Laid Down: 8th November 1942
Launched: 8th July 1944
Completed: 8th August 1945
Machinery: Four Admiralty 3-drum boilers delivering 40,000 shp to 2-shaft Parsons geared turbines.
Displacement: 13,190 tons standard, 18,040 tons full load.
Length: 695 feet overall
Beam: 112 feet 6 inches
Draught: 23 feet 5 inches maximum.
Armament: Four quadruple 2 pounder pompoms, sixteen 40mm single Bofors and four single 3 pounder saluting guns.
Speed: 25 knots
Endurance: 8,500 miles at 20 knots.
Flight Deck: 690 feet by 80 feet, with ten arrester wires rated at 20,000lbs at 60 knots and 2 barriers. One BH3 twin track catapult with a capacity of 16,000lb at 66 knots.
Hanger: 275 feet long by 52 feet wide by 17 feet and 6 inches high.
Lifts: Two lifts with 15,000 lb capacity, one forward and one aft.
Aircraft stores: 98,600 gallons aviation gasoline. 1,000lb MC bombs, 500lb GP bombs, 250lb B bombs, 3in rockets with 28lb and 60lb warheads. Mk 11 depth charges, aircraft mines, 20mm cannon ammunition, flares and pyrotechnics.
Brief History: HMS Ocean was laid down on 8th November 1942 and was built by Alexander Stephen & Sons at Govan shipyards. She was Launched on 8th July 1944 and commissioned on 8th August 1945 in Glasgow. She was modified at Cammell Laird from August 1945 to November 1945 before being allocated to Rosyth command for flying trials which included the first deck trials of the Sea Hornet and the last carrier take-off by a Fairey swordfish.
A modified Vampire made the first pure-jet landing on an aircraft carrier on 3rd December 1945, the Vampire was piloted by Lieutenant-Commander E.M. Brown RN. Later in the month, HMS Ocean was deployed to the Mediterranean Fleet with 805 and 816 NAS embarked, a detachment of 784 NAS was also aboard temporarily for night-fighter trials. The carrier was used for ferry and troops run to Singapore in June 1946 while leaving her air group at RNAS Hal Far.
In October 1945, HMS Ocean gave medical and fire-fighting assistance to the destroyers HMS Saumares and HMS Volage after they had been mined in the Corfu Channel. In May 1948, she formed part of the task force covering the British withdrawal from Palestine, her air group providing air cover once the RAF had been evacuated. In October 1948 her air group comprised 804 and 812 NAS.
She disembarked her airgroup in June 1949 and was employed in four trooping runs to the Far East including reinforcements and equipment to the Commonwealth forces in Korea. In January 1951 she returned to the UK for a refit and was recommissioned for the Mediterranean Fleet on 26th June 1951.
In January 1951 she sailed from Malta for Suez, being replaced in the Mediterranean Fleet by HMS Theseus. She arrived in Hong Kong to relieve HMS Glory in May 1952 and sailed for Sasebo, arriving on the 9th May. She began her first patrol on 10th May 1952 and on 17th may set a new daily operating record for light fleet carriers, flying 123 sorties in one day. HMS Ocean's role in the Korean War can be read here: HMS Ocean in the Korean War.
After the Armistice was signed, the ship carried out four more patrols off Korea before sailing for Hong Kong with her paying-off pennant flying. She was relieved as Far East carrier by HMAS Sydney in November 1953 and sailed for the UK. She was refitted in Devonport Dockyard from December 1953 and relieved HMS Indefatigable in the Home Fleet on 19th August 1954. She was used twice to ferry troops and equipment to Cyprus during 1955 and in August 1956 transported 16th Parachute Brigade to Cyprus during the Suez emergency. In September she was taken in hand for conversion to operate helicopters and in October 1956 carried out commando assault exercises in the English Channel in company with HMS Theseus.
On 31st October she arrived in Malta with the Joint Service Experimental Helicopter Unit embarked. On 6th November 1956 45 RM Commando was landed by helicopter from Ocean and Theseus. For more details, see Assault the Canal.
On 14th December 1956, she arrived back in Devonport and was converted to a training role, visiting various ports before she was paid off and de-stored into extended reserve on 5th December 1957. In March 1958 she was place don the disposal list and in May was stripped of useful fittings and equipment. On 6th May 1962 she was towed to Faslane for scrapping which was completed by August 1962.