HMS Argus (D 49)
Aircraft Carrier of the Argus class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||William Beardmore & Co. (Dalmuir, Scotland)|
|Laid down||Jun 1914|
|Launched||2 Dec 1917|
|Commissioned||16 Sep 1918|
Former Italian passenger liner Conte Rosso, the ship's construction was suspended after the outbreak of World War I. She was purchased unlaunched in August 1916 and converted into an aircraft carrier, the World's first to have a full-length flight deck upon which wheeled aircraft could land and take-off with relative safety. As such, she established the general pattern for future aircraft carriers. Argus was commissioned in September 1918, shortly before the end of the Great War. She spent much of her first decade on the vital work of developing carrier techniques and training aviators in the demanding work of operating aircraft at sea. Her merchant ship hull, relatively small size and modest speed limited her utility as a combat ship, and she was superseded in fleet service as newer carriers were completed during the later 1920s. Laid up early in the next decade, she was later modified for use as mother ship for target aircraft and as a training carrier.
HMS Argus was in reserve at the start of the 2nd World War, she was recommissioned on 7 October 1939
Argus served in a training role during much of World War II, but the desperate circumstances of the first years of that conflict sometimes required that she see front-line service, notably in 1942, when she served with Force H and later supported the landings in North Africa. After further training duty, she was reduced to reserve in late 1943 and was hulked as an accommodations ship in August 1944.
HMS Argus is not listed as active unit in the October 1945 Navy List
Argus was sold for scrapping on 5 December 1946. Finally scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1947.
Commands listed for HMS Argus (D 49)
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|1||Capt. Henry Cecil Bovell, RN||7 Oct 1939||16 Aug 1940|
|2||Capt. Edmund Gerard Noel Rushbrooke, DSC, RN||16 Aug 1940||12 Apr 1941|
|3||Capt. Tom Oliver Bulteel, RN||12 Apr 1941||29 Oct 1941|
|4||Capt. George Tothill Philip, DSC, RN||29 Oct 1941||15 Jan 1943|
|5||Capt. Henry Lockhart St. John Fancourt, RN||15 Jan 1943||6 Oct 1943|
|6||Capt. Villiers Nicholas Surtees, DSO, RN||6 Oct 1943||3 Jan 1944|
|7||A/Cdr. Henry Bell Carleton Holmes, RN||3 Jan 1944||17 Jan 1944|
|8||Capt. Villiers Nicholas Surtees, DSO, RN||17 Jan 1944||27 Jul 1944|
|9||Capt. Robert Henry Campbell Crawford, OBE, RNR||27 Jul 1944||20 Nov 1944|
|10||Cdr. Alan Douglas Bruford, RNVR||20 Nov 1944||mid 1945|
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