The glorious life of Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes – in photos

The world's oldest aircraft carrier, HMS Hermes, served through six decades in two different navies.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 2:07 pm
The Royal Navy Centaur class light fleet aircraft carrier HMS Hermes steams into the Grand Harbour of the Port of Valetta naval base on 20 March 1967 in Valetta, Malta.
The Royal Navy Centaur class light fleet aircraft carrier HMS Hermes steams into the Grand Harbour of the Port of Valetta naval base on 20 March 1967 in Valetta, Malta.

Hermes was the flagship of the British Royal Navy forces during the 1982 Falklands War and was in service from 1959 until 1984.

She started a new life in India as a maritime museum, south of Mumbai after serving in the Indian Navy and was decommissioned in 2017.

We have had a look back through the archives to find some old photos of HMS Hermes.

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HMS Hermes, the aircraft carrier, returns from the Falklands in 1982. The News PP4829

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A view of commandos being lifted from the decks of HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible to be transferred by Westland Sea King helicopters to other ships while two carriers forge ahead to the Falkland Islands from Ascension Island.
Armourers moving torpedoes on the flight deck of HMS Hermes during the Falklands conflict, May 1982. The torpedoes are to re-arm Sea King helicopters to counter the threat from Argentinian submarines.
A Sea King helicopter hovering above HMS Hermes to airlift ammunition for redistribution to other ships in the convoy, April 1982.
Four men scrubbing the 7000ft long flight deck on HMS Hermes during the Falklands conflict, May 1982.
A Sea Harrier jump jet on the flight deck of HMS Hermes heading to the Falklands after the Argentinian invasion of the islands, April 1982. A Sea King helicopter hovers in the background. (Photo by Martin Cleaver/Pool/Getty Images)
Royal Marines waiting on the flight deck of HMS Hermes for Sea King helicopters to take them on training manoeuvres, April 1982.
A survivor from the Exocet missile attack on HMS Sheffield is aided by men wearing anti-flash hoods on board HMS Hermes after being lifted to the ship by helicopter, 4th May 1982. Twenty sailors lost their lives in the incident.
Staff on board HMS Hermes sunbathing on the flight deck as the naval task force heads for the Falkland Islands following the Argentinian invastion, April 1982.
Marines relaxing on the 'ski jump' ramp of HMS Hermes, as she is replenished at sea by a Royal Fleet auxiliary vessel, on the way to the Falkland Islands in 1982. Westland Sea King helicopters can be seen on deck.
Hms Hermes bomb preparation May 27th 1982 Armourers of 800 Naval Air Squadron (sea harrier) prepare 1000 lb bombs for use, on the flight deck of HMS Hermes, during the Falklands Conflict. Picture: Martin Cleaver, aboard HMS Hermes/PA.
Task Force Heads for Falklands. Royal Marines exercise on the deck of HMS Hermes, the Flag Ship of the British Task Force on route for the Falkland Islands. PA/Martin Cleaver aboard HMS Hermes. April 6 1982
Falklands Task Force 19th June 1982. HMS Hermes is pictured 3rd.
Home coming. Margaret Thatcher on board HMS Hermes returning from the Falklands
Sea harrier of 800 NAS prepares to land on HMS Hermes with MHS Battleaxe beyond.
HMS Hermes leaving Portsmouth for the Falklands in 1982
HMS Leaving Portsmouth for the Falklands in 1982
HMS Hermes returns to Portsmouth from the Falklands in 1982
HMS Hermes flight deck being built at Portsmouth Naval Base around 1981.
A casualty from HMS Sheffield being rushed to the sick bay on board HMS Hermes.
HMS Hermes at Portsmouth Naval Base in 1983. The News 832296-5
A Swordfish aircraft from the Royal Naval Historic Flight at Yeovilton salutes HMS Hermes as she enters Portsmouth on her return from the South Atlantic
L-R Major General Jeremy Moore and Rear Admiral Sandy Woodward aboard the flagship HMS Hermes during the Falklands campaign
HMS Hermes returns to Portsmouth from the Falklands in July 1982. The News PP624
HMS Hermes enters Portsmouth Harbour to 'Pay off' in December 1983. The News PP4826
HMS Hermes leaves Portsmouth in 1982
Planes - Men and machines merged in a formidable display of the Fleet Air Arm’s air power on the flight deck of HMS Hermes as preparations for departure for the South Atlantic were nearing.
Contrasting carriers. The Gosport ferry makes yet another routine cross-harbour trip, passing the massive bulk of the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes, berthed at South Railway Jetty. The News 6163-1
Defence Secretary John Nott with the captain of HMS Hermes, Capt Lyn Middleton, RN, pictured at the top of the Harrier jet ski-ramp at the bow of the aircraft carrier during the minister’s visit to Portsmouth Naval Base
Kegs of beer are cheerfully manhandled aboard HMS Hermes in preparation for the departure for the Falkland Islands
Dawn breaks over HMS Hermes en route to the South Atlantic from Portsmouth in April 1982. Royal Marines line up for a weapons check in the brightly-lit hangar of the task force flagship. In the background are tightly-packed Sea Harriers and Sea King helicopters, while in the foreground, shadowy figures of sailors wait with boxes of ammunition.
Broad Street, Old Portsmouth chock-a-block. Thousands gather in Old Portsmouth to greet the homecoming of HMS Hermes from the Falklands.
HMS Hermes taken in the 1970's.
HMS Hermes, the aircraft carrier, returns from the Falklands in 1982. The News PP4829