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HMS Avenger, seen during the naval phase of Operation Torch, during stormy weather
Taken from Fleet Air Arm, HMSO, published 1943, p.121
HMS Avenger (D14) - Service History - Operation Torch
HMS Avenger, HMS Biter, and HMS Victorious left Scapa for Greenock on 16 October 1942. Avenger still had the two Sea Hurricane squadrons on board, with two new aircraft armed with 20 mm cannon. Avenger was tasked with providing air cover for one of the convoys carrying the British assault force for Operation Torch. Once off North Africa she would join the covering force for the landings, with HMS Argus, three cruisers, and five destroyers. On arrival on 8 November 1942, the Supermarine Seafires from Argus and the Avenger's Sea Hurricanes provided air cover for the landings. Between 8–10 November Avenger flew 60 fighter missions. On 9 November, she had a near miss by a torpedo from a HE 111, and from 10–12 November she was laid up with engine problems before sailing for Gibraltar. HMS Avenger was torpedoed and sunk with a heavy loss of life (516 perished) by U-155 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Adolf Piening on 15 November 1942, just west of Gibraltar. Struck by only one torpedo, she quickly sank. Only twelve members of her crew were rescued.
Famous quotes containing the words operation and/or torch :
&ldquo Human knowledge and human power meet in one for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule. &rdquo
&mdashFrancis Bacon (1560)
&ldquo The despots heel is on thy shore,
His torch is at thy temple door,
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle-queen of yore,
Maryland! my Maryland! &rdquo
&mdashJames Ryder Randall (1839)
HMS Avenger (D 14)
HMS Avenger was built in the USA at Sun Shipbuilding, Chester, Pennsylvania, and laid down as mercantile Rio Hudson, where she was launched 27 November 1940 and subsequently converted as BAVG-2. She was transferred to the RN and commissioned 2 March 1942.
Following sea trials, she left New York in a tanker convoy and arrived on the Clyde in May 1942 where further modifications took place.
On 3 September 1942 HMS Avenger left Scapa Flow on her first official active duty, as an escort to convoy PQ18 to the north of Russia. She was equipped with 12 Sea Hurricanes and 3 Swordfish aircraft. Her aircraft sank the German submarine U-589 on 14 September 1942 with the assistance of the destroyer HMS Onslow.
She arrived back in Scapa Flow on 3 October 1942. Her Swordfish had flown 32 sorties and attacked 6 of the 16 U-Boats sighted, while the Hurricanes had destroyed and damaged 26 aircraft in 31 combats during 59 sorties. They had engaged German U-Boats, flying boats, Junkers Ju88 bombers and Heinkel He111 bombers. In all 13 merchant ships were lost, but the convoy claimed 42 German aircraft destroyed.
In her second operation, Avenger was ordered to take part in Operation "Torch", the invasion of North Africa. She left the Clyde on 22 October 1942 with her sister-ship HMS Biter and the Fleet Carrier HMS Victorious, to join the slow assault convoy KMS1. On 7 November 1942, HMS Avenger left the convoy and sailed to join HMS Argus off Algiers. From here, the combined ships' 30 Sea Hurricanes and Seafires would provide fighter cover for landings planned for dawn on 8 November 1942. No airborne opposition was encountered on 8 or 9 November and the Vichy French in Algiers surrendered earlier than expected. The Royal Air Force assumed responsibility for air defence, and with her aircraft ashore, Avenger was excused from duties. On 10 November she entered Algiers harbour to undertake repairs to problems with her engines, which had reduced her maximum speed to only 14 knots.
After taking part in Operation Torch landings of North Africa in November 1942, she departed Gibraltar with convoy MKF 1 on 14 November, heading home to the Clyde in the UK. At 0305 on 15 November, Avenger was torpedoed by U-155. Avenger (Cdr. Anthony Paul Colthurst, DSO, RN) was hit on the port side amidships, which in turn ignited her bomb room, blowing out the centre section of the ship. Her bow and stern sections rose in the air and sunk within 2 minutes in position 36º15'N, 07º45'W, leaving only 12 survivors.
Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 15 Nov 1942 by U-155 (Piening).
Commands listed for HMS Avenger (D 14)
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|1||Cdr. Anthony Paul Colthurst, RN||26 Dec 1941||15 Nov 1942 (+)|
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Notable events involving Avenger include:
14 Sep 1942
German U-boat U-589 was sunk in the Arctic Ocean south-west of Spitsbergen, in position 75°40'N, 20°32'E, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Onslow (Capt H.T. Armstrong, DSC, RN) and depth charges from a Swordfish aircraft of the escort carrier HMS Avenger (Sqdn 825).
U-Boat Attack Logs
Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
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With the appointment of Captain Hugo White in 1981, Avenger became leader of the 4th Frigate Squadron. Avenger was a late arrival at the Falklands War, as she didn't leave the UK until 10 May 1982, arriving on 25 May - a record for any ship involved in the operations, and a great distance ito have covered in 14 days. Ώ] The Rolls Royce Olympus turbines of Type 21 frigates enabled them to maintain high speeds, but at the time the Royal Navy preferred this information not to be publicised. Avenger had averaged 28 knots and the Type 21s became nicknamed the Boy Racers. ΐ] Captain White led Avenger in the Falklands War surviving an attack by an Exocet missile which it shot out of the sky with the 4.5 inch mark 8 gun on the focsle of the ship. Her divers salvaged a 20mm Oerlikon from the wreck of HMS Antelope which was remounted to increase her anti-aircraft capability, referred to on board as "Antelope's Avenger". Α] She also assisted with naval gunfire support during the campaign.
On 11 June she was conducting naval bombardments of Port Stanley in preparation for an amphibious assault by British troops. She directly struck a house where civilians were sheltering, killing three Falkland Islander women and wounding several others. They were the only British civilian casualties of the Falklands War. Β] Γ]
During the Falklands deployment, an alarming crack in the ship's hull progressively worsened with the stormy South Atlantic weather. On return to UK, she was taken in for refitting, with a steel plate being welded down each side of the ship to eliminate the problem. At the same time modifications were made to reduce hull noise.
After the war she remained leader of the 4th Frigate Squadron until 1986.
Nine ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Avenger:
- HMS Avenger was a sloop launched in 1778 as the 8-gun fireshipHMS Lucifer. She was renamed HMS Avenger on her conversion to a sloop in 1779 and was sold in 1783. was a 16-gun sloop, formerly the French Vengeur. She was captured in 1794 and sold in 1802. was a sloop, previously the civilian vessel Elizabeth. She was purchased in 1803 and foundered later that year. was an 18-gun sloop, formerly the collierThames. She was purchased in 1804 and wrecked in 1812. was a wooden paddlefrigate launched in 1845 and wrecked off North Africa in 1847. was an armed merchant cruiser torpedoed and sunk on 14 June 1917 by SM U-69. was an Avenger-classaircraft carrier, laid down as the merchant vessel Rio Hudson but converted and launched in 1940. She was transferred to the Royal Navy under lend-lease and was sunk by U-155 in 1942. was a Landing Ship, Tank launched in 1945 as LST 3011. She was renamed HMS Avenger in 1947 and was sold to the Royal Indian Navy in 1949, being renamed Magar in 1951. was a Type 21frigate launched in 1975. She fought in the Falklands War, and was sold to Pakistan in 1994 and renamed Tippu Sultan.
HMS Avenger valmistui telakalta huhtikuussa ja se otettiin palvelukseen kuukautta myöhemmin Devonportissa, jonka jälkeen se aloitti koeajot ja koulutuksen. Tammikuun puolivälissä 1980 alus lähti Länsi-Intiaan ja Pohjois-Atlantille, josta se määrättiin kolmeksi kuukaudeksi Välimerelle Afghanistanin tilanteen vuoksi. Vuoden lopun alus oli Armilla partiossa Persianlahdella, joka kesti normaalin viiden kuukauden jakson. Vuotta myöhemmin alus oli matkalla Länsi-Intiaan, jossa se vietti kaksi ja puoli kuukautta vartioaluksena. 
Alus määrättiin 1981 4. fregattilaivueen johtajaksi päällikkönään Hugo White. Falklandin sodan alkaessa alus oli telakalla Devonportissa, mutta se palasi palvelukseen ennätyksellisen nopeasti aloittaen matkansa etelään 10. toukokuuta. Alus joutui Exocet-ohjuksen maaliksi. Aluksen etukannen tykki kuitenkin osui ohjukseen ennen ohjuksen osumista alukseen. Se oli yksi viimeisiä sodasta palanneita aluksia palaten vasta syyskuussa. Vaikka se selvisi sodasta aluksen, runkoon tuli kovissa olosuhteissa murtumia. Seuranneen huollon aikana aluksen kyljet korjattiin hitsaamalla ja niiden kestävyyttä lisättiin. Samassa yhteydessä aluksen rungon aiheuttamaa melua vähennettiin. 
Maaliskuussa 1983 palasi Persianlahdelle Armilla partioon, jona aikana aluksen helikopteri putosi mereen Omanin rannikolla. Helikopterin miehistö sekä kyydissä ollut aluksen päällikkö loukkaantuivat onnettomuudessa. Alus vieraili Kauko-Idässä HMS Ambuscaden kanssa ennen elokuista paluutaan. Seuraavana vuonna alus oli tammikuusta maaliskuuhun vartioaluksena Länsi-Intiassa, josta palattuaan se siirrettiin Devonportin telakalle huollettavaksi. Vuoden 1985 alun se oli Välimerellä, jonka jälkeen se oli viisi kuukautta Etelä-Atlantilla. Alus oli jälleen Länsi-Intiassa vartioaluksena 1986 ennen kuin se siirrettiin syyskuussa reserviin siirtoa varten telakalle. Alus pääsi telakalta maaliskuussa 1988. 
Pakistanin laivaston Tippu Sultan Muokkaa
Alus poistettiin palveluksesta ja se myytiin Pakistanille 23. syyskuuta 1994, mutta ilman Exocet- ja Sea Cat -ohjuksia. Pakistanin laivasto nimesi aluksen Tippu Sultaniksi. Alukselle asennettiin Exocet-ohjusten tilalle kiinalaisvalmisteiset LY 60N -ohjukset. Elektroniikkavarustusta muutettiin korvaamalla tyypin 992 ilmavalvontatutka Signaalin DA08 -tutkalla. Omasuojaa lisättiin asentamalla Mk36 SRBOC -omasuojaheittimet.
HMS Avenger - History
(Yacht: dp. 35.5 t. 1. 74'0" b. 15'0" dr. 3'3" (mean) s. 15 k. cpl. 11 a. (July 1918) 1 3-pdr., 2 mg., 3 dc.)
The second Avenger, a wooden-hulled screw yacht designed by J. Murray Watts and built in 1917 by Clement A. Troth of Camden, N.J., was inspected by the Navy on 11 January 1918 and acquired red by the Navy in May 1918 under free lease from Philips J. Wunderle of Glenside, Pa., for service in the 4th Naval District. Assigned the identification number SP-2646, Avenger was commissioned on 29 May 1918 while she lay alongside Pier 19, North Wharves, Philadelphia, Pa., Chief Boatswain's Mate Philips J. Wunderle, USNRF (her peacetime owner "called to the colors"), in command.
Completing the initial phases of her fitting out by the second week of June 1918 1918, Avenger got underway for League Island on the morning of the 10th. She did not go far before she ran aground in shoal water near the back channel. With low water prevailing, her sailors prepared to wait for the incoming tide to refloat Avenger, but three vessels unexpectedly arrived on the scene and offered assistance. With their help, Avenger was soon waterborne and proceeded to League Island.
However, since she was shipping water due to two damaged lanks in her bottom, the yacht proceeded thence to Camden, .J., for hull repairs at the boatyard of Quigley and Dorf on 11 and 12 June. After receiving new planking and a coat of paint on her bottom, she returned to pier 19, North Wharves, the next day, 13 June.
A week later, the vessel got underway at 1000, "Captain" Wunderle at the helm, and headed back toward League Island, where she took on board her main battery, a three-pounder gun, and installed it the next day. Further provisioning and outfitting alongside pier 19 followed: there, she received the balance of her armament, a pair of machine guns and four mounts, on 5 July. She obtained signals equipment and a large searchlight on the l1th and left pier 19 the next day for Fort Mifflin, where she took on ammunition. Later that same day, Avenger got underway for New Castle, Del., reaching her destination that evening, and tarried there for the night.
Pushing on the next day, Avenger reached Cape May, N.J., her assigned section base, on the 13th, via Reedy Island. The following morning, the erstwhile pleasure craft got underway for her maiden wartime patrol, which she conducted in waters off the McCrie Shoal Buoy.
During her second patrol, (18 to 20 July) she received information by wireless of enemy submarine activity near New York harbor and promptly loaded her three-pounder to be ready for action. She soon received a signal from Emerald (SP-177) to patrol toward the McCrie Shoal for a distance of 10 miles in search of the U-boat reported in their vicinity. In the predawn darkness on 20 July, Ave Avenger drew within hailing distance of Emerald and received oral orders to instruct all northbound vessels to "hug the coast" because of the U-boats operating to seaward. In accordance with those orders, Avenger hailed a steamer at 0210 on the 20th and warned that Portland-bound vessel of her danger.
Avenger's third patrol (22 to 24 July) took her to waters off Atlantic City, N.J. When her fourth (26 to 28 July) took her across Delaware Bay to Lewes, Del., she sported a new weaponthree depth charges. The fifth (29 July to 1 August) again took her to patrol the shipping lanes off Atlantic City.
At 0825 on 7 August, Avenger had just commenced escorting a submarine when a muffler exploded on board. The damage apparently not severe enough to force the craft to curtail her assigned
tasks, Avenger returned to Cape May that afternoon, remaining alongside the Fish Dock there until 12 August when she got underway, at the end of a towline, bound for Essington, a. Docking on the 13th, Avenger consequently underwent repairs to her hull and engines at Essington-a spell of yard work that lasted into early October, 1918. During that time, so that her crew would not get "rusty" on their weapons, they conducted rifle and machine gun practice at the local yacht club rifle range.
After her post-repair trial trip to Marcus Hook and back on 9 October, and her second (record) trial trip to Wilmington, Del., and return, Avenger returned briefly to Essington before moving back to her home base, Cape May, on the afternoon of 25 October. Underway the next morning, she patrolled off Cape May on the 28th and into the next day, when she was relieved on station by Shrewsbury (SP-70). Avenger underwent further repairs to her engines (30 October to 2 November) before she departed the Fish Dock, Cape May, at 0955 on 7 November on what proved to be her last patrol of the war.
She made port back at Cape May on the 9th. Her deck log for 11 November recounts the happy news received that date: "State department announces armistice signed at 5 a.m., November 11th." Underway for Lewes on the 14th, Avenger returned to Cape May on the 30th and remained there a week before returning to the Corinthian Yacht Club, Essington, Pa., on the 8th of December. The next morning, she touched at Fort Mifflin to unload ammunition before mooring at pier 19, where her wireless outfit was removed and her three-pounder dismantled. At noon on 19 December, Chief Boatswain's Mate Wunderle decommissioned Avenger and signed the receipt for the vessel, which was later delivered to her builder's yard, Clement A. Troth's, in Camden, where she was presumably prepared for civilian service.
After that brief stint as a commissioned craft of the United States Navy, Avenger then served under a succession of owners, but retained her original name throughout. She disappeared from American yacht registers after 1929.
Rio Hudson-a C-3-type passenger-cargo vessel-was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 59) on 28 November 1939 at Chester, Pa., by the Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. launched on 27 November 1940 sponsored by Mrs. Warren L. Pierson and acquired by the Navy on 31 July 1941 for conversion to an "aircraft escort vessel," BAVG-2, one of the first six such ships built for the United Kingdom under lend-lease.
Renamed Avenger by the Royal Navy and Oven the pendant number D.14, this ship entered service in mid-1942 and spent her entire career in the Atlantic theater. She figured in what the British historian, Stephen Roskill, called "the closing of the air gap in covering convoy runs to North Russia. F lowing the mauling of PQ-17, a convoy bound for Archangel in August 1942, convoy routers included Avenger in the screen of the next east run, PQ-18. A dozen Hawker "Sea Hurricane" fighters and three Fairey 'Swordfish" biplanes constituted her air group.
Joining PQ-18 on 9 September 1942, Avenger became the obvious target for the Luftwaffe in its attempt to cripple the convoy. Once within the range of German air bases in northern Norway, the convoy came under attack. On 13 September, waves of torpedo planes braved antiaircraft fire to deliver a successful attack, sinking eight of the convoy's 39 merchantmen. Avengers fighters, unfortunately, were busy with the high-level bombers and shadowers-not the torpedo planes. This misdeployment of the fighters convinced Avengers captain to conserve his precious fighters for breaking up the large swarms of torpedo planes that had roved so successful, instead of expending their energies on the less dangerous "shadowers. "
On 14 September, one of Avengers planes teamed with the destroyer HMS Onslow to sink U-589 after a 75-minute hunt. Later that day lookouts reported Heinkel He. 111 torpedo planes closing fast. Avenger stood out at flank speed and launched six fighters. The carrier's "Sea Hurricanes," with the escorts guns, broke up the torpedo attack and splashed 11 planes, an "altogether . most gratifying action that caused the screen's commander to report: "It was a fine sight to see Avenger peeling off 'Hurricanes' whilst streaking across the front of the convoy . and being chased by torpedo bombers as she steamed down the opposite course to the convoy to take cover."
Avenger was singled out for a dive-bombing attack by a dozen Junkers Ju. 88s shortly thereafter, almost as soon as the surviving torpedo bombers had disappeared over the horizon later that day, Fortunately, the bombs fell wide of the mark while the flattop's planes, with antiaircraft fire from the escorts, downed nine of the attackers.
Ultimately, the convoy weathered the storm and reached Archangel with 27 of the original group of 39 merchantmen. The escorts and supporting Luftwaffe- Ling ships had come through unscathed. Although the Luftwaffe urged on personally by Marshal Goering- ships (U- Goering) had sunk 10 ships (U-boats had accounted for two), they failed score the victory they desired. Avenger had contribute much to the defense of PG-18, justifying the use of small carriers to escort convoys.
Avenger was then assigned to escort Convoy KMS-1 in Operation "Torch," the invasion of North Africa in the autumn of 1942, and supported the landings at Algiers. On 15 November 1942, a torpedo from the German submarine U-155 exploded her aviation gasoline and ammunition. Avenger sank with nearly all hands.
HMS Avenger - History
These pages list the key dates in the history of the sailing navies of the world.
|01 December||1842||Execution of three crew members, Midshipman Philip Spencer (the son of Secretary of War John C. Spencer), Boatswain's Mate Samuel Cromwell and Seaman Elisha Small, of USS Somers (10), Cdr. Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, for mutiny|