HMS Argus (1918) CV (7th)
HMS Argus was laid down in 1914 as the Italian Passenger Liner
"Conte Rosso". She was then bought by the Admiralty &
conversion to an aircraft carrier begun in Aug-1916. Launched in Dec-1917
and completed in 1918, the design was the first aircraft carrier to have
an unobstructed flight deck, with the engine exhausts ducted below the
flight deck. When she was not at flying stations she was conned by a chart
house on the starboard side which was raised by a hydraulic lift as
She was what became known as a flush deck aircraft carrier.
Her first operational patrol was to Turkey during the 1922 Chanak crisis, where she was used as a transit for RAF aircraft until Sept-1922.
She then went to the Atlantic Fleet, on to refit from 1925-26 when anti-torpedo bulges fitted. Then back to Fleet duties.
Although she was obsolete by the Mid-1930's she was modernised in 1939 to become a deck landing training carrier. So in Nov-1939 she deployed to the Mediterranean to operate from Toulon. When Italy entered WW2 in Mid-1940 and France collapsed Argus was withdrawn to the Clyde. Further front line duty followed & she was part of the group of warships in the Mediterranean when HMS Ark Royal was sunk on 13-Nov-1941.
Resumed second line carrier training duties 1942, went into Reserve in Aug-1944.
This page last edited -
23 February, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.