Allied Warships

HMS Courageous (50)

Aircraft Carrier of the Courageous class

HMS Courageous

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeAircraft Carrier
Built byArmstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) : Parsons 
Laid down29 Mar 1915 
Launched5 Feb 1916 
Commissioned4 Nov 1916 
Lost17 Sep 1939 
Loss position50° 10'N, 14° 45'W

Converted to 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. William Totfield 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 50º10'N, 14º45'W, and sank after 17 minutes. 519 officers and ratings were lost,however 1 officer died on the 27/07/1940 from his wounds and there were 694 survivors which include at least 10 wounded. 14 lifeboats of the Dutch steam passenger ship Veendam saved several survivors of the carrier, including the ship's log. 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 After this incident, carriers are withdrawn from such patrols.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 (Schuhart).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Courageous

Commands listed for HMS Courageous (50)

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1Capt. William Totfield Makeig-Jones, RN24 Jul 193917 Sep 1939 (+)

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Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 45.00)
(EUR 44.32)

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