war; took part in strike on German shipping in Norway 5/1945. Also operated as a transport carrier.


HMS Queen was assigned pennant number R320 circa 1945 for service in the Pacific, but operated with the British East Indies Fleet. She was later employed as one of six CVEs specially converted to the troop ship role post-war, ferrying ex-POWs from Europe to Australia and Hong Kong.


Her first trooping run was a round trip passage UK to Fremantle and Sydney with a ship full of New Zealanders and a small contingent of men form the Royal Australian navy. She broke down shortly after leaving Colombo on the 16th December 1945 and had to struggle back into port for repairs; she left again for Fremantle the following day.



HMS Queen loading Barracuda fuselages in Colombo Harbour January 1946; HMS Patroller is moored behind her. The aircraft are for dumping at sea.

HMS QUEEN loading Barracuda fuselages in Colombo Harbour January 1946; HMS PATROLLER is moored behind her. The aircraft are for dumping at sea. Photo: From the collection of Leslie Howlett



On the return leg to the UK she arrived at Colombo (from Fremantle) on the 25th January 1946 to be loaded with boxed torpedoes, unwanted aircraft, aircraft engines and other spares for ditching at sea of the Ceylonese coast. After completing her disposal activities and a turn around in the UK 'Queen' repeated the voyage to Australia, arriving in Colombo on the 26th March 1946, sailing on 1st April, she again took part in the ditching of aircraft at sea on the return leg.


Returned to US Navy at Norfolk. Virginia and HMS 'Queen' was decommissioned by the Royal Navy on 31 October 1946. She was stricken for disposal on 22 Jan 1947, and Sold to the N.V. Stoomv, Maats, Nederland Co., Amsterdam, Netherlands for merchant service as 'Roebiah' on 29 July 1947. purchased in 1967 by the Philippine Presidents Line Inc and renamed 'President Marcos'. Later renamed 'Lucky One' in 1972 for delivery voyage to ship breakers. Scrapped in Taiwan in 1972.


A fuller account of this ships history will be added at some time in the future.



Content revised: July 2008

Sources used in compiling this account:

Brown, D. (1974) 'Carrier Operations in World War 2 - vol 1 the Royal Navy' Shepperton, Ian Allen Ltd.

Hobbs, D. (2003) 'Royal Navy Escort Carriers' Liskeard, Maritime Books

Poolman, K. (1988) 'Allied Escort Carriers of World War Two in Action' London, Blandford Press

Sturtivant, R. & Burrows, M. (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain (Historians)

Sturtivant, R & Balance, T., (1994) 'Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain (Historians)

Weaver, D. (2004) 'The History of HMS Queen - A World War II Lend Lease Escort Aircraft Carrier' Hong Kong, D.G. Weaver.

Winton, J. (1969) 'The forgotten Fleet', London, Michael Joseph Ltd.

British officers (including Commonwealth officers serving in British units) Part of WWII Unit Histories and Officers web site.

Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, 1922-present A comprehensive resource listing service details of men and women killed in RN and RM service.

Convoy Web A comprehensive resource listing WW2 convoys and ships .

War Sailors Ships in Atlantic and miscellaneous convoys during WW2.


On-line archive various documents including;

Admiralty War Diaries

US Naval Station, Seattle, Washington

US Naval Station,  Manchester, Washington

Puget Sound  Navy Yard War Diaries

US Thirteenth Naval District War Diaries

Norfolk Navy Yard War Diaries

Mew York Navy Yard War Diaries

Miscellaneous documents



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