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"Hawker Hurricane approaching an escort carrier" by Roy Nockolds, 1942. Watercolour on board.

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Hawker Hurricane approaching an escort carrier

"Hawker Hurricane approaching an escort carrier" by Roy Nockolds, 1942

Catalogue ref: INF 3/1258Links to the Catalogue


This painting by Nockolds shows a Hawker Hurricane approaching an escort carrier in preparation for landing.

The impact of airpower in protecting the transatlantic convoys – Britain's lifeline – was quickly realised. Aircraft carriers were, however, extremely costly and slow to produce and Britain's front line carriers were tied up with offensive operations in other theatres. The solution was the escort carrier, usually a converted merchantman whose superstructure could be removed and replaced with a rudimentary flight deck. The introduction of a substantial number of escort carriers helped bridge the air gap in mid- Atlantic where long-range air escorts from Britain or Canada were unable to operate.

Although an escort carrier could only carry a very small number of fighters, their aircraft made a very significant contribution in both spotting and engaging lurking U-boats and deterring German Condor maritime patrol aircraft.

The eventual use of this piece is unknown.