HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 20-Apr-42 to 22-Apr-42
HMS Illustrious had been delayed completion to allow the fitting of radar before her commissioning which finally occurred 24-Apr-40. Built in Barrow.
Displ 23100 tons
Crew 900 plus 350 aircrew
Amra 5 x 8 barrel 2lb pompom AA, 3 x 1 x 40mm Bofors AA, 19 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA, 14 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA, 36 aircraft.
HMS Illustrious had been severely damaged by aircraft in January 1941 whilst assisting Malta convoys and eventually ended up in Norfolk, USA after passing through Suez Canal and round the Cape of Good Hope. She finally left Norfolk 12-December 1941 in company with HMS Formidable. In atrocious weather Illustrious ran her bow into the stern of Formidable causing severe damage. Illustrious went to Greenock for repairs which were completed in March 1942. 23-Mar-42 she joined Convoy WS17 bound for Freetown.