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ARGUS HMS (I49) aircraft carrier

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ARGUS HMS (I49) aircraft carrier

Postby aukepalmhof » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm

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Built as a passenger liner under yard No 519 by William Beardmore & Co., Dalmuir, Scotland for the Lloyd Sabaudo, Italy.
June 1914 keel laid down.
02 December 1917 launched under the name CONTE ROSSO.
02 December 1917 purchased by the Royal Navy for conversion to an aircraft carrier, renamed in HMS ARGUS.
Displacement 14,450 ton standard, 15,775 tons full load, dim. 173 x 20.7 x 6.40m (draught), length bpp 163.1m. Length of flight deck 140m , beam 26m.
Powered by four Parsons direct drive turbines, 20.000 hp, four shafts, speed 20 knots.
Range by a speed of 16 knots 4,370 mile.
Armament: 4 – 4 inch AA guns, 4 – MG and 4 Lewis guns.
Carried 18 to 20 planes.
Crew 401 including aircrew.
14 September 1918 commissioned.

HMS ARGUS was a British aircraft carrier from 1918 until 1944. She was the world's first example of what is now the standard pattern of aircraft carrier, with a "flush deck" enabling wheeled aircraft to take-off and land. ARGUS had the nickname "Ditty Box" due to its similarity to the article of a sailor's kit.
ARGUS was laid down in 1914 by William Beardmore and Company in Glasgow as the Italian ocean linerCONTE ROSSO. However, before she was launched, she was purchased by the Royal Navy for conversion into an aircraft carrier. She was built from the start with an unobstructed flight deck (the "flush deck") upon which conventional aircraft could take off and land. Prior to that, the aircraft carrier HMS FURIOUS had been built with separate decks fore and aft of the main superstructure.
ARGUS was launched 2 December 1917 and was commissioned 6 September 1918, just before the end of the First World War. Due to her small size (approx 14,000 tonnes) and relatively slow speed, she was of limited use as a combat vessel. Instead, she was used primarily to develop the techniques of aircraft carrier combat and train aviators in the operation of aircraft at sea. At the end of the 1920s, having been superseded by larger and more modern vessels, she was removed from the front line force and used as a training carrier.
ARGUS initially served in a training role at the beginning of the Second World War, but after the significant losses suffered by the Royal Navy in the first years of the war between 1939-41 — during which HMS COURAGEOUS, GLOIOUS and ARK ROYAL were sunk, and ILLUSTRIOUS was heavily damaged —ARGUS was recalled to front line service. Interestingly, ARGUS, with her tall and capacious hangar, was the only British carrier that served in the Second World War capable of striking down aircraft with non-folding wings.
Her first operational duties, 1941 - 1942, were ferrying aircraft for Malta, Gibraltar and Takoradi (en route to Egypt). Aircraft were ferried to within flying distance of their destination and then "flown off" to complete the journey.
ARGUS was allocated to Force H in the western Mediterranean and she was part of the strong covering forces that provided air cover for Operation Harpoon, a critical Malta convoy In 1942, she supported the Allied landings in North Africa and in 1943 she reverted to her training role, before going into reserve as an accommodation ship in 1944.
She was sold for scrap on 05 December 1946. And broken up by Ward in Inverkeithing in December 1946.

Montserrat 2009 $2.25 sg?, scott?
Marshall Islands 2018 $@ sg?, scott?

Source: mostly downloaded from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Argus_(I49) Ships of the Royal Navy by J.J. Colledge. http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz
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