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HMS Hermes 

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

HMS Hermes was the first Aircraft Carrier to be designed and built for the Royal Navy. compared to its predecessors which has been converted form other ships.  HMS Hermes was ordered in July 1917 and laid down on the 15th January 1918. Hermes was built by Armstrong Whitworth (Parsons). and was launched ion the 11th September 1919 and commissioned into the royal navy in July 1923. HMS Furious would remain the only designed carrier in the Royal navy for 15 years until the construction of HMS Ark Royal.  She was built to the standards of a cruiser of the day with armour and armament and size making her a small carrier at the time of the outbreak of world war two.  She served most of her 1930's service life based at Wei-Hai-Wei (China station) until the outbreak of war when she was transferred to the east Indies station  to combat the threat from German surface raiders.  (Her Flag superior was changed to D)   In 1940   she was involved in a collision with the  Armed Merchant Cruiser Corfu. Hermes was badly damaged in the collision and had to be repaired in South Africa. After her repairs were done she was involved in attacks against German positions and shipping of the coast of east Africa.  She was transferred in 1942 to the Eastern Fleet and on the 9th April 1942. she was attacked and sunk by aircraft form the Japanese carriers Soryu, Akagi and Hiryu off the coast of Ceylon

Displacement: 10,850 tons/11.024 tons (standard); 13,000 tons/13.208 tons (deep load)              Length: 548ft/167.03m (pp); 600ft/182.88m (oa); 580ft/ 176.78m (fd)                    Beam: 70ft 3in/21.41m (hull); 65ft/19.81m (fd)                 Draught: 18ft 9in/5.71m (mean); 21ft 6in/6.55m (deep load)                      Machinery: Parsons geared turbines; 6 Yarrow small-tube boilers; 2 shafts                         Speed: 40,000shp; 25kts                    Aircraft: 20                         Armament: 6x5.5in; 3x4in                     Crew: 664

The incomplete hull of HMS Hermes, 1920.

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  XMP717

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP717

HMS Hermes, 1924.

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  XMP718

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP718

HMS Hermes, October 1937.

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  XMP719

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP719

HMS Hermes, May 1937.

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  XMP720

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP720

HMS Hermes, October 1934.

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  XMP721

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP721

HMS Hermes, October 1934.

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  XMP722

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP722

HMS Hermes, May 1936.

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  XMP723

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP723

HMS Hermes, May 1937.

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  XMP724

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP724

HMS Hermes, May 1937.

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  XMP725

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP725

HMS Hermes c.1927

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PHA013

HMS Hermes pictured c.1930.

Original book photo plate available, image size 7" x 4". Printed in 1930. Price 10 including post. Order code HAR75.

HMS Hermes was the first purpose built aircraft carrier ordered by any navy although she couldn't carry many aircraft. She was sunk during an attack from Japanese aircraft on 9th April 1942.

Displacement: 10, 850 tons.     Draught: 18ft 6ins.     Compliment: 700.     Length: 598 ft.    Beam: 70ft 3ins.     Speed: 25 Knots.     Armament: Three 5.5 inch guns, three single 4 inch AA guns and two sets of 0.5 inch AA guns in fours.     Aircraft: Initially 15 (Fairey III and Flycatcher) then 12 (Fairey Swordfish).

HMS Hermes moored at Honk Kong Harbour in the 1920's (photograph courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publications from the book HMS Hermes see bottom of page).

Hermes undergoes her trials in 1923 (photograph courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publications from the book HMS Hermes see bottom of page).

Having made a successful landing, Fairey Seal is taken in hand by flight deck handlers (photograph courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publications from the book HMS Hermes see bottom of page).

Hoisting a Fairey Flycatcher onto the flight deck

HMS Hermes circa 1920  

Original Post card for sale price 25. Order Code  PHA014

An aerial view taken by a Japanese pilot of Hermes on fire and listing to port shortly before she sank after an onslaught by Japanese naval bombers (photograph courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publications from the book HMS Hermes see bottom of page).

A Hawker Osprey is prepared for take-off (photograph courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publications from the book HMS Hermes see bottom of page).

HMS Hermes, Malta, 1920's.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PHA015

HMS Hermes from the air.  1934 - 36.  Sent in by Ira James.  

HMS Hermes China Station Sports Trophies, 1930 - 1933.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PHA060

The flight deck of HMS Hermes.

Original Post card for sale price 25. Order Code  PHA061

Commanding Officers as listed by dates appointed (taken from the book HMS Hermes by Neil McHart):
1923 - Captain The Hon A Stopford CMG, RN
1925 - Captain C P Talbot DSO, RN
1927 - Captain R Elliot CBE, RN
1927 - Captain G Hopwood CBE, RN
1929 - Captain J D Campbell MVO, CBE, RN
1930 - Captain E J G Mackinnon RN
1932 - Captain W B Mackenzie RN
1934 - Captain The Hon G Fraser DSO, RN
1939 - Captain F E P Hutton RN
1940 - Captain R J F Onslow MVO, DSC, RN
 

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Naval Historians, Crew & Family Noticeboard

MESSAGES

LT ADRIAN SCADDING RNVR.  My Grandfather survived the sinking of Hermes but recently passed away at the age of 94. He was the Meteorological officer for the ship. Does anybody out there remember him?  Contact Here

ARTHUR HEWITSON.. Arthur Hewitson, my mum's brother was killed during the attack in April 1942.  Contact Here 

Ronald Smith Able Seaman P/JX276532 survived the sinking of the ship. If anyone remembers him contact me at maxsmum@btopenworld.com 

WILLIAM ALLMARK.. My granddad served aboard HMS Hermes and survived her sinking in 1942. I would appreciate any info or photos. Contact me at janeandkeith809@hotmail.com (posted 13/05/03)

WILLIAM (BILLY) WILSON.. My Great Uncle William served on board the Hermes when she was sunk in 1942. I'm very keen to obtain any details of anyone who knew him or where I can obtain any crew photos. If anyone can help contact me at birlow.music@btinternet.com 

LAWRENCE SUMMERS.. My grandfather was killed aboard HMS Hermes in 1942. I would love to hear from any survivors who might remembers him or who might have any interesting information. I think Lawrence was a Chief Petty Officer of Warrant Officer at the time. Contact me at paul@summersp.freeserve.co.uk 

CYRIL CHILDS: My Uncle was serving in the Fleet Air arm on HMS Hermes when she was sunk in 1942. I would appreciate any info about HMS Hermes history and any photos of the ships or its Crew, and If there are any survivors still alive. My Uncles name is commemorated on the Fleet Air arm Memorial at Lea on Solent. Contact David Childs at djhc@btopenworld.com 

HMS Hermes was built by Armstrong: Parsons, and launched 11th September 1919, HMS Hermes was the first Royal Navy aircraft carrier designed as an aircraft carrier. HMS Hermes served in the home fleet in 1939, East Indies 1939 - 1942. She was sunk by the Japanese aircraft off Ceylon on the 9th April 1942.

Displacement 10,850 tons, top speed of 25 knots and carried 15 aircraft HMS Hermes had a compliment of 664 excluding aircrew.