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  #1  
Old 13-11-2008, 09:19
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default HMS Indomitable: Carrier



Hello

I am doing some research on the HMS Indomitable Aircraft Carrier, and would appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction to get some good literature on this ship.

My Grandfather (Mr. John Ernest Hill - known as "Jack" of Tunbridge-Wells, Kent) born on 11.12.1912; a lucky survivor, served on the carrier during WWII as part of the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman. I have only recently found his ranking and dates of service, and I know he was serving during Operation Pedestal in the Med (Malta), and remember his stories of the end when a Kamikaze hit.

He died in the early 90's when I was quite young, and I remember some stories, but really want to look into this more deeply to gain an insight into this ship, the crew and it's part in WWII.

My father did not keep any of the memorabilia that my grandfather had kept; (including a memo that the war was over which he snuck out!!), this all went to my cousin and alas the families have split, and we have completely lost touch.

Any information anyone may have to share, names of authors, memoirs published, crew lists - I would be truly grateful.

Kind regards,
Rebecca

Last edited by Hill26 : 24-11-2008 at 13:59. Reason: middle name "Ernest", not "Geoffrey". Born "1912", not "1911"
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  #2  
Old 13-11-2008, 11:36
navalis navalis is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

have a look at the following sites:


http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/Sh...domitable.html


and

http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.u...ndomitable.htm


The latter includes a link to purchase the book "The Illustrious & Implacable Classes of Aircraft Carrier 1940 - 1969" by Neil McCart
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  #3  
Old 13-11-2008, 12:27
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

This is great, thank you very much for the links.

My Grandfather was an able Seaman from 1940/1941 - 1945 or thereabouts, so was involved in most battles mentioned - specifically the Malta convoy / Pedestal I am keen on learning more about.

After searching on Amazon I have found the following literature on the Malta Convoy:

Malta Convoys 1940-43 - by Richard Woodman
Seige: Malta 1940-1943 - by Ernle Bradford
Pedestal: The Convoy That Saved Malta - by Peter C Smith

Do you have any recommendations, or has anyone read any of these and available to comment?

Many thanks, and regards
Rebecca
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  #4  
Old 13-11-2008, 17:13
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

A little tip to all you Grandads, start up a book entitled " What did Grandad Do?". Because if, you, like me are always told "Oh not ships & the Navy again Grandad" making you feel like Uncle Albert , you can guarentee that when you are gone & can't answer their questions they will wish they had asked you when you were arround. My Grandad served in WW1 and I know nothing about it, he died when I was two but Grandma was around for years , if asked , she would have been able to tell me. Its well worth the effort.
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  #5  
Old 13-11-2008, 17:45
SCRG1970 SCRG1970 is offline
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Post Re: HMS Indomitable

Rebecca

Heres a few reminders of Indomitables war service. It wont make up for the loss of your mementoes but hope its of interest.

regards

gerry
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ZZ LPDTue9 443.jpg (270.7 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg ZZ LPDTue9 444.jpg (437.5 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg ZZ LPDTue9 445.jpg (677.4 KB, 103 views)
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  #6  
Old 13-11-2008, 19:29
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

I recall a friend saying, & I think it was Indom., that when the war in the Far East ended Indominable was used to transport ex Japanese POW's to Australia. My mate also had a drip about their homecoming being low key because all the celebrations were over. Does anyone know if that info is correct.
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  #7  
Old 13-11-2008, 21:08
John Brown John Brown is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Hi Rebecca

Welcome to the forum.

You will find a service history for the Indomitable here.....

http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chr...ndomitable.htm


Photos here.....(4 pages)

http://www.naval-history.net/WW2Memo...-Whiteing1.htm


My fathers friend (now deceased) served on her out in the far east. I will try to dig out an old photo of him and post it.




Good luck with your research.



Regards....John
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  #8  
Old 13-11-2008, 22:58
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nigelweysom nigelweysom is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

here is some information relating to indomitable
17.12.44 sailed in company with Illustrious and another carrier (not named) Black Prince Argonaut and Newcastle Kempenfelt\par
Whirlwind Wrangler and Whelp for air strikes on Java and Sumatra, ultimately attacks were made on oil refineries in \par
Sumatra which were apparently successful ,heavy ack ack fire one aircraft lost

Notes on the attack of 17.12\par
Force 67 comprising Indomitable, Illustrious , Newcastle, Argonaut, Black Prince, Kempenfelt, Whirlwind, Wrangler,
Wessex and Wakeful left Trincomalee for the attack on the Sumatran refinery at Pangkalan Brandon, it refuelled at sea
on the 18th and it arrived on the 20th off the Malacca strait due to bad weather the target was changed to the port of
Belawan Deli
24.1.45 air strikes on Palambang from Illustrious Indomitable Victorious and Indefatigable , fleet attacked by\par
enemy fighters but all shot down Illustrious damaged by shell from one of our own ships (not us)
sea rescue,sub lt Gibson WG 894 sqdrn seafire from HMS Indefatigable undercarriage failed bailed out picked up by Whirlwind

Notes on the attack on Palambang of 24:1:45 code name Meridian 1
The fleet designated Force 63 comprised of the first carrier Squadron
Indomitable, Illustrious, Victorious and Indefatigable the battle ship King George V 4th Cruiser Squadron Argonaut,
Black Prince, Ceylon and Euryalus 25th Destroyer Flotilla Grenville (Captain D), Undaunted, Undine and Ursa
27th Destroyer Flotilla Kempenfelt (Captain D ), Wager, Wakeful, Wessex, Whelp and Whirlwind
The fleet departed Trincomalee on the 16th of Jan the first 3 days were spent carrying out night encounter,
aircraft shadowing, interception, torpedo attack, and gunnery exercises
The flying off position was 70 miles east of Enggango island off the Sumatran coast , the coastal air strip at Mana
was also to be attacked, the pilot of a seafire was recovered from the sea by Whirlwind . Force 63 withdrew to the
south west for re fuelling on the 26-27th of January.

29.1.45 more attacks we lost 8 fighters and claimed 40 Jap fighters with 39 damaged ( I imagine that could be taken with
a pinch of salt
Notes on operation Iceberg the attack on Sackishima.
On the 17th march the logistic support group sailed from Manus designated task unit 112/2/1 it comprised the escort carrier
Strike, the sloop Crane, the frigate Findhorn and the Whirlwind ,and tankers San Ambrosio,Cedardale and San Adolpho.
On the 25th of march the British Pacific Fleet made a rendezvous with task unit 112/2/1 for refuelling Kempenfelt and
Whirlwind join the BPF to replace Quality and Whelp both having defects,Whelp having bearing trouble.
On the 26th the BPF reached its flying off point 100 miles due south of Miyako, its targets were the 6 principle airfields
of the Sakishima Gunto, 3 on Ishigaki and 3 on Miyako. its aim was to keep these air fields out of action in order to deny
the Japanese use of them in the defence of Okinawa .
The BPF was now designated Task Force 57 and comprised .
The battle ships King George V and Howe. Carriers Indomitable, Victorious, Illustrious and Indefatigable. Cruisers\par
Swiftsure, Gambia, Black Prince and Argonaut. And the Destroyers Euryalus, Grenville, Kempenfelt, Ulster, Udine, Urania,
Undaunted, Quickmatch, Quiberon, Queenborough, Wager and Whirlwind.
On the 30th Rear Admiral (D) transferred from Euryalus to Whirlwind and returned to Leyte in the company of Striker and
Crane.
On the 6th of April Indefatigable is struck on the flight deck by the wing tip of a Kamikaze its 550 pound bomb exploded
killing 21 and wounding 27 Indefatigable is undamaged due to its steel plate flight deck, American Carriers had \par
wooden flight decks and suffered much more damage .
On the 9th of April Undaunted and Whirlwind re join the fleet from the fuelling group.
After attacking airfields on north Formosa on the 13th of April Whirlwind returns to Leyte for replenishment returning
on the 1st of May
On the 4th of May a Kamikaze attacking Indomitable only causes superficial damage , 2 Kamikazes hit Formidable which had
replaced Illustrious killing 8 and wounding 27 .
On the 9th of may Formidable was again hit by a Kamikaze which set fire to aircraft on her deck destroying 23 F4V Corsairs
and 7 Grumman TBF Avengers,
15.8.45 at Sydney V.J.Day sirens hooted band played ships were open to visitors, but in Whirlwind we prepared for sea
and were off to Hong Kong via Leyte ,our force consisted of Indomitable Venerable Swiftshore Euralysus Anson Ursa Quadrent
Tuscus Tyrian and Kempenfelt
21.8.45 Fuelled at Manus and sailed for Leyte,at Subic bay found the Seventh Fleet , trained in transfering men from ship
to shore.
30.8.45 Entered Lie Mun pass for Hong Kong to take the surrender of the Japanese and to rescue our prisoners of war and
internees.
alot of this comes from the book Task force 57 , the British Pacific Fleet
Nigel
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  #9  
Old 14-11-2008, 04:49
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Dear Rebecca,
I have, and have rerad, all of the books you mention. They are all good and worth reading. There are very many books on the war in the Med, centred on Malta and many of which cover the part played by Indom and Illustrious. If you need more titles just ask!
good luck
tim
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  #10  
Old 14-11-2008, 08:52
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Thanks everybody for all your information - so much knowledge out there, this site/forum is fantastic. With regards to the tip for Grandads - this should span to Fathers, Uncles... and would also make a fantastic gift to a grandad or father if any "young ones" are reading... I am looking at putting my own book/album together for myself, and something I can pass on in my future, and share with my family. My father has some limited knowledge, but also has some good books he is digging out of the loft!

I have read a lot of the service history available on the internet, so thanks everyone for the links abnd info.

I am keen to get into a good book now, thanks Tim for your feedback - it's good to get some reviews before you buy!

There is another book to add to the list... not on the RN or Indomitable specifically, but on Malta itself.

"Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943" - by James Holland. I am drawn to this book as it introduces a wide range of characters, as well as events and Malta's relationship with the war. Every review I have read relating to this book, has awarded 5 stars...

I am interested to learn about any other titles, perhaps more specific to the RN and Indomitable (not necessarily Malta, but perhaps on a different battle) which gets "up, close and personal" with different characters as this book claims to achieve, and any diary entries / memoirs - personal encounters. Do you know of any?

Also, out of the 3 titles I mentioned earlier, which out of the 3 would you recommend would capture what I'd like to achieve? (also, my local 'Borders' only has "Pedestal: The Convoy That Saved Malta" - by Peter C Smith... so I am tempted to get this one...)

Thanks to everyone once again

Rebecca
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  #11  
Old 14-11-2008, 09:04
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

OldSalt/Bigship - I will speak to my Dad and see if he knows anything about a low key homecoming... it does ring a bell now you mention it.
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  #12  
Old 14-11-2008, 09:51
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Indomitable Service history: http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chr...ndomitable.htm

Illistrious Service history: http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chr...llustrious.htm

Formidable Service history: http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chr...Formidable.htm

I am confused on something, wonder if anyone can help clear this matter up...

After noting from Indom. service history that she had a collison with Illus. in December 1941, I thought I'd look up Illustrious' service history to see if there was any more info. on the incident.

Interesting that in Illus.' service history, it mentions 12th December 1941, took passage with Formidable to UK, and had a collision with Formid. ... no mention of Indom.

Does anybody possibly have any more info. on what happened?

Thanks

Last edited by Hill26 : 21-11-2008 at 16:27. Reason: typo
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  #13  
Old 21-11-2008, 16:23
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable, Illustrious and Formidable - Collision

Dear all,

As this thread has slipped to page 2, I thought I would change the wording in the title to re-emphasise my query...

Does anybody have any information on the collision I mentioned in previous post?

This is confusing me and I cannot find any further information on this! I'm getting more confused, the more I look into the subject! (I don't know if me being blonde has anything to do with it ...)

I will keep searching, naturally, but if anyone has any wealth of knowledge on this particular matter, I would be most grateful.

Kindest regards,
Rebecca
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  #14  
Old 21-11-2008, 17:39
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Rebecca

I have the following information on HMS Indomitable in Nov-Dec 1941. This was posted on another naval message board by Mark Horan, who is a US citizen, but has researched extensively in FAA official records. As you can see there is no mention of any collision.

Dave


Indomitable Nov-Dec 1941

HMS Indomitable (Capt. H. E. Morse, DSO, RN), which commissioned 26.08.41, departed Greenock on 18.10 for Bermuda as part of a fast convoy, arriving 16.10 and remaining until 01.11 when she departed for Kingston, Jamaica to work up [BTW, supposition that the ship was to depart to join Admiral Phillips in December are simply not true. Admiralty records are clear that after completing her workup the ship was scheduled to return to Gibraltar by the end of November and she was not scheduled to sortie to the Far East until after the new year!].

While manoeuvring into the harbour there on 3.11 she grounded in a known danger area (Capt. Morse and his navigation officer were found culpable for the grounding and would be relieved.) She remained making emergency repairs and awaiting negotiations with the USA concerning her repair until, on 7.11 she departed for Norfolk, Va., arriving in Chesapeake Bay on 16.11 and docking in Norfolk the next day. Having been rushed the appropriate plans, fabrication of a new bow section was already underway and this was fitted, repairs were completed, and the ship left dry dock on 20.11, and departed for Jamaica the next day, arriving on 24.11. The ship remained in Kingston and the surrounding waters until 13.12 when she departed for Trinidad, arriving on 15.12.

She departed there on 18.12 for Colombo, arriving on 31.1. She remained only 48 hours, departing on 02.01.42 for Aden, arriving on 11.01, disembarking half her aircraft [800 Squadron (Fulmars) & 827 Squadron (Albacores), retaining 831 (Albacores and 880 (Sea Hurricanes)] and leaving the next day for Port Sudan, arriving on 14.01 where she embarked 49 RAF Hurricane IIb a/c for delivery to Java via Addu Atoll and Trincomalee. She returned to Aden, swapped her Albacore Squadrons (827 vis 831] then returned to Port Sudan, arriving on 25 February, to load another load of 48 Hurricanes as well as her new her new Commanding Officer, Capt. Thomas Hope Troubridge, RN, and repeated the process, this time proceeding direct to Trincomalee to fly them off there, and then returned to Aden on 16.03.42 to re-embark her full air group.
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  #15  
Old 21-11-2008, 17:54
John Brown John Brown is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Rebecca

You could e-mail Naval-History.net and ask them if they can give you more info. It may well be that they have made a mistake, in which case I'm sure they would thank you for bringing it to their attention.

http://www.naval-history.net/index1Contact.htm


Regards...John
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  #16  
Old 24-11-2008, 10:14
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Thank you for this - I have fired off an email to the naval history guys.

I am guessing that there has been a mistake and that the collision was Illustrious and Formidable... with Indomitable being mentioned in error.

I will keep you all posted.

Kindest regards,
Rebecca
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  #17  
Old 24-11-2008, 10:24
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Dear all,

I have had a fantastic weekend as my father came to me with a letter which he found amongst some of my grandfather's belongings.

Dad was looking through some diaries which Grandad had written in his later years, and in the middle of one of these diaries was this - 'Royal Navy, HMS Indomitable memoirs' - which my father is guessing was also written in his later years.

This is a huge step for us in gaining more of an insight to what my grandfather personally went through. I have typed this up and would like to share with you all.

Warm regards,
Rebecca
Attached Files
File Type: doc J E Hill RN Memoirs2.doc (26.0 KB, 79 views)

Last edited by Hill26 : 24-11-2008 at 14:12. Reason: Updated attachment - with Dad's addition
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  #18  
Old 24-11-2008, 16:21
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Stan.J Stan.J is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Thanks for that Rebecca, An interesting insight. At least something of the past for your family.
Regards,Stan
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  #19  
Old 25-11-2008, 09:26
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

No problem, happy to share.

After learning that my Grandfather went on to work on "the bridge", I have incidently found this audio piece on the BBC website, of a John Arthur who was on his own on the bridge on the Indomitable during the Pedestal Malta convoy in August 1942, at the time 9 enemy fighter planes came towards them and hit.

This was earlier in '42, so perhaps my Grandfather was a gunner at that time...

Here is the audio piece:

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?im...%3Den%26sa%3DN

Best wishes,
Rebecca
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  #20  
Old 25-11-2008, 15:33
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Updated neater version of memoirs attached for those who are interested.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Slide1.jpg (23.9 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg Slide2.jpg (29.3 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Slide3.jpg (25.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Slide4.jpg (10.9 KB, 22 views)
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  #21  
Old 27-11-2008, 01:05
CharlesRollinsWare CharlesRollinsWare is offline
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Smile Re: HMS Indomitable

Rebecca;

I received your private message. No problem contacting me dear, that is what I hope folks will do. However, you left me no way to contact you so I hope you get it here.

About your question on HMS Indomitable and a possible collision with HMS Illustrious in December 1941, the short answer is no such collision occurred.

HMS Ilustrious was bombed and very badly damaged on 7 January 1941 in the Eastern Mediterranean off Malta. She made Malta that evening, and remained there making emergency repairs (and under attack) until 23 January when she was finally able to sortie for Egypt, making Alexandria the next day. She remained in Alexabdria under repair unti; 10 March, when she sailed for Port Said to pass through the Suez canal and points South and West, ultimately arriving in Norfolk, Va, USA for permanent repairs on 12 May. Repairs were completed in November, and on the 25th she sailed for trials. These were completed on the 27th and she then sailed for Jamaica. She stayed at Kingston conducting flying trials for a week, and then returned to Norfolk. She stayed there until the 12th (five days after Pearl Harbor) when she sailed for the UK in company with HMS Formidable.

HMS Formidable, which had replaced Illustrious in the Mediterranean on 10 March 1941, was herself bombed and badly damaged on 26 May, though she was able to make Alexandria under her own power the next day. She underwent emergency repairs there until late July. On 24 July she sailed for Port Said, passed through the Suez Canal, and followed her sister ship South and West for the USA, arriving in Norfolk on on 25 August. She underwent permanent repairs there until December, underwent five days of trials off Norfolk in early December, and then sailed for the UK in company with Illustrious as noted above.

The two were sailing in the Atlantic in extremely rough seas and low visibility on 16 December when Illustrious ran her bow into the stern of Formidable, doing extensive damage to both ships. Formidable arrived at Belfast on 21 December and was under repair until 3 February 1942 before she sailed for trials and then Greenock where she prepared for duty in the Far East, leaving on 17 February to join the Eastern Fleet.

Meanwhile, Illustrious sailed straight for Greenock, arriving on 21 December and was under repair there until late February and then followed her sister for the Far East in early March 1942.

While all of this was going on, HMS Indomitable was commissioned on 26 August 1941. She underwent further refitting until late September. On 1 October she embarked her first aircraft and sailed to conduct flying trials. On 18 October she sailed for Bernuda, travelling in convoy part of the way. She reached Bermuda on 27 October. On 31 October she sailed for Jamaica. On 3 November while entering Kingston she ran aground on a pinicle rock when she departed from the marked channel. She did not get off until the next day and did so with substantial damage to her hull forward. On 6 November she departed for Norfolk, arriving on 10 November. During the next 11 days the US repair facilities fitted her with a new bow. She departed Norfolk on 21 November, and after a brief trial run, sailed for Jamaica, arriving on 25 November. She then began her work up period, which was completed on 17 December, after which she departed for the Far East, making Capetown on 2 January and Aden on 11 January. After that she made two voyages to the NEI/Ceylon with RAF Hurricanes before joining the Eastern Fleet.

So...

Indomitable ran aground and went to Norfolk when both Illustrious and Formidable were there. However, the collision in December was between those two carriers.

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me again if you need to.

Mark E. Horan
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  #22  
Old 27-11-2008, 09:12
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Mark,

Thank you so much for getting back to me, and with this extensive knowledge, certainly helps to "oil the wheels" so to speak to clear up this matter.

I will forward your comments onto the naval history website guys, who are currently investigating (as they are the ones who have published on HMS Indomitable Service History that she collided with HMS Illustrious).

As John Brown said, I am sure they will thank us for bringing it to their attention, and hopefully they can amend thier details to stop further confusion for others in the future!

On a slightly different note, my father has been in touch with my cousin, who is sending us "the" photo album (which I am not sure if I have seen, I may have been too young to remember) - I know my Dad remembers vividly - this photo album contains 'snap shots' of various photos taken during my Grandfather's time in Indomitable.

Once received, myself and partner will be scanning these in and digitally enhancing (where needed), before sending the album back, and will post them here to share with you all. I am really excited and can't wait to receive them and I plan to print these and present as a gift to my father who I know has a place missing in his heart, so I hope that this operation of mine to undertake is as successful as I am planning it to be ;-)

Thank you, again...

Regards,
Rebecca
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  #23  
Old 27-11-2008, 15:39
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Mark,

You should be able to reply direct to me - no worries if you can't and go back to my HMS Indom thread.

Gordon Smith at 'Naval History' has asked me to ask your permission to put your name against the comments (which I passed on), or a named publisher / author where you got the informtion from if not your name?

This has really helped, so thank you so much for helping in clearing this up.

Kindest regards,
Rebecca

PS - Thank you also to Dave and John for your guidance in this little matter which is really really appreciated :-)

Re: HMS Indomitable - possible collision?‏
From: Gordon Smith (naval-history@ntlworld.com)
Sent: 27 November 2008 16:14:48
To: Bex Hill

Dear Rebecca,

Thank you for getting an answer to that. I will of course amend that history.

I don't have Mr Horan's email address. With his permission, I will add his comments. Do you think you could ask him?

Thank you,
Gordon
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  #24  
Old 27-11-2008, 16:29
Hill26 Hill26 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

From the memoirs attached in this thread, after training in Pompey, he went up to Liverpool for further training.

This ties in with an address where my Nanny sent a letter to my Grandfather: 20 Liverpool St, Walney Island, Barrow in Furness, Lancs.

Google does not report such a training ground, however reports that is where HMS Indomitable was built. So am I right in assuming he would have gone straight to work on the aircraft carrier after training in seamanship and gunnery in Pompey as an Ordinary Seaman?

All my Dad has is as proof (apart from letter) is a Medical Certificate :
National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939 Medical Grade card for the Guildford Medical Board dated 2 July 1940, pasing him as "Grade I".

Can anyone shed any light on what this means?

(Was sure Grandad was an Able Seaman when he left in 1946)

Many thanks,
Rebecca
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  #25  
Old 27-11-2008, 20:13
John Brown John Brown is offline
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Default Re: HMS Indomitable

Rebecca

Well done in getting the collision incident cleared up. Many of us are a little wiser now because of your efforts


Regards...John
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