HMS Implacable
Message Board
Messages 25 through 49

Dec. 5, 2016

I would like to try and find any information out about my grandad who served from 1943 - 44 not sure how long for. His name was Ray Collins, his nickname was Trigger. Unfortunately he passed away in 1994. If anyone has any information or where I might find photos please let me know.

Mike Collins

May 18, 2016

Was interested to see the post from someone whose father flew from Implacable in the Pacific in Mike Crossley's squadron. Our friend Norman Dent also flew Seafires from Implacable during this period. I believe the squadron was 880NAS though. His CO was Mike Crossley. He flew raids against Truk Atoll, Pelambang and Japanese airfields and installations, even strafing a train on the Japanese home islands. His log book shows that he also flew Shuttleworth's Sea Hurricane Z7015 at Yeovilton in 1943 during his fighter training after returning from training on Harvards in Canada. He was on board Implacable during the raid on Norway and also flew over the Normandy beach-head spotting for ship's guns, before rejoining Implacable to go to the Pacific. His photo album and logbooks are fascinating. He is still very much alive and well. We are taking him to Duxford again next weekend.

Steve Wigley

Reply 1
Nov. 20, 2016

Our friend Norman Dent also flew Seafires from Implacable during this period. I believe the squadron was 880NAS though. His CO was Mike Crosley. He was on board Implacable during the raid on Norway and also flew over the Normandy beach-head spotting for ship's guns, before re-joining Implacable to go to the Pacific. His photo album and logbooks are fascinating. He is still very much alive and well. We are taking him to Duxford again next weekend.

My uncle John Carey Penfold flew with 880 Squadron off HMS Implacable in 1944/45, but was sadly killed in a flying accident in the Orkneys in March 1945 just a few days before HMS Implacable left for the Pacific. I have the original letter of condolences from Mike Crosley. I wondered whether Steve Wigley's friend Norman Dent might remember my uncle, or have any photographs, if they served together, although I'm not certain when the "raid on Norway" took place, so perhaps they did not. Is this something that Steve could perhaps investigate with Norman Dent, if he has the chance to do so?

Many thanks,
Andrew Moberly

Apr. 29, 2016

My mother, Betty Edith Huxley -- deceased April 22, 2016 (93) -- dated a sailor while Implacable was in Sydney during WWII. From her memoirs she recalls his name as Eddie O'Neil or Eddie O'Brian (apparently from Ireland). Eddie had a beautiful singing voice, she writes, and was a gentleman. He was invited to sing on 2KO for a talent quest. Not much more detail, however.

Glenn Huxley
Riddells Creek, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Apr. 19, 2016

My father, Eric Johnson, joined the Navy as a volunteer during WWII and was posted to the Pacific on the Implacable. He worked as Storeman. Sadly, I don't have all the details and I'm not very clued up technically but one of the stories he related was of a time the Implacable was docked in Sydney Harbour when the crew were recalled urgently back to the ship from shore leave. The Liberty boat became over-full and began to sink. My dad, being a strong swimmer and in a rough sea, made it safely back to the ship still clutching the bunch of bananas he'd bought ashore, although the paper bag had disintegrated! He was extremely impressed with Australia and he and my mother considered the £10 passage post-war but finally decided against it. Tragically my dad passed away in October 2010 on what would have been his wedding anniversary day, aged 89. It would be wonderful if there's anyone who remembers him.

Carole Redfearn

Oct. 26, 2015

My brother Sam (Samuel Arthur Waters), 12 years older than me, was shot down and killed off Norway flying a Fairey Firefly from HMS Implacable in October 1944. The telegram arrived at our home in Dublin, Ireland, during a Halloween party! It is late in the day but I wonder if anyone knew him or has any details of his life and death?

Alan Rufus Waters, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
California State University
Fresno, California

May 24, 2015

I read with interest Message 39 and the response from Joan Crosley. My father was a pilot on HMS Implacable with Mike Crosley as his CO for 801 Squadron. I have recently received my father's old flying log books and have been going through them as they record his flying activity over Japan in 1945, they include Mike's monthly signature from August 1945 (when he was made CO) up until April 6 1946, when my father was released, prior to his demob on June 6 1946. I have looked up the book 'They gave me a Seafire' and will now buy it!

John McLean

Mar. 21, 2015

New book available: They Gave Me A Seafire
By Commander R. "Mike" Crosley, D.S.C., R.N.

Beginning with the loss of HMS Eagle Commander Crosley relates the story
about his service in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy in World War II. He
holds nothing back from the story. He served in all theatres of the war and
tells of the many engagements he made. He also gives his considered opinion
of the leadership of the Fleet Air Arm, not always favourable. Crosley also gives
detailed information on the handling of the various aircraft he flew, which may
surprise many people who only know what they have seen in the documentary
films as they rarely discuss the limitations of the aircraft. Overall a very good
read and a must for anyone who wants to know what it was really like to take
to the air during the war.

2014 Pen & Sword Aviation (
279 pages hardback

Click here to order in the U.K.

Click here to order in the U.S.A.

Dec. 21, 2014

I visited your site seeking for information re the above vessel. I am trying to find any information re her as a former colleague of was a gunner aboard and is in his 90s and would appreciate any information.

John Hucknall

Oct. 23, 2014

Having just come across your page relating to the HMS Implacable, it brought back memories of a time growing up from a baby to a young boy with a hero for an uncle. My dad was from Walworth in London SE when he met my mother whilst serving with a south coast battery during the war. She lived at Lymington in Hampshire. They married and when mum became pregnant with me Dad was re-stationed at Royal Signals Droitwich. When I was less than a year old and Mum became pregnant again with my oldest sister and they were allocated a tiny cottage in Malvern.

For the next few years of growing up I became aware of my uncle "Lennie" the youngest of dads four
brothers. He was the only one of my dad's family to visit us during that period and as young boy living in
rural Worcestershire (60 miles from any sea) it was amongst my proudest times and treasured memories when my Uncle "Lennie" visited while on leave from his ship. 

He was easy to spot as he sashayed along the road with his bell bottoms blowing in the wind and his knapsack swung over his shoulder. I was the envy of all the kids in my street as I ran up to him and took his hand. He brought us gifts from around the world and showed us photographs of the Implacable and his shipmates. I don't think he was anything except seaman first class but he was my hero and I was so proud of him. His name was Leonard (Lennie) Brown if anyone can recall.
Unfortunately his marriage failed later in life and after being severely attacked in London became very reclusive. He died in the 1970s.

Richard W. Brown
Malvern, Worcestershire, U.K.

July 22, 2014

I have just come across your web site and found it interesting reading about Implacable, as I was on board when she went to the West Indies with the Argyles in 1953. I was the only aircraft electricity on on board I was with her from 1953 until 1955.

Les Everett

Apr. 14, 2014

My father was an aviator in the 801 squadron. He started flying on the HMS Furious in the North Atlantic with operations against the Tirpitz and costal convoys. With the war in Europe winding down HMS Furious was decommissioned and 810 transferred to Implacable. They transited Suez, which was apparently interesting since the vessel was so wide that the flow of water at the stern was reversed, which also reversed the rudder leading to a couple of groundings. 

After transiting Suez the Implacable stopped in Tricomalee, and then some stories about Truk and spotting for 16" shells that hit the ground and tumbled towards the target. Finally operations off Japan. Fellow pilot accidentally shot up a US destroyer when the camera button also triggered the guns. Fellow pilot on Victorious watched a Kanaka smack down in front of him - the wreckage was shoved off and he took off through a shallow divot - thanks to the armored flight deck. Various flights over Japan - Mt. Fuji at dawn rising out of the clouds. On Aug. 5th his engine stopped and he ditched at sea to be finally rescued by a US seaplane operating from USS Topeka, and the war was over before he could return. After which the Implacable put in at Sydney for refitting in the dry dock and on liberty the 'Battle of Sydney'.

Tim Saxe

Reply 1
July 6, 2014

I have recently seen your comments about your father who was in 801 squadron on HMS Implacable in August 1945. My husband, Cdr. Mike Crosley was CO of 880 squadron on this ship in the Pacific, and took over as CO of both 880 and 801 around July that year. If your father was Ray Saxe he is mentioned in the book Mike wrote about his war time flying experiences called "They gave me a Seafire". I believe your father was flight leader in 801, is that correct? This book was first published in 1986, but is about to be republished with additional material. There are short quotes from 801's line book. It may be that this is now held at the Fleet Air Arm museum at Yeovilton, in which case you could ask for access to it and it may have more information about your father and when he had to ditch. It is wonderful that he was picked up. Sadly my husband died in 2010 aged 90. He stayed in the Navy and became a naval test pilot for the next 20 or so years.

Joan Crosley

Feb. 15, 2014

I'm trying to find about my grandad John Barker, RN who I've only just found out served on this ship, love to find out more.

Bryan Stott

Nov. 10, 2013

My Father Stanley May Payne served on the HMS Implacable during WW II. How would I find information regarding my Father? My Dad passed away in 1976 and I seek all the information that I can get please. I am 51 born in 1962. Please let me know if you could help me. My Day was born in Newfoundland.

Best regards,
Philip Payne

Apr. 27, 2013

My father, (Ted) Clarence Edward Cleverdon, served on HMS Implacable as a mechanic, probably aircraft mechanic, during WWII.  Not sure when he joined the ship, but I do know he served during the ship's deployment to take on the Japanese near the end of the war.  The ship was dry docked in Sydney, Australia I believe in 1945.  He may have been sent to Melbourne by train and billeted with my mother's family.  This is the extended period in which I believe he met my mother. The ship was repaired and refitted to take allied POWs from Japan to Vancouver, Canada after Japan's surrender.

The ship visited Melbourne twice in 1946.  In January with carriers HMS Glory and HMS Indefatigable and destroyers HMS Armada and Tuscan. In March with carrier HMS Venerable. 

Ted Cleverdon arrived in Melbourne aboard the passenger ship Asturias in August 1948.  He reacquainted himself with my mother and they married.  Unfortunately he died in 1963 at age 37 when I was a baby; I do not remember him.  I remember when I was a boy I would browse through a photo collection he had of his time on HMS Implacable.  Naively I thought he must have taken all those exciting images of planes tangled in wires on the deck and wrecks being plucked from the sea.  Maybe he did take some photos, he did own a camera, but I have since seen some of the same images on the internet.  There were many more photos than I have found on the internet.  There must have been a ship's photographer and prints must have been made available to crew.  My mother remarried and unfortunately those precious photos I remember as a boy are lost.  

I have his service medals in the box they were posted to him in.  On the side of the box, I believe, is his service number.  It is ?x then six numerals.  I am not sure what the first character (?) is.  It could be a T, F or J.  It could also be the European way of writing the numeral 7, with the dash across; I can't type it that way.  I am not that good at reading "Old School" handwriting.

Any information, photos, links or personal accounts would be greatly appreciated. He was the only member of his family to migrate to Australia. I have recently applied to the RN for copies of his service records.  They have not arrived as yet.

Thank you,
Kenneth Cleverdon

Aug. 22, 2012

I am looking information regarding H.M.S. Implacable. My husband's father served aboard this ship in the Pacific his name was Victor R. Buckingham and he died in Feb 1968 when my husband was 9 years old. On the website Arthur Leedham (Message #20) was looking information on Victor R. Buckingham D/J.X.649852. Any information or photos greatly appreciated.

Mr. & Mrs. Buckingham

Reply 1
Apr. 2, 2014

I am a local historian from Co. Antrim N.I. I have been asked to find out if there any living descendants of Victor Reginald Buckingham living in N Ireland. I have a photograph of the grave of Victor and his wife Rose in Milltown Cemetery in Belfast. I am particularly interested in his service on HMS Implacable.

Harry Hume

July 23, 2012

I was wondering if you can help me with any information on Captain Michael Everard who served on the aircraft carrier Implacable. My very good friend has just lost her husband to cancer last December 2011 (Sam Everard), he was also in the navy a Lieutenant, but his father was Captain Michael Everard. He was trying to search for the period he served on the Implacable, the tours of duty he covered during World War 2, the the battles he was involved in... Also any photos of him with him alone or with his crew. Really any information possible of his carrier from when he joined the navy, threw to the end of his carrier when he retired. I appreciate any information or directions to find this information or if your can email me anything on the wonderful man and any photos I know I am asking a lot of you and I am sorry for that. looking forward to your reply.

Take care,
Steven Wilks
Queensland Australia

Dec. 31, 2011

I would be interested to know if anyone new my father William Ronald Barber (known as Ron Barber) who served as a CPO on HMS Implacable from 1940. Unfortunately he died in 1964 when I was only 6, I therefore have little information about his time on this ship although for many years we had a photo album with many pictures taken by him. I can clearly remember one of the photos was of Nagasaki, after "the bomb".

Many thanks,
Liam Barber

Oct. 27, 2011

I just came across your website and on looking at the 'photo gallery' saw the last photo on the page "Implacable' leaving Devonport, October 1953". I'd just joined the Navy in September of that year, 17 years old and having done 2 weeks basic training in Victory barracks had joined the Implacable at Portland with the 2nd Training Squadron as an ordinary signalman. Fortunately we were soon on our way to the West Indies with the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, taking them to British Guyana, then visiting Barbados and Jamaica. Not a bad trip for a new recruit. Many thanks for the website. 

Dave Watkins,
now 76 and living up a mountain in Spain

Aug. 15, 2011

I am the son-on-law of Gordon Raymond Baldwin (Peano), who served on the HMS Implacable during WWII. He was aboard for the maiden voyage. Gordon joined the Navy in 1942 at the age of 16 years. I am sorry to say that Gordon passed away on Thursday 11/08/2011. His time on HMS Implacable meant a great deal to him as he kept many photos from that time and he still has his cap ribbon. He used to talk about his time on board fondly.

Brian Bennett

Feb. 24, 2011

Looking for information on Alec Watkins who served on this ship and spent time during WW2. Have letters written by him to my family in Australia. Apparently he was a champion boxer on board.


Feb. 20, 2011

I am doing some research for my husband whose father was Harold Knight Stoddard-Howell. He was on the Illustrious when it was bombed on 10/1/1941.  His rank was Air Artificer, Petty Officer.  He was attached to the 815 Swordfish Squadron.  We know he was injured and spent time in Malta convalescing,  His Navy Records show that he was on the Illustrious from 24/11/1940 until 13/2/1941 when he went to Grebe in Alexandria.  Has anyone any other information on when he rejoined the Illustrious after he was injured?  Do you know of any other places we can research on the Illustrious.

Diane & Richard Stoddard-Howell
New Zealand

Reply 1
Oct. 4, 2011

I live in East London, UK.  On clearing out my loft recently, I have discovered a certificate of motor insurance dated 1937/38 and two handwritten request forms requesting leave dated 1939.  It definitely is maritime-related, as it says Ship's Book No.2, mess 48, Watch 2nd STB, and the name on all of these documents is H. K. Stoddard-Howell. Please can you pass these details, and my email address, to Diane and Richard and they are more than welcome to email me if they think these papers relate to their family and I will happily post them.  The documents are not in good condition unfortunately (quite dirty and dusty as they were found in the rubble of my loft) and this is all that I have relating to Mr. Stoddard-Howell. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Feb. 16, 2011

My late father-in-law, George Collis, from Stoke-on-Trent, served as a Marine on Implacable during her time with the Pacific Fleet. Sadly, he was killed over thirty years ago, but my wife still remembers some of the stories he told her as a child.

One was of a monkey that some of his colleagues had adopted, and trained to 'smoke' unlit cigarettes. One day, someone slipped it a lit one- the creature took a strong dislike to it, and by association, to the humans who'd done it. He subsequently developed the habit of waiting on top of doors, and jumping down on to the heads of the unwitting.

Another was connected to the transport of the PoWs from Borneo. The Marines were detailed to try and capture any Japanese officers they could find at the camps, with a view to having them tried for war crimes. One such officer committed hara-kiri in front of George; a shocking site for someone in his late teens. Lynne certainly had the impression that the Implacable spent some time in Nagasaki Bay, as her father brought back a pile of embroidered silk handkerchiefs (which we still have) from there.

One other thing that he always related to her was the kindness shown to him and his shipmates by the inhabitants of Sydney- crew-members were 'adopted' and invited for Sunday lunch and so on. He kept in touch with 'his' family into the 1960s.

Brian Williams

Aug. 18, 2010

My Father was a Japanese POW repatriated from Japan to Canada at the close of the war. He mentioned HMS Implacable as the ship which transported him and a lot of other Ex POW's to Canada, is there anyone who could fill in the details of this venture. Times, places, or names. I would appreciate any info that would fill in the blank spaces. My father was Thomas Sumner a Corporal with the 2nd Bat Loyal Regt. he was released by the Russians, from a Camp in Mukden Manchuria, but that's an other story!

David Sumner

Reply 1
Sept. 13, 2010

Dear David,
My Father S/Sgt David McVinnie sent two letters home which may be of interest to you. The first dated 20th September 9 (I assume 1945) reads;
" Left Japan a few days ago by aircraft carrier (AMERICA) and reached Okinawa. From there flew to Manila. Reports say home by plane if available but rather think ship more likely".

2nd letter not dated but gives his address as HMS aircraft carrier Implacable, reads;
"Left Manila two days ago for Pearl Harbour/Honolulu and thence to Vancover Canada. What happens then I don't know, probably train or plane across Canada and so to Blighty. Should be home by middle of November".

Hope there is something here that will be of use to you.

Angela Brook

June 26, 2010

My grandfather Jack Parker served on HMS Implacable as a marine. Based on the few conversations we had I believe that he was a chauffeur as well and spoke fondly of his time in Australia. I would be interested to hear from anyone who might remember him.

Glyn Dolman

Apr. 24, 2010

My grandfather was a leading signal man on the Implacable at Cape Hellas in 1915. He was John Brown and mentioned in despatches as he was up on the turret under fire. If anyone has links for research or photos I would be very grateful.

Rosemary Canavan

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