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Tal-Ħandaq Nostalgia

Memories of the Royal Naval School, Malta, 1947 - 1978.

HMS Ark Royal

Paying off for the last time 16 November 1978.

HMS Ark Royal was an Audacious class aircraft carrier launched on 3 May 1950 by Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother. She was commissioned on 25 February 1955. She was the sister ship to HMS Eagle and was originally to be called Irresistible, but was renamed Ark Royal prior to launch.

Initially on entry into service, she had a complement of up to 50 aircraft comprising Sea Hawks, Sea Venoms, Gannets, Skyraiders and various helicopters. As later aircraft types grew in size and complexity, her air group fell to below 40 when she left service in 1978.

She entered Devonport for the last time on 4 December 1978 and decommissioned on 14 February 1979.

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