HNLMS Karel Doorman (R81)


HNLMS Karel Doorman (R81)

HNLMS "Karel Doorman" (R81) was a "Colossus"-class aircraft carrier of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Laid down as HMS "Venerable" at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead on 3 December 1942, launched just over a year later, and commissioned on 17 January 1945.

Overhauls

In 1948, "Venerable"'s short career in the Royal Navy came to an end, when it was sold to the Netherlands, replacing a smaller "Nairana"-class escort carrier also named "Karel Doorman" while in Dutch service. The "Venerable" recommissioned in the Dutch fleet as the "Karel Doorman". In 1955-58 she was rebuilt with an 8° angled flight deck, new elevators, new island, 40mm anti-aircraft cannons, steam catapult, and all new aviation facilities and electronics were fitted. A boiler room fire 26 April 1968 removed her from Dutch service. [ [http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/carriers/nether.htm#r81 World Aircraft Carriers List: Netherlands ] ] To repair the fire damage new boilers were transplanted from the incomplete HMS|Leviathan|R97|6.

Cruises

The "Karel Doorman", frigate "Johan Maurits van Nassau", and light cruiser "Jacob van Heemskerck" made a voyage to the Dutch Antilles on 2 January 1950. Embarked on the "Karel Doorman" was Prince Bernhard. The ships return to Holland on 4 May. [ [http://www.netherlandsnavy.nl/Jacheem_his.htm Jacob van Heemskerck History ] ]

In 1954 during a North America] n cruise she visited Montreal, Canada for an airshow appearance. [ [http://www.shearwateraviationmuseum.ns.ca/squadrons/423chapter4.htm 423 Squadron - Chapter 4 ] ]

Early in 1959 the ship made a trip to the United States (Newport, Rhode Island and Fort Lauderdale, Florida), after that again to the Antilles.

In 1962 during the Dutch decolonization and planned independence of Western New Guinea, a territory which was also claimed by Indonesia, the "Karel Doorman" set sail along with two destroyers and a modified oil tanker to "show the flag". In order to avoid possible problems with Indonesian ally Egypt at the Suez Canal she instead sailed around the horn of Africa. She arrived in Fremantle, Australia where the local seamen's union struck in sympathy with Indonesia, the crew used propeller thrust of aircraft chained down on deck to nudge the carrier into dock without tugs. In addition to her air wing she was ferrying twelve Hawker Hunter fighters to bolster the local Dutch defense forces, which she delivered when she arrived at Hollandia, New Guinea. The Karel Doorman was also to have visited Yokohama, Japan during this Asian cruise to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the establishment of Japanese-Dutch diplomatic relations but due to Indonesian and local protests Japan withdrew its invitation. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,826623,00.html Flying Dutchman - TIME ] ]

The "Karel Doorman" also regularly conducted various exercises near Scotland during its career.

Western New Guinea Crisis

During the 1962 cruise Indonesia prepared for a military action named Operation "Trikora" (in the Indonesian language, "Tri Komando Rakyat" means "The Third Command of the People"). In addition to planning for an invasion the TNI-AU (Indonesian Air Forces) hoped to sink this aircraft carrier with Soviet supplied Indonesian Tupolev Tu-16KS-1 Badger naval bombers using AS-1 Kennel / KS-1 Kometa anti ship missiles (6 planes planned to attack the "Karel Doorman") [Tupolev_Tu-16] This strike plan was canceled because of the implementation of the cease-fire between Indonesia and the Netherlands which lead to a temporary UN peacekeeping administration and then occupation by Indonesia. [ [http://www.angkasa-online.com/09/12/english/english1.htm Tu-16 Badger : The stealth from the Southern Hemisphere - Rubrik HISTORY ] ]

Decommissioning

In 1964, following the settlement of issues threatening its former colonial territories and changes in the mission for the Royal Netherlands Navy within NATO coupled with the huge costs for operating and maintaining an aircraft carrier, it was decided to withdraw her from the operational fleet by the early 1970s. This was to coincide with the arrival of long range maritime patrol aircraft that were to take over the ASW role Karel Doorman had been tasked to perform ever since the start of the 1960s. In 1969, after a boiler-room fire, the costs for repairing the damage in relation to the relatively short time Karel Doorman was still to serve in the fleet proved to be her undoing and she was sold to the Argentine Navy and renamed ARA "Veinticinco de Mayo" where she would later play a role in the 1982 Falkland Islands Conflict. In the late 1960s, the NATO anti-submarine commitment was taken over by a squadron of Westland Wasp helicopters operated from six Van Speijk class anti-submarine frigates and nine shore based Breguet Atlantique sea-reconnaissance aircraft [http://home.casema.nl/falcons/MLD.html] as well as P-2 Neptunes already in inventory.

Air Wing

First deploying as an attack carrier with 24 WW-II era propeller driven Fairey Firefly strike fighters and Hawker Sea Fury fighter/antiship aircraft, for sea rescue a Supermarine Sea Otter flying boat was carried, it was replaced by a Sikorsky S-51 helicopter. From 1955-58 she operated with a ASW/Strike profile with up to 14 TBF Avenger ASW/torpedo bombers, 10 Hawker Sea Hawk fighters and 2 S-58 ASW helicopters. In 1960 the Royal Netherlands Navy received 17 Canadian built S-2 Trackers ASW aircraft formerly used by the Royal Canadian Navy. Changing roles to a dedicated NATO Antisubmarine warfare carrier, a wing of 8 Grumman S-2 Trackers and 6 S-58 ASW helicopters served aboard until the 1968 shipboard fire and removal from Dutch service.

The Hawker Sea Hawk jet strike aircraft, a first generation naval jet fighter considered by the larger naval powers to be undersized and nearly obsolete at the time of delivery to the Dutch, served onboard between 1957 to 1964 until her overhaul after which the attack role was eliminated. 22 aircraft were then transferred to land based service but still available for carrier deployment, they were all retired by the end of the 1960s after the sale of the Karel Doorman to Argentina. [ [http://www.steelnavy.com/KDoorman.htm KDoorman ] ]

ee also

* List of aircraft carriers
* ARA "Veinticinco de Mayo" (V-2)

References

External links

* [http://www.steelnavy.com/KDoorman.htm "Karel Doorman", Netherlands Carrier]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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