RFA Berta

 

 

Previous name:                         Shell Dezoito
Subsequent name:                    Berta CSM

Official Number:                        167387

Class:                                       Fleet Attendant Oiler

Pennant No:

Laid down:
Builder:                                    Harland & Wolff
Launched:                                30 June 1927
Into Service:                             16 January 1940
Out of service:                          29 September 1945
Fate:                                        Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  She was originally one of thirty ships in a Class which became known as “mosquitoes” which were designed for service on Lake Maracaibo with trunk decks and a small bridge amidships. She became one of the miscellaneous craft acquired by the Admiralty during WW2 and was mainly employed in the Plymouth area. She was returned to commercial owners at the end of hostilities

 

30 June 1927 Launched by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast as Yard  Nr 798 named  BERTA for Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London

14 July 1927 Completed and transferred to N.V. Curacaosche Scheepvaart Maatschappij,  Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles

9 October 1938 berthed at King Georges Wharf, Dundee

1939 transferred to Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co (Lisbon) and renamed SHELL DEZOITO

21 May 1939 sailed Curacao for Falmouth arriving 11 June 1939

8 July 1939 sailed Falmouth to Lisbon to be used as a bunkering vessel there

5 December 1939 sailed Lisbon to Falmouth arriving 10 December 1939

3 January 1940 in refit at Falmouth

12 January 1940 requisitioned by the Admiralty for service as a Fleet Attendant Oiler under RFA manning

15 January 1940 Mr Frederick O Brims RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 21 May 1940 when injured by enemy bombing

Frederick O Brims

Chief Engineer Officer Frederick O Brims RFA

16 January 1940 was renamed RFA Berta

23 January 1940 sailed Falmouth to Devonport at the end of her refit

1 February 1940 sailed Plymouth to Dover arriving the next day

9 February 1940 sailed Dover to Plymouth arriving the next day

14 February 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

19 February 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

20 February 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Portsmouth to Dover arriving 22 February 1940

2 March 1940 sailed from Dover to Portsmouth Harbour arriving the next day

4 March 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Dover arriving the next day

15 March 1940 sailed from Dover to Portsmouth Harbour arriving the same day

17 March 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Dover arriving the next day

24 March 1940 sailed from Dover to Portsmouth Harbour arriving the next day

26 March 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Dover arriving the next day

7 April 1940 sailed from Dover to Portsmouth Harbour arriving the next day

9 April 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Dover arriving the same day

10 April 1940 sailed from Dover to Portsmouth Harbour arriving the next day

12 April 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Dover arriving the same day

14 April 1940 sailed from Dover to Portsmouth arriving the same day

15 April 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Dover arriving on 16 April 1940

17 April 1940 sailed from Dover to Portsmouth Harbour arriving the next day

22 April 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

26 April 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1 May 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

11 May 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

13 May 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

15 May 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

16 May 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

20 May 1940 bombed off Beachy Head and damaged - Chief Engineer Officer injured - discharged from ship

21 May 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

23 May 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

25 May 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

3 June 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

18 June 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

21 June 1940 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

25 June 1940 Captain Percivale H Brooke RFA appointed as Master

 BROOKE PERCIVAL HENRY

Captain Percivale H Brooke RFA

28 June 1940 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

25 October 1940 Mr William H A Lawson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO William H A LAWSON

Chief Engineer Officer William H A Lawson RFA

1941 Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA appointed as Master

Captain S C KERNICK

Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA
(early in his career)

18 April 1941 sailed Dartmouth for Belfast Lough arriving on 20 April 1941

20 April 1941 sailed Belfast Lough to Glasgow arriving on 3 May 1941

6 May 1941 to 27 May 1941 at Dartmouth

25 July 1941 sailed Dartmouth to Plymouth arriving the same day

28 July 1941 sailed Plymouth to Dartmouth arriving the same day

29 August 1941 Captain Thomas G Bennett MID RFA (Lieutenant Commander RN (ret)) appointed as Master

15 September 1941 Mr W E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

18 September 1941 at Dartmouth, Devon as 'harbour oiler' during bombing raid. Ship not hit but a lighter was sunk and numerous casualties ashore and one at BRNC

4 October 1941 sailed Dartmouth to Plymouth arriving the 6 October 1941

7 October 1941 sailed Plymouth to Dartmouth arriving the same day

12 February 1942 sailed Plymouth for Dartmouth then back to Plymouth again arriving on 15 February 1942

17 February 1942 sailed Plymouth to Dartmouth arriving the next day

9 March 1942 sailed Dartmouth to Plymouth arriving the same day

16 July 1942 sailed Dartmouth to Plymouth arriving the next day

18 September 1942 while moored close to the RN College suffered the effects of a German air raid. The air raid caused one coal hulk to sink, a collier and a ML to be damaged and Berta to report that diesel oil and fuel oil had contaminated each other and water was found to have contaminated both. Source Admiralty War Diary for this day

21 December 1942 Captain William H Green RFA appointed as Master

Captain WILLIAM HERBERT GREEN

Captain William H Green RFA

21 April 1943 Mr James Wade-Thomas RFA (Engineer Lieutenant Commander RNR (Ret)) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 28 April 1944

James Wade Thomas No 2

Chief Engineer Officer James Wade-Thomas RFA
courtesy of Jim Williams
 

22 August 1943 Captain Charles F Smith RFA appointed as Master until 26 August 1943 - placed on leave and discharged as medically unfit for further service

Captain Charles F Smith

Captain Charles F Smith RFA

3 September 1943 Captain Cecil R Rosen RFA appointed as Master until 25 November 1943 when he took command of RFA Echodale

Cecil R Rosen

Captain Cecil R Rosen RFA

14 October 1943  Mr Frederick O Brims RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 6 November 1943

4 December 1943 Captain Herbert W Flint RFA appointed as Master

20 January 1944 at Plymouth

11 February 1944 to 13 February 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 moored alongside

USS PC 552

USS PC 552

17 February 1944 to 19 February 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 moored alongside

6 March 1944 to 8 March 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 moored alongside

19 March 1944 to 21 March 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 moored alongside

23 March 1944 to 29 March 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 moored alongside

31 March 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 moored alongside

17 April 1944 to 18 April 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon with USS PC552 moored alongside

22 April 1944 to 25 April 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon with USS PC552 moored alongside

26 April 1944 to 27 April 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon with USS PC552 moored alongside. USS PC552 sailed to undertake convoy escort at 17:45hrs 27 April 1944

28 April 1944 Mr Graham W Martin RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 5 July 1944

CEO Graham Withy Martin

Chief Engineer Officer Graham W Martin RFA

28 April 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC552 returned from convoy escort duty and moored alongside until 30 April 1944

5 May 1944 to 8 May 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 moored alongside

26 May 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 619 moored alongside

1 June 1944 and 2 June 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC619 moored alongside

3 June 1944 at Dartmouth, Devon USS PC 552 and USS PC 619 moored alongside and refuelled

5 July 1944 at Falmouth

17 August 1944 at Carrick Roads, Falmouth  USS McCormick (DE223) moored alongside to be refuelled

16 December 1944 at Milford Haven USS Earl K Olsen (DE765) moored alongside to be refuelled

Earl K Olsen DE 765

USS Earl K Olsen DD765
(a post war image)
 

31 December 1944 at Milford Haven USS Dale W Peterson (DE337) moored alongside to be refuelled

8 January 1945 Mr James Wade-Thomas RFA (Engineer Lieutenant Commander RNR (Ret)) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer - serving as such until 19 June 1945

17 January 1945 at Milford Haven USS Gillette (DE681) and USS Henry R Kenyon (DE683) moored alongside to be refuelled

18 January 1945 at Milford Haven USS Gillette and USS Henry R Kenyon sailed from alongside for the Greenoch

1945 Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA appointed as Master

29 September 1945 ceased to be an RFA and returned to N.V. Curacaosche Scheepvaart Maatschappij, Willemstad as BERTA reverted to the Dutch Flag until 1954

1954 to 1961 ownership moved to Shell Tankers NV

2 February 1962 arrived Flushing for demolition by N.V. Simons Metalhandel

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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