HMS Indefatigable
Message Board
Messages 50 to 74

Dec. 17, 2020

George Henry Francis Eaves, known to all 'Frank' passed away aged 97 on 2nd December 2020 at The Grove care home, Winterbourne, Gloucestershire. Frank Eaves served on HMS Indefatigable as part of the British Pacific Fleet. He served with the ship throughout the Pacific campaign until it returned home to the UK in 1946. He continued his trade as a baker and married his wife Margaret in 1950. He worked for Gloucestershire County Council until his retirement. Suffering from dementia for several years he was joined in the care home by his wife. They both became victims of coronavirus and died within a week of each other. They are buried together in Westerleigh Cemetery, Bristol.

Philip Corcoran

June 2, 2020

My father said he was on the Indefatigable, I believe he was a petty Officer artificer. His name was John Walter Crutcher.

Many thanks
Russell Taylor

May 17, 2020

The VJ-Day 75th anniversary is not far away now and it's prompted me to dig into my late father's WWII exploits with the British Pacific Fleet. Sub Lt. John "Jack" Marriott was a Seafire pilot with 887 Squadron aboard HMS Indefatigable from Nov. 1944 to March 1946.

Among his numerous wartime photos is this one with some of his mates, he's 1st on left, don't know the others 'names. This was taken at Ceylon when I believe the 887 chaps 'nested' ashore for a few weeks as guests of 757 Squadron at RNAS Puttalam while the ship was docked in Colombo.

On your Indefatigable page, I see you have a big group snap of 887 provided by a Paul Morris. Unfortunately, I can't spot my father in amongst them all. I wonder, therefore, would it be possible to ask Mr. Morris, assuming you have his contact details, if he would kindly furnish me with a copy of sufficiently high resolution that I can see him. Many thanks and much appreciation for your work in putting these archives online.

Paul Marriott
Birmingham, UK


May 13, 2020

I Have just found your fabulous page. My father Clifford Freeman was either an able seaman or stoker on HMS Indefatigable. Dad was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England. The only story I remember him telling me was about the Kamikaze attack and that he had just stepped inside but that it killed some of his mates. He kept a piece of shrapnel from that day. When they arrived in Sydney at the end of the war he chose to stay in Australia and soon married. He did not see his parents again. Dad passed away in 2000. Would love to hear from anyone who may have known my Father.

Deb Freeman-Bryant

A sailor named Doug (left) and Clifford Freeman.

Clifford Freeman (standing) and Joe Middleditch seen in August 1943.

Clifford Freeman seen in February 1945.

Nov. 15, 2019

My father served on the Indefatigable, his name was Stanley Edward Ely, he passed away in June 1998, but I am trying to put together some information for my son, so he can have some records of his grandfather. My father was born Feb. 1924 and my mum and dad married in 1946 so assume my dad served prior to that. If anyone has any information I would really appreciate it.

Many thanks,
Doreen O'Halloran

Nov. 9, 2019

My Grandfather, Cyril Porter, passed away on the 5th November 2019 and I wanted to ask if anyone had any photographs taken on board that may include him? I found one from the Fleet Air Arm museum archives, but would love it if any of your members may have other photos. He was an air mechanic and served active service in the Pacific fleet and arctic convoys. Please see two photographs one taken in the war and one in the past few years.

Kind Regards

Amy Finnimore

Cyril Porter seen in uniform.

Cyril Porter.

Sept. 3, 2019

My cousin (smoking) About 1954 when he was a 18-year old NS. His name was Francis (Frank) Fitzsimons. Born 1936 died 2000 in Glasgow No other details known.

Ed Boyle


May 8, 2019

I have tried to make contact a few times, via message boards some years ago, to see if anyone knew my father who was a Petty Officer on both the Indefatigable and the Formidable during WWII. His name was David Melville Fairbairn from St Andrew's and he served in the Middle East, the Pacific and other parts. He died in 1969 in Auckland NZ where we settled as a family in 1954 to start a new life. Any contact or comments would be greatly appreciated, and  I would like to help with any other research about "The Forgotten Fleet" in the Pacific War.

Carol Down (nee Fairbairn)

Feb. 4, 2019

I am trying to see if anyone remembers my dad, George aka Jock Mclelland, (showing below) who was a seaman on the Indefatigable 1944/45. He has sadly passed now, but I remember him telling me about the Kamikaze pilots that hit the ship sustained the ship going thru the Suez Canal (I have a picture) and his experiences in Australia. I would like to find out more about his service years and hope someone on the message board might remember.

Sandra Mclelland


Jan. 12, 2019

My late father in law served on HMS Indefatigable during WWII. I knew he was in Malta, but sadly he never spoke about what he did on board. Would love it if anyone had any photos or information regarding him. His name was Alexander Mitchelson (most people knew him as Jock) born in Dundee 18/04/1918. Passed away July 1984.

Lynn Mitchelson

Jan. 19, 2018

I'm currently researching as much as I can about my grandfathers time in the Royal Navy and his time on HMS Indefatigable. His name was Ronald Griffiths and was from the Widnes area. I believe he was an aircraft mechanic on the carrier. I've found out he was awarded the distinguished service cross and was wondering if that was a common award or quite rare? If anyone who served/family members of those who served have any memories of him it would mean a lot to hear from you.

Tom Griffiths

Nov. 12, 2017

My father's cousin, Tom Sheppy, (now aged 93, in good health and living near Ledbury, Herefordshire) served on HMS Indefatigable in WWII. He takes part in Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ledbury each 11 November, wearing his medals. He has albums full of photographs and memorabilia and has an excellent memory. He doesn't have a computer, but if anyone remembers him and feels like getting in touch, please e-mail me and I will pass it on.

Valerie Rosendorff

Sept. 10, 2017

Regarding messages requesting information on the HMS Indefatigable, the private papers, letters and photographs of the ship's chaplain during WWII, Clifton Gardner, are available in the archives of Trinity College, University of Toronto, Canada (where I am Professor Emerita). Could you please share this information via your
message board?

Here is the link to a detailed description of the collection:

Email for further info is

Best wishes,
Helen Lenskyj

Aug. 17, 2017

I'm trying to find some information on my grandfather, Joseph (Joe) Richard Benjamin Taylor, he served as a gunner on the Indefatigable, I know he was aboard during the Kamikaze hit. He died in 69' when my father was young, my nana recently passed away, but didn't speak of him much so I have no stories and only one photograph. I would love it if anyone could share info, I have tried countless ancestry sites, but keep coming up with dead ends with such a common name, even if he is just remembered by someone I would be happy!
Any help would be really appreciated. 

Eleanor Taylor

Oct. 2, 2016

I wonder if there is any one out there who has any recollection of 1770 Naval Air Squadron Sdn. Commander Major V. B. G. Cheesman, RM during WWII? The reason I ask is that from 1954  to 1961 he was my immediate boss in the the Animal Feedingstuffs Company in which we both were employed. I would very much like to make contact with anyone who has first hand knowledge of this remarkable man. Many thanks in anticipation of a reply.

Yours truly,
Roger Sykes
Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK

Sept. 11, 2016

It is with interest I have read your message board. I served on board H.M.S. Indefatigable from 1943 to 1946 and was in all the actions she was in.

Serving abord the H.M.S. INDEFATIGABLE from 1943 to 1946 we had many exciting trips to RUSSIA as Escort for the Convoys to Murmansk and in 2014 much to my surprise I recieved a letter from the Russian Federation that I will be awarded the Ushakov Medal for veterans of the Arctic Convoys it was an Honour to recive it of which I am proud of and I hope that my shipmates also recived the same>

The Battle at Okinwa was the hardest, we called it Operation Iceberg and we sailed to the island of OKINAWA to support the Amercan Marines. I was on H.M.S. Indefatigable and we was sending our aircraft up to support the Fleet it was the Greatest CARRIER FORCE ever known the British Pacific Fleet many will say that we was not there as it was not our war Zone but I can tell you we was there. It was April the 1st 1945 and the might of the British Navy was there we was called The Forgotton Fleet our Pilots the brave of the Brave flew there planes up into attack an enemy who fought different tactics there was the Kamikaze Planes who crashed onto the decks of our Aircraft Carriers of which I was a witness too as we was hit on that morning but lucky be it we had Amour Plated Flight Decks and we carried on with the attacks and no stopping and many of the other ships was also hit my Squadron was 894 and 887 combind into the 24TH FIGHTER WING many of your family also fought in this battle.

Andy Anderson

May 12, 2016

Am looking for some information about a great uncle of mine James Henry Quick. I believe he served aboard HMS Indefatigable. His rank, Commissioned Boatswain. Date of Appointed, 24 February 1911. Date of Birth: June 5th 1877. He survived the War and died in 1965 aged 87. Would be very much obliged if you can give me any information about his service record.

Many thanks,
Roger Batten

Mar. 16, 2016

I am currently researching the life and service of Lieutenant Dennis Levitt. DSC, RNVR He was a Firefly Pilot of some distinction and an original member 1770 Squadron. Dennis took part in the Attacks on the TIRPITZ, and was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his Gallantry. Sadly Dennis and his Navigator were shot down and killed off Palembang in 1945, having taken three Japanese planes with them over the course of operations there.

I wonder if any former crew members, or family of these crew members know anything of Dennis, or perhaps have a photo of him either singularly or in a group. Any information would be greatly appreciated

Yours sincerely,
Michael J. Charteris
Ex R.A.N

Feb. 26, 2016

I was a bugler on the Indefatigable during Jim Adams time on the ship (message 29). I remember when the King died. I had to sound 'clear lower decks' when the crew mustered in the upper hanger where the Captain gave us the news. I'm now 82 so my memory is not that good regarding names. I live in Australia, but have very fond memories of Weymouth, that's where my late wife came from. With regards to message 44 (Al Johnston) who was also on the Indefatigable it brought back memories of runs ashore in Aahus (Denmark). I also served on the Newcastle from 1955 to 1957 commission into Far East. You can let Carl Johnston that I can vaguely remember Al.

Dave Harrop

Reply 1
Aug. 12, 2018

I'd just like to say thank you Dave for your reply. Our dad 'Al' was in 42 commando so I'd assume his home base was Bickleigh Barracks near 'Guzz'. He mentioned Deal in Kent as somewhere he went but he had no musical talent to the best of my knowledge, except the odd cats choir I'm sure ??. He did mention Mick McManus the wrestler, was he ever in the marines?


Nov. 21, 2015

My dad, Jim Mitchell, was a stoker on the Indefatigable from 1944/1946. I knew very little regarding his service apart from the family in Sydney he stayed with called The Hopwoods. I would be grateful for any information. He was James Langlands Mitchell, from Dundee, Scotland.


Nov. 6, 2015

Is there anybody who served on this ship still out there. Especially those who were in the tea hut when the Kamikaze plane struck.

Kenneth Bailey

June 11, 2015

My grandad was on HMS Inefatigable, he is still here and has many memories. There were a few people who are on here who wanted some information that he may be able to help with. He has an amazing album full of pictures. He is suffering from dementia and these are some of the only memories he has. But he is very fond of them. My grandad is Arthur Gay known as "Happy Gay"  He is bottom row 3rd man in. If he can be of any use to anyone please get in touch. He has many great stories.

Katy Gay


Oct. 28, 2014

My Dad was William Rowson, he served on the Indefatigable during the Second World War. Dad was a seaman Gunner mostly on the Pom Poms, I am sorry to say that Dad passed away on the 19/10/2014 at the grand old age of ninety. I myself followed in his footsteps and joined the Royal Navy in 1974. I have all Dads old cuttings and medals from his time as a matelot and along with the rest of the family I miss being able to listen to his old Sea Stories. My Dad always said he loved his time on the Indefatigable and being part of the Pacific Fleet even through the bad times when around Japan. Dad will be sorely missed by us all, but is now sailing on calmer waters.

Colin Rowson

Sept. 5, 2014

I am searching for information on my cousins Uncle. His name was Kenneth Onion from Bradford, Yorkshire and served on HMS indefatigable, he died at the age of 21 on the 1st of April 1945. Can you pass on the message to any person serving at the same time and if they knew him. Looking at the information on your web sight it looks like he was killed on a Kamikaze hit. It would be nice to know if anyone remembers him and what he was like.

Julie Hall

Reply 1
Nov. 29, 2015

I saw Julie Hall's post about Ken Onion, from Bradford and that she was seeking information. My grandfather has just passed, but during the war Ken was his best friend. I'm wondering if you could pass on my message and see if she found anything about him, or my grandfather William Stanley Barras (known as Stan). All I know regarding Ken is that my grandfather respected him a lot, and used to dedicate every remembrance day to him. If my grandfather felt like that about him then he must have been a good and brave man.

Katie Farrar

July 11, 2014

My father in law served on the above ship during the Second World War and we are having difficulty in finding anything out as he passed away a few years ago. If you could tell us anything his name is Keith Roy Wood.

Stewart Hand

To post a message, comment or reply please email the webmaster.
All replies will be forwarded to the original sender.

Messages 50 to 74
Message Board
Page published July 13, 2014