HMS Implacable (R86)


HMS Implacable (R86) was an Implacable-class aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy.


She was laid down at Fairfields Shipyard on Clydeside three months after her sister-ship Indefatigable and was clearly destined for the British Pacific Fleet once worked up. Her first commanding officer was Captain Lachlan Mackintosh of Mackintosh, but he was replaced on promotion by Captain Charles Hughes-Hallett before sailing for the Far East.

Upon entering service, the new carrier conducted attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz late in 1944. On 27 November 1944 Fairey Barracuda planes from the carrier bombed two Norwegian ships carrying Allied prisoners of war, killing 2,571 onboard the Rigel, one of the largest maritime disasters ever. The vessels were apparently mistaken for being German troop transports.

Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Avengers, Seafires and Fireflies spotted on the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Implacable warm up their engines before taking off. Other units of the British Fleet can be seen in the background.

Implacable arrived at Sydney on 8 May 1945 (V-E Day). She joined the British Pacific Fleet's carrier squadron as replacement for Illustrious, which was due to return to the United Kingdom for a major refit.

Among other types of planes, Implacable operated the Fairey Firefly, the Supermarine Seafire and the Grumman Avenger.Her first operation as part of the BPF was against Japanese airfields at Truk in the Caroline Islands.

The ship remained in Pacific waters after the end of the conflict, becoming the flagship of Sir Philip Vian when he took over as Vice-Admiral BPF for a period. She returned to the United Kingdom in time for the Victory Parade.

Squadrons carried
30 Naval Fighter Wing: 800 NAS, 801 NAS (1943 - 1945)
8th Carrier Air Group: 801 NAS, 828 NAS, 880 NAS, 1771 NAS (1945 onwards)
In March 1945 she carried 81 aircraft: 48 Seafires, 21 Avengers and 12 Fireflies.

The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II

Chronology of the USN in WWII

  1939   1940   1941   1942   1943   1944   1945

    Citations: +

  1. Ships. Fleet Air Arm Officers Association. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  2. Cocker (2008), p.79.
  3. Morison (2002), p.344.
  4. Poolman (1972), pp.74–75.
  5. Cocker (2008), p.80.
  6. Cocker (2008), pp.80–81.
  7. Poolman(1972), p.98.
  8. Morison (2002), p.342.
  9. Poolman (1972), p.57.
  10. Friedman (1988), p.188.
  11. Poolman (1972), pp.88–89
  12. Poolman (1972), p.89.
  13. Poolman (1972), p.155.
  14. Poolman (1972), p.135.
  15. Cocker (2008), p.147
  16. Poolman (1972), p.79.
  17. Poolman (1972), pp.102–103
  18. Plowman (2006), p.112.
  19. Plowman (2006), p.113.


  • Cocker, Maurice (2008). Aircraft-Carrying Ships of the Royal Navy. Stroud, Gloucestershire: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4633-2.
  • Plowman, Peter (2006). Australian Migrant Ships 1946-1977. Kenthurst New South Wales: Rosenberg Publishing. ISBN 978-1-877058-40-0.
  • Poolman, Kenneth (1972). Escort Carrier 1941–1945. London: Ian Allen. ISBN 0-7110-0273-8.

    Magazine References: +

  • Airfix Magazines (English) -
  • Avions (French) -
  • FlyPast (English) -
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) -
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) -
  • Klassiker (German) -
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) -
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) -
  • Osprey (English) -
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) -

    Web References: +

  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:


This webpage was updated 22nd May 2021