ARA Veinticinco de Mayo (V-2)

Venerable during her brief Royal Navy service. Royal Navy photo.

Laid Down

The HMS Venerable (R63) was a Colossus-class aircraft carrier laid down 3 December, 1942. Commissioning in January, 1945, she operated in the Pacific for the last few months of the war, and decommissioned in April, 1947, being sold to the Dutch a year later. Recommissioned as Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman (R81), she was rebuilt in the late 1950s, and saw action in the 1960 New Guinea crisis with Indonesia. After a period of ASW patrols with NATO, Doorman suffered a boiler room fire in 1968, and was retired from Dutch service. She was sold to the Argentine Navy the following year, and was recommissioned as the ARA Veinticinco de Mayo (V-2). De Mayo participated in the invasion of the Falklands and nearly instigated the first carrier vs. carrier action since October, 1944, but the Argentines were unable to locate the British carriers at the time. After the cruiser General Belgrano was sunk, de Mayo was ordered back to port, where she remained for the rest of the war, though her air wing contributed to the fighting from land bases, sinking HMS Ardent. In 1983, de Mayo was upgraded, but did not see much further use, thanks to further engine troubles. Out of service by the early 1990s, she was decommissioned in 1997, and used for spare parts, before being scrapped in India in 2000.