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Sister ships: none
Pennant number: I.49 (flag superior changed to "D" in 1940)
Notes: This ship was laid down as the liner CONTE ROSSO of the Lloyd Sabaudo Line in 1914, but not finished due to World War I. She was taken over for conversion to an aircraft carrier by the Royal Navy in August, 1916. The design and layout of flight deck were tried out in a wind tunnel; a flush-deck design was adopted, with a small pilot house that could be lowered during flying operations. The first aircraft to be embarked were 18 Sopwith Cuckoo torpedo-dropping aircraft; it was hoped to use ARGUS in the projected attack on the German High Seas Fleet in 1919. With her reasonable speed; the wind-over-the-deck was adequate for most conditions, and she was considered a great success, although too late to participate in World War I.
ARGUS joined the Grand Fleet in 1918, and served with Atlantic Fleet beginning in 1919. In a refit in 1925-26, torpedo bulges were added in 1925-26, her flight deck was extended to 570'. During World War II, her armament comprised of 4 - 4" QF Mk. V HA and 13-20mm guns. ARGUS was primarily used as a training carrier for deck landings, but also served as an aircraft ferry. She served in Mediterranean 1939-40; with Home Fleet 1940-41; Force "H" in 1942; then returned to Home Fleet 1943-44. She was in Reserve as accommodation ship 1944-45. ARGUS was sold for breaking up in December, 1946.