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Air Strike on Pangkalan Brandan

On this day 4 January 1945

Published: 04 Jan 2013

Aircraft from aircraft carriers Indomitable, Indefatigable and Victorious carried out an airstrike on oil installations at Pangkalan Brandan, Sumatra during Operation Lentil. The strike was originally planned for 20 December 1944 but was aborted due to bad weather.

The combined Air Groups attacked on 4 January 1945, Avengers and Fireflies bombing and rocketing, while Corsairs, Fireflies and Hellcats carried out a sweep over enemy airfields before the strike as well as providing close escort for the strike aircraft. The strike was a complete success with only one Avenger being lost, and the crew being recovered.

HMS Indomitable
1839 Sqn           14 Hellcats
1844 Sqn           14 Hellcats
857 Sqn             21 Avengers

HMS Victorious
1834 Sqn           14 Corsairs
1836 Sqn           14 Corsairs
849 Sqn             21 Avengers

HMS Indefatigable
888 Sqn             8 Hellcats (photo reconnaisssance)
887 Sqn             16 Seafire IIIs
894 Sqn             16 Seafire IIIs
1770 Sqn           12 Fireflies
820 Sqn             21 Avengers

(Image Operation Lentil -Air Strike on Pangkalan Brandan © Fleet Air Arm Museum)


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