CUS John Adams (AC-1914/CV-1921/AV-1932)


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The Proteus class colliers were laid down 1911 and completed in 1913/14. They were unique in that they had the prototype turbo electric drives fitted to them for evaluation. The four ships having survived the war with just the loss of the Cyclops which had disapeared off the coast of Florida without trace. In 1919 the Jupiter was taken in hand for conversion to the CUA Navies first ship to carry aircraft. The ship was re-christened John Adams and the conversion work was completed late 1921.

The ship then spent the next two years in intensive workouts with and without fleet units to prove the viability of the type. The trials were successful and four more ships were earmaked for conversion. The John Adams two collier sisterships were originally to have followed its conversion but the trials showed that ships that could keep up with the battlefleets 20-22 knots were required and the two Washington class armoured cruisers were converted instead.

With allocated tonnage running short and the CUA Navy wishing to build more up-to-date aircraft carriers the John Adams was taken in hand for conversion to an Aviation Transport (AV). This entailed removing the front half of the flight deck and putting anchorage points all over the remaining flight deck and center section behind the bridge could be used for tying down aircraft for transportation. This was the main way of transferring aircraft to those out of the way bases that the aircraft could not reach under their own power.


Displacement 12,700 tons std 14,100 tons full load
Length 542 ft
Breadth 65.5 ft
Draught 24 ft
Machinery 2 shaft turbo-electric 7,200 hp
Speed 15 knots
Range 4,000 miles at 10 knots
Armour nil
Armament As Converted

4 x 4" (4x1)

2 x 3" AA (2x1)

AV refit

4 x 4" (4x1)

12 x 20mm (12x1)

Aircraft 28-36 nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 470
Notes CUS John Adams



As can be seen, a system of rails to support the flight deck was mounted straight off the hull with anything else required being welded to the main deck. Below: as an aviation transport.


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