EddybeachThe Eddy class were a part of the RFA’s post World War 2 construction programme and were designed for Fleet Attendant duties in naval bases around the world.  The original plan called for ten ships in the class, but two were cancelled during construction and the other eight members of the class were to all intents and purposes redundant as soon as they were built, as the advances made in Replenishment at Sea techniques during the Second World War had overtaken their intended use.

The Eddy class were a part of the RFA’s post World War 2 construction programme and were designed for Fleet Attendant duties in naval bases around the world.  The original plan called for ten ships in the class, but two were cancelled during construction and the other eight members of the class were to all intents and purposes redundant as soon as they were built, as the advances made in Replenishment at Sea techniques during the Second World War had overtaken their intended use.

 

The ships of this class had a cargo capacity of 1,650 tons and carried various fuels in four cargo tanks; these were served by four cargo pumps.  The ships of this class were also able to carry two different grades of Lubricating oil in specially constructed tanks and had the capacity to carry a small amount of dry cargo and some ammunition, the cargo spaces were served by two three ton and two one ton derricks for working the cargo, which made them extremely useful in a small harbour or in an anchorage.

 

The Eddy’s carried a crew of around 38 and for their size had comfortable accommodation, though with their low freeboard these ships always looked as if they were about to be swamped when proceeding with a full cargo.

 

All eight of the ships were similar in appearance, though there were small differences in tonnage and some minor design features, depending on the yard they were built in, the technical details below are typical of the class.

 

 

Technical Details:

 

Tonnage: 2,157 Gross Registered Tonnage    Displacement: 4,165 tons full load

 

Length: 288 feet                          Beam: 46 feet                       Draught: 18.5 feet

 

Machinery: 1 x 3 cylinder triple expansion engine, two Scotch boilers, single shaft.

 

Speed: 12 knots

 

 

 

Individual Ship Details:

 

 

RFA Eddybeach

 

Eddybeach-02

Pennant No: A132

Built by the Caledon Shipbuilding Company, Dundee and launched on the 29 November 1951. The ship spent the majority of her career based at Gibraltar, with the occasional voyage further afield in the Mediterranean, going as far as Port Said.  The ship was used as a water carrier during a period of severe water shortage on the rock, sailing to Ceuta daily to pick up supplies until the crisis ended.

 

During her service career she did have a few interesting duties.  On the 16 September 1952 the ship arrived in Barcelona with HMS Glory and other RN ships for a visit.  In 1956 the ship supported operation Musketeer, the Suez Crisis with other RFA’s and RN ships, then in 1958 she achieved a moment of glory when she was used in the film “The Silent Enemy”, starring Laurence Harvey, with RFA War Brahmin.

 

On the 12 May 1962 Eddybeach sailed from Gibraltar for the last time, arriving at Devonport on the 18 May to de-store before being laid up.  In 1969 the ship was sold to the Greek Atlantic Cod Fishing Company Limited and converted into a fish factory ship with the name retained.  On the 7th October 1974 a bomb exploded in the ships engine room causing her to sink, but she was later re-floated.  On the 29 September 1979 the ship foundered at her moorings at Mar del Plata and was lost.

 

RFA Eddybay

 

Eddybay-02

Pennant No: A107

Built by the Caledon Shipbuilding Company, Dundee and launched on the 29 November 1951.  The first ten years of the ships career were spent as a spirit and white oil carrier until 1953, when she took part in Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Fleet Review, before being placed on time charter to Shell in UK coastal waters.

 

In 1958 Eddybay ran aground in the Rhu Narrows on the Clyde, but was re-floated.  In1961,she was used as a petrol hulk at Gibraltar for the RAF, while the airfield tanks were being overhauled, and was topped up on a regular basis by Shell tankers from Casablanca, until the 9 November 1962 when she was laid up at Gibraltar.

 

On the 10 September 1963 Eddybay arrived at H. G. Pounds Portsmouth for scrapping, but was resold to Belgian ship breakers.  She arrived at Scrapping SA, Willebroek, Antwerp on the 29 August 1964 for breaking up.

 

 

RFA Eddycliff

 

Eddycliff-01

Pennant No: A190

Built by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company Limited, Glasgow and launched on the 25 August 1952.  On the 17 February 1953 with RFA’s Freshlake and Rippledyke supplied fresh water to the area around Sheerness after severe flooding.  In March 1953 the ship was time chartered to Shell in UK coastal waters and then spent the majority of her career at Malta until August 1963, when after a period of layup at Devonport she was placed on the disposal list.

 

In 1964 the ship was sold to the Greek Tanker Company and re-named Knossos.  In 1966 she was sold again, this time to the Greek Atlantic Cod Fishing Company and was converted into a fish factory ship.  In 1973 she was sold to Heleno Argentino SA of Buenos Aires, but re-purchased by the Greek Atlantic Cod Fishing Company in 1977.  In 1978 she was sold to Mar Claro SA at Piraeus and on the 30th April 1980 the ship was driven aground during severe weather after being struck by the Anna C and breaking her moorings.

 

 

RFA Eddycreek

 

Eddycreek-01

Pennant No: A258

Built by Lobnitz and Company Limited, Renfrew and launched on the 19 January 1953.  Eddycreek spent the majority of her career at Hong Kong.  The ship was used as the Gan station tanker during January and February 1960 In order to provide fuel facilities for the RAF, she was placed on the disposal list in August 1963.

 

In December 1963 the ship was sold to P. R. Abela of Genoa with the name unchanged, and whilst on passage from Genoa to Naples in 1964, enroute to the breakers yard she was blown ashore in a gale onto Capri Island.

 

 

RFA Eddyreef

 

Eddyreef-02

Pennant No: A 202

Built by Caledon Shipbuilding Company, Dundee and launched on the 16 September 1952.  On the 1 March 1955 whilst the ship was at Harwich, she suffered a flood in her engine and boiler room and had to be beached to stop her sinking.  On the 8 March 1955 Eddyreef was towed to Immingham for dry docking and repairs.

 

The ship was de-stored and laid up at Devonport, in December 1963 she was placed on the disposal list.  In March 1964 the ship sailed from Devonport for breaking up by Scrapping Company SA, Klien, Willebroek, Holland.

 

 

RFA Eddyrock

 

Eddyrock-02

Pennant No: A198

Built by Blyth Drydock and Shipbuilding Company Limited at Blyth, Northumberland.  The ship was launched on the 16 November 1952.  On the 30 March 1954 Eddyrock relieved RFA Oakol as the station oiler at Singapore, where she spent the majority of her service.  In May 1962 the ship took part in Operation Mosaic 1, the British Nuclear test at Monte Bello Island off Australia, then between the 11 December 1962 to the 28 February 1963 she supported HM ships off Borneo during operations there.  From January 1965 to August 1965 Eddyrock supported naval units patrolling in East Malaysia, Singapore and the Malacca Straits with RFA’s Gold Ranger, Fort Charlotte and Wave Sovereign.

 

The ship was laid up at Singapore in March 1967, and placed on the disposal list the following month.  On the 27 June 1967 the ship was sold to Chip Hwa Shipping and Trading Company Limited, Singapore with the name unchanged, though in January 1968 the company placed a notice in the press that they intended to change the ships name to Aletta.  Later the same year the ship was sold to Tunas Tankers (Singapore) Pty Ltd, and was transferred to Tunas Tankers and Bunkering Services Pty Ltd in 1970.  In 1974 she was sold to Cia de Nav Sofia and registered in Panama.  On the 16 December 1976 the ship arrived at Jurong for breaking up by National Iron and Steel Mills.

 

 

RFA Eddyfirth

 

Eddyfirth

Pennant No: A 261

Built by Lobnitz and Company Limited at Renfrew and launched on the 10 September 1953.  The ship spent the first years of her career at Malta, where she supported the Motor Minesweeping Flotilla, though she did enjoy the occasional voyage into the Mediterranean, venturing as far as Port Said.  In 1966 she was re-classified as a harbour Oiler and then spent the latter part of her career in UK coastal waters; where she was familiar sight carrying AVCAT and Lubricating oil to the various naval bases.

 

In 1981 the ship was sold to Spence and Young for breaking up, but was re-sold in January 1982 to Spanish breakers.  Eddyfirth arrived at Seville on the 28 March 1982 for breaking up by Desguaces del Guadalguiuir, the longest serving member of the class.

 

 

RFA Eddyness

 

Eddyness-02

Pennant No: A 295

Built by Blyth Drydock and Shipbuilding Company Limited, Blyth, Northumberland and launched on the 22 October 1953.  The ship spent all her service life in UK waters before being laid up at Devonport on the 29 January 1963.  In December 1969 the ship was placed on the disposal list and on the 24 February 1970, she sailed from Devonport for breaking up in Seville, Spain.

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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