01 October 2023 Military Aviation » Naval Aviation » UK » Hermes  

HMS Hermes

15 June 1962

No additional details.

16 March 1967

Ship arrived for a two-week stay. Some of the aircraft believed to have been deployed on board the carrier. Some were seen prior to the ships’ entry into port.

B. Buccaneer ______/323 809 Noted on 23.03.67.
B. Buccaneer ______/326 809 23.03.67.
B. Buccaneer ______/321 809 Noted on 07.04.67.
B. Buccaneer ______/325 809 Noted on 07.04.67.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XT269/233 809 Noted on 07.05.68. Delivered 26.04.65 to RN and lost when it rolled off the side of HMS Ark Royal at sea on 15.02.72 and sank.
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ491 892 Noted on 23.03.67.
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XN663 892 Noted on 07.04.67.
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XS589 892 Noted on 23.03.67.
Fa. Gannet COD.4 XA470/4   Noted on 01.03.67.
Fa. Gannet AEW.3 XL432/331 849 Noted on 07.04.67.
Fa. Gannet AEW.3 XL456/330 849 Noted on 23.03.67.
Fa. Gannet AEW.3 XP225   Noted on 07.04.67.


February 1970

Some of the ships’ aircraft operated from RAF Luqa during her stay. Double asterisks (**) denotes an aircraft logged at the airport.

B. Buccaneer S.2 XT275/235/H ** 801 D/D 29/7/65 to RN. Converted to S Mk 2A standard and issued to No 208 Sqn in 11/74. Returned to BAe at Bitteswell in the summer of 1978 for mod to S Mk 2B standard then passed to No 15 Sqn on 26/9/78 before finding itself one of the more fatigued airframes and placed in store with No 19 MU St Athan in 8/81. Transferred to long-term storage with No 27 MU Shawbury by 11/83.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV162/232/H ** 801 D/D 21/9/66 to RN and with No 12 Sqn at its formation but lost off Bridlington on 13/6/72.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV168/231/H 801 D/D 13/12/66 to RN and delivered to No 12 Sqn as one of its original airframes in 1969 with which it served until 8/85 when it passed to No 208 Sqn's charge.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV332/233/H ** 801 D/D 16/1/67 to RN and to No 12 Sqn as one of its original airframes in 1969. With No 237 OCU 10/72-10/73 before again returning to No 12 Sqn charge by 2/75. However, passed back to RN and 809 Sqn until squadron's demise on 4/12/78, when in company with the other 13 aircraft flew to RAF St Athan for rework and handing over to the RAF. Issued to No 216 Sqn in 1/80 but was back with No 12 Sqn by 1/81 eventually proceeding to No 208 in 2/84. Following a major overhaul at St Athan in late 1986 the airframe was delivered to No 237 OCU in 2/87.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV333/234/H ** 801 D/D 27/1/67 to RN and first noted in RAF service unmarked with No 12 Sqn in 3/72. Handed on to No 237 OCU in 1/73 and subsequently to No 12 in 7/73, No 15 in 5/74 and back to RN before once again serving with No 15 in 9/79. At the deactivation of No 15 Sqn as a Buccaneer squadron the airframe was placed in short-term store at St Athan before issue to No 12 Sqn in 10/1/81. Served with No 12 until at least 11/1/85 when as part of Sea Eagle update programme it was transferred to No 208 Sqn, first being noted as such in 5/86.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV334/230/H 801 D/D 6/2/67 to RN and was delivered to RAF charge from Sydenham on 7/12/72 and issued to No 12 Sqn. It was then taken out of service and despatched to BAe at Brough on 9/12/73 for mod to S2B standard. Returned to No 12 Sqn charge by 6/75 and went on to serve alternately with No 12 Sqn and No 237 OCU until transfer to No 15 at Laarbruch in 1/79. Airframe returned to St Athan store in 1/81 and resides in long-term store with No 27 MU at RAF Shawbury.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV338/236/H ** 801 D/D 29/3/67 to RN and first noted on RAF charge with No 12 Sqn in 8/73. Passed to No 237 OCU by 2/75 until dismantled at Honington for roading to RAF St Athan in 1/81 where it was declared surplus and broken up for spares with the cockpit section being returned to Honington as 8774M on 7/2/83.
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ490/245/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ491/250/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ518/253/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ526/255/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ571/242/H ** 893 Seen at RAF Luqa on 16.02.72.
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ578/244/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XN688/251/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XN691/247/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XN692/247/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XN702/254/H ** 893  
DH Sea Vixen FAW.2 XP920/252/H 893  
F. Gannet AEW.3 XL454/261/H **, XL456/260/H **, XP227/263/H ** 849 “A” flight.  
F. Gannet COD.4 XA454/264/H ** 849 “A” flight.  
W. Wessex HAS.1 XS877/265/H ** SAR flight.  
W. Wessex HAS.3 XP139/272/H ** 814  
W. Wessex HAS.3 X_923/271/H ** 814  


04 – 22 March 1971

800 (Buccaneers) & 899 (Sea Vixen) Squadrons were again deployed to RAF Luqa. 899 carried the IFR Role.

      Aircraft details not available.

05 April 1972

Ship arrived for a 2-week visit. No other details.



Hermes was in Malta between 02-22 April.

The ship departed Malta for Cyprus, to participate in two exercises, Double Base with 41 Cdo Gp, and Dawn Patrol between 02-11.05.74, returning and staying in Malta between 13-22.05.74.

It was only a matter of weeks before Hermes sailed into Grand Harbour on 01.08.74, to disembark 41 Commando Group, sailing date unknown.



It would be another year before the carrier would make another appearance, between 10-15.09.75, embarking 41 commando group for exercise Deep Express on the 14th. She sailed for Antalya with Bulwark (which had arrived on 27.03.75), Intrepid, Ashanti and R.F.A.’s. (Royal Fleet Auxiliary)

Returned for another visit between 09-22.10.75.


April 1977

Having spent a few days at Gibraltar (19-22 March), and Touloun (25-29 March), Hermes sailed into Grand Harbour at 10:00 on 5th April.

Activities included a map march in Gozo on the 12th, and an SLR rifle shoot at the Ghakn Tuffieha ranges on the 13th, with a visit by Tal-Handaq school students on the 14th.

The ship sailed out at 09:00 on the 20th.

Close to midnight on the 22nd, one of Hermes’s Sea King airlifted a compassionate case to Luqa.


The following helicopters were seen at RAF Luqa during HMS Hermes’ visit.

W. Sea King HAS.1 XV646/264, XV672/271, XV677/270, XV700/272, XV706/267, XV711/274, XV712/273    
W. Wessex HU.5 XS516/J, XT455/C    

Albion Argus Ark Royal R09 Ark Royal R07 Bulwark Centaur Eagle Fearless Fencer Glory Hermes Illustrious R87 Illustrious R06 Indomitable Invincible Ocean R68 Ocean L12 Pursuer Theseus Triumph Unicorn Vengeance Victorous Warrior Misc.
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