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Record 658/2257
Description 
Naval Air Craft Carrier H.M.S. Indefatigable (R10). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Email from: Robert E. Montgomery 7 April 2011. I have been looking at your website of photographs held by the Renwick Museum. I came across a photograph titled “HMS Illustrious”. May I make a slight correction – your photo actually shows HMS Indefatigable (R10); I have the same photo from the Alexander Turnbull Library’s Hall Raine Collection, titled “The Indefatigable in Queen Charlotte Sound November 1945” their ref: G2066 ¼. This should correctly be December 1945. The three aircraft at the stern, with wings folded, are Grumman Avengers; the biplane just aft of the superstructure is the “Ship’s Flight” Supermarine Walrus amphibian. Friends who know the Sounds intimately tell me that this photo was taken on the southern side of Queen Charlotte Sound, between Dieffenbach Point and East Bay. My Dad (Monty) told me that he held me up to see her when she visited Picton but I was only a few months old so (obviously) have no memory of the occasion. The “Indie” was an Implacable-class Fleet Aircraft Carrier, launched on December 8th 1942 and commissioned in May 1944. She arrived Wellington from Sydney on Tuesday November 27th 1945 and departed Auckland for her return to Sydney on December 18th. She holds a special place in our history; her war service took her from Norway to Japan; several New Zealanders saw operational service aboard her, she brought a number of Prisoners of War home on this visit. She departed Wellington on Tuesday December 4th for the Pelorus Sounds and flew off 16 aircraft (Seafires, Fireflies and Avengers) which landed for refuelling at Woodbourne en route to Wigram. While in Pelorus Sound, gunnery exercises were carried out in Tawhitinui Reach. On Thursday December 6th she sailed from Pelorus Sound to Bay of Many Coves, Queen Charlotte Sound, and on Sunday 9th visited Picton before sailing for Auckland. Indefatigable was decommissioned and laid up in 1946 following her return to Great Britain; she never served as an aircraft carrier again but was reactivated as a training ship in 1950. She was present at the Coronation Review of the Fleet at Spithead in 1953 at the far end of the line of carriers. She was sold for scrapping in 1956. HMS Illustrious never visited this country. I do hope this helps. It remains my intention to document “Wartime Marlborough” and I am working toward that end. I intend to use this photograph and, although I did not purchase it from you, would like to acknowledge it as being within the Renwick Museum’s holdings. Robert E. Montgomery, 77 Dillon Street, Blenheim. 7201 ............................................................................................................................................................................ Navy crew of the Ship HMNZS Tasman.
Aircraft Carrier Indefatigable -Renwick Museum Photographic Collection -Copyright Renwick Museum and Watson Memorial Library
Image
RML0.900.0662

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Last modified on: December 19, 2014