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HMS Ark Royal - World Naval Ships Directory

HMS Ark Royal

Name : HMS Ark Royal
Laid Down : 16th September 1935
Launched : 13th April 1937
Completed : 16th November 1938
Type : Aircraft Carrier
Class :
Builder : Cammell Laird
Country : UK
Pennants : 91
Fate : Sunk 14th November 1941

HMS Ark Royal built by Cammell Laird, launched 13th April 1937 and completed 16th November 1938. HMS Ark Royal was the first large aircraft carrier designed and laid down as a carrier for the Royal Navy. She served in the Home Fleet and South Atlantic in 1939, then in the Home Fleet and Mediterranean in 1940, and as part of Force H in 1941. On 13th November 1941 she was hit by a single torpedo from the German u-boat U81. The torpedo hit on the starboard side near the starboard boiler room causing a 130ft by 30ft hole. Water poured in causing a 10% list immediately. The flooding spread quickly to the middle of the ship and then to the port boiler room, causing electric power to fail. After 14 hours while in tow to Gibraltar she capsized and sunk the following day.

Displacement 22, 000 tons, Speed 30.75 knots, Compliment 1575. Armament sixteen 4.5 inch AA guns in pairs. forty eight 2 pounder AA guns (in eights) thirty two .5 inch Machine guns. and seventy two aircraft. Dimension 685 (pp) 800 (oa) x 94.75 feet x 27.75 feet (deepload)

HMS Ark Royal Photos for Sale
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HMS Ark Royal, June 1938.

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

HMS Ark Royal, c.1940.

HMS Ark Royal

HMS Ark Royal with her planes.

HMS Ark Royal showing her deck and the complement of planes she carried.

HMS Ark Royal with HMS Cumberland and HMS Gambia.

HMS Ark Royal and Paddle Steamer Sprite

Known Crew Details :


Start of Service

End of Service

Known Date

John Martin Bruen

0th June 1940

0th October 1940

0th 0

Ron Skinner

13th November 1938

13th November 1941

Timeline Entries :

13th April 1937 - Pennant Number 91
13th April 1937 - Launched
16th December 1938 - Commissioned
10th January 1939 - Sailed Portsmouth
15th January 1939 - Arrived Gibraltar
19th January 1939 - Arrived Malta
19th January 1939 - Arrived Malta
19th January 1939 - Arrived Malta
23rd January 1939 - Sailed Malta for Alexandria
23rd January 1939 - Sailed Malta
27th January 1939 - Arrived Alexandria
17th February 1939 - Sailed Alexandria
26th February 1939 - Arrived Gibraltar
26th February 1939 - Arrived Gibraltar
27th February 1939 - Combined Exercise
27th February 1939 - Sailed Gibraltar
3rd March 1939 - Arrived Gibraltar
6th March 1939 - Sailed Gibraltar Combined Exercise
10th March 1939 - Arrived Gibraltar
14th March 1939 - Took part in Combined exercises in the Atlantic
18th March 1939 - Sailed Gibraltar
23rd March 1939 - Arrived Portsmouth
24th March 1939 - Sailed Portsmouth
30th April 1939 - Sailed Portsmouth for Portland
27th July 1939 - Sailed Portsmouth
29th July 1939 - Sailed Portsmouth for Rosyth
August 1939 - Home Fleet
15th August 1939 - Sailed Scapa Flow for exercises
31st August 1939 - Sailed Scapa Flow. Deployed in the North Sea between the Orkneys and Norway.
1st September 1939 - Arrived Rosyth
3rd September 1939 - Home Fleet, Scapa Flow
6th September 1939 - Arrived Scapa Flow
7th September 1939 - Sailed Scapa Flow for Norway
1st October 1939 - Sailed Scapa Flow for Loch Ewe
2nd October 1939 - Arrived Loch Ewe
2nd October 1939 - Sailed Loch Ewe
9th October 1939 - Sailed as Force K and en route to Freetown
12th October 1939 - Arrived Freetown
14th October 1939 - Sailed Freetown for patrol duties
24th October 1939 - Arrived at Freetown
28th October 1939 - Sailed Freetown on patrol
15th November 1939 - Sailed Freetown for England to refit and receive new aircraft
17th November 1939 - Ordered back to Freetown
18th November 1939 - Sailed Freetown to operate south of Freetown along the convoy route
23rd November 1939 - En route to Madagascar
3rd December 1939 - Arrived at Cape Town
12th December 1939 - In the Pernambuco area
17th December 1939 - Arrived at Rio de Janeiro, refuelled and put back to sea the same day
18th December 1939 - Searched for supply ship Altmark
24th December 1939 - Arrived Freetown
4th January 1940 - Arrived Dakar
7th January 1940 - Sailed Dakar
8th January 1940 - Off Sierra Leone
19th January 1940 - Arrived Freetown
19th January 1940 - Arrived Freetown
24th January 1940 - Sailed Freetown to rendezvous with HMS Exeter
24th January 1940 - Sailed Freetown
3rd February 1940 - Arrived Freetown
6th February 1940 - Sailed Freetown
10th February 1940 - En route from the South Atlantic to England
10th February 1940 - Sailed Gibraltar
11th February 1940 - Searched for the German ships which had escaped from Vigo
15th February 1940 - Arrived Plymouth
16th February 1940 - Arrived Portsmouth
19th March 1940 - Sailed Portsmouth for Portland
22nd March 1940 - Sailed Plymouth for the Mediterranean
22nd March 1940 - Sailed Plymouth for the Mediterranean
25th March 1940 - Passed Gibraltar
28th March 1940 - Arrived Malta
20th May 1940 - Commenced air attacks over Narvik
13th June 1940 - Operations off Norway
9th August 1940 - Passed through the Western Approaches.
27th November 1940 - Battle Of Cape Spartivento, Sardinia
27th November 1940 - Force H
9th January 1941 - Provided cover for Operation Excess, a convoy of supply ships headed for Malta and Greece
9th February 1941 - Arrived the Gulf of Genoa
27th April 1941 - Operation Dunlop, 24 Hurricanes were flown off to reinforce Malta
3rd May 1941 - Sailed Gibraltar for Eastern Mediterranean
25th May 1941 - Took part in the Battle of Denmark Strait
14th November 1941 - Sunk

HMS Ark Royal Artwork Collection
Click the images below to view the fantastic artwork we have available to purchase!

Sea Wings by Ivan Berryman.

Zulu! The Battle for Rorkes Drift 1879.

Three Ark Royals 1938 - 1999 by Neil McCart.

Malta Relief by Tim Fisher.

HMS Ark Royal by Brian Wood.

HMS Ark Royal and HMS Sheffield off the Mole, Gibraltar by Ivan Berryman.

Flight Against the Bismarck by Philip West.

Supreme Courage by Philip West.

To Sink the Bismarck by Gerald Coulson.

Return to Ship Search Page

Database Currently Holds : 6271 ships and 6288 crew!

Last edited : 17:07, February 21, 2011
By : jbryce1437

Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.


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