HMS Hermes

HMS Hermes

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HMS Hermes

HMS Hermes was a Highflyer class second class cruiser that was converted to act as a seaplane carrier in 1913. Prior to that, she had served as the flagship of the East Indies station and then the Cape station (1907-1913). In May 1913 she was re-commissioned as a seaplane carrier. The conversion involved fitting a stowage platform at the rear of the ship and a launching platform at the front. The aircraft took off using wheeled trolleys and were then retrieved by cranes. Two seaplanes were carried during trials in 1913. The results of these trials were used to help design HMS Ark Royal, completed as a seaplane carrier using a pre-existing hull after her purchase in May 1914.

After the trials ended in December 1913 the aircraft equipment was removed from the Hermes. At the start of the First World War it had to be reinstalled, and so she didn’t enter service until 31 August 1914. She was then used to ferry aircraft to France. On 30 October she arrived at Dunkirk with one load of seaplanes. The next morning she set out on the return journey. She was then recalled because a German submarine was known to be in the area, but before the order could be obeyed, she was torpedoed by U-27 off Ruylingen Bank. She sank with the loss of 22 of her crew.



Top Speed


Armour – deck

1.5in – 3in

- conning tower


- gunshields


- engine hatches





Eleven 6in quick firing guns
Nine 12pdr quick firing guns
Six 3prd quick firing guns
Two 18in submerged torpedo tubes

Crew complement



7 April 1898


5 October 1899

Sunk by U-27

31 October 1914

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War

World War II Database

ww2dbase HMS Hermes was the first ship in the world to be designed and built as a dedicated aircraft carrier, although the Japanese carrier Hosho was the first in the world to be commissioned into service. Due to the inexperience with carriers, which type was extremely new at the time of her building, Hermes suffered from some problems such as a small hangar (capacity of only 20 aircraft) and instability at high seas caused by the large starboard island. In late 1934, she received a catapult and a second lift, which further reduced her air complement to 15.

ww2dbase When Hermes entered service in 1924, her first task was to conduct exercises with Fairey IIID reconnaissance biplanes on the Firth of Forth in Scotland, United Kingdom. In Nov 1924, she was transferred from the Atlantic Fleet to the Mediterranean Fleet, and she would remain with the Mediterranean Fleet until May 1925. In Aug 1925, she arrived at Hong Kong and joined the China Station and generally remained in the Far East for many years, typically spending summers at Weihai, a leased territory, in Shandong Province, China and winters in Hong Kong. She toured the Dutch East Indies in early 1937 before returning to the United Kingdom in May. She subsequently became a training ship in 1938. She was given a brief refit in early Aug 1939. Around this time some upgrade plans were made for her anti-aircraft weaponry and her fuel bunkerage capacity, but none were actually implemented.

ww2dbase When the European War began, Hermes was a part of the Home Fleet and, along with HMS Courageous, operated off the southwestern approaches to search for and attack German submarines, surface raiders, and blockade runners. Her complement at the time included 12 Swordfish torpedo bombers of the 814 Naval Air Squadron. She was transferred to the South Atlantic in Oct 1939, where she would work with the French fleet at Dakar, French West Africa until France surrendered and the Vichy-French government came to power. Hermes then launched strikes against French ships, including launching Swordfish torpedo bombers against the French battleship Richelieu on 8 Jul 1940. During that engagement, one of the torpedoes that her aircraft launched scored a hit on the battleship. In Jul 1940, she collided with the merchant vessel Corfu, and was sent to Simon's Town, South Africa for repairs. After the completion of the repairs, she was transferred to Ceylon. She launched patrols in the Indian Ocean against German and Italian shipping and supported the British and Commonwealth actions in Italian East Africa and in Iraq. After a period of refitting in South Africa, she was assigned to the British Eastern Fleet, which had recently lost battlecruiser HMS Repulse and battleship HMS Prince of Wales to Japanese air power.

ww2dbase On 9 Apr 1942, Chuichi Nagumo's Japanese carrier fleet approached Ceylon for a strike at Trincomalee, where Hermes was undergoing repairs. Having received advanced warning, the British carrier departed from the port without any aircraft on board, avoiding the Japanese strike. She was nevertheless spotted by a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft from battleship Haruna southeast of Batticaloa, Ceylon. Hermes and her escort attempted to turn back to Trincomalee where fighters could be scrambled to protect her, but they did not make it far. She was attacked by a wave of 85 Japanese D3A carrier dive bombers escorted by 9 A6M Zero fighters. At least 32 of the dive bombers attacked, hitting her 40 times. She sank, killing 307, including Captain Richard F. J. Onslow. Hermes' escort, Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire, was also sunk. The Japanese lost four D3A dive bombers in the attack. 12 British Fulmar II fighters of No. 273 Squadron RAF, 803 Naval Air Squadron, and 806 Naval Air Squadron arrived only after the sinking two of them were shot down by the Japanese. Most of the 590 survivors were picked up by hospital ship Vita and delivered to Colombo, Ceylon.

ww2dbase Sources:
Dan van der Vat, The Pacific Campaign
Fleet Air Arm Archive

Last Major Revision: Jan 2015

Light Carrier Hermes (95) Interactive Map

Hermes Operational Timeline

11 Sep 1919 Hermes was launched at Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom, sponsored by Mrs. A. Cooper, daughter of the First Lord of the Admiralty, Walter Long.
19 Feb 1924 HMS Hermes was commissioned into service. Captain Arthur Stopford, who had been the commanding officer of the carrier since Feb 1923, remained in command.
26 Jul 1924 HMS Hermes participated in a fleet review in Spithead in Hampshire, England, United Kingdom.
22 Nov 1924 HMS Hermes arrived at Malta.
27 Mar 1925 HMS Hermes began a seven-week period of refit in Malta.
28 May 1925 HMS Hermes arrived at Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom.
17 Jun 1925 HMS Hermes departed Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom.
10 Aug 1925 HMS Hermes arrived at Hong Kong.
14 Aug 1926 Captain R. Elliot was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, replacing Captain C. P. Talbot.
11 Oct 1926 HMS Hermes arrived at Hong Kong.
27 Jul 1927 HMS Hermes arrived at Weihai, Shandong Province, China, a British leased territory.
26 Oct 1927 HMS Hermes arrived in Britain.
2 Dec 1927 Captain G. Hopwood was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, replacing Captain R. Elliot.
21 Jan 1928 HMS Hermes departed Britain.
18 Mar 1928 HMS Hermes arrived at Hong Kong.
28 Mar 1929 Captain J. D. Campbell was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, replacing Captain G. Hopwood.
29 Oct 1929 HMS Hermes arrived in Hong Kong.
28 Jan 1930 HMS Hermes arrived in Nanjing, China with the British Minister to China, Sir Miles Lampson, aboard.
2 Mar 1930 HMS Hermes departed Nanjing, China for Shanghai, China.
7 Aug 1930 HMS Hermes departed Hong Kong.
23 Sep 1930 HMS Hermes arrived at Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom.
29 Sep 1930 HMS Hermes departed Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom for Sheerness in Kent, England, United Kingdom.
2 Oct 1930 Captain E. J. G. MacKinnon was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, replacing Captain J. D. Campbell.
12 Nov 1930 HMS Hermes departed Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom.
2 Jan 1931 HMS Hermes arrived at Hong Kong.
9 Jun 1931 HMS Hermes participated in the rescue of survivors of HMS Poseidon in the Yellow Sea north of Shandong Province, China the submarine had collided with Chinese merchant vessel Yuta while on exercise.
5 Sep 1931 HMS Hermes arrived at Hankou, Hubei Province, China.
2 Oct 1931 Charles Lindbergh's Lockheed Sirius floatplane was flipped by strong current at Hankou, Hubei Province, China a it was being hoisted off of HMS Hermes. A boat from the carrier rescued Lindbergh and his wife.
2 Nov 1931 HMS Hermes departed Shanghai, China.
3 Nov 1931 HMS Hermes rescued 9 crewmen of Japanese merchant vessel Ryinjin Maru, which had run aground on the Tan Rocks on the coast of the Taiwan Strait.
7 Nov 1931 HMS Hermes arrived at Hong Kong.
25 Feb 1932 Captain W. B. Mackenzie was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes while the ship was at Hong Kong, relieving Captain E. J. G. MacKinnon.
17 Sep 1932 HMS Hermes departed Weihai, Shandong Province, China, a British leased territory for Nagasaki, Japan.
28 Oct 1932 HMS Hermes arrived at Hong Kong.
22 Jul 1933 HMS Hermes arrived at Sheerness in Kent, England, United Kingdom.
15 Aug 1934 Captain G. Fraser was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, relieving Captain W. B. Mackenzie.
18 Nov 1934 HMS Hermes departed Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom.
4 Jan 1935 HMS Hermes arrived at Hong Kong.
12 Sep 1935 HMS Hermes departed Weihai, Shandong Province, China, a British leased territory.
19 Sep 1935 HMS Hermes arrived at Singapore.
21 Apr 1936 HMS Hermes began a tour of Japan.
17 Mar 1937 HMS Hermes departed Singapore.
3 May 1937 HMS Hermes arrived at Plymouth, England, United Kingdom.
20 May 1937 HMS Hermes participated at the Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead in Hampshire, England, United Kingdom.
16 Jul 1938 HMS Hermes was transferred from the Reserve Fleet for training duties at Devonport, England, United Kingdom.
23 Aug 1939 Captain F. E. P. Hutton was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, relieving Captain G. Fraser.
24 Aug 1939 HMS Hermes was recommissioned into service.
1 Sep 1939 12 Swordfish torpedo bombers of 814 Naval Air Squadron landed aboard HMS Hermes to join her air crew.
18 Sep 1939 Aircraft from HMS Hermes located a German submarine escorted by destroyers Isis and Imogen the subsequent attack was ineffective.
7 Oct 1939 HMS Hermes made rendezvous with French battleship Strasbourg in the Atlantic Ocean.
16 Oct 1939 HMS Hermes arrived at Dakar, French West Africa.
25 Oct 1939 HMS Hermes departed Dakar, French West Africa as a part of Force X patrolling Atlantic waters for German raiders.
9 Jan 1940 HMS Hermes began a period of refitting in Britain.
10 Feb 1940 HMS Hermes completed a period of refitting in Britain.
25 May 1940 Captain Richard F. J. Onslow was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, relieving Captain F. E. P. Hutton.
8 Jun 1940 HMS Cumberland was joined by HM Aircraft Carrier Hermes
10 Jun 1940 HMS Cumberland's log noted that HMS Hermes was detached.
29 Jun 1940 HMS Hermes received orders to set sail toward Dakar, French West Africa.
7 Jul 1940 After dark, a boat from HMS Hermes attempted to drop depth charges underneath French battleship Richelieu in Dakar, French West Africa the attack was not successful.
10 Jul 1940 HMS Hermes collided with armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu in the Atlantic Ocean in poor weather, injuring two and killing one aboard HMS Hermes.
5 Aug 1940 HMS Hermes joined a South Africa-bound convoy in the South Atlantic.
17 Aug 1940 HMS Hermes began receiving repairs at Simon's Town, South Africa for damage caused by the 10 Jul 1940 collision with armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu.
2 Nov 1940 HMS Hermes completed her repairs at Simon's Town, South Africa.
29 Nov 1940 HMS Hermes arrived at Freetown, South Africa.
2 Dec 1940 HMS Hermes made rendezvous with light cruiser HMS Dragon in the South Atlantic.
31 Dec 1940 HMS Hermes set sail for Simon's Town, South Africa.
26 Jan 1941 HMS Hermes detected a French blockade runner in the Indian Ocean south of South Africa, but lost the ship in the pursuit.
4 Feb 1941 HMS Hermes set sail toward Kismayo, Somaliland, Italian East Africa.
12 Feb 1941 HMS Hermes captured an Italian merchant ship off Italian East Africa.
22 Feb 1941 HMS Hermes was ordered to search for German cruiser Admiral Scheer in the Indian Ocean the search did not yield any results.
4 Mar 1941 HMS Hermes arrived at Colombo, Ceylon.
19 Nov 1941 HMS Hermes arrived at Simon's Town, South Africa for a refit.
31 Jan 1942 HMS Hermes completed her refit at Simon's Town, South Africa.
14 Feb 1942 HMS Hermes arrived at Colombo, Ceylon.
19 Feb 1942 HMS Hermes departed Colombo, Ceylon to receive Swordfish torpedo bombers of 814 Naval Air Squadron in the Indian Ocean.
25 Feb 1942 HMS Hermes arrived at Trincomalee, Ceylon and disembarked Swordfish torpedo bombers of 814 Naval Air Squadron.
9 Apr 1942 Japanese carrier aircraft attacked the harbor at Trincomalee, Ceylon at 0700 hours. Two hours later, empty British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire were detected 90 miles further south. At 1035 hours, Japanese carrier aircraft attacked and sank HMS Hermes (307 killed) and HMAS Vampire (9 killed) hospital ship Vita rescued survivors from both warships. At 1207 hours, 20 Japanese carrier dive bombers sank British oiler Athelstane (all aboard survived) and British corvette HMS Hollyhock (48 were killed, 17 survived) in the Indian Ocean.

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Building a Falklands SHAR

Our Airfix FRS.1 Sea Harrier is in the markings of 'Black 14' from 899 Squadron aboard HMS Hermes during the Falklands War in 1982.

The 1/48th-scale Airfix Sea Harrier FRS.1 (SHAR) has been around for quite a while. Although there have been some stellar new releases—and I would love to see a retooled kit!—for now I’ve concentrated on adding a little after-market detail to Airfix’s kit. Scratch-building skills also come in handy in this project.

I replaced the stock seat with a resin version, and the rest of the cockpit was enhanced with an etched-metal detail set. The other bumps, tubing, wiring, etc. came from my parts box. Note that the gun pods need some additional detail: I added a new gun muzzle and drilled out the four vents just aft of the muzzle. I also opened up the auxiliary power unit exhaust vent, on top of the fuselage, and added a set of aftermarket intakes to accurately depict what a powered-down engine would look like. An AIM-9 Sidewinder came from the parts box.

The detailed resin seat, intakes and detailing the Auxiliary Power Unit helped the overall look of the build.

Once the cockpit is complete, the wings and fuselage come together. Then it’s time for filling and sanding—plenty of it. But that’s what you expect with a kit that’s some 30 years old.

The Hawker Harrier’s introduction was an aviation milestone, but it was combat during the Falklands War in May 1982 that gave the fighter its “street cred.” At the heart of the Harrier’s unique capabilities is its Pegasus engine. Four nozzles rotate to direct the exhaust, putting the “vertical” in VTOL. Cooler air leaves the forward two nozzles, while hotter exhaust comes from the rear two. The rear pair should be painted a smoked metallic color, and the forward nozzles should be a color similar to the jet’s camouflage tone. During the Falklands War, the first group of Sea Harriers to head from Britain to the South Atlantic lost their more visible dark sea gray and white along with their colorful squadron markings in favor of overall dark gray. The new paint scheme was applied during their voyage south.

With wings attached to the model, the cockpit masked off and filling and sanding complete, it’s time for paint. I chose an overall dark gray that fits my reference material. Once I applied a coat of a gloss varnish, it was time to start on the kit’s excellent decals. Though they’re thin, they respond well to a little decal softener, snuggling into all those nooks and crannies.

The kit comes with a choice of markings: an aircraft from the Indian Naval Air Force or XZ457 (“Black 14”), a Royal Naval Air Force Sea Harrier that flew from the carrier HMS Hermes during the Falklands conflict and was credited with two Argentine IAI Daggers and an A-4 Skyhawk. Interestingly, both Black 14 and the Indian jet spent time aboard Hermes, as the carrier was sold to India in 1987.

I took care of the trickier decals under the wings and some other hard-to- reach places before adding underwing stores and the landing gear. Much of the stenciling on this jet was painted over as Hermes headed into combat. Note that special care is required when positioning the landing gear to get the jet to stand evenly on all four points. Take your time with this process.

Finally, superglue the remaining antennas in place, then add a little weathering, and your Harrier is complete. With patience and a little finesse, this classic Airfix kit will make a nice addition to your collection.

For additional reference information, visit the Harrier Special Interest Group (, an extensive online resource that’s one-stop shopping for all things Harrier. It’s always your choice how far you want to go with your build, but this site offers all the details you need to make your Harrier look great.

Want to learn more about the Harrier? Read British Aerospace Harrier from the November 1990 issue of Aviation History Magazine. Subscribe today!

The South African Navy’s ‘elephant in the room’

There is a very big elephant in the room when it comes to the South African Naval fraternity’s commemoration and remembrance undertakings. Very often in the veteran fraternity and South African Navy circles there’s a raging argument – why does the South African Navy and SANDF only commemorate the sinking of the SS Mendi during World War 1 when scant attention is given to the sinking of the SAS President Kruger? It’s ‘political’ is the universal chant of disbelief and failed honour, a travesty of the African National Congress’ (ANC) rhetoric of constantly vanquishing the ‘old’ navy and SADF statutory forces.

But they are ignoring a very big ‘elephant’, something that began as a travesty long before the ANC came to power in 1994. It’s an elephant that sits squarely at the door of the old Apartheid Nationalist government and is entirely their doing. When they came to power they began vanquishing anyone who supported ‘Britain’ during World War 2 as some sort of traitor, made worse because the South African Navy was so intrinsically tied to the Royal Navy via the Simonstown agreement that they never really instituted memorials or commemorations to honour them. To the old Afrikaner nationalists, especially when it came to the Navy, this was ‘Britain’s problem’ to remember any sacrifice prior to 1948 or even prior to 1957 for that matter when the naval base at Simonstown was formally handed over by Britain to South Africa.

As a result the scope of our World War 2 sacrifice barely gets a mention in the ‘Mendi vs. President Kruger’ argument. In fact the scope, the size of this sacrifice will come as a surprise to many South Africans – including our Naval veterans fraternity and current Navy personnel.

The ‘elephant’ of sacrifice

To give you an idea of just how BIG this ‘elephant in the room is, lets cover the Honour Roll – it far outstrips any South African Naval sacrifice in the post world war era. Yet the South African Navy and the current government gives absolutely no attention to it, not at all – not one single official South African Navy (SAN) parade or ceremony. Not even a dedicated Naval memorial is given to these men.

We start with South Africa’s own ship’s lost in World War 2, all of them minesweepers. (Note on the honour roll when reading it SANF means the member was part of the ‘South African Naval Forces’ and MPK means ‘Missing Presumed Killed’).

The first South African ship lost in the Mediterranean near Tobruk was the HMSAS Southern Floe with its remarkable tale of a single survivor (see this link for a full story – click here: The HMSAS Southern Floe was the SA Navy’s first ship loss & it carries with it a remarkable tale of survival.).

The Honour Roll of sacrifice on the HMSAS Southern Floe as follows:

ANDERS, John, Steward, 69637 (SANF), MPK
BOWER, Robert, Stoker 1c, 69935 (SANF), MPK
BRAND, Leslie A, Able Seaman, 69828 (SANF), MPK
CAULFIELD, Patrick, Steward, 69802 (SANF), MPK
CHANDLER, Charles R D, Cook (S), 69613 (SANF), MPK
CHENOWETH, Richard, Stoker 1c, 67420 (SANF), MPK
FAIRLEY, Alexander E, Sub Lieutenant SANF, MPK
FRIEDLANDER, Cecil A, Able Seaman, 114703 (SANF), MPK
GARDINER, Elliott, Able Seaman, 67260 (SANF), MPK
GREENACRE, John H, Leading Seaman, 69677 (SANF), MPK
HEASMAN, Gratwicke E E, Engine Room Artificer 4c, 69784 (SANF), MPK
HOGG, Roy S, Sub Lieutenant, SANF, MPK
INNES, Ian Mck, Sub Lieutenant, SANF, MPK
LEWIS, John Edward Joseph, :Lieutenant, 70019 (SANF), MPK
MARSH, Reginald H Y, Able Seaman, 69911 (SANF), MPK
MITCHELL, William N, Able Seaman, 69787 (SANF), MPK
NEL, Eloff R, Able Seaman, 69635 (SANF), MPK
NICHOLSON, Douglas O, Able Seaman, 66833 (SANF), MPK
PUGH, John R, Able Seaman, 66877 (SANF), MPK
RYALL, David R, Able Seaman, 69999 (SANF), MPK
SHIMMIN, William, Leading Stoker, 69661 (SANF), MPK
SIENI, Joseph F, Able Seaman, 69788 (SANF), MPK
SNELL, Harold W, Leading Telegraphist, 69827 (SANF), MPK
STANLEY, Gordon J, Able Seaman, 66963 (SANF), MPK
WALTON, Dudley N, Sub Lieutenant, SANF, MPK

The second ship lost was the HMSAS Parktown, which went down fighting during the Fall of Tobruk in Libya, with the HMSAS Bever fighting at her side out the port (see this link for a full story – click here: The feisty South African minesweeper that went down fighting – HMSAS Parktown).

The Honour Roll of sacrifice when the HMSAS Parktown sank on 21 June 1942 as follows:

BROCKLEHURST, Peter S, Able Seaman, 70457 (SANF), MPK
COOK, John A, Stoker 1c, 70256 (SANF), MPK
JAGGER, Leslie J, Lieutenant SANF, 70016 (SANF), MPK
MCEWAN, William A, Steward, 69686 (SANF), MPK
TREAMER, Arthur P, Petty Officer, 71109 (SANF), MPK

The third ship to be lost was the HMSAS Parktown’s sister ship, the HMSAS Bever which went down later in the war during the liberation of Greece when it struck a mine, and carries with its story a tale of miraculous survivors (see this link for a full story – click here“Under a hail of shells” Recounting the bravery and loss of HMSAS Bever).

The Honour Roll of sacrifice on 30 November 1944 when the HMSAS Bever sank as follows:

ARMERANTIS, Sideris, Stoker 1c, 282953 V (SANF), MPK
DE PACE, Luigi S, Petty Officer, 66539 V (SANF), MPK
DE REUCK, Leslie B, Telegraphist, 75320 V (SANF), MPK
DREYER, Peter, Leading Cook (S), 585236 V (SANF), MPK
HIGGS, George E, Stoker 1c, 562712 V (SANF), MPK
HUSBAND, Charles A, Stoker 1c, 280098 V (SANF), MPK
KETTLES, John D, Engine Room Artificer 3c, 562458 (SANF), MPK
LAWLOR, Robert J, Act/Chief Motor Mechanic 4c, P/KX 127225, MPK
LINDE, Carl M, Able Seaman, 71194 V (SANF), MPK
LYALL, John D R, Stoker 1c, 562179 V (SANF), MPK
MATTHEWS, William R, Leading Wireman, 562794 V (SANF), killed
PHILLIPSON, Joseph H, Signalman, 181160 V (SANF), MPK
RODDA, Harold J, Stoker 1c, 70451 V (SANF), (served as Harold J Andresen), MPK
SCRIMGEOUR, Quintin, Petty Officer, 69691 (SANF), MPK
TRUSCOTT, E (initial only) W, Able Seaman, 585184 V (SANF), MPK
WHITE, Claude, Leading Seaman, 586420 V (SANF), MPK
WILLIAMS, Desmond, Able Seaman, 70433 V (SANF), killed

The final minesweeper to be lost was the HMSAS Treern, it was tragically lost right at the end of the war with only one single survivor, and it remains the last South African vessel to be lost in action, even to this day, yet hardly anyone is aware of her history (see this link for a full story – click hereThe last South African Navy ship to be lost in action HMSAS Treern).

The Honour Roll of sacrifice on the 12 January 1945 when HMSAS Treern sank follows:

ANDERSON, Robert D, Engine Room Artificer 2c, 71067 V (SANF), MPK
BARKER, Ronald E, Sub Lieutenant, SANF, MPK
BLAKE, Robert E, Petty Officer, P 6572 (SANF), MPK
BROWN, Ian H, Able Seaman, 71719 V (SANF), MPK
BYRNE, Patrick, Lieutenant, SANF, MPK
DAVIE, William, Stoker 1c, 70681 V (SANF), MPK
ENGELBEEN, Leslie C, Able Seaman, 562235 V (SANF), MPK
JACOBZ, Frank H, Stoker 1c, 70374 V (SANF), MPK
MATTHEWS, George A, Stoker 1c, 70728 V (SANF), MPK
MCINTYRE, William G, Cook (S), 585360 (SANF), MPK
MCLARTY, William D, Leading Stoker, 562246 V (SANF), MPK
MCLEAN, Godfrey, Able Seaman, 562455 V (SANF), MPK
NILAND, St John E, Able Seaman, 209905 (SANF), MPK
PERRY, Desmond A, Petty Officer, 71211 (SANF), MPK
REID, Kenneth H, Signalman, 562143 V (SANF), MPK
SALCOMBE, Francis R, Stoker 1c, 58589 V (SANF), MPK
STAPELBERG, Willem J, Steward, 562221 V (SANF), MPK
SUTTON, Donald A, Able Seaman, 70426 (SANF), MPK
SUTTON, George A M, Leading Seaman, 586403 V (SANF), MPK
TRAFFORD, William O, Able Seaman, 71222 V (SANF), MPK
VILJOEN, Dennis A, Telegraphist, 70984 V (SANF), MPK
WHITE, Charles W, Petty Officer, 562200 V (SANF), MPK
WULFF, Emil F, Leading Seaman, 562466 V (SANF), MPK

Then there is the loss of Rear Admiral Guy Hallifax, the most senior South African Naval Officer to be lost during World War 2, he counts himself as one of the founders of the modern South African Navy and yet he is hardly remembered at all. (see this link for a full story Guy Hallifax, the most senior African Naval officer lost during WW2). He is recorded here:

Director of South African Forces

HALLIFAX, Guy W, Rear Admiral, SANF, air accident, killed

Then, consider these South African Naval Force casualties on other South Africa ships and in other South African operations during the war:

LUCAS, E W R, Chief Engineman, 66756 (SANF), died 4 October 1939
NICOLSON, Andrew, Cook, 63827 (SANF), died 13 October 1939
BESTER, A T, Leading Stoker, 6640 (SANF), died on the HMSAS Africana
HUGHES, T J, Stoker, 71383 (SANF), died 10 May 1941
CASSON, William, Able Seaman, 252935 V (SANF), died on the HMSAS Tordonn
HOLT, Albert E, Telegraphist, 69576 (SANF), killed on the HMSAS Southern Maid
VAN NOIE, Norman, Able Seaman, CN/72134 (SANF), died 20 September 1941
ST CLAIR-WHICKER, Willie H, Able Seaman, 67292 (SANF), died on 21 September 1941
SMITH, P, Able Seaman, CN/72263 (SANF), died 7 April 1942
RUITERS, Walter, Stoker, CN/72081 (SANF), died 21 July 1942
MURPHY, J, Able Seaman, CN/72256 (SANF), died 16 August 1942
FROST, M L, Able Seaman, CN/71804 (SANF), died on the HMSAS Receiffe
PETERSON, W J, Able Seaman, CN/72184 (SANF), died 4 September 1942
REHR, Cecil, Able Seaman, 69877 (SANF), died on the HMSAS Roodepoort
CARLELSE, Frederick, Able Seaman, CN/72004 (SANF), died on the HMSAS Soetvlei
PETERS, Norman, Leading Stoker, 66847 (SANF), died 3 January 1943
DELL, Rodney, Able Seaman, 68866 (SANF), killed 24 March 1943
HENDERSON, Alexander P, Chief Engine Room Artificer, 562099 (SANF), killed at Benghazi, Libya
JAMES, H, Steward, CN/72252 (SANF), died 9 May 1943
ORGILL, C B, Able Seaman, CN/71947 (SANF), died 14 May 1943
LA CHARD, Edwin, Lieutenant Commander, SANF, died 20 May 1943
LUCAS, A W, Able Seaman, 152875 (SANF), died 28 May 1943
BATEMAN, T, Chief Engine Room Artificer, 71627 (SANF), died 30 June 1943
ROBBERTS, Kaspar, Petty Officer, P/5285 (SANF), died 1 July 1943
BOSHOFF, Christofel J, Able Seaman, 70339 (SANF), killed on HMSAS Blaauwberg
LENZ, William, Able Seaman, 69544 (SANF), died on 29 August 1943
BESTEL, Emmanuel A N M, Lieutenant, SANF, died on 21 September 1943
HARLE, Paul A, Petty Officer, 71796 (SANF), died on 3 October 1943
STEELE, Ewen, Able Seaman, 71272 V (SANF), killed on HMSAS Southern Sea
BETTS, Robert, Able Seaman, 68900 (SANF), died 18 November 1943
PAGE, Robert, Sub Lieutenant, SANF, died 29 November 1943
MCLEAN, Richard, Stoker, 562567 (SANF), died 29 November 1943
HARRIS, R H, Telegraphist, 330488 (SANF), died 16 December 1943
NICHOLLS, John, Yeoman of Signals, 66824 V (SANF), died 19 December 1943
FLORENCE, John, Stoker, CN/71982 V (SANF), died 18 January 1944
DANIELS, Adam, Stoker, 72034 (SANF), died 28 January 1944
RAVENS, Albert, Able Seaman, CN/72213 V (SANF), died 31 March 1944
DE KLERK, John, Ordinary Seaman, 585868 V (SANF), died 4 May 1944
BOTHA, Herkulas, Cook, 562093 V (SANF), died 8 May 1944
BISSETT, Alexander, Lieutenant, SANF, died 16 June 1944
JENKINS, Edward G, Engine Room Artificer, 66720 V (SANF), died 14 September 1944
KEMP, Thomas, Able Seaman, CN/71015 V (SANF), died 20 September 1944
WATSON, George, Lieutenant, SANF, died 15 October 1944
BOSWELL, Louis F W, Chief Engine Room Artificer, 69756V (SANF), MPK on the 14 November 1944 on the HMSAS Treern
ABRAHAMS, Henry, Able Seaman, CN/719204 (SANF), died 19 November 1944
BERMAN, Nicholas, Ordinary Seaman, 616728V (SANF), died 22 November 1944
DIXON, Robert, Able Seaman, CN/584276 (SANF), died on 11 January 1945
TREISMAN, Gerald, Steward, 584730 V (SANF), died on 10 February 1945
LAMONT, J, Steward, 71402 (SANF), died 24 February 1945
HORNE, P D, Chief Petty Officer, 66661 V (SANF), died 31 March 1945
POVEY, Leonard, Able Seaman, 71182 V (SANF), died 31 March 1945
PFAFF, C E, Petty Officer Stoker, 562721 V (SANF), died 20 April 1945
CHRISTIAN, J W, Able Seaman, CN/71965 (SANF), died 5 May 1945
SIMON, Frederick, Stoker, CN/72046 V (SANF), died 8 May 1945
VAN AARDT, S, Stoker, CN/721490 (SANF), died 22 May 1945
CLARE, Frederick W, Chief Petty Officer, 69599 V (SANF), died 3 June 1945
KEOWN, R J, Able Seaman, CN/71845 (SANF), died 9 June 1945
WELCOME, J J, Able Seaman, CN/72270 (SANF), died 19 July 1945
VAN WYNGAARDT, F A, Able Seaman, 585610 V (SANF), died 21 July 1945
HEARD, George A, Lieutenant, SANF, died on the HMSAS Good Hope
COOK, W, Leading Stoker, 70527 V (SANF), died 8 August 1945

As if the above loss of South African Navy personnel is not large enough and the lack of recognition by the Navy not bad enough, there is an even bigger ‘elephant in the room’, a key factor completely overlooked by the South African Naval fraternity and the Navy itself, and that’s the South African Navy personnel seconded to the British Royal Navy and lost in the Royal Navy’s ships and shore facilities during the Second World War.

South African Naval personnel were lost on the following significant British vessel losses. Consider this very big ‘elephant in the room’ for a minute, because its getting BIGGER. The losses of these Royal Navy ships carries long lists of South African sacrifice.

We start with all the ships containing South African Naval Forces personnel sunk during the Imperial Japanese Air Force ‘Easter Sunday’ raid on the British fleet in Colombo (this is regarded as the British ‘Peal Harbour’ just off modern day Sri Lanka) and it’s the darkest hour in terms of losses for South African Navy, yet it is neither recognised as such nor is it remembered. (See this link for more depth: The South African Navy’s ‘darkest hour’ is not recognised and not commemorated)

During this attack Japanese airman flying Japanese D3A-1 ‘VAL’ dive bombers flying from the Japanese Imperial fleet, dropped their bombs on the HMS Dorsetshire, who had a very large contingent of South African Naval personnel, she simply blew up when a detonated an ammunition magazine and contributed to her rapid sinking. Click here for a full Observation Post report on her sinking: “They machine gunned us in the water” Recounting South African Sacrifice on the HMS Dorsetshire

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 5 April 1942 when HMS Dorsetshire sank follows:

BELL, Douglas S, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, 67243 (SANF), MPK
BRUCE, Alexander M, Stoker 2c, 67907 (SANF), MPK
CONCANON, Harold Bernard, Surgeon Lieutenant (Doctor)
EVENPOEL, Albert, Stoker 2c, 67909 (SANF), MPK
GEFFEN, Sender, Stoker 1c, 68035 (SANF), MPK
HOWE, Horace G, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 68680 (SANF), MPK
KENDRICK, George, Stoker 2c, 67910 (SANF), MPK
MCINTYRE, Norman G, Able Seaman, 67446 (SANF), MPK
MCLELLAN, Robert, Ordinary Telegraphist, 67897 (SANF), MPK
MILNE, Lawrence Victor, Able Seaman
MORROW, Douglas E, Able Seaman, 67989 (SANF), MPK
ORTON, Charles P, Able Seaman, 68009 (SANF), MPK
REDMAN, Roland A, Leading Stoker, 67406 (SANF), MPK
SCOTT, William J, Able Seaman, 68007 (SANF), MPK
SEVEL, Harry, Stoker 1c, 68100 (SANF), MPK
VAN ZYL, David Isak Stephanus, Stoker 1st Class
WILLETT, Amos A S, Stoker 1c, 67240 (SANF), MPK
WILLIAMSON, Walter N, Able Seaman, 67803 (SANF), MPK

The second British ship in this particular Japanese air attack, on the same day and within range of one another was the HMS Cornwall, also stuffed full of South African Naval personnel seconded to her. The HMS Cornwall was hit eight times by the same dive bombers who sank the Dorsetshire and sank bow first in about ten minutes.

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 5 April 1942 when HMS Cornwall sank follows:

BESWETHERICK, Hedley C, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 86671 (SANF), MPK
BOTES, John S, Stoker 2c RNVR, 68924 (SANF), MPK
COMMERFORD, Noel P, Able Seaman RNVR, 66493 (SANF), MPK
CRAWFORD, Cecil E, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c RNVR, 67922 (SANF), MPK
DU PREEZ, Charles P H, Able Seaman, 68175 (SANF), MPK
DUTTON, Charles C, Stoker 2c RNVR, 68949 (SANF), MPK
HANSLO, Raymond F, Able Seaman RNVR, 68295 (SANF), MPK
KEITH, Kenneth I B, Able Seaman RNVR, 66742 (SANF), MPK
KENYON, Graeme A B, Able Seaman RNVR, 68002 (SANF), MPK
KIRSTEN, Monty G W, Able Seaman RNVR, 68917 (SANF), MPK
LAW, Edward, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c RNVR, 66760 (SANF), MPK
MCDAVID, William K, Stoker 2c RNVR, 69138 (SANF), MPK
MITCHELL, William A, Stoker 1c RNVR, 68796 (SANF), MPK
PALMER, Walter A, Able Seaman RNVR, 68344 (SANF), (rescued, aboard HMS Enterprise), Died of Wounds
SPENCE, Noel W, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 68732 (SANF), MPK
SQUIRES, John E, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 68728 (SANF), MPK
STEPHEN, Eric B, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 68861 (SANF), MPK
SWANN, Lawrence T, Stoker 1c RNVR, 68710 (SANF), MPK
THORPE, Maurice, Stoker 2c RNVR, 69140 (SANF), MPK
VERSFELD, Peter H S, Able Seaman RNVR, 68859 (SANF), MPK
VINK, Benjamin F, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 68860 (SANF), MPK
WILLSON, Gerald F, Stoker 2c RNVR, 69006 (SANF), MPK
WRIGHT, Thomas H, Able Seaman RNVR, 68039 (SANF), MPK

In earlier incidents on HMS Cornwall two South Africans lost their lives they are also remembered here:

AINSLIE, Roy, Petty Officer, 66382 (SANF), died on 5 September 1940
HAWKINS, Reginald D, Able Seaman, 66700 (SANF), died of illness 4 March 1942

The Easter Raid later offered a great prize for the Japanese, an aircraft carrier, the HMS Hermes, this massive aircraft carrier was sunk a week later by the Japanese near Colombo (now Sri Lanka), the pride of the British Pacific fleet became an inferno after it was dived bombed a number of times. It too had a long association with South Africa and a very big contingent of South African Naval Personnel. (see this link for a in-depth article on the South African Navy sacrifice abound her “Dante’s Inferno” Recounting South African sacrifice on the HMS Hermes).

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 9 April 1942 when HMS Hermes sank follows:

BRIGGS, Anthony Herbert Lindsay Sub-Lieutenant (Engineer) Royal Navy (South African national), MPK
BRYSON, Neil W, Ordinary Telegraphist, 69147 (SANF), MPK
BURNIE, Ian A, Able Seaman, 67786 (SANF), MPK
CLAYTON, Frederick H, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c, 68102 (SANF), MPK
DE CASTRO, Alfred T, Stoker 1c, 67914 (SANF), MPK
KEENEY, Frederick W, Able Seaman, 67748 (SANF), MPK
KEYTEL, Roy, Able Seaman, 67296 (SANF), MPK
KIMBLE, Dennis C, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c, 67600 (SANF), MPK
KRAUSE, Frederick E, Able Seaman, 68321 (SANF), MPK
RAPHAEL, Philip R, Able Seaman, 67841 (SANF), MPK
RICHARDSON, Ronald P, Able Seaman, 67494 (SANF), MPK
RILEY. Harry Air Mechanic 2nd Class, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy (South African national), MPK
TOMS, Ivanhoe S, Able Seaman, 67709 (SANF), MPK
VICKERS, Colin P, Able Seaman, 68296 (SANF), MPK
VORSTER, Jack P, Able Seaman, 67755 (SANF), MPK
WHITE, Edward G, Stoker, 68026 (SANF), MPK
WIBLIN, Eric R, Able Seaman, 67717 (SANF), MPK
YATES, Philip R, Supply Assistant, 67570 (SANF), MPK

Included is also a South African who served with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm on the HMS Hermes.

RILEY, H, Air Mechanic, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Hermes, died 9 April 1942

Next on the list of ships lost during the Easter Raid which contained a high number of South African Naval personnel on board was HMS Hollyhock, sunk on the same day as the HMS Hermes by the same Japanese Dive Bombers on the 9th of April. Click here for a full Observation Post report on her sinking “She immediately blew up” Recounting South African sacrifice on the HMS Hollyhock

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 9 April 1942 when HMS Hollyhock sank follows:

ANDERSON, Henry G, Able Seaman, 67501 (SANF), MPK
BASTON, Douglas T, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c, 68600 (SANF), MPK
BUITENDACH, James M, Stoker 2c, 69223 (SANF), MPK
JUBY, Kenneth J, Ordinary Seaman, 69211 (SANF), MPK
LEACH, Peter A D H, Stoker 2c, 69225 (SANF), MPK

It was not just the Japanese Imperial Fleet, the German Navy also took its toll on the Royal Navy, and once again we find South African Naval Personnel seconded to serve on these famous ships sunk during the war.

We start with the HMS Gloucester lost on the 22 May 1941 during action off Crete. They HMS Gloucester, along with HMS Greyhound and HMS Fiji were attacked by German “Stuka” Dive Bombers. The Greyhound was sunk and Gloucester was attacked and sunk while they attempted to rescue Greyhounds survivors in the water (see this link for a full story – click here A “grievous error” Recounting South African Sacrifice on the HMS Gloucester).

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 22 May 1941 when HMS Gloucester sank follows:

ANGEL, Walter J H, Able Seaman, 67351 (SANF), MPK
AUSTIN-SMITH, John R, Ordinary Seaman, 67336 (SANF), MPK
BAGSHAW-SMITH, Philip R, Ordinary Seaman, 67337 (SANF), MPK
BAGSHAWE-SMITH, Sydney Q, Able Seaman, 68454 (SANF), MPK
BARBER, Edgar F, Able Seaman, 67302 (SANF), MPK
BRUCE, John, Able Seaman, 67355 (SANF), MPK
CARTER, Frederick G, Able Seaman, 67345 (SANF), MPK
CHILTON, Ronald H D, Ordinary Seaman, 67335 (SANF), MPK
EDWARDS, Ronald E, Ordinary Seaman, 67384 (SANF), MPK
ELLIOT, Edward R, Leading Seaman, 66584 (SANF), MPK
GERAGHTY, Herbert C, Able Seaman, 67338 (SANF), MPK
GROGAN, Graham B, Able Seaman, 67343 (SANF), MPK
JAMES, Victor F, Ordinary Seaman, 67303 (SANF), MPK
JENSEN, Niels P, Able Seaman, 67347 (SANF), MPK
MCCARTHY, Henry F, Ordinary Seaman, 67223 (SANF), MPK
MOORE, Albert, Able Seaman, 67416 (SANF), MPK
SLATER, Bryan M, Able Seaman, 67358 (SANF), MPK
SMITH, Matthew S, Able Seaman, 67359 (SANF), MPK
SONDERUP, Arthur W, Able Seaman, 67356 (SANF), MPK
STADLANDER, Rowland C, Stoker 1c, 67400 (SANF), MPK
STOKOE, Cyril A M, Act/Leading Seaman, 67264 V (SANF), MPK
SYMONS, Maurice M, Able Seaman, 68245 (SANF), MPK
THOMPSON, Walter E H, Able Seaman, 67360 (SANF), MPK
VAN DYK, Cecil H, Able Seaman, 67404 (SANF), MPK
WEBBER, Reginald, Able Seaman, 67361 (SANF), MPK
WILLIAMS, Dastrey S, Leading Seaman, 67047 (SANF), MPK
WRIGHT, Gerald V, Act/Ordnance Artificer 4, 67375 (SANF), MPK

The HMS Gloucester was involved in earlier combat on the 8 July 1940 when it was bombed, the South African casualties are remembered here:

ALLISON, Oswald H, Able Seaman RNVR, 67349 (SANF), killed
NOWLAN, Francis C, Able Seaman RNVR, 67409 (SANF), DOW

Tragedy struck the South African Naval Forces seconded to the HMS Barham when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-331, Three torpedoes hit HMS Barham’s port side causing it to list heavily and spread fire towards the ammunition storages. Only 2 and a half minutes passed from the torpedo impact until the ship rolled onto its side and capsized as the aft magazine exploded in an almighty explosion (see this link for a full story – click here “She blew sky high” Recounting South African sacrifice on the HMS Barham!)

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 25 November 1941 when HMS Barham sank follows:

BAKER, Dennis E W, Ordinary Seaman, 68617 (SANF)
GLENN, Paul V, Ordinary Seaman, 68906 (SANF)
HAYES, Richard T, Ordinary Seaman, 68499 (SANF)
MORRIS, Cyril D, Ordinary Seaman, 68932 (SANF)
UNSWORTH, Owen P (also known as R K Jevon), Ordinary Seaman, 69089 (SANF)
WHYMARK, Vivian G, Ordinary Seaman, 69024 (SANF)

The Italians also took a toll of British shipping, again with ships with a South African contingent and this is brought to home on the 19 December 1941, when the HMS Neptune, struck four mines, part of a newly laid Italian minefield. Neptune quickly capsized (see this link for a full story – click here South African sacrifice on the HMS Neptune).

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 19 December 1941 when HMS Neptune sank follows:

ADAMS, Thomas A, Able Seaman, 67953 (SANF), MPK
CALDER, Frank T, Ordinary Seaman, 67971 (SANF), MPK
CAMPBELL, Roy M, Able Seaman, 67318 (SANF), MPK
DIXON, Serfas, Able Seaman, 67743 (SANF), MPK
FEW, Jim, Able Seaman, 67744 (SANF), MPK
HAINES, Eric G, Able Seaman, 67697 (SANF), MPK
HOOK, Aubrey C, Able Seaman, 67862 (SANF), MPK
HOWARD, Harold D, Signalman, 67289 (SANF), MPK
HUBBARD, Wallace S, Able Seaman, 67960 (SANF), MPK
KEMACK, Brian N, Signalman, 67883 (SANF), MPK
MERRYWEATHER, John, Able Seaman, 67952 (SANF), MPK
MEYRICK, Walter, Ordinary Signalman, 68155 (SANF), MPK
MORRIS, Rodney, Ordinary Signalman, 68596 (SANF), MPK
RANKIN, Cecil R, Signalman, 67879 (SANF), MPK
THORP, Edward C, Signalman, 67852 (SANF), MPK
THORPE, Francis D, Able Seaman, 67462 (SANF), MPK
WILD, Ernest A, Able Seaman, 67929 (SANF), MPK

Other South Africans who had enlisted into the Royal Navy were also lost on HMS Neptune, these include (and by no means is this list definitive) the following:

OOSTERBERG, Leslie W, Stoker 1c, D/KX 96383, MPK
TOWNSEND, Henry C, Stoker 1c, D/KX 95146, MPK

On the 30 April 1942, on her return leg from Murmansk, the HMS Edinburgh was escorting Convoy QP 11 when a German Submarine U-456 torpedoed into her. The Edinburgh was carrying gold in payment by the Soviets for war equipment and she is the subject of a remarkable gold salvage after the war. Again, she had a compliment of South African Naval Personnel (see this link for a full story – click here “Gold may shine but it has no true light” South African sacrifice on the HMS Edinburgh).

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 30 April 1942 when HMS Edinburgh sank follows:

DRUMMOND, Valentine W, Able Seaman, 68043 (South African Naval Forces), Missing Presumed Killed
VAN DORDRECHT, William H, Able Seaman, 67851 (South African Naval Forces), Missing Presumed Killed

On the 12 November 1942, the HMS Hecla was torpedoed by a German submarine, U-515 hitting her in the engine room. The U-boat then hit the ship with three coups de grâce sinking the vessel west of Gibraltar. Again there is South African Naval casualty list (see this link for a full story – click here “Every man for himself” … South African sacrifice and the sinking of HMS Hecla).

The Honour Roll of South African Naval sacrifice on the 12 November1942 when HMS Helca sank follows:

BENNETT, John F, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c, 330351 (SANF), MPK
LLOYD, George H, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c, 330353 (SANF), MPK
PEERS, Charles V, Able Seaman, 562653 (SANF), MPK
SMITH, Ian R, Electrical Artificer 4c, 68478 (SANF), MPK

And there’s more …. many South Africans served on a variety of Royal Navy ships and many were lost, here’s an indication which just captures South African Naval Forces personnel alone, let alone those who volunteered directly for the Royal Navy, the Honour Roll follows:

ANDERSON, Richard W N, Able Seaman, 86082 (SANF), killed 21 May 1941 on HMS Syvern
WESTON, Grant E, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 68498 (SANF), killed 27 August 1941 on HMS Phoebe
RASMUSSEN, Victor J S, Leading Telegraphist, 66920 (SANF), MPK 24 November 1941 on HMS Dunedin
ADAMSON, William D, Ordinary Seaman RNVR, 69001 (SANF), MPK 10 December 1941 on HMS Repulse
BECKER, Stanley H, Able Seaman, 67474 (SANF), road accident, killed 5 January 1942 on HMS Carnarvon Castle
DRURY, Frederick, Ordinary Seaman, 68315 (SANF), MPK 29 January 1942 on HMS Sotra
SCOTT, Clifford, Ordinary Telegraphist, 66973 (SANF), MPK 26 March 1942 on HMS Jaguar
BUCHANAN, Alexander, Able Seaman, 67934 (SANF), died 20 April 1942 on HMS Birmingham
COMMERFORD, Terence, Ordinary Seaman, 330258 (SANF), died 21 June 1942 on HMS Express
PRICE, David, Able Seaman RNVR, P/68529 (SANF), MP 6 July 1942 on HMS Niger
TROUT, A (initial only) N, Able Seaman, CN/72133 (SANF), died 4 August 1942 on HMS Stork
JOHNSTONE, Henry N, Lieutenant Commander (E), SANF, 66727, died 18 August 1942 on HMS Birmingham
BAWDEN, Wilfred R, Stoker 2c RNVR, 330425 (SANF), DOWS 16 September 1942 HMS Orion
NIGHTSCALES, Norman, Writer, 68148 (SANF), MPK 30 December 1942 on HMS Fidelity
GITTINS, Victor L, Ordinary Seaman, 69325 (SANF), died 27 January 1943 on HMS Assegai (training base)
PLATT, Ronald M, Petty Officer, 67160 V (SANF), accident, killed 26 February 1943 on HMS President III (shore establishment)
CROSSLEY, Alfred H, Sub Lieutenant, SANF, MPK 7 March 194 on HMS Saunders
DE KOCK, Victor P De C, Ty/Lieutenant, SANF, MPK7 March 194 on HMS Saunders
LOUW, Joseph, Stoker, CN 72175 (SANF), illness, died 2 December 1943 on HMS Stork
ATKIN, William B, Lieutenant SANF, illness, died 26 January 1944 on HMS Northern Duke
SHIELDS, Eric E M, Lieutenant, SANF, died 12 April 1944 on HMS Pembroke IV
HOWDEN, Russell K, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, SANF, MPK 4 January 1945 HMS ML 1163, Harbour Defence Motor Launch
CLARKE, Reginald E, Ty/Lieutenant Commander, SANF, air crash, MPK 24 July 1945 on HMS Adamant
LIDDLE, John, Lieutenant, SANF, MPK 8 August 1945 on HMS Barbrake

Then let’s consider the South African Naval Personnel serving in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm (the Royal Navy’s own Air Force separate to the Royal Air Force), and here the following South Africans are on the FAA Honour Roll (excluding Air Mechanic Riley from the Fleet Air Arm, recorded on the HMS Hermes loss). For a full story of these South Africans lost in the FAA see this link – click here South African sacrifice in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm

BOSTOCK, R S, Lieutenant, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 800 Squadron, HMS Ark Royal, died 13 June 1940
BROKENSHA, G W, Lieutenant, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 888 Squadron, HMS Formidable, died 11 August 1942
CHRISTELIS, C, Sub/Lieutenant, Royal Navy Reserve FAA 803 Squadron, HMS Formidable, died 1 August 1942
JUDD, F E C, Lieutenant Cmdr, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 880 Squadron, HMS Indomitable, died 12 August 1942
LA GRANGE, Antony M, Sub Lieutenant (A), SANF, Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy)1772 Sqn HMS Indefatigable, air operations, MPK 28 July 1945
MACWHIRTER, Cecil J, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy) 851 Squadron HMS Shah, air crash, SANF, MPK 14 April 1944
O’BRYEN, W S, Sub/Lt Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 762 Squadron, HMS Heron, died 26 November 1942
WAKE, Vivian H, Ty/Lieutenant (A), FAA Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy) 815 Squadron HMS Landrail, air crash, SANF, MPK 28 March 1945

Finally there are South African Naval personnel found in the Merchant Navy, to which they were also seconded and again the Honour Roll lists:

SS Tunisia, ship loss
ADAMS, Douglas E H, Act/Able Seaman RNVR, 66378 (SANF), (President III, O/P), MPK
ST La Carriere, ship loss
DORE, Frank B, Act/Able Seaman RNVR, 67218 (SANF), (President III, O/P), MPK
SS Laconia, ship loss
ROSS, Robert, Stoker 2c, 69119 (SANF), (Victory, O/P), DOWS
SS Llandilo, ship loss
CRAGG, Ronald F, Able Seaman (DEMS), 66488 (SANF), (President III, O/P), MPK
SS Ceramic, ship loss
MOSCOS, John G, Leading Writer, 66786 (SANF), (SANF, O/P), MPK
SS Empress of Canada, ship loss
COCHRANE, Joseph, Engine Room Artificer 3c, P 68947 (SANF), (Pembroke, O/P), MPK
SS Empire Lake, ship loss
FLINT, John M, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), P 562749 (SANF), (President III, O/P), MPK

Now consider this, we have not even begun to scratch properly at the honour roll, this above list is still highly inaccurate with many names missing. We have no real idea of the thousands of South Africas who volunteered and died whilst serving in The Royal Navy Reserve and the Royal Navy itself, in fact we’ve barely got our heads around it. Fortunately a handful of South Africans are working on it, almost daily, but it’s a mammoth task as these names are found on Royal Navy honour rolls and it’s a matter of investigating the birthplace of each and every British casualty. The records of South African volunteers joining the Royal Navy lost to time really.

In conclusion

The only other ship the South African Navy has lost since the HMSAS Treern at the end of the Second World War in a more modern epoch was the SAS President Kruger, and unlike the Treern, whose loss was in combat, the Kruger’s loss was due to a tragic accident at sea (see “Out of the Storm came Courage” … the tragedy of the PK).

These combat losses were one thing, however the same erasing of history is currently happening with the accidental loss in more recent times of SAS President Kruger (the PK), the ‘old’ SADF were very embarrassed by the loss (in effect by tragedy and circumstance we sank our own flagship) and the SADF never really got around to undertake a National Parade to commemorate and remember it. Also in comparison to the bigger picture the loss of 16 South African Navy personnel on the PK is very small indeed, however no less important – and here’s the inconvenient truth, they were ‘swept under the rug’ by the old SADF and remain conveniently swept under the rug by the new SANDF.

On the World War 2 losses, the incoming ANC government from 1994 have fared no better than the old Nat government – they have merely lumped all the wartime combat losses of the HMSAS Southern Floe, the HMSAS Parktown, the HMSAS Bever and the HMSAS Treern into a ‘colonial’ issue not of their history or time, and as for the SAS President Kruger that was part of the ‘Apartheid’ forces in their minds, and as such to be vanquished.

The net result is the South African Navy simply does not have any national parades to commemorate or recognise any of its major losses at sea. The South African Army at least has the Delville Wood Parade (the South African Army’s biggest singular combat loss, a WW1 incident), the South African Air Force has the Alpine 44 Memorial Parade (the SAAF’s biggest tragedy, a WW2 incident), the South African Navy …. nothing!

Instead the South African Navy (SAN) focuses on the loss of the Mendi as a SAN Maritime loss, even though the Mendi was under commission to the Royal Navy, and rather inconveniently the South Africa Navy did not really exist in World War 1, it was only really created just before World War 2. Then again, the SS Mendi was also carrying South African Army troops in the form of the South African Labour Corps, not South African Navy personnel (the SAN didn’t exist in any event).

The Mendi is a both a wartime and political tragedy, The silence and subsequence recognition is a national healing one (see Let us die like brothers … the silent voices of the SS Mendi finally heard ). As such it’s now a National Memorial Parade, part of ‘Armed Forces Day’ and one for the entire SANDF to commemorate and remember – and rightly so. But is it a SA Navy specific commemoration – not really – no.

In all this the Navy still dogmatically refuses to host its own National Commemoration to its own naval actions and tragedies, it’s just too politically inconvenient, and wouldn’t it be nice if South African Navy can see past it and see its Naval sacrifice on its own ships, and those of SAN personnel on Royal Navy ships and finally just institute an ‘All at Sea’ Naval Memorial Parade in Remembrance or erect a full Naval memorial (similar to the erected by the Royal Navy in Portsmouth)?

Very small ‘All at Sea’ commemorations are done by the odd South Africa Legion branch and odd MOTH Shellhole, on a very local basis – driven by a tiny group of individuals. Nobel in their undertakings no doubt, but these remain very small private initiatives attended by only a handful and is it really enough?

As demonstrated, The South African Navy’s honour roll for World War 2 is a staggering and very long list – it’s an elephant, a very big one at that and it’s a growing elephant, even to this day. It’s well time we seriously look at ourselves, examine our values as to what constitutes sacrifice for the greater good of man and acknowledge it properly.

Written and Researched by Peter Dickens. The honour roll extracted from ‘Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, World War 2’ by Don Kindell. Additional names gleaned from honour rolls published by Col Graham Du Toit (retired).

The Sinking of HMS Hermes

Stan Curtis - survivor of the sinking of the Hermes at the age of 86.

H.M.S. Hermes was sunk on the morning of April 9th 1942 at 11am after an action lasting half an hour from the bombing of 85 Jap planes. During the afternoon of April 8th I was ashore with my pal Bill Morris when around 4pm we heard the ships' sirens sounding off, this meant instant recall. We rushed back to the jetty where we saw the ship was flying the black flag, this confirmed the emergency. Back on board things were moving fast, we were under sailing orders, everything had to be secured for sea, our Captain told us that Hermes and our attendant destroyer H.M.A.S. Vampire had orders to proceed to sea. At about 22.30 hours special sea duty men closed up and we proceeded to sea not knowing where our destination would be. I had the middle watch, my action station being guns crew on P1 5.5” gun as breech worker, we remained on watch until the ship sank.

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Genevieve Tudor of the BBC Radio Shropshire and CSV Media Action Desk on behalf of S.B Curtis and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

Stan Curtis Medals Awarded 1939 - 45 Star, Atlantic Star, African Star, Italian Star,Burma Star, Victory medal, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Period of Service 1935 - 1953

Ships served in: HMS Drake, Lucia, Ramillies, Resolution, Honesty, Gosling, Royal Aurther, Cumberland, Hermes.

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The Sinking of HMS Hermes (continued)

The dawn came up that morning as it only can over the Indian Ocean, the sky filled with red and gold streaks. During the morning watch our Captain spoke to us over the Tannoy system, he read out a signal he had received from the C in C, to the effect that the Japanese had sighted us and we could be expected to be attacked at any time, but the fighter aircraft were being sent out for our protection.

We waited and waited but no aircraft put in an appearance, only Japanese. At 10.30am we had the report, “enemy aircraft in sight” immediately our A.A. opened up, Hermes was a sitting duck, our anti aircraft defence was inadequate against the number of dive bombers that attacked us, there were 85 of them. Zero dive bombers each carrying a 250lb bomb that was delay fused, they went through our flight deck (we had no armour plating) exploding below decks.

The planes dived out of the sun and apart from a few near misses every bomb was on target, they went through our flight deck like sticking your finger through tissue paper causing absolute destruction below decks. One of the first casualties was our forward lift, it received a direct hit, was blown 10ft in the air to land upside down on the flight deck eventually sliding into the sea, all personnel in that area were instantly killed.

Wave after wave of these Zeros came at us. Our Captain was doing his best to dodge the bombs by using the speed of the ship. We were moving flat out at about 20-25 knots shuddering from stem to stern, not only from the speed, but from the continual pounding we were getting from those little “Sons of Nippon” up in the air. Where oh where was our fighter cover, we never did get any. Up until then we had a commentary of what was happening up top.

The AA guns crews did a magnificent job and to assist them because the planes at the end of their dive flew along the flight deck to drop their bombs and because the guns could not be fired at that low angle, all the 5.5.`s, mine included had orders to elevate to the maximum so that as the ship slewed from side to side to fire at will hoping that the shrapnel from the shells would cause some damage to the never ending stream of bombers that were hurtling down out of the sun to tear the guts out of my ship that had been my home for the past 3 years.

Suddenly there was an almighty explosion that seemed to lift us out of the water, the after magazine had gone up, then another, this time above us on the starboard side, from that moment onwards we had no further communication with the bridge which had received a direct hit, as a result of that our Captain and all bridge personnel were killed.

Only about fifteen minutes had passed since the start of the action and the ship was already listing to port, fires were raging in the hanger, she was on fire from stem to stern, just aft of my gun position was the galley, that received a direct hit also, minutes later we had a near miss alongside our gun, talk about a tidal wave coming aboard, our crew were flung yards, tossed like corks on a pond. Picking myself up and finding no bones broken, I called out to each number of our crew and got an answer from all of them (no-one washed overboard), we were lucky our gun was the only one that did not get hit.

At this stage Hermes had a very heavy list to port and it was obvious that she was about to sink. As the sea was now only feet below our gun deck I gave the order “over the side lads, every man for himself, good luck to you all”.

Abandon ship had previously been given by word of mouth, the lads went over the side and I followed, hitting the water at 11.00 hours, this is the time my wristwatch stopped (I didn’t have a waterproof one).

As she was sinking the Japs were still dropping bombs on her and machine gunning the lads in the water. In the water I swam away from the ship as fast as I could, the ship still had way on and I wanted to get clear of the screws and also because bombs were still exploding close to the ship, the force of the explosions would rupture your stomach, quite a few of the lads were lost in this way after surviving Dante’s Inferno aboard, so it was head down and away.

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Genevieve Tudor of the BBC Radio Shropshire and CSV Media Action Desk on behalf of S.B Curtis and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

Stan Curtis Medals Awarded 1939 - 45 Star, Atlantic Star, African Star, Italian Star,Burma Star, Victory medal, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Period of Service 1935 - 1953

Ships served in: HMS Drake, Lucia, Ramillies, Resolution, Honesty, Gosling, Royal Aurther, Cumberland, Hermes.

See more of Stan's stories and photos:

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

New Campaign To Save HMS Hermes From The Scrapyard Launched

HMS Hermes was decommissioned in 2017, after ending her career with the Indian Navy.

HMS Hermes had a remarkably long career (Picture: Royal Navy).

A UK campaign to spare a former British aircraft carrier from the scrapyard is back on after a plan to turn her into a hotel in India failed.

HMS Hermes played a crucial role in the Falklands War and was decommissioned in 2017, after ending her career with the Indian Navy.

Where Is It Now? HMS Hermes

Andy Trish is the man behind the British campaign to save the former HMS Hermes and served on her during the Falklands War.

"HMS Hermes is like home to the people who served on board, we all loved her," he explained.

"She deserves to be saved and turned into a museum."

Two years ago, Mr Trish was invited on board for an event and was impressed to see HMS Hermes was still in good shape.

"The Indians have really looked after her," he said speaking of the condition of the ship.

Watch: Andy Trish says HMS Hermes deserves to be saved and turned into a museum".

Putting her back into a port in the UK would enhance the Navy's outlook and the public outlook of the Navy, according to Mr Trish.

A variety of investors and museums are expected to help with the project.

The team behind the campaign have currently spoken to representatives in India and the British government and are awaiting further instructions on how to bid for the ship.

Before being decommissioned in 2017, HMS Hermes had a remarkably long career, escaping the threat of being sent to the scrapyard several times over the decades.

Building work began at Barrow-in-Furness, in 1944.

However, the Second World War ended before HMS Elephant – as she was going to be called – could be completed.

Construction stuttered back into life in 1952 just to get the hull off the slipway, and the vessel was still unfinished in 1957.

In 1959, the ship, now named Hermes after the winged messenger of the Greek gods, was finally commissioned into the Royal Navy – soon to star in this admiralty training film.

Farewell To The World's Oldest Serving Aircraft Carrier

Only six years later, plans were drawn up to be rid of the Centaur Class carrier.

She was offered out to the Australian Royal Navy in 1966.

After an exercise with the Australians in 1968, they decided HMS Hermes would be too expensive to operate and man.

In 1982, the ship should have been decommissioned after a defence review which aimed to make the Royal Navy considerably smaller.

However, the Falklands War then started.

HMS Hermes left Portsmouth to try to retake the Falklands from the Argentines, setting out on the long journey just three days after the invasion had taken place.

Hermes took with a dozen sea harriers and 18 sea king helicopters. More joined en-route.

Her harriers operated at the limit of their endurance radius but were extremely successful.

After the war, Hermes remained in service until 1984.

In 1987, she transferred to the Indian Navy and she served there until 2017.

Unit History: HMS Hermes

July 31st 1970, the day the last tot was isued. Paddy Scott came down the mess with his full tot glass and said, "This is what I think of the bastards for stopping this", and dashed the lot into the nearest spitkid. Aghast horror! Then from behind his back he produced another full glass and said,"Sure that was only cold tea!".

HMS Hermes, far east in 1968

I Have been trying for some years on and off to contact James Wilson (Jock). Can anyone out there remember him or know his whereabouts. If you do ,please reply.

HMS Hermes, in 1982

the crowds were amazing cheering us off as we sailed from pompey to the falklands,but even bigger on our safe return,its like it was yesterday

hms hermes in 1962

We were in the Irish Sea we lost the port forward cat walk and also Lord Widlesham when the SAR was taking him ashore to RNAS BRAWDY ditched

HMS Hermes, 803 sqadron in 1963

We had Flag Officer Far East Fleet on board [ADM Scratchard] We were heading for KOBI tn Japan but a storm was in the area so we transfered him to HMS TIGER We headed back to Singapore on the way back the exhaust cat steam pipes were checked and found highly corroded a few more catapult shots could have caused damage to the flight deck

HMS Hermes - History

HMS Hermes was originally laid down as HMS Elephant, a Centaur class Light Fleet Carrier, in 1944. As World War II drew to a close, construction was halted on the four ships laid down, and cancelled for the planned other four. After many fits and starts, HMS Hermes was finally commissioned in 1959, 15 years after construction began. She was completed with an angled flight deck, steam catapults and arresting gear- but her small size as a light fleet carrier precluded her from operating many the latest jet aircraft which had evolved in the 15 years since she was started.

In the early 1970's, Hermes was converted into a "Commando Carrier", where her catapults and arresting gear were removed and her facilities expanded to house a complete Marine Commando with the organic helicopter support. This short-lived version was quickly converted to all-ASW, and then in 1981 her flight deck was strengthened and a 12° ski-jump was added, converting Hermes to a VTOL carrier. It was in this configuration Hermes sailed for the Falkland Islands as flagship of the Royal Navy forces in 1982, equipped with 12 Fleet Air Arm FRS.1 Sea Harriers and 18 various Sea Kings. During the conflict, her air group underwent various changes, including Royal Air Force GR.3 Harriers, and Lynx helicopters.

After the successful recovery of the Falkland Islands, Hermes returned to England to refit. She was sold to the Indian Navy in 1986, and was renamed INS Viraat. INS Viraat has undergone various refits in the 25 years since, and is still in service today.

Hermes comes in a waterline only configuration, with Orange Hobby's signature pour stubs and hollow-cast hull. The flightdeck is molded in place, offering a good rigid hull with plenty of great detail. The hull has only minor blemishes which can be easily sanded out or trimmed.

The flightdeck has a regular series of holes molded in place, which continue up most of the ski-jump as well. The holes are not fully molded in some places, and some even have tiny fingers of silicone stuck in them the silicone will require a removal before painting, and some may wish to re-drill the missing holes to complete the deck pattern. There is also a very slight "wave" in the shape of flight deck edge of the review kit, starboard side, near the island. It looks like it was caused during the de-mold process, and not an issue with the master.

The rest of the resin parts come attached to sprues, about 13 in total. The "A" sprues have most of the remaining large parts, like those needed to complete the island, and the two aircraft hangar elevators.

This Hermes kit includes 2 FRS.1 Sea Harriers. Each aircraft is made up of both resin and photoetched parts. The aircraft fuselage and wings are molded in resin, while the tail surfaces, yaw sensor, wing pylons, and extended gear are in etched brass. The etch also includes six towbars to model with your Harrier.

The two included helicopters in this kit have been labeled by Orange Hobby as "WS-61's", the British-built version of the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, they are probably more accurately described as "HAS.5's". Like the Sea Harriers, these helos are built from both resin and photoetch components. The fuselage and landing gear sponsons are in resin. The boom and tail assembly are attached, but need to be separated- the tail can then be modeled either deployed or folded/stowed. There is a cavity molded in place for both the cockpit and cabin areas, to give the perception of an interior when built- another great characteristic of Orange Hobby helos.

Hermes has four sheets of photoetch to detail the ship. There is a large variety of parts included on these sheets to add to the already detailed resin hull.

There are eight pages of instructions on four double-sided pages. The steps appear easy to follow, but they are not numbered. The pages can get a bit "busy" meaning, there are many arrows and indicators swirling around each page, so plan assembly sequences accordingly.

It is well past time this carrier was made available. A neat little kit, it just needs more aircraft! Orange Hobby continues to impress with one successful release after another, and all are very competitively priced. Highly recommended!


Hermes Medical Solutions was established in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1976. The company was the first to develop SPECT reconstruction software and dual-head whole-body scanning. Hermes Medical Solutions introduced the first medical image fusion software for combined viewing of images from different scanners. By fusing the functional and morphological information this revolutionary solution supports physicians in localizing organ functions, thereby improving the understanding of molecular imaging and radiology.

Envisioning the needs of larger networks, the company rolled out its online database platform, GOLD™ a solution for connectivity, integration, workflows and data administration with high capacity storage. The company continued developing their software to further enhance image display and fusion of images, and then introduced a reconstruction software that improves SPECT image quality revolutionizing the diagnostic workflow and enabling absolute SUV SPECT ® quantification.

Over the years, thousands of publications have cited Hermes Medical Solutions as a reference establishing Hermes´ software as the leading software platform. Our true success lies in our close and longstanding cooperation with our clients to meet their software, support and service needs. Combining leadership in innovation with client driven service fostering exceptional patient care is our mission at Hermes Medical Solutions. Let’s make it yours.


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Regulatory Compliance and Quality

The Quality Management System is certified to the quality standards ISO13485:2016 and Medical Device Single Audit Program MDSAP for Canada.

The system is yearly audited by our notified body Intertek Certification AB. All medical devices delivered on the U.S. market have obtained market clearance from the Food and Drug Administration. All medical devices delivered on the European market conforms to the European Medical Device Directive 93/42/EEC and are handled under Hermes Medical Solutions EC-certificate. All medical devices delivered in Canada conforms to the Canadian medical device regulations (SOR98-282) and are handled under Hermes Medical Device License.

All information on this website regarding products and services provided by Hermes Medical Solutions (HMS) is subject to change without notice. Reasonable efforts are taken to ensure the accuracy and integrity of all information provided here, but Hermes is not responsible for misprints, out-of-date information, or errors. Hermes makes no warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this website. Contact your local Hermes Medical Solutions representative to find out more about our offerings in your region.

Watch the video: Η μάχη της Κρήτης 20-29 Μαΐου 1941


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