Archer class Escort Carrier
This page written by Bruce T. Swain
Name Builder Conversion Commisioned
Archer Newport News Shipbuilding / Sun Shipbuilding June-November 1941 Early 1942

The first escort carrier, Audacity, was used as a model for the American prototype conversion, USS Long Island, completed in 1941. However, this American mercantile conversion was far superior to the British original.
A sister ship to Long Island, Mormacland, was transferred to the Royal Navy under Lend-Lease and renamed Archer. To meet the Admiralty’s order for 5 such vessels, the American authorities assigned four more mercantile hulls for conversion; these became the "Avenger" Class.
Archer was slightly different from the later ships in having four - instead of two - diesel engines, driving a single shaft. This arrangement was not entirely satisfactory and machinery problems led to her early retirement.

Dimensions Net displacement 9,000 tons Length 492’
Gross displacement 12,860 tons Beam 69’6"
Load 3,680 tons Draught 22’


Flight Deck Details
Flight Deck Length 480’ Upper Hangar Length - Lifts 1
Flight Deck Width 70’ Lower Hangar Length N/A Catapults -


Performance & Propulsion
Range - Speed 16.5 knots
Propulsion 4 x diesels driving 1 shaft @ 8500 bhp


Armament, Aircraft & Complement
Complement 555 Officers & Ratings including Air Group
  • Gun
    • 3 x 1 x 4"L/50 AA
    • 4 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
    • 7 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 16 planes
    • Swordfish T.B's
    • Martlet (F4F) Fighters


Service History
  • Archer Atlantic convoy escort Feb.-Nov. 1942
  • ferried 30 P-40 Warhawks from USA to Casablanca Nov. 1942
  • Atlantic convoy escort Dec. 1942-Oct. 1943
  • aircraft sank U.752 23 May 1943
  • laid up as stores ship Oct. 1943
  • returned to USA 9 Jan. 1946 and sold into mercantile service.
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