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Type: CV
Class: only ship in class
Builder: Cammell Laird
Completed: November, 1938
Displacement: 22,000 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

800' x 94' 9" x 27' 9"
Belt: 4.5"
Bulkheads: 2.5" - 3"
Deck: 2.5" - 3"
Machinery: 3-shaft Parsons geared turbines; 6 Admiralty 3-drum boilers; 102,000shp.  Oil:  4,620 tons.  Range:  7,600nm at 20 knots.
Speed: 31 knots
16 4.5" / 45 QF HA 8x2
32 2-pdr. "pom-poms" 4x8
4 3-pdr. saluting 4x1
32 0.5" MG 8x4
60 aircraft (two catapults)
Compliment: 1,580



Sister ships:  none



Pennant Number:  91



Notes:  ARK ROYAL was the first large aircraft carrier designed from inception for the Royal Navy (the smaller HERMES was ordered in 1917).  The flight deck was an integral part of the hull structure, serving as the upper strength deck.  There were two hangars and three lifts; however, each lift had two sections -- one which allowed movement between the flight deck and the upper hangar deck, and one which allowed movement from the upper hangar to the lower hangar deck.  Due to a shortage of aircraft, her designed compliment of 60 aircraft were never carried.  ARK ROYAL served with Home Fleet 1939-40, then was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet and Force "H".  Two additional 8-barrelled "pom-poms" were added in early May, 1941.  On 26 May 1941, her Swordfish aircraft scored a torpedo hit on the rudder of the German battleship BISMARCK, allowing the pursuing units of the RN to finally catch and sink her the following day.  On 13 November 1941 while steaming near Gibraltar, ARK ROYAL took a single torpedo hit from the German submarine U-81.  The hit opened a hole 130' x 30' and allowed the starboard boiler room to flood; a lack of baffles allowed the flooding to spread to the other boiler rooms, and after 14 hours the ARK ROYAL capsized and sank.



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