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Furious file photo [3544]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassCourageous-class Aircraft Carrier
Hull Number47
BuilderNewcastle-on-Tyne, Britain
Laid Down8 Jun 1915
Launched15 Aug 1916
Commissioned26 Jun 1917
Decommissioned1 Dec 1919
Displacement22,450 tons standard
Length786 feet
Beam88 feet
Draft25 feet
Speed31 knots
Range6,000nm at 20 knots
Armament6x2x102mm, 48x40mm 2pdr pom-poms, 22x20mm
Final DecommissionSep 1944


ww2dbaseOriginally built as one of the Courageous-class large light cruisers, Furious was meant to be a gun platform sporting two 18-in, or 457-mm, guns that would provide naval gun support for amphibious operations. However, while still under construction, it was decided that she was to be converted as an aircraft carrier. The forward turret that was already installed was removed for the flight deck, but the aft turret remained to provide the ship with some firepower. On 3 Aug 1917, Squadron Commander Edwin Dunning landed a Sopwith Pup aircraft successfully on board Furious, becoming the first person to land an aircraft on a moving ship; the second attempt, however, resulted in an accident which led to his death. Dunning's death was partially attributed to the aft turret blocking a clear landing path, plus the ship's hull could not handle the stress of the guns firing, so Furious returned to the dockyard for the removal of the aft turret. She was recommissioned as a fully dedicated aircraft carrier on 15 Mar 1918. Her aircraft took part in several WW1 battles, including the Tondern, Germany raid of Jul 1918 that destroyed two enemy airships and their support facilities.

ww2dbaseAfter WW1, Furious served in the Baltic Sea briefly, then was placed in reserve in late 1919. In 1922, she underwent reconstruction. She emerged in 1925 with her existing superstructure replaced by a smaller navigation conning tower, upper and lower hangars, and a shorter aircraft launching deck at the bow. This configuration was critical in the development of British and Japanese aircraft carriers of that era, and Furious played a vital role in the development of British carrier doctrine of the 1920s and 1930s. In the late 1930s, she received an island superstructure on the starboard side and her small forward aircraft flying-off deck was converted to an anti-aircraft gun platform.

ww2dbaseWhen Britain entered WW2 in Sep 1939, Furious was a part of the Home Fleet, operating against the threat of German U-boats. At 0400 on 11 Apr 1940, 18 Swordfish aircraft from 816 and 818 Squadrons took off from her flight deck, intending to attack German cruiser Hipper and four destroyers with 1,700 troops onboard in Trondheimsfjord, Norway, however Hipper and one of the destroyers had already sailed out to sea; all torpedoes expended failed to hit the two remaining destroyers, but all returned to Furious safely. She was then transferred to the Mediterranean Sea and participated in several convoy missions to Malta. After refitting in the United States, she took part in the Operation Torch landings in Nov 1942. In 1943, she attacked German naval forces in Norway. Because of the progression of the European War, the need for naval forces in west was dramatically reduced after the successful conclusion of the Normandy Campaign; therefore, the venerable Furious, now nearing obsolescence, was placed in served in Sep 1944. She was sold for scrap in Jan 1948 and was broken up beginning on 15 Mar 1948. Her hull was scrapped at Troon in Jul 1948.

ww2dbaseSources: Naval Historical Center, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: May 2007


Furious in 1917, with a single 18-inch gun aft and flying-off deck forwardFurious in port in 1918, after fitting of a landing-on deck aft, photo 1 of 2
See all 19 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Furious (47)

Furious Operational Timeline

26 Jun 1917 Furious was commissioned into service.
2 Aug 1917 British Squadron Commander E. H. Dunning achieved the first RNAS landing on a ship under way at sea when, in a Sopwith Pup, he touched down on the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Furious.
1 Dec 1919 Furious was decommissioned from service.
22 Jan 1940 The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Furious left the Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom with two squadrons of Swordfish torpedo-bombers to seek German shipping off Norway.
22 Sep 1940 British Royal Navy launched 11 Swordfish torpedo bombers and 6 Skua fighters/dive bombers from carrier HMS Furious at 0300 hours to attack German positions at Trondheim, Norway. Rough waters due to bad weather forced HMS Furious to turn back for Scotland ahead of schedule. When the aircraft returned, 1 Swordfish aircraft ran out of fuel while looking for HMS Furious (3 killed), 3 Swordfish aircraft crash landed in Norway (9 captured), and 1 Swordfish and 1 Skua aircraft cash landed in Sweden (5 interned).
16 Apr 1941 British aircraft carrier Furious, under repair at Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom was damaged by German bombing.
19 May 1941 British Force H, consisting of the battlecruiser HMS Renown, the carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Furious, the cruiser HMS Sheffield and six destroyers proceeded to the area south of Sardinia, Italy.
21 May 1941 48 Hurricane fighters flew off from carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Furious to reinforce Malta; all fighters arrived safely. The carriers were part of British Force H, which also included battlecruiser HMS Renown, cruiser HMS Sheffield, and six destroyers. The Italian submarines Corallo and Diaspro, stationed at the point where the British force launched the aircraft, did not approach nor engage.
24 Jun 1941 Leonardo da Vinci, while searching for survivors of German supply ship Alstertor in the Atlantic Ocean, came across a German aircraft; they exchanged recognition signals. At 1248 hours, she came across British carrier HMS Furious escorted by light cruiser HMS Hermione, destroyer HMS Legion, and destroyer HMS Lance; the Italian submarine submerged, but could not get in a good attack position.
11 Aug 1942 In the Mediterranean Sea, British aircraft carrier HMS Furious launched 37 Spitfire fighters to Malta and then reversed course for Gibraltar.
31 May 1943 HMS Cumberland joined HM Cruiser Bermuda to relieve garrison at Spitzbergen, Norway escorted by HM Destroyers Eclipse and Athabaskan (RCN) covered by HM Aircraft Carrier Furious, HM Cruiser Scylla screened by HM Destroyers Echo and Middleton (Operation Gearbox II).

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Hobilar says:
10 Sep 2007 02:13:12 PM

The builder was actually Armstrong Whitworth of Elswick.
2. Anonymous says:
19 Mar 2010 11:54:08 AM

My late Father served on this carrier during the war, Can anyone tell me if I can see a list of the crews names on any data base anywhere ? . thank you mike.
3. Paul Stevenson says:
8 Nov 2010 08:07:45 AM

I am carrying out some research about a Royal Marines by tghe name of William Henry Culley PLYX1376RM who served at one time on HMS Furious probably during WW2. Has anyone got any information on this man please
4. Benny. says:
16 Jan 2013 07:45:52 AM

I have a medal solid silver. on one side its
HMS Furious on the other Inter-Part football winners.Cant find anything on the medal.Does any one know what this medal is.
Thank you.

5. Anonymous says:
9 Nov 2014 04:41:44 PM

My father,James Crichton,served as a Royal Marine from 1936 up to demob Obviously he survived & mentioned HMS Furious. I would love to hear from other relatives of the crew from the times mentioned. I visited a cenotaph today in his & his brothers memory. Although my father survived WW11, his brother, Robert Crichton, paid the ultimate sacrifice. RIP. Together now.
6. Anonymous says:
10 Nov 2014 11:05:39 AM

My mothers brother Dai Jones from Cilfyndd South Wales was killed by a propellar he was around about late teens ?
He was buried at see My mother is 86 and still remembers him coming home on leave and didnt want to go back sadly he died on that tour
7. Anonymous says:
29 Jan 2015 05:55:51 AM

my grandfather Frank Redford who lived in middleton , Manchester served as RM on furious , I have some photos of him manning gun with anti flash headgear and other photo`s
8. Anonymous says:
23 Feb 2015 03:42:10 PM

My Taid (grandfather) served on this ship.He told me about seeing the first landing of an aeroplane on a ship.They had rigged up something to stop it from falling off the end.The pilot died on his third attempt,after two successful landings.
The crew had their lives saved in the flu pandemic by being made to run all around the ship until they had "sweat the flu out".
He was D.J Harris,of Caernarfon,born 1901.
9. Ray Brown says:
18 May 2016 03:30:17 AM

I was a cook on the staff of Rear Admiral A J Cawthra in 1964-66 and before I left to join HMS Eagle he gave me a cigarette case that he had purchased whilst he was a young officer aboard HMS Furious. Is there any way that I could post an image of it to this site?
10. S buckle says:
15 Jul 2016 04:53:15 PM

My father John (jack) Buckle served on the furious, he sighted the guns helped load the swordfish. I would like to know more thanks
11. Tim Skerritt says:
8 Nov 2016 12:07:27 PM

My grandad, royal marine George hodkinson served on this ship during the Second World War . He left Plymouth heading for scapa flow in Scotland at the start of the war . If anyone has any pictures of servicemen men on this ship I would be interested to see them.
12. john ryan says:
4 Dec 2016 10:11:53 AM

my father served on the furious during ww2.his name was Thomas(buck) ryan would love to know if anyone knew him
13. Caroline Whyte says:
28 Dec 2016 02:17:55 AM

My father in law John Whyte served as an air fleet arms navigator and was part of the raid on the Tirpitz in 1944 - does anyone know how I can find out more indignation on this ? Thanks
14. Bob Meddeman says:
13 Jan 2017 08:59:44 AM

Hi Tim (Skerritt).My Dad (Henry James) Harry Meddeman was on the Furious I believe at the same time going up to Scapa Flow but I cannot find any photos that are clear enough to show the faces clearly. I think he was on board and saw the sinking of the Hood (think that's the name). I do have a small group photo of about ten men in an album that is packed up but won't be accessible for some months.I will try to remember to look for the box and get back to you.
15. Darryl Hyde says:
1 Dec 2017 12:32:52 PM

My grandad Arthur Walker sever on Furious 1939 -43, I have plenty of pictures and would be happy with to send on.
Drop me a mail
16. Anonymous says:
14 Dec 2017 07:49:10 PM

Desperately looking for information re Hugh Gill, a leading telegraphist on Furious. He received on OBE in 1933. We do not have a copy or know what it was for.
My 90year old mum in law would love any information.
Any advice as where I can search would be much appreciated.
17. Stephen Buckle says:
12 Jan 2018 02:22:45 AM

My father John Buckle was on the furious during WWII any information would be great

18. Ed Jones says:
23 Feb 2018 08:10:49 AM

Researching Reginald Veasey who served on Furious during WW11. I have some photos but few have any info recorded on them.
19. Marie russell says:
24 Mar 2018 05:02:26 PM

I have my great grandfathers autograph/diary of HMS Furious. 1917/1918 complete with drawn pictures of the eagle -aicraft-cpt-etc
I treasure it as family history.
20. Phillip Woods says:
21 Nov 2018 01:58:09 PM

My father Horace Woods served on the Furious on convoy to Malta , i think as RAF Officer in charge of technical maintenance of the Spitfires . He finished war as a Wing Commander but i'm not sure what rank he was at that time . Do you have any info on his service on Furious ?
21. jane richards says:
9 Dec 2018 10:57:20 AM

my father victor charles richards served on this ship during the second world war
22. PADDY CREAN says:
19 Apr 2019 08:08:36 AM

My father, Surgeon Lieutenant TF Crean RN served aboard Furious in the 30s as PMO
23. Peter Russell says:
22 Aug 2019 09:33:17 AM

My father A/PO James Russell served as a TAG in 825 Squadron in March 1941 with Lt Cdr EK Esmonde in Sierra Leone
24. Elaine Piper says:
14 Dec 2019 10:12:21 AM

My father George Colin Barton (known as Robin) served on HMS Furious in WW11. He was CPO in charge of stores.
25. Jacqueline Hurley says:
29 Dec 2019 12:51:49 PM

My grandfather Leslie Arthur Hurley served on HMS Furious during WWII.

My grandpa Les served with the Royal Navy throughout WWII, joining up as an able seaman at the beginning of the war. He was later commissioned as a gunnery officer. During the war, he served on the aircraft carrier HMS Furious at the time the Spitfires were launched to save Malta. He also served for two years on the Arctic convoys to Russia.
26. Paula says:
21 Jan 2020 12:57:01 PM

My Grandad William Pratt served on HMS Furious I believe Stoker 1st Class.
27. denise griffiths nee dixon says:
28 Apr 2020 06:55:29 AM

was gordon dixon shot down in ww2, believed to be in 1942 from hms furious. we have a photograph from the FAA museum. he was born in 1922, also have a photo with his mother in 1941
28. Darryl Hyde says:
11 May 2020 11:48:51 AM

My Grandad Arthur Walker served on Furious from 1939-43.
I have plenty of pictures of the ship and crew that I would happy to share if you drop me a mail.

29. Richard Oliver says:
23 May 2020 03:57:07 AM

A cousin of mine, Roy Sydney Baker-Falkner, R.N., D.S.O. & D.S.C., Actg. Lieut.-Cdr., HMS Furious, died 1944, aged 28. Can anyone tell me anything about the circumstances?
30. Tom Charnock says:
23 Oct 2020 05:49:27 AM

My grandfather Cuthbert Charnock was a seaman on HMS Furious during the ww2.
31. Alan Coyne says:
9 Feb 2021 08:23:38 AM

My Dad John Coyne served on this ship during WWIl
32. John main says:
14 Feb 2021 01:37:12 PM

My grandfather served on HMS FURIOUS during the second world war as a stoker and spent time in china station, then he transfered to HMS eagle. He finished his corea at HMS CAMBRIDGE Wembury near Plymouth. I'm trying to find his naval history record but have limited information.
33. Graham says:
31 Mar 2021 12:01:01 PM

Lt cdr Roy Sydney Baker-Falkner, R.N., D.S.O. & D.S.C served on HMS Furious 1943-1944 when he was lost at the end of Operation Mascot against the Tirpitz.

Richard Oliver I am also related to Lt Cdr Baker-Falkner if you would like to contact me at Drucker at btopenworld dot com
34. Gareth Eaton says:
16 Apr 2021 03:42:03 AM

My dad served on HMS Furious during ww2 I am trying to find his service number without much luck.
I part of his job was pom pom guns and from the very little he ever talk about the war I Furious was known as the mad ship of the med. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
6 Jun 2022 12:59:49 AM

I am looking for any details regarding, Sub Lieutenant(A) George Alexander born 1913 in Aberdeen, died 26/04/1944.
36. Michael Smith says:
16 Dec 2023 08:22:47 AM

My late farther served on her in ww2 he was a stoker and got demobed in Australia his name was Lionel Smith i have tried to find his service record but with no sucsrss can you please help

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More on Furious
Event(s) Participated:
» Start of the Battle of the Atlantic
» Invasion of Denmark and Norway
» Malta Campaign

» UK Aircraft Carrier Functions
» UK Aircraft Carrier Time Operational

Aircraft Carrier Furious (47) Photo Gallery
Furious in 1917, with a single 18-inch gun aft and flying-off deck forwardFurious in port in 1918, after fitting of a landing-on deck aft, photo 1 of 2
See all 19 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Furious (47)

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