HMS Furious (47)

Furious in her intermediary state in 1918. Her aft gun has been removed, and replaced with a landing deck. The funnel, still mounted along the centerline of the ship, caused problems for the aircraft during landing, partially leading to her post-War rebuild. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Laid Down

Originally laid down as a Courageous-class battlecruiser, mounting two single 18" (46cm) guns, HMS Furious was completed with a flying-off platform in place of her fore turret. On 2 August, 1917, Furious became the first ship to have an aircraft land aboard, while underway. In November, Furious had her aft turret removed and replaced with a landing platform. On 19 July, 1918, Furious became the first carrier to launch an airstrike, when she attacked the Zeppelin sheds at Tondern with seven Sopwith Camels. After the war, Furious was converted into a true aircraft carrier with a flush deck, and served as a testing ship for new Royal Navy aircraft. She was reduced to a training role in the 1930s, but was pulled back into active service in October, 1939. Furious conducted anti-shipping patrols and ran convoy escort during the Phony War, and was assigned to assist in the Norwegian Campaign in April, 1940. Most of the rest of the War was spent on aircraft ferry duty, interspersed with airstrikes that did little damage. Furious also supported the invasion of French North Africa in November, 1942, but her age was showing. Unable to carry a suitable airwing, and with newer and more capable carriers becoming available, Furious was placed in reserve in September, 1944. Decommissioned the following April, she was sold for scrap in 1948.