Relatives of navy personnel wave as the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious departs Portsmouth for a deployment to the Mediterranean on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Relatives of navy personnel wave as the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious departs Portsmouth for a deployment to the Mediterranean on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

39 images of life onboard Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious

HMS Illustrious was still under construction when the Falklands War broke out.

By Deborah Croker
Friday, 29th May 2020, 6:00 am

And despite work being greatly sped up, the war was won before she could be finished.

HMS Illustrious did perform a useful service in the aftermath of the Falklands War.

She was the fifth warship and the second aircraft carrier to have the name Illustrious.

The crew of HMS Illustrious knew her by the affectionate nickname Lusty.

In the 1990s she was deployed to Iraq for Operation Southern Watch and Bosnia for Operation Deny Flight.

Then in 2000 HMS Illustrious was deployed to Sierra Leone for Operation Palliser.

After 32 years’ service, she was formally decommissioned on 28 August 2014 but she wasn’t replaced until HMS Queen Elizabeth's commissioning in 2017.

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