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HMS Ark Royal 

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Aircraft Carrier histories. Royal Navy aircraft carriers of the Courageous Class. Aircraft carrier history of HMS Ark Royal from its launch to its participation in major wars also notice board for families of ex-crew of the carrier HMS Ark Royal.

HMS Ark Royal  (91) built by Cammell Laird,  and 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 and The in the home Fleet and Mediterranean in 1940./ and part of Force H in 1941. on the 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 130 ft by 30 ft. hole. water poured in causing a 10% list straight immediately. The flooding spread quickly  the middle of the ship and then to the port Boiler room. Electric power failed. and 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, March 1939.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here   Order Code  XMP752

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP752

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here   Order Code  XMP750

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP750

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here   Order Code  XMP751

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP751

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here   Order Code  XMP749

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP749

HMS Ark Royal, June 1938.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here   Order Code  XMP748

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP748

HMS Ark Royal, March 1939.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here   Order Code  XMP753

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP753

HMS Ark Royal, c.1940.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here   Order Code  XMP754

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP754

HMS Ark Royal as completed with axial flight deck.

HMS Ark Royal with HMS Cumberland and HMS Gambia.

Original Postcard for sale Price £25. Order Code  PHA041

HMS Ark Royal pictured c.1939 

Original Post card for sale Price £25. Order Code  PHA016

This photograph has been sent in by Mr K Chambers and shows HMS Ark Royal shortly after her launch.

HMS Ark Royal with her planes. 

Original Post card for sale Price £25 Order Code  PHA017

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

Original Post Card for sale Price £25. Order Code  PHA018

ORIGINAL POSTCARD FOR SALE.  DONATED TOWARDS THE UPKEEP OF THIS SITE.

HMS Ark Royal and Paddle Steamer 'Sprite'

Original Wright & Logan Postcard.  Price £15.  Click here to order.    Order Code  PHA059

HMS Ark Royal

 

The launch of HMS Ark Royal.

I have recently been scanning photographs from my wife's grandmothers photo album and came across this picture. We believe that it was taken in 1937 and wonder if it could be of the launch of the Ark Royal. We do have a couple of other photograph's of the launch if you would be interested. My wife's grandmother was from a naval family and was living in Birkenhead at the time.   Nick and Jane Cottam

ORIGINAL POSTCARD FOR SALE.  DONATED TOWARDS THE UPKEEP OF THIS SITE.

HMS Ark Royal - the Launch. Contributed by Eric Peters

Original Postcard.  Price £8.  Click here to order.    SOLD

Below is the log book of a Swordfish pilot initially from HMS Ark Royal.   The first entry shows the pilot left HMS Ark Royal for Gibraltar on the day the ship sunk. 

 

Our message board system has now been upgraded to a discussion forum at worldnavalships.com.  Any messages on this page are now archive messages kept here to service those who left the messages originally.   Click Here to go to the new Forum

Naval Historians, Crew & Family Noticeboard

MESSAGES

ALBERT EDWARD ALEXANDER ALLEN..   would like to know if there are any other surviving members of the ark royal sunk outside of gibralter on nov 11. my father was on her that day and is still alive he tells me some great stories of her exploits.  Contact Here

AUTHUR CAMERON... We would like to know if anyone knew of him.  He was a mechanic on the ship, and my great grandfather.  Contact Here 

REGINALD WATTS..  I am looking for information about my grandfather who was in the RAF and was posted to the Ark Royal.  I don't know if he survived the sinking of her or was on her on a previous voyage, but he lived until 1973.  He was I think from RAF Henlow.  Any information gratefully received.  Barry Lawson.  Contact here 

REGINALD SODEN..  I'm the son of an officer who served on HMS Ark Royal during WW2.  His name was Reginald Soden.  I believe he musterd out as a Lt Commander a few years after the war.  In the late 40's until the late 50's he lived in the Belgium Congo until the ethnic rising and returned to Europe only to emigrate to South Africa in 1960.  I'm aware that he had a sister and a brother but lost contact with them.  I'm looking for any information on him.  I can be contacted at nigel@African-Sunrise.co.za or at nigel@unitoy.co.za 

HECTOR ROBERTS.. I understand that my uncle, my mother's brother, served on the Ark Royal during WWII as a toolmaker/ machinist within one of the workshops on board the Ark.  He survived the war and was widowed approx 1956 and remarried approx 1958 and had one daughter - Kimberley Ann Roberts.   Can anybody confirm their whereabouts and/or advise where it is possible to obtain Hector's service records.  Please contact me at - william@turveybob.fsnet.co.uk 

ALF SHEPHERD..  Does anyone have any information on Alf Shepherd who was, I believe, a Petty Officer aboard the Ark Royal during the Second World War.  He was an uncle of my mother's and came from Plymouth in Devon.  Any information would be appreciated.  Contact Christine at ChrisAHodgetts@aol.com 

WINSCOTT Stoker PO Cyril.     Cyril Winscott served on Ark Royal and was Mentioned in Despatches when she was sunk viz ”SPO C Winscott was in the port boiler room for very many hours and worked cheerfully and calmly throughout, steaming this boiler under appalling conditions until it was finally shut off. Having been ordered up he left the boiler room and then heard a sound from the Senior Engineer who was in a state of collapse. Winscott, without hesitation returned to the boiler room and helped the Senior Engineer up.”   He subsequently lost his life when the minesweeper HMS Hythe was lost on 13th August 1943.   Replies to dcslade@tesco.net

MORRIS WORMALD... My Uncle, Morris Wormald, was a stoker on the Ark Royal in WWII. He was apparently pictured, along with other survivors, on the front page of a national daily newspaper soon after the Ark was torpoedoed. Morris died some years ago but my father (his brother) would like a copy of this newspaper front page/photo if anyone has a copy. Please contact Peter Wormald at pdwormald55@ntlworld.com

Hello my name is sharon and I would like it if anyone can help me to find  out the name of the minesweeper for the ARK ROYAL in the year 1938.  I would be very grateful if anyone can help.  THANK YOU.   shazwalker@msn.com 

CHRISTOPHER HENRY MARTIN.. Trying to find any information about my uncle Christopher Henry Martin. It was believed that he was a crew of Ark Royal when she was torpedoed. I can't find any information about him. Can anyone help? John Martin  Jonmar127@aol.com

JACK COOMBER.. My name is Paul Coomber and I am trying to find out if anyone out there may have served with or knew my grandfather, Jack Coomber, who served on Ark Royal in WWII. I believe he was a petty officer and was aboard during the Bismarck hunt and the torpedo strike by U-81. If anyone has any information about him please contact me at: p.coomber@ntlworld.com

NICHOLAS & WILLIAM LEADBETTER.. My grandfather and his two brothers were stokers on Ark Royal during WW2. I have always thought they were killed when Ark Royal was torpedoed, but all the books state that only one rating was lost. Can anyone help? Contact me at sheila.preston1@btopenworld.com 

RAYMOND HUGH HOLMES.. I am looking for information about my father, Raymond Holmes. He served on Ark Royal in WW2, was possibly born in Kings Lynn, England and would now be in his 80's. He divorced my mother in the 50's. Any information contact me April at quipay@telus.net 

PHILIP DOUGLAS LEE REASON.. Philip joined up in 1932 and was in the Spanish Civil War prior to serving as a rear-gunner in the fleet air arm. He was on board Ark Royal when she was torpedoed in 1941. He served with 812 Sqn and was grounded in 1942. He flew aboard the 'stringbags' - swordfish & apparently was awarded the B.E.M & DSM among other though these were sold. Any information gratefully received. Contact me at Bobandpug@aol.com 

PERCY (PERCIVAL) SHEEN... I am trying to find information on my uncle Percy who was a Royal Marine on HMS Ark Royal and HMS Eagle. I understand he was buried in Malta c.1930-35. Contact me at r.jones@scarrott.com 

DOUGLAS G ANDREOLI... My father Douglas was aboard the Ark Royal when she was sunk. He was picked up out of the water and taken to Gibraltar and then back to England on Audacity which was also torpedoed and sunk. If anyone has more information on the Audacity or Ark Royal please contact me at frank_harris@rac.ray.com 

ARTHUR BIGNALL.. My great uncle Arthur served on the Ark Royal during World War 2. His sister, my grandmother, is no longer alive and my mother doesn't know anything more than that he served on the ship. If anybody has any information, no matter what it is, could they email me at melanie@tozer2062.freeserve.co.uk 

RICHARD MALTBY.. My grandfather Richard Maltby served on HMS Ark Royal in WWII. I would like to find out if anyone remembers him serving with , he was a signals man. I would also like to know if there is anywhere that sells memorabilia in connection with the Ark, books, uniforms etc. Any info would be appreciated. Contact Paul at wildwilzy@aol.co.uk  

ARTHUR SHAW.  My grandfather served as a photographer on board HMS Ark Royal. I am trying to find anyone who served with him and may remember him. please contact Ben at ben@kenilworth13.fsnet.co.uk 

I would like to know where I can find out more information about the Ark Royal and her crew, my grandfather served on her. Contact me at mark@hacky.fsnet.co.uk 

RON LANE   My father has been trying to locate anyone with information of Ron Lane his great uncle. He was a telegraphist serving on HMS Ark Royal during WW2. Contact Stephen & George Lane at Manicmutz@aol.com 

F GREEN..   I have a white, flattop, Navy hat with H.M.S. Ark Royal ribbon/band.  It is ID'd on the inside to "F. GREEN".  How would I proceed to find the service record of Seaman Green?  Thank you. Keith Alderson  contact here

HMS Ark Royal was built by Cammell Laird and launched on the 13th of April 1937. Displacement of 22,000 tons, had a top speed of 30.75 knots and carried 72 aircraft. HMS Ark Royal's complement was 1,575 men. She served in the home fleet and south Atlantic in 1939, Home fleet and Mediterranean 1940 and Force H 1941. on the 13th November 1941 she was torpedoed by U-81 in the western Mediterranean, and while under tow was lost the following day.