What happened to the French aircraft carrier in ww2? Moreover, yes, the French did have a carrier in the second world war. The French aircraft carrier Bearn was originally designed as Normandie class battleship. Furthermore, she had a long career but mostly an unsuccessful career. In addition she never launched her aircraft in combat.
She displaced 22,146 long tons, had a length of of nearly 600 feet and could host 32 planes.
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The Altmark Incident
In late May 1940 Béarn ferried gold to purchase aircraft from the United States.
However, she diverted to Martinique in the French West Indies. As a result of the French armistice with Germany.
Under pressure from the United States, which worried about the Germans taking control of her if she returned to France. The carrier remained there for the next four years.
To appease the Americans the local commander agreed to have her immobilized in 1942 after the USA had entered the war. As a result, the Vichy French government ordered him to sabotage the ship in May 1943. And he would ultimately achieved this by running Béarn aground.
She was raised and joined the Free French later that year for preliminary repairs. Repairs that would allow her to steam under her own power to New Orleans, Louisiana. For conversion into an aircraft ferry, completed in early 1945.
However, she would stay in use until 1966. But, lastly eventually condemned and scrapped in 1967.