HMS Indomitable
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Messages 50 to 74

April 3, 2023

This is an enquiry on behalf my Father, David Samuel PECK. He was a Petty Officer, Sigs. serving on HMS INDOMITABLE, Fleet Air Arm, 857 SQN in WWII, mid 1940's. I have his flight log book, FX file, various papers, ships' photos, photo album from the ship, etc. The 'latest' I could source on HMS Indom. is an Association Newsletter, March 2003 when my brother-in-law contacted them; albeit I am guessing the Association has now ceased.

Would you know if any other Crew members from this ship are still alive? I am of the assumption he is not "last man standing?" It appears the internet has problems with comms, however my thought is, there may be "some out there" still, others whom have also not yet "crossed The Bar" as well.

My Father turns 100 years of age in three weeks on 28 April 2023. He is semi-active and  is partially mobile with the aid of a walking stick, also part vision left in one eye. He is though, fully compentus mentus in his mind still. We have a family gathering at his premise at Port Macquirie, NSW, Australia destined for his birthday. It would be good for piece of mind for him, if something could be elicited by way of an 'update' with any last remainder of crew left, or other relevant deemed information. By note; he had his first parachute jump just 10 years ago aged 90; and last week he went for a light plane ride aged, aged in his late 90's. Any news is Good News for him; he may only have a few months/years left as the years gather pace.

Tony Peck
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
[Former Flight Lieutenant, Australian Air Force Cadets]
Sept. 12, 2022

I don't know if anyone can help but my grandfather was a radar technician on the HMS indomitable. His name was John Hodgkinson, any information will be of great help.

Dan Lloyd-Carter
Apr. 12, 2022

It with much sadness that I inform you that my Uncle, Frank Easton, passed away on the 10th April, 2022. We know he attended the re-unions and we were very proud of his service during WWII on Indomitable. We cannot find his name on any of the crew lists. If you could advise where we could find more records of his time on board HMS Indomitable I would be extremely grateful.

Kind Regards,
Geoff Allick
Jan. 29, 2022

I served on board in 1952 immediately after a refit in Portsmouth and we had some cruises to the Med. We were part of the Med Fleet and I was on board when they suffered a serious explosion in a whaling bay. 

I am writing my memoirs and have got stuck on a simple thing like the ship's motto.

I have quite a few photos taken of incidents (usually prangs on deck) of aircraft practise landing. We had three squadrons on board one being a Dutch Sqn. I was on the sad funeral marches for the young seamen who were killed when falling in around 1pm that day. I had been struck down with a stomach virus and was in the Sick Bay during the incident. When boy seamen came in with skin peeled off their backs I discharged my self to allow room for more wounded. It was horrible with some lads crying out for their mother. 

Hoping to hear from someone.  We are now in our late 80s and still able to operate a Mac.

Michael Sibly
ex Royal Marine RM 129483
Reply 1
Jan. 30, 2022

I was not able to find this, even in Max Hastings' book about the Pedestal convoy. Might be in a crew association site on Google.

Barry Lake
Feb. 28, 2021

I was a boy on HMS Indomitable at the time and survived the Feb. 1953 explosion as I was late for after dinner muster, unlike a lot of my friends including Humph. I am now 85 and regularly think of my departed shipmates.

Vernon Gibbons


July 8, 2020

My Dad served on Indomitable 1945 Okinawa battle he was in Sydney in February prior to the battle where he met Mum his name was Stanley Lawrence Gordon Ellis Chief Petty Officer is there a list of the crew Dad passed away 10/01/1984.

Stan Ellis, Jr.

June 4, 2020

My father in law recently passed and he was on the HMS Indomitable in the second world war and often told us if his stories on board ship. One particular story was when they crossed the equator and fried eggs on shovels with no heat, that's how hit it was. We are putting a little album together with some of his pictures from that time on board ship. Is there any chance I could get a crew list with his name on? I would be most grateful if you could help.

Mrs. Marcia Brace

Apr. 24, 2020

My father, John Tippett RN, served on the Indomitable from 1943(?) to 1945. He wasn't very forthcoming about his experiences during the war, but I do know he came to Australia after his time in Hong Kong on R&R on HMS Golden Hind, as per immigration papers, and ended up settling here in 1945. I have been unable to find any other records. It's as if he never existed prior to 1945. If anyone knows anything about him could they please let me know?

Denise Tippett
Swansea, NSW, Australia

Feb. 4, 2020

My late uncle, Francis Squires, was killed aboard Indomitable when she was bombed on the Malta convoy. I would very much like further details of this as my grandparents were told very little at the time, other than that he and others were buried at sea off the battleship Rodney.

Gratefully yours,
Andrew M. Lever

Nov. 20, 2019

My grandad ARTHUR PHIPPS served on the Indomitable. Not sure when or where but was looking around to see if I could find anything on when and where he served.

Kind regards,
Jason Phipps

July 11, 2019

My Father-in-Law, Jeffrey O'Neill, (dob: 4/10/24) sadly passed away on the 9/7/19 at the age of 94. He told us that he served on HMS Indomitable during World War ll. Unfortunately, we are unable to locate his service papers and we would be very grateful if you could please advise us where we could look for information relating to his time in the Fleet Air Arm.

Many thanks,
Mr. Mark O'Neill &
Mrs. Larraine O'Neill

Aug. 18, 2017

My Father in law, William Stanley Harwood, "Bill", served from I think late 42 until the cessation of WW2, I think he was a gunner but has never said too much about his experiences other than where they were deployed, I know he was off Taranto when torpedoed, then to USA and the far east, and the Malta convoys at some time. I believe he joined the ship at Liverpool in late 42. He is 93 next week, still with his wits about him, I doubt there are many left around from this era, but if anyone does have a faint memory it would be nice to hear from them.

Mike Youell

Nov. 3, 2019

Sadly my father-in-law, William Stanley Harwood, passed away last week, there has been mention that he was probably one of, if not the last crewmember to die from this era, as the website is rather short of contributions, it would suggest there is not a lot of interest. Are you aware of any other sites where we could glean more information.

Many thanks,
Mike Youell

Mar. 4, 2017

My father-in-law, David Samuel Peck, served on the HMS Indomitable during WWII while a member of the Fleet Air Arm. I think he was on the ship during visits to USA (for refit?) and throughout the Pacific war. He is a spritely 94 and enjoying retirement close to family on the north coast of New South Wales Australia. I know he would welcome any news or photos about the Indomitable during WWII. He met and married his wife Marjorie within a short month or so while on shore leave in Sydney. This loving marriage lasted until her passing in 2004. His time on the "Indom" is highly valued and remembered. Just a note to let people know that David is alive and well and interested to hear from any fellow crewmen who may share his longevity.

Phil Densten

Feb. 8, 2017

I am trying to find some information on my father Alan Gibling who, I believe, served on the Indomitable around 1953. I can remember Dad talking about the explosion and wondered if anyone remembers him. I am lucky enough to have letters covering three years between my parents in the early part of their marriage, but not for this period and would like to fill some gaps.

Many thanks,
Susan Hare-Winton

Jan. 2, 2017

I am trying to find our some more information on my Grandfather, Ernest Gordon Robson, born in Newcastle in 1911 and served aboard HMS Indomitable as a sickbay medical attendant. It is rumoured that he may well have deserted the ship at some stage during the Second World War, but I have not been able to verify this. Would be very interested to hear from anyone that may remember him form this time or anyone that can shed light on the desertion rumour.

Many thanks,
Trevor Ellis

Aug. 5, 2016

My father served aboard HMS Indomitable in WWII, his name was William Thomas Parker. One of his duties was helping  men with recreation and so he was given a small boat and went from one ship to another showing film shows. Sadly he passed away 2009.

Janet Sloan

July 28, 2016

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of Stanley Elmes on 23/6/2016 aged 95. Able Seaman HMS Indomitable 1941-46. As far as I know he worked on radio comms.
If anybody knew of him or has any information I could use to compile a memory book I would be very grateful.

Many thanks,
Allanna Devine

July 13, 2016

I just found your website, very interesting. I have my great uncle's pocket watch. It has a handwritten inscription inside which says:

Carl Miller AB
Mess 26
HMS Indomitable
May 26th 08

I know almost nothing more about him, he survived the war and emigrated to South Africa in the early 1950's.
Maybe someone among your correspondents might have some information?

With best wishes,
Jonathan Miller

Oct. 31, 2015

I am enquiring on behalf 0f my partner  about his half brother  Kenneth Stephen Humphries boy sailor age 17 who died of his burns following an explosion on board ship in 1953 with several others the reason for enquiring is he has no photograph of Kenneth having just discovered his half brother We have been to visit his grave  in Malta We would appreciate any information or photographs of Kenneth and the explosion from his former shipmates.

Rosemary Freeman

Reply 1
Nov. 15, 2015

I don't have a photo of him and don't know where you could get one. I have some very limited info on him. The explosion on HMS Indomitable was caused by a cigarette which ignited petrol fumes on Feb. 3, 1953. Kenneth S. Humphries, Boy (JX899584) was injured and died of his wounds Feb. 7, 1953. Sadly that is all I know.

Michael W. Pocock
Reply 2
Feb. 3, 2021

I note that a reply posted on November 15, 2015 suggests that the explosion onboard HMS Indomitable during aircraft fuelling on Feb 3 1953 was ignited by a cigarette. Respectfully, this is not the case - and suggests a lack of sense and discipline which would reflect badly on the ship's complement (which included my father) if it were true.

In fact the explosion was caused by arcing in an electric motor which occurred when the fans distributing air through the ship were shut down in the wake of a major leakage of Avgas (to prevent highly inflammable Avgas fumes being spread throughout the ship).

Best regards,
Paul Warren

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Page published Nov. 15, 2015