fighting ships of the world



HERMES aircraft carrier (1924)

Hermes 1939

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Hermes I95, D95 939 Armstrong, Elswick 15/1/1918 11/9/1919 19/2/1924 sunk 9/4/1942


Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m


Breadth, m


Draught, m

5.71 load

No of shafts



Parsons geared steam turbines, 6 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

2000 oil
Endurance, nm(kts) 5600(10)
Armour, mm belt: 76 - 51, deck: 25 with 25mm slopes, shields: 76


6 x 1 - 140/50 BL Mk I, 3 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 20 aircraft (Nightjar, Plover, Flycatcher fighters, Panther, Walrus, Bison, Blackburn recon planes, Dart torpedo bombers)



Aircraft facilities (fd - 3,901m², ha - 1,460m² / 6,716m³): Hangar measures: 100x14.6m, flight deck: 182.3x21.4m. There were 2 lifts (6.4t). Seaplanes handled by special crane. 

Year Fighters Torpedo bombers Recon planes
1923 7 Flycatcher 4 Dart 8 Fairey IIIF
1935 6 Osprey --- 9 Seal
9/1939 --- 12 Swordfish ---

Ship project history: The first-ever ship designed and built as an aircraft carrier. She was ordered in July, 1917. Originally rate of works was very high, however after an armistice building had suspended. Further the project have thoroughly redesigned by results of the experiments conducted on aircraft carriers Argus and Eagle.

Hull and protection of Hermes were developed on the basis of drawings of Hawkins class cruisers. The single-height hangar was long and narrow. Both lifts are unified with applied on an aircraft carrier Eagle. Catapults were absent.

Seaworthiness of the ship was considered quite satisfactory, but the stability left much to be desired. Hermes with the maximum stock of fuel had propensity spontaneously to be heeled on portside (to 4). Because of it the quantity of fuel should be moderated on 600t.

Hermes was planned to arm with 152mm guns, but already during building they were changed by 140mm. Maximal speed by 1939 did not exceed 22-23kts.

Protection: There was an underwater protection. 25mm main deck was connected with lower edge of 76-51mm armoured belt by 25mm slopes.

Modernizations: 1927: - 1 x 1 - 102/45; + 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II

1932: - 2 x 1 - 40/39; + 2 x 4 - 12.7/62

1941: + 1 x 4 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 5 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

Naval service: Hermes was damaged in collision with AMC Corfu in August, 1940 and repaired 3 months. She was sunk 9/4/1942 by Japanese diving bombers D3A1 from carriers Hiryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku SW Trinkomali, having received about 40 hits of 250kg bombs in 10 minutes. 302 people were lost.

Hermes 1924

Hermes 1938

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14