Shirehampton Book of Remembrance

In Remembrance to the Fallen of the Shirehampton & Avonmouth areas of Bristol

Royal Navy & Allied Warships

HMS Ariguani (F 105) Fighter Aircraft Catapult Auxillary

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HMS Ariguani (F 105) Fighter Aircraft Catapult Auxillary
HMS Ariguani was a Catapult Armed ship or Fighter Catapult ship. It was a representative of the Pegasus Class consisting of Ariguani, Maplin, Patia, Pegasus and Springbank with FAA aircraft. Each of these merchantmen were equipped with one Fleet Air Arm or RAF fighter and a temporary catapult. When threatened by enemy planes, the fighter took off. When it was done, it ditched, and the pilot was (theoretically) picked up by the merchant ship's convoy. As an interim measure until more escort carriers could be made, selected British or Dominion merchant ships were fitted with an obsolescent Hawker Hurricane fighter to protect the ship convoys against air attack or reconnaisance overflights. The pilot was the only Fleet Air Arm or RAF crew member on board, and had little to do unless the plane was needed. If an emergency arose, the aircraft would be catapulted off, engage in combat, then the pilot had to ditch and be fished out of the water. Though the aircraft could only be used once, they even had their landing gear deleted to save weight, they could save a convoy from air attack HMS Ariguani was severly damaged by U-83, 21 October 1941, on convoy HG-75 (Gibraltar - Liverpool). The ship survived the war being returned to her original owners in 1946, and eventually broken up at Briton Ferry, November 1957.
Posted by Steve Fell on December 4, 2011 Full Size| Slideshow

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