UKN6 HMS Formidable 1942-43 version
UKN6 HMS Formidable 1942-43
HMS Formidable was an Illustrious-class aircraft carrier ordered for the Royal Navy before the Second World War. After being completed in late 1940, she was briefly assigned to the Home Fleet before being transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet as a replacement for her crippled sister ship Illustrious. Formidable's aircraft played a key role in the Battle of Cape Matapan in early 1941, and they subsequently provided cover for Allied ships and attacked Axis forces until their carrier was badly damaged by German dive bombers in May.
Assigned to the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean in early 1942, Formidable covered the invasion of Diego Suarez in Vichy Madagascar in mid-1942 against the possibility of a sortie by the Japanese into the Indian Ocean. Formidable returned home for a brief refit before participating in Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa in November. She remained in the Mediterranean and covered the invasions of Sicily and mainland Italy in 1943 before beginning a lengthy refit.
Formidable made several attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz in Norway in mid-1944 as part of the Home Fleet. She was subsequently assigned to the British Pacific Fleet (BPF) in 1945 where she played a supporting role during the Battle of Okinawa and later attacked targets in the Japanese Home Islands. The ship was used to repatriate liberated Allied prisoners of war and soldiers after the Japanese surrender and then ferried British personnel across the globe through 1946.