IMPLACABLE Class Fleet Aircraft Carrier ordered on 19 June 1939 from John Brown of Clydebank. Theship was laid down later that year and launched on 8th December 1942. She was the sixth RN ship tocarry the name which was introduced in 1783 and last used for a battleship sunk during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Build was completed on 3rd May 1944 and she had been adopted by the Borough ofHolborn, Greater London after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March
BASQUE ROADS 1809 - JUTLAND 1916 - PALEMBANG 1945 - OKINAWA 1945 - JAPAN 1945
H e r a l d i c D a t a.
Badge: On a Field Blue, through a wreath of laurel Proper, a lion passantgardant gold
1 9 4 4
March Contractor's sea trials and commissioning.
15th Successful landing trials of MOSQUITO aircraft.
April Acceptance trials in continuation.
3rd Accepted into service.
(Note: This had been delayed and as a result ship could not take part in planned
Home Fleet operations against German battle ship TIRPITZ. See CONVOY! by P Kemp).
Embarked aircraft and worked-up with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
June On completion of work-up deployed with Home Fleet.
July Home Fleet deployment in continuation.
17th Carried out series of air attacks on the German battleship TIRPITZ in Altenfjord
with HM Aircraft Carriers FORMIDABLE and FURIOUS covered by HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK
HM Cruisers KENT, DEVONSHIRE, JAMAICA and BELLONA with Home Fleet destroyer screen.
(Note: These were Unsuccessful because early detection allowed smoke screen to beactivated. See
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and CONVOY !).
August Home Fleet deployment in continuation.
8th Carried out Rehearsal for planned Norwegian coast operations against TIRPITZ.
10th Attacked airfield and installations at Gossen and carried out air minelay between Lepsoy and Haramsa
Island with HM Aircraft Carriers TRUMPETER and NABOB covered by HMS KENT and HMS
DEVONSHIRE screened by HM Destroyers MYNGS, VIGILANT, VERULAM,VOLAGE, VIRAGO,
SCOURGE and Canadian destroyer ALGONQUIN (Operation OFFSPRING).
22nd Carried out series of unsuccessful air attacks on TIRPITZ with HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS FURIOUS
and HMS NABOB covered by HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS DEVONSHIRE and HMS BERWICK
screened by 14 Home Fleet destroyers. HMS NABOB torpedoed and badly damaged.
(Note: This operation was co-incident with passage of Russian Convoy JW59 and the return convoy
RA59 which were covered by other Home Fleet major units).
24th Carried two further attacks on TIRPITZ with HMS FORMIDABLE and HMS FURIOUS.
During the last one, 2 hits obtained but caused no significant damage.
29th Carried out final attacks of this operation on TIRPITZ.
No hits were obtained.
(Note: During Operation GOODWOOD 247 sorties were flown by the carriers and 11 of their aircraft
were lost. The lack of success resulted in the use of RAF aircraft. See above references).
September Home Fleet deployment in continuation.
Nominated for service in British Pacific Fleet.
October Prepared for service in Pacific.
November Took passage to Indian Ocean.
10th Arrived at Colombo and joined HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS, INDOMITABLE and
VICTORIOUS in 1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron, British Pacific Fleet.
1 9 4 5
January Joined Task Force 63 with HMS INDOMITABLE and VICTORIOUS for Eastern Fleet attacks
on Sumatra (Operation LENTIL - See OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray).
4th Carried cut air attacks on oil refineries at Pangkalan Brandon, Sumatra covered by HM Cruisers
SUFFOLK, CEYLON, ARGONAUT and BLACK PRINCE screened by HM Destroyers
KEMPENFELT, WAGER, WHELP, GRENVILLE, URANIA, UNDAUNTED, UNDINE and URSA.
16th Joined Task Force 63 for air strikes with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INDOMITABLE and HMS
VICTORIOUS on Sumatra during passage to Australia for BPF service, covered by HMS
ARGONAUT, BLACK PRINCE and EURYALUS screened by HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, UNDINE,
URSA, UNDAUNTED, KEMFENFELT, WAKEFUL, WAGER, WHIRLWIND and WHELP.
(Operation MERIDIAN I).
24th After 24 hour delay due to weather conditions attacked Pladjoe oil refinery.14 Japanese aircraft were
destroyed for loss of 7 RN aircraft but 25 lost during landings in the carriers.
29th Made further air attacks on oil refineries at Soengi-Gerong, near Palembang.
Japanese attacks on Fleet units were all intercepted.
During this operation 30 Japanese aircraft were destroyed in combat and 38 on the ground. 16 RN aircraft
were lost but some aircrew were rescued (Operation MERIDIAN II).
February Passage to Fremantle and Sydney.
10th Nominated as part of Task Force 112 and prepared for operations in Pacific underUS Command as part
of US 5th Fleet.
28th Sailed from Sydney to begin operations with US Navy.
Redesignated Task Force 57 with ships of British Pacific Fleet.
(For details of operations by BPF see TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith. THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J
Winton, CARRIER VICTORY by JM Ludley, OPERATION PACIFIC and The Naval Staff History).
March Passage to join 5th Fleet.
18th Arrived Ulithi.
26th After replenishment joined US Task Force 58 ships for joint attacks on islands ofthe Sakishima-Gunto
Group in support of preparation for US landings on Okinawa.
31st (Operation ICEBERG).
(Note: This series of attacks continued in rotation with TF58 carriers).
April Deployment in continuation.
1st Damaged by KAMIKAZE aircraft and sustained 30 casualties including 14 killed.
Available for operational action after only an hour.
11th Diverted for air attacks on airfields in Formosa (Operation ICEBERG OOLONG).
Combat Air Patrol launched to intercept enemy aircraft several of which were shot down.
20th Returned to Leyte with ships of Task Force 57.
1st On completion of repair at Leyte sailed with TF57 to resume joint air operationswith TF58 on
SakishimaGunto (Operation ICEBERG).
3rd Accidental firing of wing cannon by AVENGER aircraft caused 1 death and 2 wounded.
4th Deployed with HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS INDOMITABLE and HMS VICTORIOUS in joint attacks
to with US Navy carriers.
June Passage to Australia for refit and recuperation period.
Re-designated as part of Task Force 37 in US 3rd Fleet with ships of BPF when the US Navy command
structure was changed.
28th Sailing from Sydney with BPF ships delayed by compressor defect when ships of theBPF sailed as
Task Group 37 to rejoin US Task Forces off Japan.
July Passage to Japanese waters with HM Destroyers BARFLEUR, WRANGLER and WAKEFUL.
20th Joined HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HMS VICTORIOUS and HMS IMPLACABLE to take part
in joint RN/USN operations against Japanese mainland targets and coastal shipping.
24th Attacked harbours and shipping in Inland Sea and air base at Yokoshima
Japanese Escort Aircraft Carrier KAIYO was damaged 10 miles NW of Oita, Beppu Wan.
August Deployment off Japan with US Task Forces in continuation.
9th Deployed with HM Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS, FORMIDABLE and IMPLACABLE and TG38.5
ships including HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK for air attacks on airfields and ships in North Honshu
12th Transferred to Task Force 38 when ships of BPF had to return to Manus because of lack of fuel from
Redesignated Task Group 38.5 with HMS KING GEORGE V, HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND and
GAMBIA, HM Destroyers BARFLEUR, NAPIER (RAN), NIZAM (RAN), WAKEFUL, WRANGLER
TEAZER, TERMAGANT and TENACIOUS and resumed operations with TF38.
13th Attacked chemical plant at Onagawa.
15th Attacked airfields at Hisaruki and Nobara.
Under spasmodic Japanese air attacks after cessation of hostilities.
(Note: During these final attacks of the war in the Pacific a British pilot whohad baled out was captured
and later executed.
27th Arrived in Tokyo Bay with US 3rd Fleet as TG38.5 for surrender of Japan.
2nd Present during surrender ceremony.
28th Returned to Sydney.
HMS INDEFATIGABLE was deployed for trooping duties after the Japanese surrender and carried BritishPOW and other servicemen to UK from the Far East. The ship visited New Zealand in December 1945 and made a joint visit to Melbourne with HMS IMPLACABLE in January 1946. Trooping duties continued until return to UK where she arrived in September that year. On return the ship Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status in 1947. Beforebeing used as Flagship, Training Squadron she was refitted and began training duties in 1951. In 1954 theship returned to Reserve and was puton the Disposal List in 1956. Sold to BISCO she arrived at Dalmuir to bebroken up on 4th November 1956.
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