INDEX OF NAVAL 

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

 

 
HMS MAJESTIC

 Light Fleet Carrier
Became HMAS Majestic (Australia)
renamed HMAS Melbourne

 
History


Majestic was built by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness, laid down 15 April 1943, and launched 28 February 1945. However, construction was suspended in 1945. She was sold to Australia in 1949, and completed in 1955 to a modified design including a 5.5 degree angled flight deck, finally being commisioned and renamed as HMAS Melbourne on 28 October, 1955.  Paid off 1983. Broken up 1985 although the flight deck still survived in 2001.

She served as Australia's Flag Ship for 26 years, taking part in exercises with other nations, representing Australia in overseas celebrations, and assisting in natural disasters. From 1959 through to the late 1960s, Melbourne served in the Far East Strategic Reserve. The Malayan crisis led to Sydney’s recommissioning in 1962. Eight-two sailors died in February 1964, when in a collision with the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, the destroyer HMAS Voyager was sunk during exercises off Jervis Bay.She took part in exercises and escorted HMS Sydney which was then used to ferry troops and vehicles to Vietnam in 1972. During her service she steamed 868, 893 nautical miles, or 1,579,804 kilometers, equivalent to 20 return trips to the moon.

She was finally decommissioned 30 June1982. She was finally sold in February 1985, to China United Shipbuilding Company for AUS $1.4 million. She was finally broken up in Dalian, China.

On 13 January 2001, the online Australian magazine of Melbourne "The Age.com.au" indicated that China has been using the flight deck of the former Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne to train its pilots ahead of the launch of its first locally-made aircraft carrier. Quoting unnamed sources, the Hong Kong-based independent Chinese-language Ming Pao daily reported that the 4.8 billion yuan ($A892 million) aircraft carrier is slated to be in the water in 2003, although it will take another two years to have it fully ready for service.

Battle Honours
None in World War II


Captains
None in World War II

Squadrons and Aircraft
None in World War II

In 1956 - 808 (Sea venoms) , 816 and 817 Squadrons (Fairey Gannets). She also carried Bristol
Sycamore helicopters

FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type

Associations and Reunions
No information


Carrier name HMS Majestic. Sold as HMAS Melbourne (Australia)
Class Majestic Class
Type Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier
Ships in Class Majestic, Terrible, Magnificent, Powerful, Leviathan, Hercules
Launched Laid down 15 April 1943. Launched 28 Feb 1945. Construction suspended 1945. Sold to Australia Completed 1955. Commissioned 28 October 1955.
Tonnage Displacement: 14,224 tons standard ; 18,085 tons full load
Engines Propulsion: Steam Turbines (4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, Parsons geared turbines), 40,000 shp.
Speed in Knots Speed: 25 knots
Armament 25x40 mm Bofors AA 
Crew Complement 1100 (including air group)
Range  Range: 12,000 nmiles at 14 knots
Length (ft/inches) Dimensions: 630 pp, 650 wl, 695 oa x 80 x 23.5 feet
Beam (ft/inches) 80 feet 2 inches
Draught (ft/inches) 25 feet 5 inches
Flight Deck length (ft/inches) 690 feet 8 inches
Flight Deck width (ft/inches)  
Armour  
Number of aircraft carried 37
Fate of carrier Paid off 1983. Broken up 1985
Notes Originally part of the Colossus class, these last six ships were completed to a slightly modified design more suited to operating heavier aircraft. None commissioned into the Royal Navy, all but one being sold.

 
 
 
FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Bonaventure 'Modified Majestic type' Magnificent 'Majestic type' Warrior 'Collossus type   
HMAS Melbourne by Australian Aviation Archive  
Aussie aircraft carriers by Aussie Armourers website
Aussie aircraft carriers Brief history of HMS Majestic
Personal website of HMAS Melbourne : -New Zealand, Singapore Road [Malaya], Far East, HMAS Penguin 1957-1960 Personal recollections and photos of HMAS Melbourne 1957-1960
Compensation win for HMAS Melbourne sailor by the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (1999) Audio sound recollections of the Melbourne collission with HMAS Voyager
"Chinese military finds use for HMAS Melbourne
flight deck" in "The Age.com.au" online Australian magazine, Melbourne (13 January 2001)
Article about the continued survival of the flight deck of HMAS Melbourne in 2001
The Australian Carrier Era by the Museum of Flight Brief history of the Melbourne
World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway
Sturtivant, R & Ballance, T  (1994). 'The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994 ISBN: 0 85130 223 8

The World’s Warships 1941 by Francis E. McMurtrie (1944). Janes London 1941 1st ed. 

Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II by Francis E. McMurtrie (Editor)(1984). 320 pages. Crescent Books; ISBN: 0517679639

 
        Last Modified: 23-2-2001


 
 
 
 
 

Return to Home Page

 

This page is published by Fleet Air Arm Archive and is updated regularly.
© 2000-2001 All rights reserved for all information created for or on behalf of the Fleet Air Arm Archive
Contact email: drucker@fleetairarmarchive.net