Hermes-class Light Carrier


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Ships in class: HMS Hermes

HMS Hermes was the first purpose-designed aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy and fitted with an off-centre island containing the funnel and operations spaces. Although very narrow, the island was quite long and massive for a ship this size. The island located forward of amidships made the ship trim by the bow, the weight of the off-set island also caused a list to starboard. This imbalance had to be corrected by carrying more water ballast and fuel oil in the port side and aft tanks than in the starboard side and forward tanks.

During World War II she served briefly with the Home Fleet before being assigned to the southern Atlantic from October 1939. She worked with the French navy based at Dakar until the Vichy government came to power, following that her aircraft took part in a strike against the French vessels at Dakar. In July 1940 she collided with a merchant vessel and was repaired at Simonstown, South Africa. Following repairs she continued patrols but this time in the Indian Ocean as part of the Eastern Fleet.


  • Hermes-class Light Carrier