HMS Victorious was the third Illustrious-class aircraft carrier after Illustrious and Formidable. Her commissioning was delayed until 1941 due to the greater need for escort vessels for service in the Battle of the Atlantic but she soon saw plenty of service included famous actions against the battleship Bismarck, several Arctic convoys, and Operation Pedestal. She was loaned to the United States Navy in 1943 and served in the south west Pacific as part of the Third Fleet.
Victorious contributed to several attacks on the Tirpitz. The elimination of the German naval threat allowed her redeployment first to the Eastern Fleet at Colombo and then to the Pacific for the final actions of the war against Japan.
John Williams, who served in the Royal Navy for 40 years and in the RAN for a further 10 years, talks about his time aboard HMS Victorious which he remembers as one of the happiest ships in which he served, despite the threats ranging from U-boats to kamikaze attacks.
Recorded on 5th April 1974
Duration is 33 minutes