HMS Argus

The Ship

Sold for Scrap 1947

In 1916 the Beardmore commercial yard was awarded the contract to complete the half-finished Italian liner Conte Rosso, laid down in 1914, as a prototype aircraft carrier. She was launched 2 Dec 1917, and eventually completed only a matter of weeks before the Armistice. She was commissioned 6 Sep 1918. Between the wars she was employed mainly as a training carrier.

In the first few years of the Second world war, HMS Argus saw service ferrying aircraft to Gibraltar and Malta to augment the defending aircraft during siege of Malta, and for Takoradi for onward staged flights to Egypt, 1941-1942. In June 1942, Sea Hurricanes from 801 Squadron on HMS Eagle provided top cover for Harpoon, the essential supply convoy heading for Malta. Upon entering the Mediterranean, the convoy came under almost constant attack from the Germans and Italians. The Sea Hurricanes and Fulmars from HMS Argus did an outstanding job of defending the convoy, with No 801 Squadron claiming six Italian planes. This was the beginning of the Sea Hurricane’s escapades in the Mediterranean.

Argus's other main role was for deck landing training for RN aircraft from the 767 sqdn deck-landing school at RNAS Arbroath in 1939-1941. Her operational duties, included notably an Arctic convoy (early 1943) and involvement in the North African landings in November 1942. From mid-1943 she was again used only for training in home waters.

After being paid off in December 1944, she served as an accommodation ship 1945 and eventually sold on 5 December 1946. She was scrapped in 1947.

My Postcards

Not postally used.
Postcard series: Abrahams Devonport
Series number: 1506


Not postally used.
Postcard series: Cribb Photo


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