Allied Warships

HMS Indefatigable (10)

Aircraft Carrier of the Implacable class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeAircraft Carrier
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered19 Jun 1939 
Laid down3 Nov 1939 
Launched8 Dec 1942 
Commissioned3 May 1944 
End serviceSep 1954 

HMS Indefatigable joined the Home Fleet in July 1944, to take part in the attacks on the German Battleship Tirpitz in Norway, with Operaytion Mascot of 17 July 1944, then subsequently a further series of attacks on the Tirpitz on 22, 24 and 29 August 1944 as part of Operation Goodwood

HMS Indefatigable was modified for Pacific service between October-November 1944 and then joined the Eastern Fleet in November 1944. She led air strikes against an oil refinery at Medan with HMS Indomitable and HMS Victorious on 4 January 1945, then in air strikes against Palembang on 24 and 29 January 1945.

Following a period at Sydney in February 1945, she joined the British Pacific Fleet and took part in air strikes against Sakishima Gunto and Formosa in March-April 1945. She was the first British ship to be hit by a Kamikaze when serving with the British Pacific Fleet on 1 April 1945. However, however she quickly recovered and became fully operational within 1 hour !!!.

She subsequently took part in further strikes against Sakishima Gunto in May 1945. By the end of these operations Indefatigable had contributed one-third of the Fleet Air Arm sorties flown between 26 March and 25 May 1945.

In June 1945 she was at Sydney - machinery breakdown delayed sailing. She then took part in air strikes against Japanese home islands between 24 July-10 August 1945. Indefatigable operated with the American Third Fleet in Japanese waters between 10 August-2 September and her aircraft flew what was officially the last sortie of the war on 15 August 1945, when her seafires shot down 8 enemy aircraft.

Indefatigable returned to Sydney on 17 September, after which she repatriated POWs from Japan to Sydney between October-November 1945.

Post war in December 1945 she sailed for New Zealand and return to Sydney, finally departing Sydney at the end of January 1946 for the UK where she arrived on 15 March 1946. She was paid off and put into reserve in December 1946. Post war Indefatigable was recommissioned as a training ship in 1950, had her hangars converted to classrooms and accommodation space. Neither ship was significantly modernised, and both were only 10 years old when paid off in September 1954. She was towed to Dalmuir late 1956 for scrapping commencing on 4 November 1956. 

Commands listed for HMS Indefatigable (10)

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1Capt. Quintin Dick Graham, DSO, RN1 Sep 19431 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Indefatigable include:

26 Jul 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSO, RN) conducts attack exercises for the Commanding Officer Qualifying Course with HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN). (1)

17 Sep 1944
HMS Scythian (T/Lt C.P. Thode, RNZNVR) conducted attack exercises at Scapa Flow during which HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN) served as target. The carrier was escorted by HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN) and HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN). (2)


  1. ADM 173/19127
  2. ADM 173/18650

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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