Like the first two ships to bear the name, she too was officially named in honour of 1st Viscount Hood. The "Mighty Hood", as she was known, was built by John Brown & Company Shipyards, Clydebank, Scotland. During her 21 year long career, she, more than any other ship, would stand as the ultimate symbol of the Empire's might. Of all the vessels to bear the name, she was the most important, most memorable and most loved. Hood was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in July 1936.
During the subsequent Battle of the Denmark Strait on 24 May 1941, Hood suffered from a series of events which culminated in her destruction. At about 0600, as Hood was turning to bring all her guns to bear onto the Bismarck, she emitted a huge jet of flame, reaching skyward from the vicinity of the mainmast. This was immediately followed by an explosion that destroyed the after part of the ship. The stern rose and sank rapidly, while the bow rose clear of the sea as the forepart also sank. The Hood had disappeared within ten minutes of engaging the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen. Of the 1,418 aboard, only three men survived. They were rescued about two hours after the sinking by the destroyer HMS Electra.
The dramatic loss of such a well-known symbol of British naval power had a great effect on many people; some later remembered the news as the most shocking of World War II. Following the loss of the Hood, the Royal Navy concentrated all available resources in pursuit of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen; although Prinz Eugen escaped, Bismarck was eventually sunk after being brought to battle again on 27 May 1941.