892 Squadron to HMS Hermes 1962/64. Second Commission
HMS Hermes 1962 to 1964 2nd Commission
Captain W D O’Brien DSC RN
Recommissioned on 24th April 1962 at Portsmouth
Sail Portsmouth 26th April 62. Sea Trials. Sqns DLP and Weekend off Weymouth
HMS Hermes in Procedure Alfa enters Grand Harbour Malta.
Families Day at Spithead
Buccaneer trials in Lyme Bay
892 Sea Vixen Squadron embark
23/24 May 1962. Portsmouth
25th May. Sail to Gibraltar. Day and Night flying off Sardinia
Malta Parlatorio Wharf for SMP
892 Disembark to RNAS Hal Far
HMS Hermes enters the Suez Canal southbound.
Sail Malta for N African coast with planeguard HMS Dunkirk for El Adam bombing range
Planeguard now HMS Scorpion. Intensive flying period concluded with a long range strike of EL Adem including IFR
Official visit to Beirut. Formal salutations and Gun salute
RM band beats retreat
Leave Beirut to sail west
HMS Victorious arrives south of Suez. HMS Hermes can now return home to Portsmouth.
Flyex's off Cyprus (ex Barbican 2) Crete and Malta
26th July ORI passed
To Gibraltar for SMP (HMS Centaur in GIB also)
Sail GIB in company with HMS Centaur and escorts to exercise with USN and French forces in the Atlantic . USS Forrestal and Enterprise cross decked. Ex Riptide 11/15th August 1962
Visit Lisbon 2 days. Anchored Mar da Palha
Fast passage to MED via Gibraltar
Combined Strike A/S ex HMS Hermes versesHMS Centaur and French navy carrier Clemenceau
Visit Palma. Berthed at Porta-Pi
Fast passage to Malta area for 2nd SMP at Malta
Flyex.4th September 1962. Sea Vixen Lost at night. Both crewmembers killed. ID 5
892 disembark to Hal Far
Exercise with 5th destroyer Squadron and then EX Falltrap 25/26 September in the Aegean. Bad weather
Gibraltar and sail home to Portsmouth
5th October 62 enter Portsmouth at 1010
13 Nov 62 sail Portsmouth
892 Squadron re-embarks
Irish Sea off RNAS Brawdy. Flyex. Weaponry. Bad weather caused a move to the lee of Southern Ireland. Ex Small Ex 14/16 November 1962
Missile shoot 892 Sqn shoots down Meteor targets
Passage Gibraltar. One day flyex and 2 days in Gibraltar
Sail East Med Ex Polkerhand with USN. 27/29 November 1962.
Anchored off Malta for stores no leave
Anchored off Port Said waiting for northbound congestion of Suez Canal to clear.
HMS ARK ROYAL sighted northbound
One day flyex off ADEN
2 days SMP ADEN
Fast Passage across Indian Ocean with a brief stop to honour the Grave of the previous Hermes off Ceylon
Malacca Straits flyex day and night
Nearing Singapore 892 disembark RAF Tengah and RAOC base at Keat Kong (Nearby)
Alongside in Singapore after 38 days at sea
Christmas in Singapore
Sailed in New Year 1963 for local flyex and close air support with the RMs
Passage to Subic Bay
Short flyex and anchor Subic Bay
Ex with USS Ranger. Weaponry and Interceptions and cross deck operating. 7/14 January 1963.
2 days alongside at Subic Naval Base
Ex Sampan NW Phillipines 21/24 January 1963 Ex Tussok 28/31 January 1963 off Hong Kong
Passage North for private flyex and to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year
Change over of 892 Sqn Senior Pilots from Lt M McCook-Weir to Lt Cdr Campbell
Sail Hong Kong. Full power trials. Flyex off Brunei. Labuan Island. 892 fly over Brunei as a show of strength. Small detachment 892 Sqn at Labuan
Flyex Malacca straits and RNR off Langkawi island
Flyex and 2nd Weekend off Langkawi
Sail for Nicobar islands flyex. Ground attack exercise Ex Jet63 27/February to 18th March 1963
Singapore for Dry Dock 5 weeks
892 Disembark to RAF Tengah. Grand Flypast
To sea private flyex and anchor off Pulau Tiomen
Main Exercise with USN and USS Yorktown day and night flyex. Off Vietnam Ex Sea Serpent 24 April to 8th May 1963.
Passage to Manila
Anchored with 57 ships of SEATO including RAN Voyager and Vampire.
Short flyex and to Hong Kong
Passage and flyex enroute to Japan (Okinawa). Bombing Rocking and Interceptions
"One of our Vixens dived into the sea during a night sortie and although we steamed fast to the scene and searched the area with the assistance of our escorts, there was no sign of any survivors" quote from ships commissioning book.
31st May 1963. Sea Vixen Lost at night. Both crewmembers killed. ID 7.
Typhoon Polly and exercise with Commonwealth forces.
Catapult problems. Japan visit cancelled.
Anchored off Osaka and returned to Singapore for maintenance via East of Philippines and through the islands and across the Sulu Sea
Dry dock at Singapore due a leaking Stern Gland. Repair catapults.
Aircraft disembarked by road to RAF Tengah. Gannets free launched. Helos flew off
Maintenance completed. Sailed from Singapore to embark Squadrons
28th June 1963. Sea Vixen Lost . Both crewmembers killed. ID8.
"A Vixen bolted during DLP and dived out of control into the sea. It was obvious that there was no hope for the aircrew and the search by sea boat and SAR chopper produced only a few pieces of wreckage" quote from ships commissioning book.
Private flyex Day and Night and to Langkawi island to RV with HMS ARK ROYAL. Opposition for ARK ROYALs ORI. Embark one Vixen left behind at RAF Tengah
3 days flyex with HMS ARK ROYAL and passage to GAN and Mombasa. Flyexs during passage
14th July 1963 crossed the Equator
Entered Mombasa for visit
Sailed for Gulf of Aden
2 days flyex. Anchored off Aden
Transit towards the Suez Canal
Homeward Bound. 12 days to Portsmouth
Change of plan.
Wait in RED Sea until relieved by HMS Victorious before entering Canal
More flyexs in extreme heat conditions
HMS Victorious arrives and HMS Hermes is homeward via the canal Gibraltar Arrive Portsmouth Late AUG
Ex UNISON. Embark Squadrons in Lyme Bay. Ship exercise in English Channel . Anchors off Brixham and Weymouth
6th 12th Sept 1963 Ex Unison
Sqdns Disembark Enter Portsmouth 2 weeks
Sail Portsmouth. Embark Squadrons
Fast Passage to Tobruk
Ex Triplex West 1/9th October 1963
Ex Poker Hand 2 with USN 10/12 October 1963
Passage to Portsmouth
March 63 892 achieved 300 hours, a figure never before achieved by a Sea Vixen Sqn East of Suez
Average Sea Vixen pilot hours for the commission were 25 hours per month.
CO Lt Cdr Grey (promoted to Cdr) relieved by Lt Cdr I F Blake April 1963
This commission achieved 5464 catapult launches and 5447 arrested Landings
Three Sea Vixens of 892 Sqn lost with total loss of life. Three Pilots and three Observers lost.