HMS Eagle (1919) CV  (16th)

In 1917 the Admiralty took over the hull of the suspended Chilean battleship, Almirante Cochrane which was completed as an aircraft carrier. The ship was formally renamed HMS Eagle in February 1918. She was launched in June 1918 and completed too late to see service during WW1.

She had a larger hangar than HMS Hermes (1923) her contemporary, and so was more useful in later years as naval aircraft increased in size. 

Following the Washington Treaty of 1922 the Admiralty reviewed their plans for aircraft carriers and Eagle was expected to be scrapped in 1939, but war clouds gathering during the late 1930's meant this did not happen.

Outbreak of war found Eagle in the East Indies where she soon became part of I Force at Ceylon. Where she spent time searching for the German pocket battleships Admiral Graf Spee and Deutschland (later renamed Lutzow).

She was in the Mediterranean when Italy declared war in June 1940. February saw her move through the Suez Canal on the way to South Africa. On the way she supported Anglo-Indian forces in the occupation of Mogadishu.

Nov-1941 it was back to the Mediterranean in support of Force H and Malta convoy escort duties. When she flew spitfire off to Malta, the first time spitfires had been operated outside the UK.

These duties continued into 1942, when Operation Pedestal was mounted. This was a large and critical Malta supply convoy. On 11-Aug-1942 Eagle was near to Malta when she was torpedoed by U-73. She sank in 8 minutes, but escorting destroyers and an accompanying tug managed to rescue 927 of her crew. In addition 4 of her Sea Hurricanes which were in the air at the time were recovered aboard HMS Indomitable (1941).  

Won the Battle Honours: Calabria 1940, Mediterranean 1940 and Malta Convoys 1942.


Other HMS Eagle
- 1st  HMS Eagle
- 2nd HMS Eagle
- 3rd HMS Eagle
- 4th HMS Eagle
- 5th HMS Eagle
- 6th HMS Eagle
- 7th HMS Eagle
- 8th HMS Eagle
- 9th HMS Eagle
- 10th HMS Eagle
- 11th HMS Eagle
- 12th HMS Eagle
- 13th HMS Eagle
- 14th HMS Eagle
- 15th HMS Eagle
- 16th HMS Eagle
- 17th HMS Eagle

- Eagle Class (1919) CV
- Specifications
- Ships
- Plans/Schematics
- Pictures
- Full Battle Honours

Outside Links
- Official Website
- Associated Sites
- Related Sites

This page last edited - 19 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.