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Great Britain's Flag

Great Britain's Unicorn light aircraft carrier

Photos

HMS Unicorn at Greenock on June 24, 1943:
HMS Unicorn at Greenock on June 24, 1943
©IWM, A-17522
HMS Unicorn at Greenock on June 24, 1943:
HMS Unicorn at Greenock on June 24, 1943
©IWM, A-17524
HMS Unicorn:
Unicorn
©IWM, FL-6449

Design

The HMS Unicorn was to be built as a aircraft maintenance ship, but by the time she was finished she could also be used as a light carrier.

Elevators

The forward elevator was 46' x 33' and the aft 46' x 24'. Both were offset to starboard and each could lift 20,000 lbs.

Flight Deck

The was a catapult in the flight deck. It could launch a 14,000 lb aircraft at 66 knots.

Hangars

There were two hangars, they were both about 300' long and 16' 6" high. There were cranes that could lift float planes into the stern.

Engines

To maximize workshop space there were two boiler rooms and two engine rooms.

Ships

HMS Unicorn

  • Manufacturer: Harland & Wolff
  • June 29, 1939: Laid down.
  • November 20, 1941: Launched.
  • March 12, 1943: Completed.
  • September 1943: Salerno.
  • 1943 - 1945: Convoy escort in Atlantic.
  • April 1945: Okinawa.

 

Specifications

  Unicorn
Crew 1,094, 1,200
Displacement 14,750 tons, 16,530 tons
Displacement - Loaded 20,300 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 646'
196.9 m
Length - Water Line 575'
175.26 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 564'
171.9 m, 171.91 m
Beam 90'
27.43 m
Draft / Height 20' 6"
6.25 m
Draft / Height - Maximum 24'
7.32 m
Flight Deck 610' x 80', 646' x 80'
185.93 m x 24.38 m
Performance  
Speed 24 knots
Range at 13.5 knots 11,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 4", 4" L/45 QF Mk XVI HA twin mounts: 4, 8
2 pdr pompom quad mounts, 2 pdr quad mounts: 4
20 mm, 20 mm Oerlikons: 13, 16
Aircraft 35, 36
Armor  
Deck - Armored 2"
Deck - Flight 2"
Magazines 2" - 3"
Engines  
Boilers Admiralty 3 drum: 4
Shafts 2
Turbines Parsons geared
HP 40,000
Oil 3,000 tons, 3,157 tons

Sources:

  1. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site