Saturday, October 12, 2013

HMS Illustrious (R87) during WW2

Postcard of HMS Illustrious (R87)
The above souvenir postcard shows a photograph of the former Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (R87) which saw service during WW2. Her crew gave her the name "Lusty" and she was in service between 1940 and 1956. This photograph was taken in March 1947.

For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

A selected timeline of HMS Illustrious (R87):

13 January 1937 - ordered from Vickers-Armstrong

27 April 1937 - laid down at the Vickers-Armstrong shipyard, Barrow-in-Furness

5 April 1939 - launched at Barrow-in-Furness *

21 May 1941 - completed

25 May 1940 - commissioned

End of August 1940 - joined the Mediterranean Fleet

11 November 1940 - 21 Swordfish aircraft from Illustrious attack Taranto harbour (sinking one and damaging two Italian battleships)

10 January 1941 - damaged by German aircraft

23 January 1941 - travelled to Alexandria, Egypt for temporary repairs

19 March 1941 - sailed firstly to Durban (South Africa) and subsequently to Norfolk, Virginia (U.S.A.) for refitting

16 December 1941 - while returning to Britain, collided in heavy seas with her sister ship HMS Formidable (subsequently repaired at Greenock)

23 March 1942 - sailed for the Indian Ocean

May 1942 - took part in Operation 'Ironclad', the Allied landings at Diego Suarez, Madagascar (against the Vichy French)

June 1942 to January 1943 - remained in the Indian Ocean

March to May 1943 - refit at Birkenhead (Merseyside)

July 1943 - joined Force A of the Home Fleet for Operation 'Governor'

September 1943 - transferred to Force H (Mediterranean Fleet) and provided air cover for Operation 'Avalanche' (Allied invasion of Sicily)

December 1943 - following another refit in Britain Illustrious rejoins the Indian Pacific (Far Eastern) Fleet

March 1945 - Illustrious and others from the Pacific Fleet join with the American Pacific Fleet (designated Task Force 57)

26 March 1945 to 9 April 1945 - Illustrious (as part of Task Force 57) provides air support for the invasion of Okinawa (damaged by a near miss from a kamikaze pilot on 6 April)

14 April 1945 - Illustrious sent to the Philippines for inspection and then to Sydney, Australia.

June 1945 - sails to Rosyth for repairs and refit (completed June 1946)

June 1946 to December 1954 - becomes a trials and training aircraft carrier in the Home Fleet (decommissioned at end of 1954)

3 November 1956 - scrapped at Faslaine

* For an earlier article about HMS Illustrious on this website, including a photograph taken at Barrow-in-Furness just before her launch in 1939, click on the following link:

HMS Illustrious at Barrow-in-Furness, 1939

The Motto of HMS Illustrious:

'Vox Non Incerta'
("No Uncertain Voice")

Saturday, 12 October, 2013  

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