RFA Boxol

 

 

Previous name:
Subsequent name:                Portnall

Official Number:                    140335

Class:                                     SECOND 1000 t CREOSOL CLASS Harbour Oiler

Pennant No:                            X10 / A107

Laid down:                              
Builder:                                    Barclay Curle
Launched:                               12 July 1917
Into Service:                            September 1917
Out of service:                        1948 Sold - bought back into Service 1951
Fate:                                        Broken up 1959

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  On the outbreak of WW1, the Admiralty embarked on a further programme of tanker construction for the newly-formed RFA Service. Eventually there were eighteen ships in this Class, twelve of which were named after trees with the OL suffix, while the remainder had names connected with the oil industry also with the OL suffix. Four of the Class were diesel engined and were sold after the Armistice but the rest, being triple expansion steamers, had long and successful lives.

 

11 July 1917 Engineer Lieutenant John H Sharp RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

12 July 1917 launched by Barclay Curle & Co Ltd, Whiteinch as Yard Nr: 548 named BOXOL.

24 August 1917 Lieutenant William Clinton RNR appointed in command

27 September 1917 completed

20 October 1917 and 21 October 1917 off Greenock alongside HMS KNIGHT TEMPLAR to receive oil from her ballast tanks

 KNIGHT TEMPLAR 299

HMS Knight Templar after return to her owners

1 January 1918 Lieutenant  Frederick Stanley Browne RNR appointed in command

2 February 1918 at Glasgow alongside HMS DUKE OF EDINBURGH which supplied 270 tons FFO to the oiler

HMS Duke of Edinburgh

HMS DUKE OF EDINBURGH

7 August 1918 Lieutenant W Jones Williams RNR appointed in command

18 November 1918 Greaser Angus McIntyre MMR 778262 logged as deserting. He had signed on on the 8 August 1918

4 March 1919 Engineer Lieutenant W Rathbone RNR appointed Chief Engineer Officer. He was discharged to hospital on 7 March 1919

7 March 1919 sailed Glasgow for Malta but returned to land the Chief Engineer Officer (see above)

11 March 1919 Engineer Lieutenant Clifford N Ansell RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

12 March 1919 Greaser Charles Conlin MMR 891978 logged as deserting. He had signed on on 27 September 1917

12 March 1919 sailed Glasgow for Malta

14 May 1919 at Malta a fire broke out onboard

18 September 1919 at Malta alongside HMS CARDIFF to refuel her and HMS CERES to deliver Naval Stores

24 September 1919 Lieutenant Fred J. Sweeting RNR appointed in command. On 1 November 1919 the crew signed Board of Trade Articles and he became Master

2 October 1919 arrived at Pola and made fast to No: 32 buoy

3 October 1919 at Pola alongside HMS CARDIFF to refuel her

20 October 1919 at Pola alongside HMS CARDIFF to refuel her

23 December 1919 at Pola alongside HMS TORCH refuelling her with FFO

1 January 1921 Captain Frederick S Browne RFA appointed as Master

26 July 1921 Mr G A Calvert RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

2 November 1921 at Malta alongside HMS RENOWN to refuel her

8 June 1922 2nd Engineer Officer Sydney Samuel Clarke RFA discharged dead from a fractured skull.  He is buried in Kalkara Royal Naval Cemetery, Malta

 

Clarke_SS

Image courtesy of British War Graves with thanks

11 August 1922 at Malta Greaser S Spiteri discharged dead - natural causes. He died in the Royal Naval Hospital, Bighi

23 October 1922 at Malta alongside HMS DIOMEDE on No 13 buoy refuelling her

4 August 1923 Mr R Blacklock RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

10 August 1923 Captain J M Edwards RFA appointed as Master

22 November 1925 Mr P Greenwood RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 July 1926 Captain Robert S Jarvis RFA appointed as Master

20 November 1926 Mr Andrew C Fraser RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

16 October 1927 at Malta Able Seaman V Rizzo discharged dead - cerebral abscess (otitis)

11 December 1928 at Malta alongside HMS ENTERPRISE refueling her - 1,012 tons of FFO supplied

10 September 1929 Mr William S Ritchie RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO RITCHIE WILLIAM STORMONT

Chief Engineer Officer William S Ritchie RFA

29 August 1930 Captain Alfred L Jones RFA appointed as Master

1 September 1931 Mr John B Russell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 February 1932 Captain Harry W R Fowler RFA appointed as Master

Harry Fowler

Captain Harry W R Fowler RFA

26 July 1933 Mr Edward B Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 

E_B_Morton

Chief Engineer Officer Edward B Morton RFA

 

23 December 1933 Captain H M Sinclair RFA appointed as Master

26 July 1934 Captain John H Jones RFA appointed as Master

Capt John H Jones

Captain John H Jones RFA

5 July 1935 Captain R R Ferguson RFA appointed as Master and Mr J M Brown RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 July 1935 at Malta Fireman Girolamo Galea discharged dead from angina

13 August 1936 arrived at Malta from Haifa with HMS ARETHUSA

24 November 1936 Mr L T Tomlinson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 July 1938 Captain David A Rees RFA appointed as Master

Capt David Arthur Rees

Captain David A Rees RFA

26 September 1938 detailed as 'Guard Ship' at Ghajn Tuffieha, Malta

30 September 1938 at Malta alongside HMS MANCHESTER refuelling her - 940 tons FFO supplied

January 1939 Captain William W Peddle RFA appointed as Master

 

PEDDLE_WM_WALTER

Captain William W Peddle RFA

 

April 1939 Mr A Sharp RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

19 January 1940 and 20 January 1940 at Malta alongside HMS ILLUSTRIOUS to refuel

9 March 1940 & 10 March 1940 at Malta HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

24 May 1940 at Malta alongside HMS ARGUS refuelling her

2 September 1940 at the Dolphins, Grand Harbour, Malta longside HMAS's VAMPIRE and VENDETTA refuelling them

17 March 1941 Captain James Jolly RFA appointed as Master

6 November 1941 Mr C Scott RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 March 1942 Captain Alfred W Camamile RFA appointed as Master

March 1942 was severely damaged by near misses during an air attack at Malta

16/17 March 1942 salvaged 120 tons of fuel oil from the sunken Tribal class destroyer HMS MAORI

15 August 1942 used to discharge oil from the tanker Ohio which had arrived at Malta in Operation Pedestal

 

BOXOL_548

RFA Boxol alongside the tanker Ohio taking oil from her
to transfer it into the underground tanks in Malta

 

12 February 1943 Able Seaman Paul Saliba discharged dead from heart failure. He is remembered with pride on the Cross of Sacrifice in Pembroke Military Cemetery, Malta

 

Pembroke_Memorial_2

Saliba_P

Images courtesy of British War Graves with thanks

 

12 April 1943 Captain Arthur J D Gosney RFA appointed as Master

10 June 1943 at Malta with HMAS GAWLER alongside being refuelled

26 February 1944 was fouled by another vessel at Malta - details unknown

4 April 1944 at the outer harbour, Naples alongside USS Charles F Hughes (DD428) to refuel her 

26 April 1944 sailed Naples under escort to Malta arriving on 28 April 1944

24 July 1944 at Malta alongside USS Niblack (DD424) to refuel her

USS NIBLACK DD424

USS Niblack (DD424)

11 August 1944 at Grand Harbour, Malta alongside USS Herndon (DD638) and USS Shubrick (DD639) to refuel them

4 February 1945 at Slima Creek, Malta moved alongside USS MURPHY (DD603) to refuel her

19 April 1945 Captain C H Grainer RFA appointed as Master

8 July 1945 at Grand Harbour, Malta alongside HMS BELFAST to refuel her

18 September 1946 Mr S Turner RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

2 December 1946 Captain John MacAngus RFA appointed as Master

15 April 1948 sold out of service to Oscar Shipping Co. (Lykiardopulo), London. Replaced as harbour oiler at Malta by RFA Rowanol

19 June 1948 renamed PORTNALL by her owners

1951 reacquired by the Admiralty for service during the Korean War, was renamed Boxol and stationed at Gibraltar

25 September 1951 Captain Hubert G Carkeet RFA appointed as Master

3 October 1951 Mr R S Gilmour RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

July 1953 laid up at Pembroke Dock in company with RFA‘s LIMOL and PHILOL

2 September 1959 arrived at Rees, Llanelly for breaking up.

 

Notes:   Whilst serving at Malta during WW2 she was kept empty except when required for a fuelling operation, when she loaded from the underground tank

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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