HMS Pursuer (D73)

HMS Pursuer (D73)

The USS St. George (CVE-17) (originally AVG-17 then ACV-17) was laid down on 31 July 1941 as a C3-S-A2 by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Hull 296 of Pascagoula, Mississippi, under Maritime Commission contract as the (second) SS Mormacland for Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. (MC Hull 163). She was renamed St. George (AVG-17) by the United States Navy on 7 January 1942; and assigned to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease as HMS Pursuer (D73) on 24 February 1942.

Launched on 18 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Mary Ann S. Bartman; reclassified ACV-17 on 20 August 1942; acquired by the Navy and simultaneously transferred to Britain on 14 June 1943. She was reclassified CVE-17 on 15 July 1943.

Pursuer served in the Home Fleet during World War II, primarily on convoy escort duty. On 3 April 1944, however, she provided fighter support for an air strike on the German battleship Tirpitz in Altenfjord, Norway, which disabled the German ship for three months. On 26 April 1944 Grumman Wildcats of No. 882 Naval Air Squadron took part in the successful attack on a German convoy off Bodo, northern Norway. The convoy consisted of four medium sized supply vessels and five escort craft. All four supply vessels and one of the escorting craft were hit with bombs and three of the supply ships were left on fire, the largest having run aground. While this attack was in progress other naval aircraft penetrated into Bodo Harbour, where one large supply ship was hit by bombs and set on fire amidships.

In August and September 1944, she served with a British carrier group providing air cover for the landings in southern France, and as an anti-submarine warfare vessel at the Battle of Normandy.

The carrier was returned to United States custody on 12 February 1946, struck from the Navy Register on 28 March 1946, and sold for scrapping on 14 May 1946 to the Patapsco Steel Scrap Co., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Read more about HMS Pursuer (D73):  Design and Description