HMS Hermes

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HMS Hermes R12 light fleet carrier of the Royal Navy, launched February 1953. HMS Hermes served with the Royal Navy until 1984, including participating in the Falklands War. Sold to the Indian Navy in 1986 and renamed Viraat.

HMS Hermes was laid down before the end of WWII but was only completed in 1959 after many changes in design to accommodate the new jet aircraft. When the new Sea Harrier came into operation she was given a special ramp to allow her to operate the new aircraft. She was flagship in the Falkland's conflict in 1982 and only two years later put into reserve and subsequently sold to India.

Displacement: 24, 900 tons.     Draught: 27ft 10ins.     Compliment: 2,100.     Length: 774 ft.    Beam: 147ft 11ins.     Speed: 28 Knots.     Armament: Ten 40mm AA guns and eight SAM missile launchers arranged in two sets of four.     Aircraft: 28.

HMS Hermes, June 1977.

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HMS Hermes, June 1977.

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HMS Hermes, June 1977.

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HMS Hermes, August 1974.

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HMS Hermes, June 1977.

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HMS Hermes, March 1973.

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HMS Hermes, August 1974.

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HMS Hermes, September 1969.

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HMS Hermes, March 1973.

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HMS Hermes, September 1963.

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HMS Hermes, 1963.

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HMS Hermes alongside at Devonport in March 1984 whilst undergoing her final refit before being laid up at Portsmouth

INS Viraat anchored off Mumbai for the International Fleet Review which celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Indian Republic

Dressed overall and with her ship's company manning the flight deck, Hermes looks very smart for the Queen's Silver Jubilee Fleet Review at Spithead (photographs courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publishing from the book HMS Hermes).

HMS Hermes.

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HMS Hermes, with reduced ship's company, arrives at Portsmouth Harbour  under her own steam for the last time on 12th April 1984 (photographs courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publishing from the book HMS Hermes).

HMS Hermes refuelling the frigate HMS Falmouth (photographs courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publishing from the book HMS Hermes).

Entering Malta's Grand Harbour on 18 February 1970.

(photographs courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publishing from the book HMS Hermes).

Hermes and Victorious in joint manoeuvres off Aden on 15 May 1967. 

(photographs courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publishing from the book HMS Hermes).

An impressive bow shot of Hermes at speed in the Mediterranean. 

(photographs courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publishing from the book HMS Hermes).

Refuelling from RFA Wave Baron during 'Exercise Swordthrust' which took her north of the Arctic Circle. The Destroyer Defender looks on.  

(photographs courtesy of Neil McHart and FAN Publishing from the book HMS Hermes).

HMS Hermes

HMS Hermes.  Conducting vertical replenishment with RFA Regent in the North Atlantic, May 1975.

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HMS Hermes, doing work up trials in the Moray Firth, 1966.  Contributed by Derek Eagles .

Wessex WB (HMS Hermes) piloted by HRH Prince Charles.  North Atlantic, May 1975.

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Wessex 436 (Regent Flight) Vertrep with HMS Hermes, North Atlantic, May 1975.

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Wessex 436 (Regent Flight) Vertrep HMS Hermes, North Atlantic, May 1975.

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Commanding Officers as listed by dates appointed (taken from the book HMS Hermes by Neil McHart):

  • 1959 - Captain D S Tibbits DSC, RN
  • 1961 - Captain W D O'Brien DSC, RN
  • 1966 - Captain T T Lewin MVO, DSC, RN
  • 1967 - Captain D G Parker DSO, DSC, AFC, RN
  • 1967 - Captain J D Fieldhouse, RN
  • 1968 - Captain D G Parker DSO, DSC, AFC, RN
  • 1969 - Captain P M Austin, RN
  • 1973 - Captain C R P C Branson, RN
  • 1974 - Captain D R Reffell, RN
  • 1976 - Captain R G A Fitch, RN
  • 1978 - Captain D C Jenkin, RN
  • 1979 - Captain D J Mackenzie, RN
  • 1980 - Captain L E Middleton, RN
  • 1982 - Captain R C Dimmock, RN
  • 1983 - Captain K A Snow, RN

The Commanding Officer during the 1976 refit in Guz was Commander Peter J Erskine RN. He was in command from 28th May 1976 to 20th September 1976.  - Thanks to Mike Hill Lt Cdr RN for this information.