Victorious file photo [3799]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassIllustrious-class Aircraft Carrier
BuilderVickers-Armstrong shipyard, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Britain
Laid Down4 May 1937
Launched14 Sep 1939
Commissioned14 May 1941
Decommissioned13 Mar 1968
Displacement29,500 tons standard
Length673 feet
Beam95 feet
Draft28 feet
Machinery3 Parsons geared turbines, 6 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 3 shafts
Power Output111,000 shaft horsepower
Speed31 knots
Range11,000nm at 14 knots
Armament8x2x4.5in, 6x8x2pdr, 21x40mm AA, 45x20mm AA
Final Decommission13 Mar 1968


ww2dbaseVictorious was commissioned in the heat of war, although that was two years after her completion due to a more urgent need for escort vessels when the Atlantic War first began. Before she was commissioned, she was attacked by German aircraft on 27 Jan 1941, narrowing missed by two bombs. Her first mission began merely two weeks after her commissioning when she sailed in the group that hunted for the German battleship Bismarck, while carrying only a quarter the quantity of aircraft she was intended to carry. On 24 May 1941, she launched nine Fairey Swordfish biplanes and two Fulmar fighters against Bismarck, scoring one hit to Bismarck's armored belt amidst heavy anti-aircraft fire. Victorious remained on the hunt for Bismarck but did not become a critical player in Bismarck's eventual sinking. On 9 Mar 1941, 12 of her Albacore torpedo bombers attacked the battleship Tirpitz; they scored no hits and two were lost, but the attack made the German naval command act more conservatively in the presence of Allied aircraft. In May and Jun 1942, she escorted convoys PQ-15 and PQ-17 to Murmansk. She participated in Operation Pedestal in Aug 1942 in an attempt to supply Malta; the operation was a success, but she suffered light damage dealt by Italian bombers. In Nov 1942, Victorious directly supported Operation Torch landings in North Africa.

ww2dbaseAfter a refit at the Norfolk Navy Yard in the United States, Victorious sailed through the Panama Canal for the Pacific Theater on loan to the US Navy; during this time, she had the code name USS Robin, named after the character Robin Hood. Sailing alongside of American carrier Saratoga, she participated in the Solomon Islands Campaign in 1943, including supporting the invasions of Bougainville and New Georgia. During this time she operated 60 British and American Wildcat fighters. She returned to Britain near the end of 1943 when the commissioning of carrier Essex relieved the American need for fleet carriers.

ww2dbaseOn 3 Apr 1944, after escorting several convoys to Russia across the North Atlantic, Victorious was a part of Operation Tungsten, a large attack aimed at sinking Tirpitz. 20 Barracuda aircraft supported by Corsair fighters attacked the German battleship in two waves, hitting her 14 times, putting her out of commission for three months. This attack made Victorious the first Royal Navy carrier to operationally use the American-made Corsair fighter.

ww2dbaseIn Jun 1944, after a refit, Victorious sailed to join the British Eastern Fleet based on Ceylon. She struck Japanese positions at Palembang and the Andaman Islands along the eastern rim of the Indian Ocean in Jul 1944 while she awaited orders to join the British Pacific Fleet, which came in Oct 1945. En route to the Pacific Ocean, she struck Japanese installations at Pankalan Brandan and Palembang, Sumatra on 4, 24, and 29 Jan 1945, under the code name Operation Meridian. In Apr 1945, she attacked Japanese defensive positions on Okinawa, and was hit by two successive Kamikaze special attack aircraft at 1656 on 9 May off Sakishima Gunto (a third special attack aircraft missed her and crashed to sea to port). Three were killed during the attack, but she suffered only minor damage because of her armored flight deck; she was launching planes within the next hour and was fully operational again within two days after temporary repairs. Toward the end of the war, she participated in the bombardment of Japanese forces in the Japanese home islands. On 24 Jul, her aircraft from the No. 849 Squadron scored the first bomb hit on Japanese escort carrier Kaiyo at Beppu Bay, Kyushu, which was damaged beyond repair by the end of the raid.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Victorious assisted in the repatriation of prisoners of war as well as transporting personnel from Australia to Britain. After providing a platform to test the new carrier aircraft Hawker Sea Fury, she was decommissioned in Jan 1947. In Oct 1947, she was recommissioned as a training ship, and held the role until Mar 1950; during this time, her hangars held three lecture rooms and 12 classrooms. In Oct 1950, she was rebuilt at the Portsmouth Dockyard, which expanded her hull, upgraded her machinery, and replaced the flight deck, among others; the reconstruction took eight years to complete. After fire damage during the 1967 refit, she was placed out of commission on 13 Mar 1968 due to lack of funding. She was scrapped beginning in Jul 1969 at Faslane Naval Base.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2007

Aircraft Carrier Victorious Interactive Map


Albacore aircraft of No. 820 Squadron, British Fleet Air Arm taking off from HMS Victorious, which was on distant cover for Arctic convoys, Mar 1942American aircraft carrier USS Wasp (Wasp-class) at anchor in Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, 6 Apr 1942. Cruiser USS Wichita is seen at right and battleship USS Washington in the center.HMS Indomitable and HMS Eagle sailing behind HMS Victorious, 3-10 Aug 1942; note Hurricane and Albacore aircraft on VictoriousRecognition drawing of Illustrious-class carriers
See all 14 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Victorious

Victorious Operational Timeline

14 May 1941 Victorious was commissioned into service.
7 Sep 1941 British Albacore aircraft from HMS Victorious searched for German shipping off Tromsø, Norway.
14 Sep 1944 HMS Cumberland provided cover with HMS Howe and Eastern Fleet cruisers during air operations by HM Aircraft Carriers Victorious and Indomitable carriers on Sigli, Northern Sumatra (Operation Light).
12 Apr 1945 Avenger aircraft from HMS Victorious attacked Matsuyama Airfield in Taihoku (now Taipei) and shipping off Tamsui in northern Taiwan; Sub-Lieutenant Daniel McAleese was shot down, rescued, but would later die of his wounds.
13 Apr 1945 Avenger aircraft from HMS Victorious attacked Matsuyama Arifield in Taihoku (now Taipei), Taiwan, damaging runways, and barracks; one ammunition dump or oil storage tank exploded.
13 Apr 1945 Avenger aircraft from HMS Victorious, en route back to the carrier after attacking Matsuyama Airfield in Taihoku (now Taipei), strafed 12 aircraft on the ground at Giran Airfield in northeastern Taiwan; actual damage caused by the strafing was unknown.
13 Apr 1945 Avenger aircraft from HMS Victorious attacked Shinchiku Airfield in Taiwan, causing unknown damage to the runways.
13 Mar 1968 Victorious was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Julia Grist says:
30 Jul 2010 05:29:24 AM

This is very interesting to me as my father was on board during the war and my mother has some photo's of a plane making a crash landing on deck and another who went off the side. I would love to see a log of all the sailors names that were on board when my father was. I know he was on quite a few ships and on one occasion had been on board for about 2 months before meeting up with his cousin on deck!! My dad would never talk about the war, I think many men like him kept it all to themselves because of the suffering they saw/experienced losing colleagues and friends. I would just love to see his name on the crew list and to know just a little more about it.
2. Anonymous says:
6 Oct 2010 11:51:01 PM

Found the article most enlightning owing to the fact I worked on the Victorious as a
shipwright in Portsmouth Dockyard. Was under
the impression it was fitted with a new
agled flight deck.
3. Anonymous says:
19 Feb 2011 07:20:33 AM

help me please.I am interested in actual dimensions / ft,inch,m,../ship HMS
Victorious wwII by 1941.Respectively measures "1" - "4".See draught.
PetrH. Email :

4. Dan Cross says:
6 Jun 2012 03:52:38 PM

In the list of operations HMS Victorious participated in, you fail to mention the raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo in Norway on July 30 1941. My uncle, Ernest Percival (Percy) Fabien was a Telegraphist/Air Gunner (TAG) in one of the Albacores of 827 squadron that attacked Kirkenes. Sadly he was killed, although the plane managed to return to the ship, and was buried at sea. He was aged 22.
5. mark smith says:
10 Nov 2014 09:28:20 AM

My father in law was on the ship in the war he was a torpedo man
6. Roy Crew says:
25 Apr 2015 02:23:57 PM

My father in law was a stoker on victorious. I have a number of photographs of aircraft crashed on her deck
7. Anonymous says:
22 Sep 2015 11:24:30 AM

My dad was on Victorious in ww2. he was a plane mechanic. I did not know him would love to know more his name was John Lloyd?
8. Anonymous says:
18 Mar 2016 06:16:50 AM

My father was a CPO on HMS Victorious during WWII and was an articifer. I would love to find out more about his time served on board. He died aged 55 in 1978 so we don't know much about his service record. Any clues as where to look? Regards
9. Brian S. Hatton says:
22 Nov 2016 07:39:19 AM

My father CHARLES ARTHUR HATTON FX 137 sadly passed away at the age of 97 on the 19.11.16 and served as CPO onboard HMS Victorious during WW2
10. Anonymous says:
11 Apr 2017 07:22:09 AM

Frederick allan bailey
11. Jackie says:
6 Aug 2017 05:04:54 AM

Hi I'm new to this, I too would like to know the names of the crew of HMS Victorious and their war experience. My grandfather James Henry Carr (known as Jim) served in WW2 in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Victorious. Don't know what job he did only that he was on deck helping the aircrafts. He died in 1966 (my mum was 14 when he died) and he never talked about his experience in the war, in fact he though his war metal in the bin. Would of loved to have had his metals.
12. Christine says:
17 Aug 2017 11:09:02 AM

My dad Kenneth Swales served on HMS Victorious as a stoker. in 1946. He has passed away leaving some great photos of lads he served with , Singapore & Hiroshima after the damage. I would like to share the pictures if anyone can share any information.
13. Anonymous says:
24 Sep 2017 10:20:29 AM

ernest william cooper served on HMS Victorious during the war have pictures
14. Malcolm binns says:
16 Feb 2018 12:47:46 AM

My father petty officer Ronald Trevor Binns, served aboard HMS Victorious in 1836 squadron, and took part in operation Tungsten, against the Tirpitz,
15. Matt48 says:
2 Mar 2018 11:19:28 AM

My granddad was an engineer on Victorious chasing down Bismarck.
16. Jonathan Jacob says:
2 Jul 2018 12:46:37 AM

My Dad was on the victorious from 1942-46 he worked as aircraft mechanic I have pictures of various scenes on ship his name was Derrick Jacob but passed away in2016 aged 94
17. Cheryl Stevens says:
7 Aug 2018 03:51:28 AM

My father was a Stoker on HMS Victorious.My fathers name was Wilfred Thomas Stevens. Born in Devon.
18. Anonymous says:
8 Apr 2019 03:15:02 AM

My father was an able seaman during WW2
19. Damyn Gordon says:
25 Apr 2019 03:47:07 PM

My Dad was on the HMS Victorious during the war. I have various pictures of the ship. His name was John Lodge. He started as a stoker in the war and ended up Chief Petty Officer
20. Linda Gardiner says:
17 Aug 2019 04:39:24 AM

My father Albert Henry Athay 9VJwas a stoker on HMS Victorious during the 2nd world war.
21. Anonymous says:
11 Nov 2019 02:12:57 AM


My husband’s uncle was a dentist on the Victorious. He was there when they captured the Bismarck: Thomas Hugh Murray.

I am looking for any information photos or records. Thanks
22. Brian Rouse says:
13 Feb 2020 07:06:53 AM

Dad Charles was a chief petty officer,told me stories of loan to USA and kamakasie attacts etc
any info was mentioned in dispatches,but do not have info,any
info on how to trace his service
23. sydney hill says:
13 Mar 2020 08:51:00 AM

My father Sydney hill was a Warrant shipwright during Pacific campaign and have photos of kamikaze hit on island and dad with team repairing the fight deck
24. John wylam says:
2 Sep 2020 12:35:22 PM

My father served on this ship as Petty officer throughout the war. I have all of his medals and lots of photos .He died when I was 6 but I’m so proud and would love to share information with other similar relatives. How can people posting on this site get in touch with each other
25. frank davies says:
28 Sep 2020 10:21:41 AM

comment for john wylam my farther also served as a petty officer on this ship he was also the person that repaired the radar / radio
my email is
26. Mandy Johnson (nee Beresford) says:
11 Oct 2020 05:04:25 AM

My Dad was a Petty Officer Decoder. He is 99 and would love to know if there are more survivors out there? His name is Reginald Beresford.
27. Graham Richard Smith says:
20 Nov 2020 01:41:59 PM

I am the son of Kenneth Leslie Smith who served onboard Victorious during WWII. I would like to speak with anyone who knew him as I cannot find any records for him.
28. Roger seymour says:
10 Dec 2020 02:21:11 PM

My dad was acting chief petty officer and repaired the aircraft engines, I believe they were Rolls Royce Merlin on some of the aircraft. I have a wooden desk ornament of Ceylon that dad bought back from the war.
29. Gordon Gillies says:
13 May 2021 07:40:12 AM

I have photos of my dad, Ronald (Ronnie) Gillies in Ceylon. He was with his great pal Jimmy Divers. He has sadly passed now, along with his memories. If their is anyone out there that knew them, obviously the sons and daughters who now carry the names and memories of these fine men. Long shot but who knows.
30. Keith Evans says:
20 May 2021 01:51:35 PM

My father was aboard the victory Henry Evans during the 2 world war worked in torpedo room.
31. Jane Moore says:
11 Dec 2021 12:37:40 PM

I believe my dad, Percy Moore known as Pete, was a stoker on HMS Victorious. Because of working as a stoker his nickname was black Pete. Anyone have any memories of him please.
32. Rex Shepherd says:
6 Feb 2024 10:52:54 PM

My father's name is Ronald Alfred William Shepherd from London and he was an aircraft rigger/engine fitter on the Victorious . He died several years ago in Sydney. I can remember him telling me of a time when he sitting on top of the engine of an aircraft and the anti aircraft guns behind him suddenly opened fire and he felt the pom pom projectiles passing just above his head. He had to slide upside down to land on the deck..
Another time he was on the deck when a jap dive bomber released a bomb. The bomb hit the deck and bounced over the side into the ocean.

Those were the only close calls he told me.

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More on Victorious
Event(s) Participated:
» Malta Campaign
» Battle of Denmark Strait
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» Okinawa Campaign
» Preparations for Invasion of Japan

» UK Aircraft Carrier Functions
» UK Aircraft Carrier Time Operational

Aircraft Carrier Victorious Photo Gallery
Albacore aircraft of No. 820 Squadron, British Fleet Air Arm taking off from HMS Victorious, which was on distant cover for Arctic convoys, Mar 1942
See all 14 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Victorious

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