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1912 - 1921: Fearless

Built By: Pembroke Dockyard
Fate: Sold for scrap, 8 November 1921

Fearless arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 19 July to begin a lengthy refit to convert her into a submarine depot ship that lasted until 4 October. Nine days later, Fearless sailed for Murmansk, Russia, and arrived there on the 19th to serve as the depot ship for several British G Class submarines.

The ship sailed back to Britain on 15 November, together with all three of her submarines. By January 1917 she was the leader of the 12th Submarine Flotilla of the Grand Fleet, made up of the notoriously accident-prone K Class steam-powered submarines that were based at Scapa Flow.

From 3–17 March, Fearless was refitted at Invergordon. On 17 July, she and her flotilla transferred to Rosyth, Scotland.

On the evening of 31 January 1918, the Light Cruiser Force sortied from Rosyth to participate in a training exercise with elements of the Grand Fleet. The 12th and 13th Submarine Flotillas were sandwiched by squadrons of battlecruisers and battleships as the ships departed in poor visibility. Around 19:14 the steering gear of one of the 13th's submarines failed and she fell out of the formation. One of the trailing submarines did not see her in time and accidentally rammed her, badly damaging both boats. Commander William Leir commanded the 13th and decided to turn his flotilla around to their aid after he was notified of the accident around 17:40. In doing so, his ships crossed the path of the oncoming 12th and Fearless accidentally rammed and sank the submarine HMS K17. Captain Charles Little attempted to avoid her, but the cruiser was moving too fast to do so. She launched her boats in a failed attempt to rescue any survivors, but the few found were recovered by one of the other submarines. The bulkheads in Fearless' bow had to be shored up to prevent further flooding, but she was not in any danger of sinking and returned to Rosyth at a very slow speed.

She was repaired and survived the war, but was sold for scrap in November 1921.


Events

15-11-1911 : Laid down
12-06-1912 : Launched
08-11-1921 : Sold for scrap

1899 - 1921: Crescent1886 - 1921: Forth