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The Invergordon Archive

HMS Eagle at Invergordon
The Invergordon Archive
HMS Eagle at Invergordon

This is the second aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, the first was sunk in the Mediterranean by torpedoes from a U-boat on 11th August 1942.
This ship was commissioned in 1952, but in 1959 she was taken to Devonport Dockyard for an extensive refit and modernisation. In addition to major improvements to her accommodation, machinery and weaponry she also acquired an angled deck and enlarged island. As a result of all this her displacement increasded significantly to over 50,000 tons, making her the largest ship in the Royal Navy.
There is no evidence of the angled deck in this postcard photo, which places the date between 1952 and 1959.

(Image kindly supplied by Invergordon Off the Wall Web Site: www.invergordonoffthewall.co.uk/)
Picture added on 14 May 2006
picture #345 shows a landing craft in the west harbour, also a question as to what it was used for. Is this the same craft moored alongside the MFV amidships of HMS Eagle...could it have been used to transport extra stores?? There is also a barge moored at the stern quarter ...there used to be a similar barge (the Maggie) which lay derelict for many years in the west harbour...could these two craft be the ones???
Added by Duncan Murray on 14 May 2006
Hello Duncan. I remember the barge being towed out to the ships by the pilot boat. The barge was in fact used to carry stores to the various ships.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 17 May 2006
If you go to the Cromarty Image/Archive site you will see the 'EAGLE' Photo number 585, passing the Sutors east bound and read my comments. I was a boy seaman on HMS APOLLO - a fast minelayer with three funnels and the pendant number N 01. In that same September, Apollo was acting as flagship for the fleet review by HM the Queen. The Home Fleet was assembled in the Cromarty Firth ready to sail out on the Monday morning and meet HMY Britannia and Her Majesty and escort them back into the Firth.....so far so good. Being local I was granted weekend leave and went home to the Black Isle (via Ted's ferry). Early on the Sunday morning the local bobby came to my house and told me he was sent to get me back on board ASAP (via Ted's ferry).
Unknown to me the C in C had ordered the Fleet to sail out to the Moray Firth because there was a threat of fog that would disrupt proceedings next day. Also unknown to my uncle and aunt who lived in Tain I wouldn’t be there to meet them in Invergordon that afternoon. I was back onboard 'Apollo' getting ready to sail. Unknown to me they were wandering on the jetty carrying a huge freshly cooked Clootie Dumpling my aunty had made for me.
After an hour the Apollo's motor boat came along side the jetty carrying the ship's postman and the C in C's Flag Lieutenant who were only ashore for ten minutes delivering signals and mail. On their return my aunty presented the Flag Lt. with the "CD" ( Thank God it wasn’t the Admiral ) and asked him kindly to deliver it to her nephew!! You can imagine the stick I got when I was piped aft to pick it up..it was deelish.
Added by Padric MacDonald on 22 November 2007
I was serving in Eagle when this photograph was taken - I was doing my National service, and we had just returned from the Med. Invergordon was the first port of call in the UK so you can immagine the number of ratings waiting to use the only telephone kiosk. The MFV berthed aongside was the vessel that tentered us ashore. It would have been about early October 1955, I remember it well, as I have very fond memories of my time in EAGLE and my service in the Royal Navy.
Added by Neil Sims on 23 March 2008
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The Navy

Angus Martin at Invergordon while on HMS PrinceAngus Martin at InvergordonAngus Martin and the CrewAngus MartinNurse who perished in HMS Natal explosionHMS Albion entering Cromarty FirthHMS Gambia and HMS DuchessAnchorage of the Battle Cruiser Squadron 1928Disposition of the Fleet in October 1927Queen's visit in May 1957