HMAS Melbourne (II)
HMAS Melbourne was originally one of six Majestic Class light fleet aircraft carriers ordered for the Royal Navy (RN) during World War II.
Laid down for the RN as HMS Majestic on 15 April 1943 and launched in 1945, the ship was nearing completion when construction was virtually brought to a halt with the cessation of wartime hostilities.
On 3 June 1947 the Commonwealth Government approved the acquisition of two aircraft carriers for the RAN. It was decided that two of the Majestic Class, HM Ships Terrible and Majestic, would be taken over by the RAN and named Sydney (III) and Melbourne (II) respectively. On 15 August 1947 the Government approved the creation of the Naval (later Fleet) Air Arm.
In 1949 it was decided to increase the size of Melbourne’s flight deck lifts to accommodate the larger aircraft and in 1952, a modified angled flight deck of 5½ degrees was added as was a steam catapult and mirror deck-landing system.
On 28 October, 1955, the ship was officially named and commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Melbourne .
Fleet Air Arm Squadrons operated from Melbourne included: 723, 805, 808, 816 and 817.
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