January 1945 Joined Task Force 63.
4th Deployed with HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS VICTORIOUS, H M Cruisers SUFFOLK, CEYLON, ARGONAUT and BLACK PRINCE screened by HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT, WHELP, GRENVILLE, WAGER, URANIA, UNDAUNTED, UNDINE and URSA for air attacks on oil refineries at Pangkalang Brandan, Sumatra (Operation LENTIL).
16th Sailed from Trincomalee with TF63 for offensive sweep in Indian Ocean prior to transfer of British Pacific Fleet for service in Pacific area.
24th With HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS VICTORIOUS carried out air attacks on the oil refinery at Pladjoe, Sumatra. Cover was provided by HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HMS ARGONAUT, HMS EURYALUS and HMS BLACK PRINCE screened by Fleet Destroyers. (Operation MERIDIAN ONE)
29th With same aircraft carriers launched raids on Soengi Gerong oil refineries and airfields at Lembak and Tanglangbetoetoe (Operation MERIDIAN TWO). (Note: These attacks were marred by various problems. All seven KAMIKAZE aircraft which attacked Fleet in retaliation were destroyed but 16 RN aircraft were lost in action and another 14 by deck landing accidents. 9 pilots captured after baling out were executed by the Japanese in August 1945. (Operation MERIDIAN TWO).
4th Arrived Fremantle with British Pacific Fleet.
9th Arrived at Sydney to prepare for operational service as TF113 with US Navy.*
*From http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-04CV-HMS_Indomitable.htm , accessed April 21 2020
c/o British Fleet Mail Office
San Francisco, California, USA
Feb 10, 1945
Before you get any false ideas, I’m in Australian waters and hence the change of address. I hope mails will be quicker, my last were one month to six weeks old. I’ve had three from home lately, a record. Thanks a million.
I received your Christmas parcel in fine style, thanks a lot. I’ve been eating steadily ever since. Those pliers are beautiful, Dad.
I’m glad to hear Christmas went off well. Mine was OK but rather squeezed in between a lot of work. We have been at the Japs again as you probably heard, so I’ve been as bad as usual getting things organized such as letter writing, sleeping etc. But I’ve been making up for it the last couple of days. I have a week sick leave coming up as soon as the opportunity occurs. I’m not sick, but I think the Captain thinks I may be in the future so that’s what scares him. He is really grand. I don’t seem to have the interest or energy I used to have but perhaps that’s the tropical effect. At the moment, I’m trying to work myself out of the “indispensable” category so I will have some hope of relief and leave. At the moment, it is still distant. I’ve been here so long I’m almost part of the fittings.
Is Marybelle training at home – she always swore she wouldn’t.
Russell and Carman seem to be doing OK. Tell Russell he will have to pull up his socks in physics – remember I used to be a “physician”. I’ve certainly forgotten it all.
How does my bank balance look. I transferred £300, about $1,325 from UK in May and I forget whether you told me it arrived. I’ve been dealing with so many kinds of money I forget what a dollar looks like or is.
Send my love to Lena Merle Dix & the nephews. I may write them again someday but I don’t know when.
Bye for now
P.S. Re your argument, I go where the ship goes, regardless of the theatre. This “region of service” does not apply to any naval personnel. Service with RN or RCN is optional for me.