HMS Ameer (D01)

HMS Ameer (D01)

The escort carrier USS "Baffins" (CVE-35) (originally AVG-35, then later ACV-35) was launched 18 October 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding, Tacoma, Washington; sponsored by Mrs. Laurence Bennett, wife of Commander Bennett; and commissioned 28 June 1943, Captain W. L. Rees in command. She was named for Baffin Bay in southern Texas.


"Baffins" remained at Puget Sound Navy Yard until 18 July 1943. Her classification was changed to CVE-35 on 15 July 1943. On the 18th she proceeded to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she was decommissioned the following day and transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease.

Now HMS "Ameer", she was refitted to Royal Navy requirements, including a lengthened flight deck, the installation of ASDIC, the adaptation of fire-fighting and ventilation systems, and the alteration of bomb and torpedo storage to accommodate either American or British ordnance.

Active service

Once she arrived in Britain, she was allocated to the British Eastern Fleet, sailing as escort in May 1944 to convoy KMF-31 to the Mediterranean, while en route to Trincomalee, Ceylon. There, she joined her sister ships HMS|Battler|D18|6, HMS|Begum|D38|6, and HMS|Shah|D21|6.

In early 1945, "Ameer" joined Force 61 as cover for "Operation Lightning", the amphibious assault by 3 Commando Brigade (two Royal Marine units and one Army unit) on Akyab, Burma. In the event, Japanese forces had evacuated that key area 48 hours earlier, making a heavy bombardment unnecessary.

"Ameer's" next operation was Operation "Matador" to capture Ramree Island, where her aircraft spotted fall of shot for

HMS|Queen Elizabeth|1913|6, on January 21 1945. The bombardment was to reduce Japanese artillery batteries in advance of landings by the 71st and 4th Brigades. A few days later, "Ameer" covered landings on nearby Cheduba Island by the Royal Marines (Operation Sankey) that were, once again, unopposed; indeed, the whole island was unoccupied.

On 22 February 1945, "Ameer" sailed from Trincomalee, in Force 62 with

HMS|Empress|D42|6, the light cruiser HMS|Kenya|C14|6, six destroyers and six frigates. The objective was to perform Operation Stacey, the first of three photo-reconnaissance missions designed to cover the Hastings Harbor and Phuket Island areas of the Kra Isthmus. The reconnaissance was done successfully without enemy interference on the 26th to 28th February. The following day, however, the task force was located and attacked. Hellcat fighters from "Ameer" and "Empress" successfully fought off the attack.

In June, 1945, Force 63, including "Ameer" and her sister ships HMS|Khedive|D62|6 and HMS|Stalker|D91|6, left Trincomalee for Operation Balsam, the third and last series of photo-reconnaissance missions over Malaya. On 20 June, at the end of the scheduled operation, the task force pilots executed offensive sweeps. "Ameer’s" Hellcats joined those from 808 Squadron and Supermarine Seafires from 809 Squadron and attacked Japanese air bases at Lhoksemawe, Medan, and Bindjai, strafing installations and aircraft. Antiaircraft fire shot down one Hellcat.

"Ameer's" last two operations were supporting mine-sweeping activity off potential landing sites. The first, with escort carrier HMS|Emperor|D98|6, light cruiser HMS|Nigeria|60|6 and destroyers HMS|Roebuck|H95|6, HMS|Eskimo|F75|6, and HMS|Vigilant|R93|6, provided air cover and bombardment off the Nicobar Islands over the 9th and 10th July. The second, Operation Livery, starting on the 24th July, cleared the approaches to Phuket Island, off the Kra Isthmus. HMS|Nelson|28|6 was part of the covering force. On the 25th July, Task Force 63 came under bomber and kamikaze attack and the minesweeper HMS|Vestal|J215|6 was hit.

Japan surrendered three weeks later.


As a fighter carrier, HMS "Ameer" could carry up to 24 aircraft. In her active service, she carried mostly American Grumman Hellcat II (at first called "Gannet") fighters, although Grumman Wildcat V (initially called "Martlets") were also carried, as were Walrus I amphibians at the end of the war. In detail:


HMS "Ameer" was returned to the United States Navy at Norfolk, Virginia on 17 January 1946 and subsequently sold into merchant service 17 September 1946 as "Robin Kirk".

She was later scrapped in Taiwan in 1969.


* [ DANFS: Baffins]
* [ Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Centre]

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