Small, cheap, slow aircraft carriers built in a hurry for the Royal Navy and US Navy during World War II to provide air cover for convoys out of reach of land-based aircraft. Most were built in American shipyards on standard design merchant ship and tanker hulls. They could carry as few as half a dozen planes and were too slow to serve with naval strike forces, but they were often enough to make a vital difference against the wolf packs in the later stages of the Battle of the Atlantic and against land-based air attack on the Murmansk convoys.

In US Navy use they were given pennant numbers starting with CVE.