|Dimensions||76.2 × 55.88 × 2.54 cm|
Builder Armstrong Whitworth
Gross 23,257 Tons
Length 786 feet, 9 inches (239.8 m)
Beam 88 feet (26.8 m)
Draught 24 feet, 11 inches (7.6 m)
Propulsion Four geared steam turbines, driving four propellers
11th August 1942
South of the Balearic Islands
HMS Furious was a modified large cruiser converted to an aircraft carrier. Thirty-eight Spitfires were loaded on her deck, to be delivered to Malta where they were desperately needed. She was to accompany the Pedestal Convoy with her cargo, but only far enough to allow the Spitfires to fly off and reach Malta. Then she was to turn back to Gibraltar for another similar ferrying operation.
The morning of the 11th, radar detected a snooping aircraft at 8:15 am, which was quickly dispatched. The convoy steamed in four columns with 13 destroyers ahead. HMS Furious, screened by HMS Lightning and HMS Lookout, steamed off to the port quarter and speeded up into the wind to assist the Spitfires in their takeoffs.
The first eight planes on the flight deck flew off at 12:29 pm. The second group was brought up and dispatched at 1:09 pm, just when HMS Eagle was struck with four torpedoes and began sinking rapidly. Flights were suspended until rescue of Eagle’s crew could be completed.
The last flights were dispatched between by 3:12 pm though one returned with propeller trouble. As planned, the Furious then turned back to port. On the 12th at 00:54 am, a radar blip picked out the conning tower of a submarine in the distance. Stalking her prey the escorting destroyer, HMS Wolverine, ran down, rammed and sank the submarine Dagabur.
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