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HMS Hermes sinking off Batticaloa, Ceylon, 9 Apr 1942

Caption     HMS Hermes sinking off Batticaloa, Ceylon, 9 Apr 1942 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
More on...   
Hermes   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 9 Apr 1942
Photos at Same Place Ceylon
Added By C. Peter Chen
Licensing  The source of this work has not yet been determined. Because it has been about 81 years since the creation of this work, WW2DB is operating under the assumption that this work is now in the public domain.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Eric Cholerton says:
22 Jan 2008 08:16:49 PM

As a comment to the sinking of the H.M.S. Hermes in 1942, my dad was aboard that ship. He survived, because I came into the world two years later. He eventually retired from the Royal Navy as a Lt.Cmdr. His name was Eric W. Cholerton, and he lived until 1976. I saw another photo of the Hermes as she was sinking, stern vertical in the air. My dad said he had to avoid sea snakes as he swam for the surface. He told me he had to hurl floating oil at them to shoo them away. As he surfaced from the depths, all he could see was the image of the sun, through the water, and swam in that direction. The suction of the descending ship also drew him down as he tried to swim laterally from the sinking vessel. He was a strong swimmer. Dad was never bitter at the Japanese who bombed the Hermes. In his later years, he came to see that militarism was immoral, as used by aggressor nations. Taken from the official record, dad was on the Hermes:
28.04.1940 to 09.04.1942 HMS Hermes (aircraft carrier) [ship sunk by Japanese aircraft south of Ceylon].
That's all.
ec Jan. 22, 2008
2. anita richardson says:
3 Jan 2009 07:25:52 AM

My uncle George Thomas Henry Phillips was on board the Hermes when she sank he was a stoker 1st class and unfortunately didn't survive I hope one day to find a photo of him somehow. thanks.
3. Phil Ramsey says:
24 Oct 2009 07:17:40 AM

I believe my uncle Cornelius Thornton was on the Hermes but don't know how to find out.
4. Wes Gruver says:
11 Nov 2009 07:44:06 AM

From here:

5. David Jones says:
14 Aug 2010 04:06:27 AM

My grandfather William (Bill) Jones was onboard the HMS Hermes and survived he passed away early 2000's.I believe he was the electrician or mechanic on board.
He told me as a young boy that they were left grasping pieces of the wreckage until help arrived from another ship luckily in the area. He also said apart from the threat of Japanese bombers and guns the treat from sharks in the sea was also great due to the amount of blood there!
6. Grandson says:
22 Mar 2011 01:21:14 PM

My grandfather, Sidney Budd was CPO cook on Hermes, he was a born survivor and good swimmer
7. Peter Rossouw says:
23 May 2011 04:26:56 AM

My Grandfather Colin,Gillespie, de Oliveira Was a sailor onboard The HMS Hermes. He survived. He Was taken ashore just before the bombing with a bleeding stomach ulcer. And just after that the Ship was bombed. He and his two Friends were known on the ship as the Three Muskateers.He passed Away As Chief of the Fire and Ambulance department Johannesburg South Africa and had a state funeral burial took place in firemans acre Braamfontein 1979.
8. Marcus Webb says:
12 Nov 2013 03:46:21 AM

My father James Harry Webb served aboard HMS Hermes in the engine room, and was there when she was sunk.
My father is 93 years old now, and special prayers were said at the Remembrance service in church last Sunday 10th November 2013.
He sat there in silence, deeply in thought remembering all his pals that didn't make it to shore from the bombing, strafing and sharks.
A true dignified hero.
9. Peter Wareing says:
7 Aug 2014 12:11:33 PM

My uncle Clifford (air mechanic) was killed on this ship, it's only as you get older and find out about things that its to late to ask the questions as most people who know have passed away.
10. elaine cruice says:
21 Sep 2014 09:55:09 AM

able seaman James knight aged 20 died in life raft
no known grave his name finally added to war memorial in 1979, rest in peace uncle Jim.

11. Angela DiMarco says:
9 Nov 2014 03:38:03 PM

My Uncle Laurence Derek Llewellyn went down on the Hermes. He survived, he couldn't swim. Unfortunately I never asked him about it and he never talked about it. It's too late now he passed away 03.09.2001 aged 81. His funeral was at on 11.09.01 at 2 pm the exact same time (i.e. 9am) the twin towers were at attacked.
12. Geoff says:
18 Jul 2015 05:08:16 PM

My Dad,James Purdy survived the sinking,did not say much about the war.Wish I knew more of that time in his life.Passed away in 1988,I miss him.
13. Anonymous says:
13 Jun 2016 11:02:32 PM

Thomas Sidney palmer rest in peace uncle
14. David Lee says:
29 May 2017 01:29:01 PM

My dad Donald Leslie Lee served on the Tugs during this campaign. He is 91 and would like to contact anyone in the adoptiolphins.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Ceylon
Lat/Long 7.3500, 82.0500
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