HMAS Carpentaria (ex HMS Vindictive) 1917-26


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Solarium Au Backstory:

HMAS Carpentaria (ex Cavendish, ex Vindictive) was a Frobisher class cruiser that was part of the original aircraft carrier trials group along with the Furious and the Argus.  Once trials were over the British were to fully convert the ship but ran out of Aircraft carrier tonnage as allocated to them by the Washington Treaty. The Australis Navy was looking for just such an opportunity and the ship was 'purchased' under the 'lease' (sail now pay later) scheme. The ship received its new name in 1926 on completion of its conversion. Note had been taken of the enclosed bow on the Hermes and this was copied by all of the Australis Navy carriers that followed.

The Carpentaria spent the period 1926 to 1934 exclusively tied to the trials and training of pilots in aircraft carrier landings. The ship finally received an air group of its own in 1935, when it was sent off to Darwin where its speed meant it was able to operate with the battlecruiser force.

HMAS Carpentaria as the HMS Vindictive in 1918 prior to full conversion.

Fisherless RN Backstory:

With my Fisherless RN I have deleted the Courageous class which in real life went on to be converted to CV's in the late 1920's. I replaced them with the one or two converted Majestic class battleships, but this leaves a hole for the trials carrier which Furious had filled. While it is much smaller, the Vindictive (ex Cavendish) was used as part of that aircraft trials fleet. Also required would be the acceleration of the conversion of either Argus or Eagle. I have altered the Vindictive a bit to make it do the trials that Furious undertook. In real life the Vindictive was virtually sidelined after 1930, in my FRN it is fully converted during the early 30's.

As modernised

In 1934 the Vindictive had its afterdeck extended. This had been done after a lot of airlanding accidents from trainee pilots landing 'short' and wiping out the Captains Gig that was stored under the overhang aft. In 1936 the forepart of the ship was plated in to increase the hangar space. Aircraft capacity increased from 14 to 18-20 depending on size and type. In this state the ship joined the Training Fleet as the Landing Trials support ship. All of the pre-war pilots would have done there deck landing trials on the Vindictive. On the outbreak of war the Vindictive was joined by the Argus and both were based on Liverpool. The Vindictive had a small cadre of ten aircraft of its own, six Swordfish and four Griffon fighters. On several occasions the Vindictive was used to escort the large liners like the Queen Mary, Aquitania, Queen Elizabeth and others being used as troop ships. Having a speed of 30 knots allowed Vindictive to keep up with the troopers. Vindictive was also used on occasion to do the Malta fighter run, launching Spitfires and Hurricanes to fly to Malta. It was on one of these runs in early 1942 that Vindictive met its end. A U-Boat managing to hit Vindictive with two torpedoes, the Vindictive travelling at 25 knots heeled over and dove into the sea breaking its back and spilling a consignment of Spitfires into the sea, the ship then broke in half, exploded and sunk.


Displacement 12,500 tons full load
Length 623 ft
Breadth 64 ft
Draught 19 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines 60,000shp
Speed 28 knots
Range 5,000 miles at 15 knots
Armour 3" belt, 1.5" main deck
Armament 2 x 4" (1x2)

4 x 2pd (1x4)

10 x 20mm (10x1)

Aircraft 15-18 depending on type
Torpedoes nil
Complement 700


Original drawing of HMAS Carpentaria in the Solarium AU where the HMS Vindictive is sold to Australis.


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