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Vehicles on Aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and Invincible

750l

Midshipman
I wonder if anyone can help or suggest a route to follow for some research.

I own a Light weight Land rover which seems to have gained some interest from people who are interested in Ex military vehicles. The unusual thing about this Land Rover is it has Royal Navy livery and is one of only two known to have livery.

The Land Rover was made in 1974 and although the RN vehicle record is incomplete it looks like it was attached to HMS Hermes until 1983 and then HMS Invincible for 2 months in 1985. Registration was 03-RN-23. One other strange thing was it had it's top speed restricted to 30mph while in service.

Questions I have regard why an aircraft carrier would have a specially liveried vehicle attached to it and it was definitely the ships vehicle and not for instance a Royal Marines vehicle on board. If anyone has any knowledge of the vehicle and/or what it was used for as well as any routes for further research it would be most appreciated.

 

mikh

MIA
Some ships do get to carry vehicles, and not just the carriers, in 91 Battleaxe had her very own landrover, I only remember it being landed once in my time on board, to visit an RAAF base in Penang, probably on a mail run. It is possible it was landed more often, but if I was not at work I was working at enjoying myself, so could quite easily have missed it.
 

fluffyspanners

Badgeman
we used to carry a sherpa mini bus on the argus and i always assumed the RN carriers carried their own vehicles but i am RFA.
 

mikh

MIA
Bloody hell, streching the memory a bit, but it was blue, it will have had a MOD Plate, I think it may have had RN on the doors.
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
We had a blue RN plated Land Rover on the ANTRIM all the time I was on there in the early 70s. Can't remember more than that, but I think all the 'big' ships carried one. Mind you, in those days, they also had a Captain's boat, which was a very posh bit of kit!
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
From at least 1959 on it was SOPs for RN ships of frigate size and up to have their own Landy which would have had the ship's name on it, and the ship's crest on the bows. Effectively replaced Postie's red devil bicycle. Vastly useful for all sorts of things. Squeezing the thing onto the upper deck where no stowage was ever planned for it was another problem entirely. In carriers the CBGLO (Carrier-borne Ground Liaison Officer or sea-balls), who was a pongo, would also have his own, meaning he made friends easily.
 

750l

Midshipman
Thanks for the answer so far, seems shipboard vehicles were more common than people realise.

This is the vehicle in question...



In service it had a soft top and less graffiti on the side although no ships name or crest, does it stir any ones memories?

Does anyone have any pictures of ships rovers in service?

Does anyone mind if I quote then on another forum?
 

clanky

War Hero
Blue liveried LRs where still assigned to H boats right up till they decommissioned. Whilst garage space was built into the ship, the wagon was rarely taken to sea. They where generally used as a dockyard runabout whilst the ship was alongside.
 

chockhead819

War Hero
I would probably have been a passenger in it. If I remember rightly we had 2 landrovers on Hermes, in harbour they were used for running round the dockyard, taking people to the station etc & abroad they were used for shore patrol & skippers run around. They were always driven by chockheads.
 

750l

Midshipman
chockhead819 said:
I would probably have been a passenger in it. If I remember rightly we had 2 landrovers on Hermes, in harbour they were used for running round the dockyard, taking people to the station etc & abroad they were used for shore patrol & skippers run around. They were always driven by chockheads.

Forgot to say it was Deep Bronze Green NOT blue.

What's a chockhead?
 
750l said:
chockhead819 said:
I would probably have been a passenger in it. If I remember rightly we had 2 landrovers on Hermes, in harbour they were used for running round the dockyard, taking people to the station etc & abroad they were used for shore patrol & skippers run around. They were always driven by chockheads.

Forgot to say it was Deep Bronze Green NOT blue.

What's a chockhead?

Aircraft Carriers in the 60/70's carried two Series II Soft Top Land Rovers with standard RN Livery and Plates. If an Admiral was embarked for any length of time a Staff Car would also be embarked. I was Ship's Land Rover Driver on the Eagle in 67/69 (Naturally for harbour duties ONLY!). The use of these vehicles were controlled/managed/maintained by the Air Department.

I'm a Chockhead!
 

scouse

War Hero
750l said:
Thanks for the answer so far, seems shipboard vehicles were more common than people realise.

This is the vehicle in question...



In service it had a soft top and less graffiti on the side although no ships name or crest, does it stir any ones memories?

Does anyone have any pictures of ships rovers in service?

Does anyone mind if I quote then on another forum?
PM Fred Tubb , he can help you :wink:
 

instinct

Lantern Swinger
Lusty nowadays carries around volvo as ships runabout doesnt it? Well at least it did early 2000's.
 

Stirling

Banned
SONAR-BENDER said:
We had a blue RN plated Land Rover on the ANTRIM all the time I was on there in the early 70s. Can't remember more than that, but I think all the 'big' ships carried one. Mind you, in those days, they also had a Captain's boat, which was a very posh bit of kit!

Fife similar, even had a duty landrover driver every day alongside.

Passage to Gib, B of Bisc was heavy rollers but not bad, Leander class sailed day after us and caught a right corker, when she pulled into Gib the mini van she had strapped to the flight deck was squashed flat.
 

R12_CV

Lantern Swinger
I was on H from 79 - 83. We did had LR L/Weights and remember being picked up after completing a shore patrol pissed up following a bandit win in Bermuda. US barman kept bleating on how... 'This ain't normal!!' (dit for another day..!)

I also remember in 82/83 (?) during a short trip to Brest a LW was in collision with a French cop car at a cross-roads. The Fr cops arrested the LR occupants who were....Shore Patrol! Seem to remember hearing the cops were going through a red light but held the SP at fault.

Also in Fl, USA the vehicle chassis were required to be cleaned & inspected by the authorities before being landed.

And more recently, about 5 years ago I remember seeing a LWLR fully gubbed up in RN blue, c/w ROYAL NAVY down its' side on sale on a website in what appeared to be a 'vg' condition.

Being a LR driver, I must admit light weights do appeal to me.
 

750l

Midshipman
R12 CV

Can you remember if the Lightweights were in Navy Blue or Deep Bronze Green and what markings they had?
 

R12_CV

Lantern Swinger
Pretty sure at least one of them was soft top and BLUE. I can't remember how many we had, though someone earlier said only 2.

Usually driven by chock'eds (but not always) they could be landed by crane or chopper and could be stowed in the tightest of spaces.

I do know they were marked ROYAL NAVY in white lettering with MoD plates. Again, I can't remember which series they were; not being a landy fan at the time.

In those days most RN vehicles were blue, marked up with RN livery, from buses to three wheeled DY tugs (tuk-tuk's) though I dare say the 'military' navy might have found a use for a green version...
 
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