These notes and
some of the captions to the many photographs that follow have been compiled by Paul Whiteing in conversation with his father, now approaching 90 years of age. There
may be errors, but these pale into insignificance compared with the
large number of fine images, which give such an interesting insight into the
career of HMS Indomitable in the latter years of the war and some of the men who
served her and her fighting aircraft.
Naval-History.Net is pleased to host these photographs. Some attempt has
been made to group them into chronological order, but there are many gaps
and if you can fill any of these, please email
Smith. Any additions by Gordon
Smith to the original photograph captions or text are in italics.
My thanks to Lieutenant
Commander Geoff Mason RN (Rtd) for the chronology of HMS Indomitable used
Paul Whiteing can be contacted
Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net
nearer the end of the story, this is a fascinating paper
knife fashioned from bits and pieces of aircraft and
Kamikaze's in the carrier's workshops
Mechanic Maurice Whiteing .....
In the early
part of the war MAURICE WHITEING was in a protected trade as a coachbuilder and converted
many types of vehicle for war use, but volunteered for the Royal Navy in
The training establishments he attended (not necessarily in the right order)
were (1) probably basic training at HMS Vincent, Gosport, (2) Melksham,
Wiltshire, (3) Air Mechanics training at HMS Gosling, Warrington, and (4)
Air Electrical training at HMS Ariel, Worthy Down, near Winchester.
Maurice Whiteing middle row, far right
- presumably basic training
He went to sea on
26 December 1943, two days after his marriage, joined
HMS Atheling at Greenock
as an Aircraft Mechanic (Electric) in a Corsair Squadron, and lists the areas of
service as the Atlantic, Arctic, Med, Suez and Aden. Transferring to
Begum with Hellcat Squadron No. 1839 and visiting Colombo in Ceylon, the
HMS Indomitable in approximately January 1944, with the Eastern
Fleet in attacks on Sumatra, visits to Australia, and later the British Pacific
Fleet in the Pacific war against Japan.
After VJ day he served until November 1945, returning to Pompey (Portsmouth) around
During his 2 years on the Indomitable, he became Leading Mechanic and was "due"
P.O. rank but "it didn't happen".
After the war he went to Duples
(coach building) in their experimental shop and soon after joined with some others
to form their own coach building company - Criterion Coach Works in Finchley, London.
Many years later, he changed to woodworking for displays in shops and
formed Criterion Display Works with one of the previous partners. He retired
at age 72.
also did their share of war service. His wife,
KATHERINE (KIT) WHITEING, joined the Women's Land Army in 1940, and served at Broxted, Essex, for 5
years. His brother
GORDON WHITEING was a T124X rating in the Merchant Navy, on a merchant ship rigged with guns (he
couldn't recollect the name of the ship, nor
any more details - presumably a DEMS or Defensively Equipped Merchant
Ship). Paul Whiteing adds, "Gordon "did ok" according to dad. He earned 4/6d per day where
dad was only on 2/0d per day in the F.A.A.". Finally
ARTHUR (JUMBO) FISHER, Kit Whiteing's twin brother served as a signalman on a minesweeper (and
again, sadly - couldn't
recollect the name of the ship, nor any more details)