|Ship Class||Courageous-class Aircraft Carrier|
|Builder Name||Newcastle-on-Tyne, Britain|
|Laid Down||8 Jun 1915|
|Launched||15 Aug 1916|
|Commissioned||26 Jun 1917|
|Decommissioned||1 Dec 1919|
|Displacement||22,450 tons standard|
|Range||6,000nm at 20 knots|
|Armament||6x2x102mm, 48x40mm 2pdr pom-poms, 22x20mm|
|Final Decommission||Sep 1944|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseOriginally built as one of the Courageous-class large light cruisers, Furious was meant to be a gun platform sporting two 18-in, or 457-mm, guns that would provide naval gun support for amphibious operations. However, while still under construction, it was decided that she was to be converted as an aircraft carrier. The forward turret that was already installed was removed for the flight deck, but the aft turret remained to provide the ship with some firepower. On 3 Aug 1917, Squadron Commander Edwin Dunning landed a Sopwith Pup aircraft successfully on board Furious, becoming the first person to land an aircraft on a moving ship; the second attempt, however, resulted in an accident which led to his death. Dunning's death was partially attributed to the aft turret blocking a clear landing path, plus the ship's hull could not handle the stress of the guns firing, so Furious returned to the dockyard for the removal of the aft turret. She was recommissioned as a fully dedicated aircraft carrier on 15 Mar 1918. Her aircraft took part in several WW1 battles, including the Tondern, Germany raid of Jul 1918 that destroyed two enemy airships and their support facilities.
ww2dbaseAfter WW1, Furious served in the Baltic Sea briefly, then was placed in reserve in late 1919. In 1922, she underwent reconstruction. She emerged in 1925 with her existing superstructure replaced by a smaller navigation conning tower, upper and lower hangars, and a shorter aircraft launching deck at the bow. This configuration was critical in the development of British and Japanese aircraft carriers of that era, and Furious played a vital role in the development of British carrier doctrine of the 1920s and 1930s. In the late 1930s, she received an island superstructure on the starboard side and her small forward aircraft flying-off deck was converted to an anti-aircraft gun platform.
ww2dbaseWhen Britain entered WW2 in Sep 1939, Furious was a part of the Home Fleet, operating against the threat of German U-boats. At 0400 on 11 Apr 1940, 18 Swordfish aircraft from 816 and 818 Squadrons took off from her flight deck, intending to attack German cruiser Hipper and four destroyers with 1,700 troops onboard in Trondheimsfjord, Norway, however Hipper and one of the destroyers had already sailed out to sea; all torpedoes expended failed to hit the two remaining destroyers, but all returned to Furious safely. She was then transferred to the Mediterranean Sea and participated in several convoy missions to Malta. After refitting in the United States, she took part in the Operation Torch landings in Nov 1942. In 1943, she attacked German naval forces in Norway. Because of the progression of the European War, the need for naval forces in west was dramatically reduced after the successful conclusion of the Normandy Campaign; therefore, the venerable Furious, now nearing obsolescence, was placed in served in Sep 1944. She was sold for scrap in Jan 1948 and was broken up beginning on 15 Mar 1948. Her hull was scrapped at Troon in Jul 1948.
ww2dbaseSources: Naval Historical Center, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: May 2007
HMS Furious Operational Timeline
|26 Jun 1917||Furious was commissioned into service.|
|2 Aug 1917||British Squadron Commander E. H. Dunning achieved the first RNAS landing on a ship under way at sea when, in a Sopwith Pup, he touched down on the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Furious.|
|1 Dec 1919||Furious was decommissioned from service.|
|22 Jan 1940||The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Furious left the Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom with two squadrons of Swordfish torpedo-bombers to seek German shipping off Norway.|
|22 Sep 1940||British Royal Navy launched 11 Swordfish torpedo bombers and 6 Skua fighters/dive bombers from carrier HMS Furious at 0300 hours to attack German positions at Trondheim, Norway. Rough waters due to bad weather forced HMS Furious to turn back for Scotland ahead of schedule. When the aircraft returned, 1 Swordfish aircraft ran out of fuel while looking for HMS Furious (3 killed), 3 Swordfish aircraft crash landed in Norway (9 captured), and 1 Swordfish and 1 Skua aircraft cash landed in Sweden (5 interned).|
|16 Apr 1941||British aircraft carrier Furious, under repair at Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom was damaged by German bombing.|
|11 Aug 1942||In the Mediterranean Sea, British aircraft carrier HMS Furious launched 37 Spitfire fighters to Malta and then reversed course for Gibraltar.|
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Winston Churchill, 1935