RN Carriers

CEYLON220
1st December 2007, 11:34
There was an aircraft carrier in dry dock in Portsmouth dockyard which I believe was never used in WW2 and after she was launched never saw any sea time, that carrier was HMS Leviathan,can any one tell me why was she built and never used especially when carriers were in short supply during the war years and finally what was her end--I last saw her in 1954/5, has anyone any photos of her that could be loaded to the site?

K urgess
1st December 2007, 12:42
Sounds a fascinating story.
A quick google brings up all sorts of information.
Her boilers were used on another aircraft carrier.
Laid down in 1943 but not launched until 1945 too late for hostilities.
Why keep her lying around? Spares for Majestic class?

Steve Woodward
1st December 2007, 13:56
The Leviathon was built by Swan Hunter, laid down on 18 October 1943 and launched 7 June 1945. She was never completed due to the end of the war and Britains poor financial status, she was however held in reserve until 1968 when her boilers were removed to replace those of the Karel Doorman ( second of name) ex HMS Venerable.

Venerable was built by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, and laid down 3 December 1942. Launched 30 December 1943, she was commissioned 17 January 1945 and sold to the Royal Netherlands navy in 1949 and renamed Karel Doorman, she was laid up inApril 1968 due to a boiler room fire. Sold to Argentina on the 15 October 1968 she was renamed Veinticinco de Mayo and refitted including the boiler repalcement with Leviathons, she recommissioned into the AN on the 22 August 1969 and remained in service until June 1986, with no funding for repairs or preservation she was scrapped at Alang in 2000.
Leviathon was finally scrapped in May 1968.
Venerable was a Collossus class ship and Leviathon a Majestic ( modified Colossus).
L 695' B 80' Dr 23'03 Disp - 13,400 tons standard ; 18,330 tons full load
Machinery : Twin screws powered by Parsons geared Steam Turbines with 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, of 40,000 shp. speed 25knots bunkers FFO 3,200 tons Range: 12,000 miles at 14 knots
Armament : six quadruple 2 pounder pompoms plus thirty-two 20mm Oerlikons
Planes : 37 to 48
Crew 1,300 inc air staff
These were basically smaller versions of the Illustrious class but due to lack of armour actually carried more planes, they were a hybrid design from a wartime idea, ennabling a military vessel to built by a civilian type shipyard, smaller than a fleet but far better than an escort type carrier.

Steve W

CEYLON220
1st December 2007, 14:25
Marconi and Steve thanks again,mates,if I want to know something then I know where to come for the answers,by the way was she ever fully completed, she was known as the "Pompey ghost ship" by most matlots now I know why-- The Royal Navy E-Bay for carrier spare parts!!!!!!!!!

viking
2nd December 2007, 15:24
she was never completed and was scrapped in1968 never sailed a single mile in anger

Steve Woodward
2nd December 2007, 18:02
No problems Ceylon - I believe she was quite advanced in construction but not completed, she still had a fore and aft deck so maybe it was considered worth keeping her but not worth angling the deck so she became a spare parts donor.

I made a typo in the earlier message Venerable was a Colossus but Leviathon was a Majestic ( modified colossus), they were very similar but the design allowed for larger / heavier aircraft

al1934
4th December 2007, 18:35
She was part of the scenery in Pompey for years. I asked a number of wise old dockyardees on more than one occasion over the years and I always got the same response "Twisted keel". I have never found written proof of that but it seemed to stick.

Steve Woodward
4th December 2007, 18:44
Truth is always stranger than fiction Alick, but any damage would have to have been launch induced and being a private yard Swan H would have had to correct it, I think the lack of funds to commission / operate her is the more likely answer.

Sarky Cut
4th December 2007, 19:21
As stated above it was canablised to keep the other ships going.

Its main use was a lay apart store for other big ships being refitted.

The Victorious being the main recipient. The Hanger Deck was a huge store house and as the bits were refurbished in the workshops by the hard working and loyal dockies they were moved on to the ship to be stored until required.
Its last years were spent moored opposite Priddys Hard and was a confounded nusience for sailing boats as it took the wind away just when you needed it most for mooring in the lower trots by Fisgard Pier.

Sailing in the harbour will be of much better quality now as the Fearless and Intripid were moored in a similar position before their iminent departure.

jbryce
4th December 2007, 23:28
A once familiar site up the trot in Pompey

robandbarbara
5th December 2007, 00:35
Leviathan was towed to Portsmouth in the late 40s/early 50s. She was in the 'Pocket' of no 3 Basin ( P B 3 ) for a long time, until moved to 8 Berth no 3 Basin. Later moved to moorings in the ' Fareham Trots' until towed away for scrap. Can be seen in my aerial photo of Portsmouth Harbour in my gallery - top right.
Rob

jbryce
6th December 2007, 23:37
I believe this was taken around the time they removed her boilers.

R736476
6th December 2007, 23:50
I believe this was taken around the time they removed her boilers.

Presumably that is Centaur to the right of Leviathan?
As the Argentinian 25 DE MAYO, she received Leviathan's boilers in 1965-66 and received the turbines in 1968-69.

alex page
7th December 2007, 04:58
There was something odd about HMS leviathan . For the many years that she lay in Fareham trots she had a list. Although she was the most advanced in her construction at the end of the war she was never completed. Her sister ships were HMS Powerful (HMCS Bonaventure) and HMS Hercules ( INS Vikant)
Alex

Lancastrian
8th December 2007, 13:19
Presumably that is Centaur to the right of Leviathan?
As the Argentinian 25 DE MAYO, she received Leviathan's boilers in 1965-66 and received the turbines in 1968-69.

Are you sure Alex? According to Wikipedia, Venerable became 25 de Mayo and Centaur was scrapped around 1972.

alex page
8th December 2007, 21:54
dont know about my health mate but smoking has played hell with your eye sight
Alex

Sarky Cut
8th December 2007, 23:04
The carrier at the middle back is I believe the Hermes as there were only two fitted with that scanner, the other was the Victorious and the island is not as I remember for the VIC not like that.
The Foudruaint is also shown at the other side of the harbour, has now been restored and is on show at British West Hartlepools. Home of H'angers.

CEYLON220
9th December 2007, 19:15
Well lads I knew that I could rely on some one coming up with a shot of the "Leviathan" and what great shots they are and that one of the harbour was spot on --this site is a hive of information,on a scale of 1-10= 10 top marks, keep it coming.

vickentallen
9th December 2007, 19:32
The twisred keel story was current when I was in the Andrew

Vic.

jbryce
9th December 2007, 21:13
I believe that, in the pic that I posted, Centaur is nearest Leviathan and Victorious is in the distance at North Corner.

R736476
9th December 2007, 21:45
Are you sure Alex? According to Wikipedia, Venerable became 25 de Mayo and Centaur was scrapped around 1972.

Dave,
I apologise for my ambiguous comment! Some text went missing!
The reference to Centaur in the photograph was not related to 25 de Mayo.
Venerable became Karel Doorman, then 25 de Mayo and received Leviathan's boilers and turbines.
Centaur was indeed sent for scrapping in September 1972.
Alex

Archibald Haddock
22nd June 2008, 23:44
At our forum www.dutchfleet.net we have a topic of an unidentified carrier in Rotterdam. Perhaps you might help in solving this matter.

It could be Leviathan arriving with her spare boilers for Karel Doorman/25 De Mayo. Can anybody confirm this?

Hawkeye
23rd June 2008, 01:53
At our forum www.dutchfleet.net we have a topic of an unidentified carrier in Rotterdam. Perhaps you might help in solving this matter.

It could be Leviathan arriving with her spare boilers for Karel Doorman/25 De Mayo. Can anybody confirm this?

I always thought the boilers were removed in Portsmouth. The ship in the picture could be the 25 de Mayo or the Karal Doorman.

Steve Woodward
23rd June 2008, 10:25
I have looked thru all my stuff and although there is quite a bit on the boilers being removed there is nothing about were they were removed. Given that Leviathon was towed to Faslane for scrapping in May 1968, it may have been possible that she went via Holland to remove her boilers but I can find no evidence that she did

iantait
23rd June 2008, 11:51
The carrier at the middle back is I believe the Hermes as there were only two fitted with that scanner, the other was the Victorious and the island is not as I remember for the VIC not like that.
The Foudruaint is also shown at the other side of the harbour, has now been restored and is on show at British West Hartlepools. Home of H'angers.

Three carriers had 984 the carrier at middle slip is the Victorious and the one in front of Leviathan maybe Centaur as she has still got catapults but could be Albion before conversion to commando carrier The other carrier with 984 was Eagle

chadburn
23rd June 2008, 12:36
Like others I was told twisted keel on the White Ghost at Pompey, was the "Triumph" scrapped in Holland?

Archibald Haddock
23rd June 2008, 22:13
It now appears that the mystery carrier in Rotterdam was the former HMS Vengeance, being brought in for extensive re-fit at the Verolme Dock, Rotterdam, starting in 1957. Sailing three years later as Brazilian Navy Ship Minas Gerais.

See picture while under refit, the crane aboard looks pretty the same.

How the old Karel Doorman/25 De Mayo got her boilers (from Leviathan) is a different story, maybe described in one of Neil McCarts' books...