HMS Formidable was a British aircraft carrier during the Second World War. One of four Illustrious-class carriers, Formidable was an armoured carrier, able to withstand air attacks, guarding its precious aircraft hangar with an armour-plated flight-deck. As well as its squadrons of fighters and torpedo bombers, Formidable was armed with sixteen 4.5-inch dual-purpose guns, mounted in eight turrets. When action stations sounded, in one of these turrets, sweating in the tropical heat due to heavy asbestos anti-flash gear, lifting shells from the hoist to the gunner, while frantically turning the air into a ‘plum pudding’ of smoke and flame to smash the enemy kamikaze from the sky, was the author’s grandfather, Arthur Flint.
Illustrated with almost 200 contemporary photographs throughout, Formidable is a memorial to the voyages and service of Arthur Flint and his shipmates during the war, from the Battle of Matapan, the landings in North Africa, Sicily and Salerno, to the arctic hunt for Tirpitz, before Formidable steamed east to Sydney in 1945 and joined the British Pacific Fleet, fighting alongside the Americans at Okinawa and the final assault against Japan.
Author(s): Terry Crowdy
First Publishment Date: 13 March 2023