Posted on July 23, 2014
Fond farewell as HMS Illustrious returns to Portsmouth for final time
Crowds gathered in Portsmouth earlier to say goodbye to HMS Illustrious, as it returned to its home port for the final time.
Hundreds of people lined the harbour walls and jetty to wave home the Royal Navy’s helicopter carrier.
The ship, which has clocked up 898,893 miles on operations, will be retired after 32 years of service.
Illustrious gave a gun salute as it arrived at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour and its arrival was marked with a flypast of Apache, Lynx, Merlin, Sea King and Chinook helicopters.
The warship, which arrived with its 700-strong ship’s company, flew a 210m decommissioning pennant.