HMS Victorious (R38)

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HMS Victorious (R38) aerial c1959.jpeg
Victorious in 1959
United Kingdom
Ordered13 January 1937
Cost$65 million
Laid down4 May 1937
Launched14 September 1939
Commissioned14 May 1941
Decommissioned13 March 1968
IdentificationPennant numbers: 38, R38, 38
MottoPer coelum et aequorem victrix (Through air and sea victorious)
Honours and
  • Cape of Good Hope 1795
  • St Lucia 1796
  • Egypt 1801
  • Walcheren 1809
  • Rivoli Action 1812
  • Bismarck Action 1941
  • Norway 1941–42
  • Arctic 1941–42
  • Malta Convoys 1942
  • Biscay 1942
  • Sabang 1944
  • Palembang 1945
  • Okinawa 1945
  • Japan 1945
FateScrapped, 1969
General characteristics
Class and typeIllustrious-class aircraft carrier
  • As built: 23,207 tons lightship, 28,619 tons full load
  • Post-refit: 35,500 tons full load
  • As built: 673 ft (205 m) waterline
  • 743 ft 9 in (226.70 m) overall
  • Post-1957 refit: 778 ft 3 in (237.21 m) overall
  • (waterline) As built: 95 ft (29 m)
  • Post-1957 refit: 103 ft (31.4 m) over bulges
  • (flight deck) 145 ft 9 in (44.42 m)
  • (full load) As built: 28 ft (8.5 m)
  • Post-1957 refit: 31 ft (9.45 m)
Installed power
Propulsion3 shafts, 3 geared steam turbines
Speed30.5 knots (56.5 km/h; 35.1 mph)
Range11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km; 13,000 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
  • As built: 817 (ship) + 394 (air group)
  • post refit: 2,200 (including air group)
  • flight deck: 3"
  • hangar deck: 2"
  • side belt 4"
  • hangar sides: 4"
Aircraft carried

HMS Victorious was the third Illustrious-class aircraft carrier after Illustrious and Formidable. Ordered under the 1936 Naval Programme, she was laid down at the Vickers-Armstrong shipyard at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1937 and launched two years later in 1939. Her commissioning was delayed until 1941 due to the greater need for escort vessels for service in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Her service in 1941 and 1942 included famous actions against the battleship Bismarck, several Arctic convoys, and Operation Pedestal. She was loaned to the United States Navy in 1943 and served in the south west Pacific as part of the Third Fleet. Victorious contributed to several attacks on the Tirpitz. The elimination of the German naval threat allowed her redeployment first to the Eastern Fleet at Colombo and then to the Pacific for the final actions of the war against Japan.

After the war, her service was broken by periods in reserve and, between 1950 and 1958, the most complete reconstruction of any Royal Navy carrier. This involved the construction of new superstructure above the hangar deck level, a new angled flight deck,[1] new boilers and the fitting of Type 984 radar and data links and heavy shipboard computers, able to track 50 targets and assess their priority for interrogation and interception. The reduction of Britain's naval commitment in 1967, the end of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, and a fire while under refit, prompted her final withdrawal from service, three to five years early, and she was scrapped in 1969.

World War II[edit]

Bismarck episode[edit]

Just two weeks after commissioning in 1941, Victorious took part in the hunt for the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic. Originally intended to be part of the escort for Convoy WS 8B to the Middle East, she was hardly ready to be involved in the hunt for Bismarck with only a quarter of her aircraft complement embarked. Sailing with the battleship HMS King George V, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse and 4 light cruisers, Victorious was hastily deployed to assist in the pursuit.[2][3]

HMS Victorious in 1941

On 24 May 1941, Victorious launched nine of her biplane Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber aircraft and two Fulmar fighters. The Swordfish, affectionately known by their crews as "Stringbags", under the command of Eugene Esmonde flew through foul weather and attacked Bismarck in the face of tremendous fire from anti-aircraft guns, scoring a hit to the armoured belt with a torpedo.[2] No aircraft were shot down during the attack, but the Fulmars ran out of fuel on the return journey and had to ditch in the sea as the ship's homing beacon had failed.[dubious ] Victorious took no further part in the chase; aircraft from Ark Royal disabled Bismarck's steering gear, thus contributing to her sinking three days later. Esmonde received a DSO for his part in the action.[3]

Convoy and other Arctic duties[edit]

In early June 1941, while part of the escort for troop convoy WS 8X, a Swordfish of 825 Squadron from Victorious located the German supply ship Gonzenheim north of the Azores. Gonzenheim had been intended to support the Bismarck but was subsequently scuttled when approached by British warships.[4] On 5 June, Victorious was detached to Gibraltar, and with Ark Royal and a naval escort, "flew-off" Hawker Hurricane aircraft to reinforce the besieged British Mediterranean base of Malta (Operation Tracer). Victorious returned to the naval base at Scapa Flow with captured crewmen from Gonzenheim.[2]

In late July 1941, she escorted HMS Adventure via the Arctic to Murmansk with a load of mines. On 31 July she took part in the raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo, in which thirteen of her aircraft were lost.[2]

At the end of August, Victorious escorted the first Allied convoy to Archangel (Operation Dervish) in company with a force of cruisers and destroyers, and then covered the return passage of HMS Argus, which had delivered Hurricane fighters to Murmansk. During early September, she launched more air attacks: against Tromsø (twice), against Vestfjorden, and against shipping off Bodø.[2] On 13 September, aircraft from Victorious sank the Norwegian Hurtigruten coastal steamer Barøy.[5]

In October 1941, decrypted German Enigma signals indicated a break-out into the Atlantic by the German warships Scheer and Tirpitz. Victorious was deployed with the Home Fleet for their interception; this included a patrol in the Denmark Strait with battleships HMS King George V, USS Idaho, and USS Mississippi, and cruisers USS Wichita and USS Tuscaloosa. This joint Anglo-American operation pre-dated the formal state of war between the United States and Germany. This operation continued until mid-November, when Hitler cancelled the German operation. Victorious then continued with the Home Fleet until March 1942.[2]

Victorious returned to the Arctic Convoys in March and April 1942, helping to provide cover for convoys PQ 12, QP 8, PQ 13, QP 9, PQ 14, and QP 10. During these operations, she also made an unsuccessful air strike on Tirpitz, losing two aircraft. From the end of April, until June, Anglo-American forces (including the US ships Washington, Tuscaloosa, and Wichita) covered convoys PQ 16, QP 12, PQ 17, and QP 13, after which Victorious returned to Scapa Flow.[2]

The Arctic convoys had been suspended temporarily after the heavy losses suffered by Convoy PQ 17 when twenty-three out of thirty-six ships were sunk. This was after the convoy had been scattered in the belief that an attack was imminent by the German warships Admiral Hipper, Lützow, Admiral Scheer, and Tirpitz.


The suspension of the Arctic convoys released Victorious to take part in a "last chance" attempt to resupply Malta – Operation Pedestal. Malta-bound Convoy WS 21S departed Britain on 3 August 1942 escorted by Victorious with HMS Nelson and cruisers Nigeria, Kenya and Manchester. Exercises (Operation Berserk) were performed with aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable, Furious, Eagle and Argus to improve operational techniques.[2]

Pedestal began on 10 August 1942 and involved a great array of ships in several coordinated groups; two battleships, four aircraft carriers, seven cruisers and thirty two destroyers. Some of the carriers were transporting aircraft for Malta's defence and fourteen merchant ships carried supplies. On 12 August 1942 Victorious was slightly damaged by an attack from Italian bombers.[2] Eagle was less fortunate, being torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat on her return journey to Gibraltar. Ultimately Pedestal was a success for the allies: supplies, including oil and reinforcing Supermarine Spitfires allowed Malta to hold out, albeit at the cost of the loss of nine merchant ships, one aircraft carrier, two cruisers, and a destroyer.

In September 1942, Victorious was taken in hand for a refit that included the installation of an aircraft direction room. After trials, she was ready to participate in the North African landings.[2]

Operation Torch[edit]

In November 1942, Victorious took part in the North African landings. Operation Torch, which involved 196 ships of the Royal Navy and 105 of the United States Navy, landed about 107,000 Allied soldiers. Ultimately successful, Operation Torch was the precursor to the later invasions of Sicily, Italy and France. Victorious provided air cover during the landings and made air attacks at Algiers and Fort Duree. Four of her Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters landed at Blida airfield to accept its surrender.[2]

She left for Scapa Flow on 18 November and, while en route, Fairey Albacores of 817 Squadron depth charged U-517 off Cape Finisterre. The submarine's structure was badly damaged and she was scuttled; surviving crew were rescued by HMS Opportune.[2]

Service with the US Navy[edit]

USS Hornet was sunk and USS Enterprise was badly damaged at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, leaving the United States Navy with only one fleet carrier, USS Saratoga, operational in the Pacific. In late December 1942, Victorious was loaned to the US Navy after an American plea for carrier reinforcement.[6] Whilst in US service she was known as the USS Robin.[7] After a refit in the United States at the Norfolk Navy Yard in January 1943 and the addition of Avenger aircraft, Victorious passed through the Panama Canal on 14 February to operate with United States forces in the Pacific. Her crew suffered an outbreak of diphtheria and medical supplies were dropped to her by air on 21 February.[8]

HMS Victorious and USS Saratoga at Nouméa, 1943

Victorious arrived at Pearl Harbor in March 1943 and was fitted with heavier arrester wires as RN wires had proved too light for the Grumman Avenger aircraft. Additional AA guns were also fitted. She sailed for the south-west Pacific, arriving at Nouméa, New Caledonia, on 17 May to form Carrier Division 1 with USS Saratoga.[9] She sortied immediately for a week with Task Force 14, including Saratoga and battleships North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Indiana, sweeping against reported Japanese fleet activity, but without contact. Six aircraft were lost to accidents. Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, commanding the division, carried out evaluation exercises and patrol sweeps in June and determined that Victorious had superior fighter control but handled Avenger aircraft poorly because of their weight. Accordingly, he transferred 832 Squadron FAA to the Saratoga and US Carrier Air Group 3 to the Victorious. Thereafter, Victorious's primary role was fighter cover and Saratoga mainly handled strikes.

On 27 June, TF14 was redesignated Task Group 36.3 and sailed to provide cover for the invasion of New Georgia (part of Operation Cartwheel). Victorious spent the next 28 days continuously in combat operations at sea, a record for a British carrier, steaming 12,223 miles[clarification needed] at an average speed over 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) and launching 614 sorties. Returning to Nouméa on 25 July, Victorious was recalled home. Though the Japanese had four carriers to Ramsey's two, it seemed clear that they were not intending to press their advantage and the first two carriers of the new Essex class had arrived at Pearl Harbor well ahead of schedule. Victorious left for Pearl Harbor on 31 July, leaving behind her Avengers as replacements for Saratoga, sailing in company with battleship Indiana and launching 165 anti submarine sweeps en route. She also carried US pilots finishing their tours as well as two Japanese POWs. After a brief stop in San Diego, Victorious passed through the Panama Canal on 26 August and arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard 1 September, where specialized US equipment was removed. Returning home, she arrived at Greenock on the Clyde on 26 September 1943 where aircraft and stores were discharged awaiting refit.[10][page needed]

The German battleship Tirpitz

Attack on Tirpitz[edit]

From December 1943 until March 1944, Victorious was under refit at Liverpool, where new radar was fitted.[2] At the end of March, Victorious with Anson and Duke of York formed Force 1, covering the passage of Convoy JW 58. On 2 April 1944, Force 1 joined with Force 2, composed of the aging carrier HMS Furious and the escort carriers HMS Emperor, Fencer, Pursuer, and Searcher as well as numerous cruisers and destroyers. The combined force launched an attack (Operation Tungsten) on the German battleship Tirpitz in Altafjord, Norway. This involved Barracudas in two waves, hitting the battleship fourteen times and strafing the ship's defences. Although near-misses caused flooding and there was serious damage to the superstructure, the ship's armour was not penetrated. Nonetheless, the attack put Tirpitz out of action for some months.[a][11] The Task Force returned to Scapa Flow three days later.

Victorious was to participate in three further attacks on Tirpitz, in April and May (Operations Planet, Brawn, and Tiger Claw), but these were cancelled due to bad weather and anti-shipping strikes were substituted. On 30 May, an acoustic torpedo attack by U-957 against Victorious failed and subsequently she made more shipping attacks off Norway (Operation Lombard).[2]

Eastern Fleet[edit]

Chance Vought Corsairs being readied on Victorious' flight deck before the raid on Sigli in September 1944

In June 1944, Victorious, in company with HMS Indomitable, left British waters to join the Eastern Fleet at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where she arrived on 5 July. The Eastern Fleet, after a quiet period of trade protection and relative vulnerability, was now being reinforced with ships released from the Atlantic and Mediterranean, in preparation for offensive action against the Japanese.[12]

After a short preparatory period, Victorious took part in a sequence of air attacks against Japanese installations. The first was Operation Crimson on 25 July, a joint attack with HMS Illustrious on airfields near Sabang in Sumatra. In late August, she provided air cover for Eastern Fleet ships that were providing air-sea rescue facilities for US Army aircraft during air attacks on Sumatra (Operation Boomerang). On 29 August, in company with HMS Illustrious and Indomitable and escorted by HMS Howe, Victorious made air strikes on Padang, Indaroeng and Emmahaven (Operation Banquet). After a short pause, on 18 September, Victorious and Indomitable attacked railway yards at Sigli in Sumatra followed by photo-reconnaissance of the Nicobar Islands (Operation Light). During Light, there was a "friendly fire" attack on HMS Spirit, fortunately without causing any casualties.[2]

At the end of September, Victorious had a short interval at Bombay for repairs to her steering gear to remedy problems that had arisen during Operation Light. She rejoined the Eastern Fleet on 6 October. The next operation, Millet, was her last with the Eastern Fleet. On 17 October, she launched attacks on the Nicobar Islands and Nancowry harbour, with HMS Indomitable and escorted by HMS Renown. Enemy air attacks destroyed four aircraft and damaged five more. During early November, Victorious returned to Bombay for more work on her steering as more problems had arisen during Millet.[2]

British Pacific Fleet[edit]


The British Pacific Fleet (BPF) was formed at Trincomalee on 22 November 1944 from elements of the Eastern Fleet and Victorious was transferred to the new fleet. From November 1944 until January 1945 the BPF stayed in the Indian Ocean, training and gaining experience that they would need when working with the United States Navy. Victorious, however, remained under repair at Bombay until January 1945 and missed raids on oil refineries at Pangkalan Brandan (Operation Robson).[2]

In early January 1945, she was available for Operation Lentil, a repeat raid on the oil refineries at Pangkalan Brandan with HM Ships Indomitable and Implacable. Further raids on Japanese oil and port installations in Sumatra were made on 16 January. By late January, the BPF had finally quit Ceylon and was en route to its new home base in Sydney. The voyage was interrupted on 24 January for another series of raids, this time on Pladjoe and Manna in south west Sumatra (Operation Meridian) during which there was little opposition from Japanese aircraft. This was followed on 29 January by unsuccessful attacks on oil installations at Soengi-Gerong. This time, the Japanese attempted air attacks on the British fleet but these were beaten off. Total aircraft losses by all carriers were 16 aircraft in action and another 25 lost by ditching or on landing. Nine Fleet Air Arm pilots captured by the Japanese were executed in April 1945.[13]


HMS Victorious and other ships of the British Pacific Fleet arriving at Sydney in February 1945

In early February, Victorious joined Task Force 113 (TF113) at Sydney to prepare for service with the US 5th Fleet. At the end of the month, TF113 left Sydney for their forward base at Manus Island, north of New Guinea, and then continued, joining the 5th US Fleet at Ulithi on 25 March as Task Force 57 (TF57), supporting the American assault on Okinawa. The task allocated to the British force was to neutralise airfields in the Sakishima Gunto. From late March until 25 May, the British carriers Victorious, Illustrious (later replaced by Formidable), Indefatigable and Indomitable formed the 1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron commanded by Vice Admiral Philip Vian and they were in action against airfields on the Sakishima Islands (Operations Iceberg I and Iceberg II) and Formosa (Operation Iceberg Oolong).[2][14]

The British carriers were attacked by kamikaze suicide aircraft and Victorious was hit on 4 and 9 May and near-missed on 1 April, but her armoured flight deck resisted the worst of the impacts. She remained on station and was back in operation within hours on each occasion, despite damage to an aircraft lift and steam piping in her superstructure. Three men were killed and 19 of the ship's company were injured.[2]


After May 1945 the British Pacific Fleet withdrew to Sydney and Manus for refits and, in the cases of Victorious, Formidable and Indefatigable, for repairs to battle damage. The British fleet rendezvoused with the US 3rd Fleet on 16 July and became effectively absorbed into the American structure as a part of TF38 for the "softening up" of Japanese resistance within their home islands.[15]

During the second half of July, aircraft from Victorious took part in a series of attacks on Japanese shipping, transport and airbases on Honshu and around the Inland Sea. In one notable attack in July, aircraft of 849 Squadron from Victorious located the Japanese escort carrier Kaiyo at Beppu Bay in Kyūshū and attacked her, inflicting serious damage that kept the ship out of the remainder of the war.[16] In the main, however, British aircraft were excluded from the actions against the major Japanese naval bases; the Americans, for political reasons, preferred to reserve these targets for themselves.[17][18]

War's end[edit]

Victorious was scheduled to leave for Manus Island with Task Force 37 (TF37) on 10 August 1945 to prepare for the anticipated invasion of Japan (Operation Olympic), and actually left on August 12, then proceeding to Sydney. The surrender of Japan on 15 August rendered the invasion moot. The British Pacific Fleet (BPF) commander had agreed to stay for one more day's operations, but the British arrangements could not stretch to a further delay and fuel shortages were insurmountable.[19] The steering faults that had hampered Victorious in the Indian Ocean in late 1944 are believed to have continued.[2]

On 31 August, Victorious's ship's company took part in the Victory Parade in Sydney.[2]


HMS Victorious in 1959 with British and U.S. Navy aircraft parked on the flight deck.

Victorious left Australia in September 1945, arrived back in Britain on 27 October and undertook three trips to collect servicemen and war brides of British servicemen from Australia and the Far East.[20] In the winter of 1946–47, the first deck trials with the Hawker Sea Fury (Mark 10) took place aboard Victorious, leading to its approval for carrier operations in early 1947.[21]

Victorious was reduced to the reserve at Devonport on 15 January 1947, on completion of her trooping duties. From June that year she was modified at Portsmouth Dockyard with additional accommodation and classrooms and on 1 October 1947, joined the Home Fleet Training Squadron, replacing the battleship Nelson. In July 1948, Victorious was deployed to Portland Harbour in support of the sailing events at the 1948 London Olympic Games. In 1949 she was refitted at Rosyth and took part in several training cruises and Home Fleet exercises.[22]

The ship was extensively reconstructed and modernised at Portsmouth Dockyard between 1950 and 1958. This took over eight years because of frequent design changes to allow for new technologies. And in particular, the decision in 1953 that she would have to have her original steam turbines replaced, to be viable past 1964, which meant much work had to be redone, and a new flight deck installed twice over. The cost of the reconstruction increased from 5 million pounds to 30 million pounds[23] creating what was in many respects a new ship.[24] Her hull was widened, deepened, and lengthened; her machinery was replaced with Foster-Wheeler boilers; her hangar height was increased; new armament of 3 inch (76 mm) guns was installed; a fully angled flight deck (of 8 degrees) and steam catapults were added. Her radar equipment was extensively altered to include up to date equipment, and included the first type 984 3-D radar system to be installed on a ship.[25] While it was hoped she could operate a full air group of 50 aircraft, the rapid increase in size of the jets coming into service limited her to operating no more than 28 aircraft (including helicopters).

Victorious leads Ark Royal and Hermes in 1961

On 25 September 1958 Commander J. D. Russell drowned in his Supermarine Scimitar after a failed attempt to land on Victorious for the first time after her refit. Although the landing hook engaged the arrestor wire, the wire itself snapped due to improper rigging and the aircraft then rolled slowly over the side. It sank very slowly, but the plane-guard helicopter crew couldn't release the pilot, and it was seen that Cdr Russell had opened his canopy and then closed it again, possibly an effect of gravity on the heavy frame. The other seven Scimitars in the stream diverted away to Yeovilton.[citation needed]

In 1960, after recommissioning into the Home Fleet on 14 January 1958, with work-ups and deployments in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, she portrayed both herself and HMS Ark Royal during the filming of the British film Sink the Bismarck!. This was despite post-war modifications significantly altering her appearance – the addition of an angled deck and a Type 984 "searchlight" radar. The actor Kenneth More who had served aboard Victorious as a junior officer, played a fictitious Admiralty Director of Operations. He is shown giving the order to detach Victorious from Convoy WS 8B, which was forming in the River Clyde in order to move almost 20,000 troops to the Middle East.

Victorious took part in Operation Vantage in support of Kuwait in July 1961.[26] Later in 1961 she would sail to join the Far East Fleet. In 1964, she provided support for the newly independent state of Malaysia against territorial expansion by its neighbour, Indonesia.[27] Her passage through the Sunda Strait caused the Sunda Straits Crisis between August and September 1964, which was settled peacefully when Indonesia agreed to allow Victorious to return through the Lombok Strait.[28] In April 1966 she departed again to serve with the Far East Fleet for a year, during which she proved capable of landing and then launching a USN Phantom F-4 from USS Ranger,[29] returning to the UK for a refit period from June 1967.

General characteristics after reconstruction[edit]

Victorious in Grand Harbour, Malta en route back to the UK following her 1966–1967 Far East cruise

General characteristics of Victorious after reconstruction.[30]

Displacement 30,530 tons standard, 35,500 tons full load
Length 781 ft (238 m)
Beam 103 ft 6 inch (31.5 m) water line, 157 ft (47.8 m) flight deck
Draught 31 ft (9.5 m)
Machinery 3 shaft Parsons geared turbines, 6 Foster wheeler boilers
  • Belt 4 inch
  • Hangar side 4 inch
  • Flight deck 3 inch
  • Hangar deck 2 inch
Aircraft 36
Radar Type 984, Type 974, Type 293Q
Crew 2400


A U.S. Navy EA-1F making a touch-and-go landing on HMS Victorious in 1963

On 11 November 1967, after the completion of the 1967 refit and shortly before the start of what was intended as the ship's final commission, there was a relatively small fire, which was rapidly extinguished, in the chief petty officers' mess (resulting in one death and two hospitalisations[31]). Although damage was relatively minor, the fire coincided with a reduction of the defence budget and a manpower shortage for the Royal Navy. Together with the 1966 decision to phase out fixed-wing naval aviation, it was decided at very short notice not to recommission Victorious. Her captain was told of this just one day before the scheduled recommissioning ceremony. The ceremony was held by the ship's crew anyway as a "wake" for the ship.[32] She was paid off in 1968 and placed on the Disposal List in 1969. She was sold later that year to British Shipbreakers and towed on 13 July 1969 to Faslane Naval Base, where she was broken up.[2][b]

During her service, HMS Victorious had been deployed in most parts of the world.

Final air wing 1966–67[33]
Squadron Aircraft type Number of
801 NAS Buccaneer S2 9 Strike
899 NAS Sea Vixen FAW2 10 Fleet Air Defence
849A NAS Gannet AEW3 4 Airborne Early Warning
Gannet COD4 1 Carrier On-Board Delivery
814 NAS Wessex HAS.3 5 Anti-Submarine Warfare
Ships Flight Wessex HAS.1 2 Search and Rescue

Squadrons and aircraft[edit]


Dates Naval Air Squadron Aircraft
January 1941 – November 1942 809 Fulmar II
May–June 1941 825 Swordfish I
May–June 1941 800Z Fulmar I
June 1941 820 Swordfish I
July–August 1941 828 Albacore I
July–August 1941 827 Albacore I
July 1941 – January 1942 820 Albacore I
August 1941 – November 1942 817 Albacore I
August 1941 – December 1942 832 Albacore I
September 1941 802 detachment 8 Martlet I
June–August 1942 885 Sea Hurricane Ib
July–November 1942 884 Spitfire V
Aug 1942 801 detachment Sea Hurricane Ib
September 1942 – September 1943 896 Martlet IV
October 1942 – October 1943 898 Martlet IV
October 1942 – September 1943 882 Martlet IV
January – September 1943 832 Avenger 1
February 1944 – October 1945 1834 Corsair II/IV
March–April 1944 827 Barracuda II
March–July 1944 829 Barracuda II
March–August 1944 831 Barracuda II
March 1944 – October 1945 1836 Corsair II/IV
July–Sept 1944 1837 Corsair II
July 1944 1838 Corsair II
September 1944 822 detachment 9 Barracuda II
December 1944 – October 1945 849 Avenger II
November 1957 – July 1958 701C Dragonfly HR3
June 1958 – March 1962 803 Supermarine Scimitar
August 1958 – February 1959 824 Westland Whirlwind HAS7
September 1958 – June 1960 849B Douglas Skyraider AEW1
September 1958 – February 1960 893 Sea Vixen FAW1
November 1958 – December 1958 831B Sea Venom ECM22
February 1959 894 detachment Sea Venom FAW22
June–August 1959 894 Sea Venom FAW22
July 1959 – March 1962 892 Sea Vixen FAW1
September 1959 – December 1959 831B Sea Venom ECM22
January 1960 – February 1960 831A Gannet ECM4
December 1961 815 Westland Wessex HAS1
June 1960 – March 1962 849B Gannet AEW3
August 1960 – April 1962 825 Whirlwind HAS7
September 1960 893 detachment Sea Vixen FAW1
July 1963 – August 1963 819 Wessex HAS1
August 1963 – July 1965 801 Buccaneer S1
August 1963 – June 1967 814 Wessex HAS1
August 1963 – July 1965 849A Gannet AEW3
August 1963 – July 1965 893 Sea Vixen FAW1
August 1963 899 detachment Sea Vixen FAW1
November 1965 – June 1967 893 Sea Vixen FAW2
June 1966 – June 1967 849A Gannet AEW3
May 1966 – May 1968 801 Buccaneer S2


Airfix produce a 1/600 scale construction kit of Victorious.[35]


  1. ^ Sources differ on the time taken to repair Tirpitz, varying from one to three months. It appears, however, that she was ready for sea trials in July 1944.
  2. ^ There are differences between sources on the precise details of the circumstances of Victorious's demise.


  1. ^ Watton, Ross (2004). The Aircraft Carrier Victorious. Anatomy of the Ship. Naval Institute Press. p. 9. ISBN 1-55750-026-6.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Mason, Geoffrey B (2003). "HMS Victorious". Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2. Naval history. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  3. ^ a b Kennedy
  4. ^ Mason, Geoffrey B (2003). "HMS Nelson". Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2. Naval History. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  5. ^ Lawson, Siri Holm. "D/S Barøy". War Sailors. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  6. ^ Apps 1971, pp. 113–114
  7. ^ "USS Robin". Armourd Aircraft Carriers in WW2. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  8. ^ Hobbs 2011, p. 15
  9. ^ Apps 1971, pp. 119–121
  10. ^ Hobbs David British Aircraft Carriers Seaforth 2013
  11. ^ Rico, José M (1998–2008). "The Battleship Tirpitz". K Bismarck. Retrieved 24 November 2008. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Jackson, Ashley (2006). The British Empire and the Second World War. London: Hambledon Continuum. p. 301. ISBN 1-85285-417-0.
  13. ^ Waters, SD (2008). "Execution by Japanese of Fleet Air Arm Officers". New Zealand Electronic Text Centre. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
  14. ^ Vian 1960, pp. 172–91.
  15. ^ Vian 1960, p. 193.
  16. ^ "849 Squadron". Fleet Air Arm Archive. 2000–2001. Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  17. ^ Vian 1960, pp. 205–6.
  18. ^ Sarantakes, Nicholase (2006), "The Short but Brilliant Life of the British Pacific Fleet" (PDF), JFQ, ndupress, no. 40, p. 88, archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2006, retrieved 1 December 2008
  19. ^ Vian 1960, pp. 213–4.
  20. ^ "Australian War brides". Plymouth City Council. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  21. ^ "Hawker Sea Fury". Fleet Air Arm Archive. 3 April 2000. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  22. ^ Hobbs 2013, p. 97.
  23. ^ Hobbs 2014, pp. 44–47.
  24. ^ Hobbs 2014, p. 46.
  25. ^ "HMS Victorious". Fleet Air Arm Archive. 2000–2001. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  26. ^ White, Christopher J; Robinson, Peter (2008–2010). "Gulf War Part 1: Operation Vantage". Historical RFA. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  27. ^ "Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Compston". Times Obituaries. R Jerrard. 19 September 2000. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  28. ^ Easter, David (2004). Britain and the confrontation with Indonesia, 1960-66. London. pp. 102–103. ISBN 9780857721150.
  29. ^ Hobbs (October 2014a), Ship Monthly, p. 47.
  30. ^ Preston 1995, p. 496
  31. ^ "HMS "Victorious" (Fire)". Hansard. Mill bank systems. 16 November 1967. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  32. ^ Apps 1971, pp. 238–242.
  33. ^ Sea Vixen, archived from the original on 28 July 2011.
  34. ^ Sturtivant & Ballance 1994, p. 402
  35. ^ "Airfix Warships". Airfix. Retrieved 10 July 2022.


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