Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Aircraft Carriers
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
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Location of Archival Materials
(CVE-51: dp. 9,800; 1. 492'; b. 69'6"; ew. 111'2"; dr. 26'3"; s. 17 k.; a. 2 5", 16 40mm, 15 20mm, 18 ac.; cl. Charger; T. C3-S-A1)

St. Simon (ACV-51), originally classified as an auxiliary aircraft carrier, was laid down on 26 April 1943 at Tacoma, Wash., by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co., under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 262); reclassified as an escort aircraft carrier, CVE-51, on 15 July 1943; launched on 9 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. R. H. Lewis, the wife of Major General R. H. Lewis, Commanding General, Northwestern Sector, Fort Lewis, Wash.; assigned to the Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oreg., for the completion of construction; and delivered to the Royal Navy, under lend-lease, on 31 December 1943.

Renamed Arbiter and given the "pendant number" D.31 (while being carried on the United States' Naval Vessel Register with the classification BCyE-51, the escort carrier served in the Royal Navy for the duration of World War II). She earned "battle honors" in the Atlantic during 1944, serving on the western approaches to the British Isles, and in 1945 served as one of seven similar ships engaged in operating as an aircraft ferry supporting the British Pacific Fleet's train, bringing up replacement aircraft or providing combat air patrol for replenishment ships.

Returned at Norfolk, Va., on 23 February 1946, she was accepted by the United States Navy on 3 March 1946. Struck from the Navy list on 12 April 1946, the ship was sold to the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., on 30 January 1947. Converted to the cargo ship Coracero, the former escort carrier served under two more names, President Macapagal from 1965 to 1972 and Lucky Two in 1972 before she was scrapped in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 1972.

Published: Thu Jun 18 09:27:44 EDT 2015