Colossus Class Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier


First (Home Waters) Commission Itinerary: 16th December 1944 to 12th March 1945

15.12.44. Ships crew arrive at Wallsend-on-Tyne. Breakfast in Swan Hunters canteen and then crew marched to ship, to carry out routine, allocation of mess decks, action stations etc.

16.12.44. Muster in the hangar deck. Dedication and Commissioning ceremony by Captain Neame and the Bishop of Newcastle. Ship moved to the Tyne Commissioning Quay, at North Shields. Ship fully stored with Supplies and Ammunition, completed in 36 hours.

25.12.44. Remained at North Shields over Christmas and New Year.

04.01.45. Departed River Tyne. 'Working up' trials began to the Firth of Forth.

05.01.45. Arrived Rosyth. More Supplies loaded.

14.01.45. Departed Rosyth. Sailed around the North of Scotland.

16.01.45. Arrived Greenock. Liased with HMS. Venerable and HMS. Colossus.

22.01.45. First landings of a Seafire, Barracuda and a Corsair.

24.01.45. Departed Greenock. Arrived Bangor Bay. Two Squadron's of Corsair's embarked. Aircraft spares loaded.

25.01.45. Anchored off Greenock, Squadron personnel boarded.

26.01.45. No. 812 Squadron embarked with 18 Barracuda II's from HMS. Corncrake, Ballyhalbert, N.Ireland. Departed Bangor Bay. Arrived Greenock.

16.02.45. Arrived Clyde, Scotland for repairs.

18.02.45. Repairs completed.

25.02.45. No.1850 Sqdn. embarked with 24 Corsair's from HMS. Venerable (R04).

02.03.45. Trials and Training in the Clyde Approaches. 'Working up' procedures of ship and squadrons aircraft.

05.03.45. Tied at buoy off Greenock. Six days leave.

10.03.45. Arrived Greenock in preparation for the First Operational Commission.

11.03.45. Admiral Harcourt aboard. Inspection of ships company.

First (Operational) Commission Itinerary: 12th March 1945 to 12th August 1946

For more details see the maps page


12.03.45. Departed Greenock for the Mediterranean. Submarine scare, depth charges dropped by Escorts.

17.03.45. Arrived Gibraltar Bay.

17.03.45. Departed Gibraltar Bay.

18.03.45. Arrived Gibraltar.

18.03.45. Departed Gibraltar.

19.03.45. Arrived Malta. Anchored in Marsaxlokk Bay. Both squadrons disembark.

21.03.45. Departed Malta.

23.03.45. Arrived Gibraltar. Entered No.1 Dry Dock for maintenance on her underwater hull.

19.04.45. Departed No. 1 Dry Dock.

20.04.45. Departed Gibraltar.

22.04.45. Arrived Malta. Anchored at Marsaxlokk Bay.

23.04.45. Both squadrons embark.

12.05.45. Maintenance in Grand Harbour - 9 days.

23.05.45. Departed Malta, with HMS. Colossus, HMS. Venerable, HMS. Glory, HMS. Tuscan and HMS.Tyrian.

25.05.45. Arrived Alexandria.

27.05.45. Departed Alexandria.

28.05.45. Anchored in Suez Bay.

01.06.45. Arrived Aden.

02.06.45. Departed Aden.

08.06.45. 812 squadron disembarks.

09.06.45. Arrived Trincomalee.

09.06.45. Departed Trincomalee.

11.06.45. Arrived Madras. 1850 squadron disembarks.

13.06.45. Departed Madras.

15.06.45. Arrived Colombo.

16.06.45. Departed Colombo.

17.06.45. Arrived Trincomalee.

21.06.45. Departed Trincomalee.

23.06.45. Arrived Colombo.

29.06.45. Departed Colombo.

01.07.45. Arrived Madras. 1850 squadron embarked.

02.07.45. Departed Madras.

04.07.45. Arrived Colombo. 812 squadron embarked.

05.07.45. Departed Colombo.

06.07.45. Arrived Trincomalee.

07.07.45. Departed Trincomalee, with HMS. Colossus, HMS. Venerable and HMS. Anson.

09.07.45. Crossed the Line.

11.07.45. Passed the Cocos Islands.

16.07.45. Arrived Freemantle, anchored off port.

16.07.45. Departed Freemantle.

22.07.45. Arrived Jervis Bay, anchored off port. Both squadrons disembark.

23.07.45. Departed Jervis Bay.

24.07.45. Arrived Sydney. No.2 Wharf, Woolloomooloo Docks.

13.08.45. Both squadrons embarked.

15.08.45. Departed Sydney, with HMS. Colossus, HMS. Bermuda, HMS. Tuscan and HMS. Tyrian. Captain Neame announces Japanese surrender.

20.08.45. Arrived Manus.

23.08.45. 1850 squadron disembarks.

28.08.45. 812 squadron disembarks.

30.08.45. Departed Manus. Both squadrons embark.

02.09.45. Arrived Leyte.

02.09.45. Departed Leyte.

05.09.45. Arrived Hong Kong. Both squadrons disembark.

16.09.45. Official Japanese surrender of Hong Kong.

20.10.45. Admiral Harcourt and Portuguese Govenor visit the ship. Both squadrons embark.

28.12.45. Departed Hong Kong.

31.12.45. South China Sea.

01.01.46. Arrived Labuan, anchored Victoria Harbour. 42 Officers and 400 men of the Royal Australian Army embarked.

01.01.46. Departed Labuan.

12.01.46. Arrived Sydney. Both squadrons disembark. 442 Australian servicemen disembark.

19.01.46. Cruiser Wharf at Cockatoo Island Dockyard for re-fit. 9 days in Dry Dock.

19.03.46. Departed Sydney. Both squadrons embark.

22.03.46. Arrived Jervis Bay.

22.03.46. Departed Jervis Bay.

05.04.46. Arrived Colombo. Secured to buoys in harbour. Both squadrons disembark.

07.04.46. Departed Colombo.

08.04.46. Arrived Cochin.

09.04.46. Departed Cochin.

14.04.46. Arrived Singapore. Anchored off city.

15.04.46. Departed Singapore.

15.04.46. Arrived Seleter.

17.04.46. Departed Seleter.

23.04.46. Arrived Iwakuni. Anchored off port.

26.04.46. Departed Iwakuni.

30.04.46. Arrived Hong Kong. No.1 pier at Kowloon.

02.05.46. Departed Hong Kong.

08.05.46. Arrived Trincomalee. No. 5 buoy, in Naval Base.

10.06.46. Departed Trincomalee.

11.06.46. Arrived Colombo. 1850 squadron embarked.

14.06.46. Departed Colombo.

15.06.46. Arrived Trincomalee.

15.07.46. 812 squadron embarks.

18.07.46. Departed Trincomalee.

19.07.46. Arrived Colombo.

20.07.46. Departed Colombo.

26.07.46. Arrived Aden.

27.07.46. Departed Aden.

31.07.46. Arrived Port Suez.

01.08.46. Departed Port Suez.

08.08.46. Arrived Gibraltar.

09.08.46. Departed Gibraltar.

12.08.46. Arrived in U.K., end of First Operational Commission. Both squadrons disembark. Spithead for Customs clearance.

13.08.46. Arrived Plymouth Sound. No.6 & 7 Wharfs, Devonport Dockyard - 5 months re-fit.



Captain D.M.L. Neame DSO. RN. 23rd February 1944 - 20th August 1946.

Captain D.S.O. Farrer RM. (Royal Marine contingent).


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