31 historic photos charting the life of Royal Navy carrier HMS Invincible

As one the Royal Navy’s lead aircraft carriers, HMS Invincible played a major role during the Falklands War.

Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 6:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 6:10 pm
The Royal Navy's HMS Invincible passes the Statue of Liberty Thursday July 1, 2004, at the start of a six day visit to New York. Picture:LA (Phot) Dave Gallagher / HMS Invincible / Crown Copyright.
The Royal Navy's HMS Invincible passes the Statue of Liberty Thursday July 1, 2004, at the start of a six day visit to New York. Picture:LA (Phot) Dave Gallagher / HMS Invincible / Crown Copyright.

She was first launched in May 1977 and was the seventh ship to carry that name.

Originally she was built as an anti-submarine warfare carrier, but worked alongside HMS Hermes during the conflict as an aircraft carried.

Invincible was also deployed in the Yugoslav Wars and Iraq War but was decommissioned in 2005 and sold for scrap to the Turkish company Leyal Ship Recycling in February 2011.

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Crew members on HMS Invincible wave to their gathered famillies as the great ship docks in 1999. Picture: Pete Langdown

Here are a selection of historic photos from HMS Invincible’s history.

HMS Invincible cheered on by the crowds on the Round Tower in 1999. Picture: Malcolm Wells
HMS Invincible passes the Naval War Memorial on the seafront at Southsea after returning from the Gulf and Adriatic in 1999. Picture: David Garvey
HMS Invincible,RFA Bayleaf and HMS Newcastle in formation back in 1999.
AEM Alan Clements from Taunton readies a Sea Harrier on HMS Invincible with escort HMS Newcastle (in background) Saturday April 17, 1999, as the aircraft carrier joins NATO forces off the Balkan coast. PA photo: Tim Ockenden
Nearly 500 members of the crew of the Royal Navy's HMS Invincible spell out the letters NY 04 ahead of a six day visit there. 23rd June 2004. Picture: LA(Phot) Dave Gallagher / HMS Invincible / Crown Copyright.
Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Invincible leaving Portsmouth Harbour with a large crowd of people gathered on the Round Tower at Old Portsmouth to watch the ship sail out. 6th May 2004. Picture: Michael Scaddan (042274-0041)
Sailors wave at loved ones waiting for them as HMS Invincible comes into Portsmouth Harbour after major exercises off the eastern United States and a flag flying visit to New York. 16th July 2004. Picture: Matt Scott-Joynt (043591-14)
Crew of HMS Invincible line the decks as she sails into Portsmouth in 1999. Picture: Pete Langdown
Sailors wave at loved ones waiting for them as HMS Invincible comes into Portsmouth Harbour after major exercises off the eastern United States and a flag flying visit to New York. 16th July 2004. Picture: Matt Scott-Joynt (043591-27)
Navy engineers work in the Navy Base to disentangle the dockside crane from HMS Invincible. 9th November 2004, Picture: Matt Scott-Joynt (045492-162)
They are HMS Invincible in Rosyth at the end of her refit and also at sea for the first time
Her Majesty the Queen being introduced to members of the 'Ops Room', on board HMS Invincible 27th April 2004. Picture: Malcolm Wells (042169-77)
A long queue waits to board HMS Invincible at the International Festival of the Sea. Picture: Ian Hargreaves. The News 4480-3
A Harrier aircraft launching from the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible whilst operating in the Gulf area. PA photo: Royal Navy
HMS Invincible. The formation included a Navl sea harrier FA2 from 801 Naval Air Squadron, GR7a Royal Airforce Harrier from 3(F) Squadron, two MK7 Seaking's one from 771 Naval Air Squadron and an 849B Flight seaking with HMS INVINCIBLE in the foreground.
Well wishers watch HMS Invincible return to Portsmouth Harbour 2nd April 2004. Picture: Steve Reid (041735-90)
Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Invincible leaving Portsmouth to a patriotic send-off. She is to lead the task force to the Falkland Islands 5th April 1982. Picture: PA Wire.
Prince Andrew in Portsmouth in front of a crowd welcoming the carrier HMS Invincible home from the Falklands 17th December 1982.
Leading Airman Steve Collins (bottom left) with some of his colleagues in the hangar deck of HMS Invincible where the Sea Harriers are maintained.
September 1982, HMS Invincible returns from the Falkland Island. The News PP4867
The Queen meets the crew of HMS Invincible during a walkabout in the ship's hangar on September 17, 1982. The News PP4043
HMS Invincible getting a warm welcome back from the Falklands in 1982. The News PP4870
Queen Elizabeth at the return of HMS Invincible. HMS Invincible returns to Portsmouth, carrying British troops home from the Falklands War, 17 September 1982
HMS Invincible (RO5) in Portsmouth Naval base. Picture: Dean Kedward
The Queen is in Portsmouth to greet HMS Invincible on September 18, 1982. The News PP4045
HMS Invincible leaving Portsmouth for Falklands in 1982. The News PP4866
HMS Invincible leaves Portsmouth for the final time en route to Turkey
The word 'sold' can be seen on the side of Invincible. Hundreds of people watched aircraft carrier HMS Invincible make her final journey this morning Thursday, as she was towed out of Portsmouth dockyard in the sunshine. The aircraft carrier, which famously served in the Falklands War, was towed out of Portsmouth Harbour at 8am. She is heading to a Turkish scrapyard to be broken up and recycled. Large numbers turned out at the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth to say a final farewell to the ship, including members of The Invincible WO’s & CPO’s 82 Association. Picture: Chris Balcombe
The sad farewell. HMS Invincible leaving Portsmouth for the last time and heads to Turkey to be recycled and turned in to razor blades and saucepans. 24th March 2011. Picture: Sarah Standing (111079-7522)
The Royal Navy's HMS Invincible passes the Statue of Liberty Thursday July 1, 2004, at the start of a six day visit to New York. Picture:LA (Phot) Dave Gallagher / HMS Invincible / Crown Copyright.