HMS Courageous

The Ship

Sunk by U-29 17 September 1939

HMS Courageous was ordered from Armstrong at Elswick and laid down on the 28th March 1915, launched 5th February 1916 and completed in January 1917. During her sea trials she suffered buckling between her breakwater and the 15-inch Barbette, and was fitted with 130 tons of stiffening. She joined the 3rd light Cruiser squadron of The Grand Fleet and then the 1st cruiser squadron. in April 1917 she was converted for mine laying. On the 17th November 1917 along with HMS Glorious and HMS Repulse, she engaged German forces at Heligoland Bight, expended 92 15inch shells and scoring hits on the German Cruiser Pillau. She also fired nearly 250 6 inch shells scoring no hits. After the war joined the Gunnery Scholl and later becoming Flagship to the reserve Fleet.

She was converted to an aircraft carrier at Devonport Dockyard from June 1924 until 5 May 1928. Recommissioned on 21 February 1928, this was prior to the completion of her conversion.

At 1950 hours on 17 September 1939 HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) was struck by two torpedoes from the German submarine U-29 about 190 nautical miles south-west of Dursey Head, Ireland, in position 5010'N, 1445'W, and sank after 17 minutes. 518 officers and ratings were lost. 14 lifeboats of the Dutch steam passenger ship Veendam saved several survivors of the carrier, including the shipslog. This was a harsh thing to do in the heavily oiled sea. The American merchant Collingsworth also participated in the rescue operations. The survivors were later transferred to the British destroyer HMS Kelly. The carrier had been on patrol against U-boats with her destroyer screen. After this incident, carriers are withdrawn from such patrols.

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 17 Sep, 1939 by U-29

My Postcards

Not postally used.


Not postally used.
Postcard series: Abrahams Devonport
Series number: 2256


Return to Postcard Collection

Return to Lindy's Pages