ARA Veinticinco de Mayo

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The ARA Veinticinco de Mayo was an aircraft carrier in the Armada Republica Argentina from 1969 to 1999. The English name is the Twenty-fifth of May which is a national holiday in Argentina.

The ship was built by Cammel Laird in Birkenhead, England during World War II for the Royal Navy. As a Colossus class aircraft carrier, she was named HMS Venerable and saw service in the British Pacific Fleet. However Venerable only served 3 years in the Royal Navy before being sold to the Dutch as HNLMS Karel Doorman.

After a boiler room fire, the Dutch sold the carrier to the Argentine fleet. The Argentinians already operated a carrier, the ARA Independencia, also a former Royal Navy ship. After Independencia was decommised in 1970, the Veinticinco de Mayo was the sole remaining carrier in the Argentine fleet and could carry up to 24 aircraft, mainly Skyhawks and Dassault Super Etendard jets.

During the Falklands War, the Veinticinco de Mayo was deployed in a task force north of the Falkland Islands, with the ARA General Belgrano to the south. The British had assigned HMS Spartan, a nuclear powered submarine to track down the Veinticinco de Mayo and sink her if necessary.

After hostilities broke out on May 1, 1982, the carrier attempted to launch a wave of Skyhawk jets against the Royal Navy taskforce. However poor winds prevented their launch. After HMS Conqueror sank the General Belgrano, the Veinticinco de Mayo returned to port, lest it too be sunk. The Spartan never tracked down the carrier.

By 1985, the Veinticinco de Mayo was largely confined to port and was more or less unseaworthy. In 2000, she was towed to India and is now believed to be scrapped.


Colossus-class aircraft carrier
Royal Navy
Colossus | Glory | Ocean | Vengeance | Pioneer | Venerable | Warrior | Perseus | Theseus | Triumph
Royal Australian Navy
Vengeance
Royal Canadian Navy
Warrior
Royal Netherlands Navy
Karel Doorman (ex-Venerable)
French Navy
Arromanches (ex-Colossus)
Argentine Navy
Veinticinco de Mayo (ex-Venerable) | Independencia (ex-Warrior)
Brazilian Navy
Minas Gerais (ex-Vengeance)

List of aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy
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