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ROYAL NAVY SOUTH ATLANTIC COMMAND - ROYAL NAVY E F H I SHIPS

13) HERMES (AIRCRAFT CARRIER)



Photo. http://www.carrierbuilders.net



                                                                                HMS HERMES 95


Type:  Aircraft carrier


Displacement:         

10,850 long tons (11,020 t) standard


13,700 long tons (13,900 t) (deep load)


Length: 600 ft (182.9 m)


Beam: 70 ft 3 in (21.4 m)


Draught: 23 ft 3 in (7.1 m) (deep load)


Installed power:       

6 water-tube boilers

40,000 shp (30,000 kW)

Propulsion:   2 shafts; 2 geared steam turbine sets


Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)


Range: 5,600 nmi (10,400 km; 6,400 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)


Complement: 566 (excluding aircrew)


Armament:   

6 × single 5.5 in (140 mm) guns

4 × single 4 in (102 mm) anti-aircraft guns


Armour:        

Belt: 3 in (76 mm)

Deck: 1 in (25 mm)


Aircraft carried: 20


When the Second World War began in September 1939, the ship was briefly assigned to the Home Fleet and conducted anti-submarine patrols in the Western Approaches. She was transferred to Dakar in October to cooperate with the French Navy in hunting down German commerce raiders and blockade runners. Aside from a brief refit, Hermes remained there until the fall of France and the establishment of Vichy France at the end of June 1940.


Supported by several cruisers, the ship then blockaded Dakar and attempted to sink the French battleship Richelieu by exploding depth charges underneath her stern, as well as sending Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers to attack her at night. While returning from this mission, Hermes rammed a British armed merchant cruiser in a storm and required several months of repairs in South Africa, then resumed patrolling for Axis shipping in the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.


In February 1941, the ship supported Commonwealth forces in Italian Somalilandduring the East African Campaign and did much the same two months later in the Persian Gulf during the Anglo-Iraqi War. After that campaign, Hermes spent most of the rest of the year patrolling the Indian Ocean. She was refitted in South Africa between November 1941 and February 1942 and then joined the Eastern Fleet at Ceylon.



Above HMS hermes badly damaged by Japanese aircrafts begin to settle by port. Photo http://www.carrierbuilders.net 


Hermes was berthed in Trincomalee on 8 April when a warning of an Indian Ocean raid by the Japanese fleet was received, and she sailed that day for the Maldiveswith no aircraft on board. On 9 April a Japanese scout plane spotted her near Batticaloa, and she was attacked by several dozen dive bombers shortly afterwards. With no air cover, the carrier was quickly sunk by the Japanese aircraft. Most of the survivors were rescued by a nearby hospital ship, although 307 men from Hermes were lost in the sinking.


By https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Hermes_(95)


 

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