1 9 4 1
trials and commissioning.
to October Nominated
for deployment in Far East with Force Z.
to West Indies to work-up
for operational service.
3rd Ran aground during work-up in West Indies and departure for Trincomalee
Took passage to Norfolk, Va for repair.
(Note: This accident
prevented an aircraft carrier being deployed at Singapore with
HM Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and HM Battlecruiser REPULSE
in Force Z.
These two major fleet units were lost primarily because of lack of
air cover. See THE
HUNTING OF FORCE Z by R Hough
and Naval Staff History).
December Passage to join Eastern Fleet in Ceylon.
1 9 4 2
January Diverted to off-load aircraft and
embark 50 RAF Hurricane aircraft at Port Sudan for
transfer to Singapore.
Passage to East Indies escorted by HM Destroyers NAPIER,
NIZAM and NESTOR.
27th Flew off Hurricanes south of Sumatra for use at
February Passage to Trincomalee to refuel.
March Diverted on passage to Java and
took second batch of Hurricanes to Ceylon to
reinforce existing air defence resources.
Re-embarked own aircraft.
Passage to Addu Atoll for flying training
and work-up for operations.
31st Assigned to Force A in Eastern
Fleet with HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft
Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruiser
CORNWALL, HM Cruiser ENTERPRISE and HM
Joined Fleet south
of Ceylon and took part in unsuccessful
search for Japanese
aircraft carrier force reported as bound
for an attack on Ceylon.
5th Sailed with Force A to intercept Japanese ships
(Note: HMS CORNWALL
and HMS DORSETSHIRE which had detached earlier were
sunk by Japanese aircraft whilst on
passage to Ceylon. For more details see OPERATION
PACIFIC by E Walker and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
by C Barnett).
8th Returned to Addu Atoll.
Took passage to Bombay with Force
22nd Nominated for support of allied landings in
Took Passage to Durban to join ships preparing for landings
(For details of naval activities in Indian Ocean during 1941 and 1942
see above references).
3rd Joined Convoys Y and Z
5th Deployed with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and provided
air cover for assault landings.
to Launched attacks in support of shore
7th (For details see RELUCTANT ENEMIES by W Tute and Naval Staff History).
8th Under torpedo attack by Vichy French submarine
MONGE which failed.
Submarine was sunk
by depth charges from HM Destroyers ACTIVE and PANTHER.
June Under refit followed by flying
Exercised with HM Battleship VALIANT off Mombasa.
July Transferred to Gibraltar for duty with Force H and took
August Joined HM Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS,
FURIOUS, EAGLE and ARGUS in
Atlantic for joint exercises
in multi-carrier operations and fighter direction.
- See RADAR AT SEA).
10th Part of Force Z covering passage of military convoy
(WS21S) to Malta.
12th Under heavy air attack and hit by three AP
bombs. Aircraft already airborne were
diverted to land on HMS VICTORIOUS. Fires
brought under control with difficulty
and ship returned to Gibraltar.
(For details of this
renowned convoy see PEDESTAL by Peter C. Smith, THE
BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre and Naval Staff History).
September Passage to USA for repair and refit.
1 9 4 3
January Post refit
Installation of Aircraft
Warning Radar Sets Type 218B and Type 79 with new Plan Type
radar displays and radio telephone
equipment for fighter direction.
(For details of development
and use of radar in RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).
March Work-up for service.
April Deployed with Home Fleet.
to May Carried
out trials with new radar equipments (See RADAR AT SEA).
17th Joined Force H at Scapa Flow for duty in Mediterranean and took passage to Oran.
5th Sailed from Algiers with HM Battleships WARSPITE,
VALIANT, NELSON and
RODNEY, FORMIDABLE, HM cruisers
AURORA AND PENELOPE and screen of
five destroyers to cover military
convoys to Central Mediterranean.
10th Part of Force H deployed in Ionian Sea to prevent interference by Italian
during landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).
(For details see
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and the
16th Torpedoed by aircraft which had been wrongly identified during
air attacks as a naval
Repair arranged in
20th Took passage to USA via Bermuda escorted by HM destroyers OBDURATE,
31st Arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia.
September Under repair
to December American Radar
Types SM1 and SG fitted. (See RADAR AT SEA).
1 9 4 4
repair and refit.
May Completed refit and returned
to UK to embark aircraft.
Indomitable in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, 1944-1945 - a photographic record
5th Joined Eastern Fleet with HM Aircraft Carrier
Prepared for operational duties with Fleet.
23rd With Eastern Fleet to provide air-sea rescue facilities during
US air attacks by XX
Bomber Command on Sumatra (Operation BOOMERANG).
24th Launched air attacks on Padang with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and HMS
covered by HM Battleship HOWE and units of Eastern Fleet. Targets
cement works at Indaroeng and harbour
installations at Emmerhaven (Operation
details of Eastern Fleet operations see OPERATION PACIFIC).
18th Deployed with HMS VICTORIOUS escorted by HMS HOWE, two cruisers
to launch air attacks on Sigli, Sumatra and photo-reconnaissance
over Nicobar Islands (Operation LIGHT).
aircraft accidentally attacked HM Submarine SPIRIT which was acting as Plane
15th Deployed with Task Group 63.3 for diversionary operations in Indian Ocean during
US landings on Leyte (Operation MILLET).
Six aircrew were lost.
17th Launched air attacks with HMS VICTORIOUS on Nicobar Islands.
Cruiser PHOEBE provided fighter direction facilities and AA defence.
was screened by HM Destroyers WHELP, WAKEFUL, WAGER and WESSEX.
19th Repeated air attacks on Nicobars.
retaliatory attacks by Japanese torpedo bombers, ten of the twelve enemy
aircraft were destroyed.
20th Deployed with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS to launch air attacks on Belawan Deli.
was provided by HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, ARGONAUT and BLACK
PRINCE screened by
HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT (ii), WHIRLWIND, WRANGLER,
WESSEX and WAKEFUL. (Operation OUTFLANK).
Original target on Pangkalan Brandon could not be attacked
due to weather
conditions in the area).
22th Became part of British Pacific Fleet with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and
details see TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith and CARRIER VICTORY by JM Ludley).
17th With HMS ILLUSTRIOUS launched air attacks on Belawan Deli covered by HM
BLACK PRINCE and ARGONAUT screened by seven Fleet
Destroyers. (Operation ROBSON.)
1 9 4 5
Task Force 63.
4th Deployed with HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS VICTORIOUS, H M Cruisers
ARGONAUT and BLACK PRINCE screened by HM Destroyers
GRENVILLE, WAGER, URANIA, UNDAUNTED, UNDINE
and URSA for air attacks on oil refineries at Pangkalang Brandan, Sumatra (Operation
The unsuitability of SEAFIRE aircraft for sustained carrier operations was
mentioned in the report on this operation).
16th Sailed from Trincomalee with TF63 for offensive sweep in Indian Ocean prior to transfer
of British Pacific Fleet for service in Pacific area.
24th With HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS VICTORIOUS carried
out air attacks on the oil refinery at Pladjoe,
Sumatra. Cover was provided by HM
Battleship KING GEORGE
ARGONAUT, HMS EURYALUS and HMS BLACK
PRINCE screened by
Fleet Destroyers. (Operation MERIDIAN ONE)
29th With same aircraft carriers launched raids on Soengi Gerong oil refineries and airfields
at Lembak and Tanglangbetoetoe
(Operation MERIDIAN TWO).
These attacks were marred by various problems. All seven KAMIKAZE aircraft
which attacked Fleet in retaliation were destroyed but 16 RN
aircraft were lost in action
and another 14 by deck landing accidents. 9 pilots captured after
baling out were
executed by the Japanese in August 1945. (Operation
4th Arrived Fremantle with British Pacific
9th Arrived at Sydney to prepare
for operational service as TF113 with US Navy.
as part of Task Force 57.
17th Joined Task Force 57, BPF element of US 5th Fleet, at Manus
23rd Sailed from Ulithi to take part in combined
RN/USN carrier operations in support of
US landings on Okinawa until 7th April (Operation ICEBERG).
1st Damaged in KAMIKAZE attack during operations
off Sakashima Gunto group.
were killed and 16 wounded. Extensive damage to Island structure and some fires were
started. Flight deck was cleared and fires extinguished with
9th Flying operations transferred to targets in Formosa (Operation ICEBERG OOLONG).
11th With HMS INDEFATIGABLE carried attacks on Schinchiku
16th Transferred with TF57 to renew attacks on
airfields in Ishigaki and Miyako
20th Returned to Leyte.
1st Sailed from Leyte to resume attacks on Sakishima Gunto group.
4th After replenishing with ships of TG57 launched first of a series
of air attacks with
HMS VICTORIOUS and
HMS FORMIDABLE on airfields at Hiara, Nobara, Miyako
by KAMIKAZE aircraft but remained operational.
9th Damaged in another KAMIKAZE attack but continued flying operations
with gaps for
replenishment until 23rd May.
20th In collision with HM Destroyer QUILLIAM which
was seriously damaged.
25th Sailed for Manus on completion of operation
requirement for TF57.
June Relieved by HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE
and refitted in SYDNEY.
completion remained at Sydney.
15th Transferred to RN control after Japan surrendered.
passage to Subic Bay, Philippines with HM Aircraft Carrier
and SWIFTSURE screened by three Fleet Destroyers
27th Sailed with HMS VENERABLE, HMS SWIFTSURE, HMS BLACK PRINCE, HMS
screened by HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT, URSA, QUADRANT and WHIRLWIND
Task Group 111.2 to re-occupy Hong Kong.
29th Met HM Battleship ANSON and HM Aircraft Carrier VENGEANCE prior
to entry into the
Colony of Hong Kong
after minesweeping completed.
30th Carried cut air attacks with HMS VENERABLE on Japanese explosive
boats in Lamma Bay.
Entered Hong Kong on completion.