Motto: “Fury Supplies Weapons.”
Though she is now due for scrapping, the name of H.M.S. Furious, an aircraft carrier of 22,450 tons, will always be celebrated in the history of naval aviation, as it was in her that the first successful deck landing was made, in 1918.
Seldom has a ship undergone so many alterations in appearance. She was begin in 1915 as a large cruiser armed with two 18-in. Guns, the heaviest ever mounted afloat. When almost complete it was decided that she should carry aircraft, and one 18-in. gun was removed to make room for a hangar and flight deck forward. A year later the other gun disappeared with the extension of the flight deck aft. As the result of further experiments the mast and funnel were removed in 1921, the latter being replaced by horizontal smoke ducts discharging at the stern. The flight deck was then rebuilt at a higher level and the sides plated in beneath it. This led to overheating, so ultimately large openings had to be made in the sides. Just before the war an island superstructure and mast were added on the starboard side.
Her speed of 31 knots enabled the Furious to perform much useful service in the late war. She operated with Atlantic convoys in 1939-40 and was used frequently for ferrying aircraft to distant bases. After taking part in the Malta convoy of August 1942 she was attached to the naval forces supporting the landings in Algeria the following November. In June 1944 she was engaged in a convoy action off the coast of Norway.