HMS Hermes (95)
HMS Hermes was a British aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy. She was the world’s first ship to be designed as an aircraft carrier. Her most notable feature was the seaplane slipway that comprised three sections. The carrier was sunk by a Japanese aircraft with no air cover on 9 April 1942.
About HMS Hermes (95) in brief
HMS Hermes was a British aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy. She was the world’s first ship to be designed as an aircraft carrier, although the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Hōshō was the first to be launched and commissioned. Hermes was based on a cruiser-type hull and she was initially designed to carry both wheeled aircraft and seaplanes. Her most notable feature was the seaplane slipway that comprised three sections. The design showed two islands with the full-length flight deck running between them. Each island contained one funnel; a large net could be strung between them to stop out-of-control aircraft. This design displaced 9,000,000 tons and accommodated six large Short Type 184 seaplanes and six Sopwith Baby seaplanes with four 4-inch guns. The ship’s armament consisted of six 4inch guns, including the addition of a rotating catapult to allow the ship to launch regardless of wind, direction, and direction. By mid-June the ship’s design had been deleted from the design and the armament had been revised to consist of the Navy’s Eagle battleship, with six 4 inch guns on each deck. Hermes served briefly with the Atlantic Fleet before spending the bulk of her career assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet and the China Station. She returned home in 1937 and was placed in reserve before becoming a training ship in 1938. 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.
In April 1941 she was berthed in Trincomalee when a warning of an Indian Ocean raid by the Japanese fleet was received, and she sailed that day for the Maldives with no aircraft on board. On 9 April a Japanese scout plane spotted her near Batticaloa, and the carrier was attacked by several dozen dive bombers shortly afterwards. Most of the survivors were rescued by a nearby hospital ship, although 307 men from Hermes were lost in the sinking. 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. In November 1942, Hermes was ref fitted with a new anti-aircraft missile system to counter the threat of Japanese air attacks in the Pacific Ocean. The carrier was sunk by a Japanese aircraft with no air cover on 9 April 1942, with the loss of 307 men in the sunken ship. This design was derived from a 1916 seaplane carrier design by Gerard Holmes and Sir John Biles, but was considerably enlarged by Sir Eustace d’Eyncourt, the Director of Naval Construction, in his April 1917 sketch design. The original sketch produced a detailed design in January 1918 that made some changes to his original design, including a rotating bow catapult, which made it possible to launch aircraft regardless of the wind, wind direction, or direction of the ship. By the end of the First World War, the Armstrong Whitworth shipyard which built her closed.