HMS Hermes

The worlds first Commissioned Aircraft Carrier

The HMS Hermes was the world’s first purpose built Air Craft Carrier; built by Armstrong-Whitworths in January 1918; launched September 11, 1919; commissioned by the British Royal Navy in 1923 and sunk by the Japanese on April 9, 1942. It was dawn on April 9, 1942 when Japanese reconnaissance planes spotted the HMS Hermes and her Australian escort ship HMAS Vampire.

The Allied crews scrambled to action stations, but at 10:35 am, off Batticaloa, 70 Japanese dive bombers attacked the Hermes. Within 10 minutes the ship had taken 40 hits. It capsized and disappeared beneath the waves with the loss of 307 of its crew.

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Photos from the Wreck