Hermes, British Light Carrier


10,850 tons standard
Dimensions 600'1" by 72' by 30'6"
182.91m by 21.95m by 9.30m
Maximum speed      26.2 knots
Complement 664
Aircraft 580' (176.8m) flight deck
2 elevators
1 catapult
12 aircraft
Armament 6 5.5"/50 guns
4 4"/45 AA guns
1x4 40mm/40 AA guns
5 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
2x4 0.50 machine guns
Protection 3" (76mm) belt
1" (25mm) deck over magazines and machinery
2-shaft Parsons geared turbine (40,000 shp)
6 Yarrow small-tube boilers
Bunkerage 2000 tons fuel oil
80,000 gallons (303,000 liters) aviation gasoline
Range 2930 nautical miles (5430 km) at 18 knots

The Hermes was the first aircraft carrier ever built as such, in 1923.  She was designed to perform the same mission as light cruisers, namely, scouting for the battle fleet. Hence her armor protection, machinery, and other design characteristics were similar to those of a light cruiser.

Photograph of Hermes sinking

Wikipedia Commons

Ugly and slow, she was relegated to secondary roles by the beginning of the war.  She was undergoing repair at Durban when the war broke out, and was sunk on 9 April 1942 south of Ceylon by Japanese carrier aircraft.


Chesneau (1992)

Worth (2001)

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