world war ii: royal navy

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An interesting contrast between the damage to the flight decks of USS Bunker Hill (top) and HMS Formidable (bottom) after 550lb-bomb-carrying Kamikaze hits amidships.

On Bunker Hill, the exploding bomb and burning fuel killed 389 and put the carrier out of action for four months. On Formidable, the exploding bomb and burning fuel killed nine and put the carrier out of action for six hours. America’s Midway-class aircraft carriers which entered service in late 1945, did so with armoured flight decks.

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“British pilot rescued after Pacific action. June 1945, on board a carrier of the British Pacific Fleet operating against the Japanese. A British naval pilot who was shot down close inshore was rescued by a Supermarine Walrus amphibian aircraft which landed under the guns of Japanese coastal batteries, picked up the Avenger pilot and returned him to the deck of the carrier.”

(IWM: A 29813, A 29719)