HMS Indefatigable (R10)
|Career (United Kingdom)|
|Builder:||John Brown & Company|
|Laid down:||3 November 1939|
|Launched:||8 December 1942|
|Commissioned:||3 May 1944|
|Identification:||Pennant number: R10|
|Fate:||Scrapped in November 1956|
|Class & type:||Implacable class aircraft carrier|
|Displacement:||23,825 tons standard
32,624 tons full load
|Length:||766.5 ft (233.6 m)|
|Beam:||95.75 ft (29.18 m)|
|Draught:||29 ft (8.8 m)|
|Propulsion:||Steam Turbines (8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 4 shafts, Parsons geared turbines), 148,000 shp.|
|Speed:||32 knots (59 km/h)|
|Range:||11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)|
|Complement:||1,400 (including air group)|
|Armament:||8 × twin QF 4.5 inch naval guns
42 × QF 2 pounder naval guns
40 × Oerlikon 20 mm guns
|Aircraft carried:||73 in 1944 with a permanent deck park.|
HMS Indefatigable was an Implacable-class aircraft carrier of the British Royal Navy. Indefatigable was present at the formal surrender of the Japanese on 2 September in Tokyo Bay. She later helped to repatriate Allied POWs held in Japan and was used as a spotting ship for later US nuclear tests in the Pacific ocean. Indefatigable was scrapped in 1956.
Built at the famous John Brown Yard on the Clyde, at Clydebank, Scotland, Indefatigable was laid down on 3 November 1939 and launched on 8 December 1942. However, it would be more than year before she entered service, due to fitting up. Meantime, in order to confound the enemy, a ruse known as Operation Bijou, initiated by London Controlling Section, was launched whereby it was made known that Indefatigable had entered service. ULTRA decrypts revealed that the Japanese believed the deception, with operatives including Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Fleming supplying disinformation for more than a year, sufficient to make the enemy believe the vessel had gone to the Far East and returned to the Clyde for a refit, by which time she was actually finished.
She was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 3 May 1944, joining the Home Fleet. The ship's first commander was Captain Q. D. Graham. The first mission (rather in the form of a 'working-up' exercise) was a set of raids on the German battleship Tirpitz in the fjords of Norway, starting with Operation Mascot on 17 July. These operations were not successful.
In March 1944 Indefatigable was used in trials of the de Havilland Sea Mosquito, the test pilot Eric "Winkle" Brown landing one on board on the 25th of that month. This was the first landing on a carrier by a twin-engined aircraft.
After dockyard work on the problems the ship sailed on 19 November 1944 for the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet as flagship of Rear-Admiral Philip Vian (former captain of Cossack) who commanded the carrier group of the BPF. He transferred his flag to Indomitable on arrival at Colombo on 10 December 1944.
On 1 April 1945, while operating in support of the Okinawa operation, the ship was hit at the base of the superstructure by a kamikaze suicide bomber. Fourteen men were killed. Thanks to her armoured deck however, Indefatigable was able to operate aircraft again after just five hours.
Indefatigable was present at the formal surrender of the Japanese on 2 September in Tokyo Bay. She later helped to repatriate Allied POWs held in Japan and was used as a spotting ship for later US nuclear tests in the Pacific ocean.
She decommissioned after the war but recommissioned in 1950 as a training ship. In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. After being decommissioned for the last time, Indefatigable was scrapped in 1956.
The ship's squadrons operated a number of aircraft types including the Supermarine Seafire, TBF Avenger and Fairey Firefly. In November 1944 Indefatigable carried 73 aircraft: 40 Seafires, 21 Avengers and 12 Fireflies.
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- Thadeus Holt, The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War, New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2007, p. 389-390, 810.
- David Hobbs: A Century of Carrier Aviation. Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley 2009, ISBN 978-1-84832-019-2. Page 186
- Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Friedman, Norman (1988). British Carrier Aviation: The Evolution of the Ships and Their Aircraft. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-054-8.
- Ireland, Bernard. The Illustrated Guide to Aircraft Carriers of the World. Hermes House, London, 2005. ISBN 1-84477-747-2
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