HMS Unicorn (D 72)
Aircraft Carrier of the Unicorn class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Harland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland)|
|Ordered||14 Apr 1939|
|Laid down||29 Jun 1939|
|Launched||20 Nov 1941|
|Commissioned||12 Mar 1943|
On 24 March 1943, aircraft embarked in HMS Unicorn for deck landing training in the Clyde and A/S operations around UK waters. Later HMS Unicorn was attached to the Home Fleet and carried out a sweep to the north of Norway with HMS Illustrious.
HMS Unicorn then reverted to supply and repair duties, for aircraft repair and transport, and fleet backup and support. By early 1944, HMS Unicorn was in the Far East, still doubling as operational carrier pending the delayed arrival of the HMS Victorious.
When she returned home from Australia after the war she was stuffed with food.
Laid up for several years after the war, she was reactivated for the Korean War. Between June 1950 and October 1953, HMS Unicorn filled a vital support role to the Royal Navy and Commonwealth Aircraft carriers in Korean waters and on several occassions accompanied the operational carrier to the forward area, flying her own aircraft and acting as a spare deck. On one occasion she engaged enemy positions in North Korea with her own 4inch guns, thereby becoming more closely engaged than any of the other carriers.
HMS Unicorn was sold for scrap on 15 June 1959, and was stripped at Dalmuir and hull broken up at Troon from March 1960.
Commands listed for HMS Unicorn (D 72)
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|1||Capt. Quintin Dick Graham, RN||30 Nov 1942||7 Oct 1943|
|2||Capt. Henry Lockhart St. John Fancourt, DSO, RN||7 Oct 1943||23 Dec 1944|
|3||A/Capt. (retired) Christopher McCabe Merewether, RN||7 Oct 1944||1 Feb 1946|
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Notable events involving Unicorn include:
They arrived at Scapa Flow on 23 July 1943. (1)
13 Dec 1943
HMS Tradewind (Lt.Cdr. S.L.C. Maydon, DSO and Bar, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with aircraft from HMS Unicorn (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, DSO, RN). Upon completion of these exercises HMS Tradewind proceeded to Rosneath for wiping. (2)
- ADM 53/117882 + ADM 199/632
- ADM 173/18251
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.