RFA Broomdale

 Broomdale IWMxx

BROOMDALE 973xx

 

Official Number:                    165594

Class:                                   1st DALE CLASS Freighting Tanker

Pennant No:                         X 68 / B 508 / A168

Laid down:                           29 December 1936
Builder:                                 Harland & Wolff, Govan
Launched:                            2 September 1937
Into Service:                         3 November 1937
Out of service:                      December 1959
Fate:                                      Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  Originally there were to have been nineteen ships in this Class. The first six were purchased off the stocks fro the British Tanker Co Ltd whilst building at the instigation of the then Director of Stores, Sir William Gick, who was concerned at the age of the RFA Fleet and ships that were approaching the end of their economic lives. A further two ships were purchased from Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd for evaluation purposes. At the outbreak of WW2, a further eleven ships were acquired from the MoWT war programme although one of these, to have been named EPPINGDALE, which had been registered in London as EMPIRE GOLD on 21/02/43 and intended for transfer to the Admiralty for manning and management as an RFA and despite five Officers being appointed to her, the intended transfer was cancelled the following day and she thus never entered RFA service. Three of this Class were converted into LSG’s and were then reconverted back into tankers at the end of the War

 

11 August 1936 ordered by the British Tanker Company Ltd, London

2 September 1937 launched by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan as Yard Nr: 973 G named BROOMDALE for the Admiralty by Mrs Kell wife of Mr J C Kell, Assistant Director of Stores, Admiralty

Broomdale launched

RFA Broomdale being launched

3 November 1937 completed

19 January 1938 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

21 January 1938 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

4 February 1938 involved in collision with P&O cargo passenger ship 'Ruahine' at Glasgow while under going trials  - berthed at Greenock later for repairs

 Press report Broomdale

Press report from the Western Daily Press of 5 February 1938

16 February 1938 berthed at Gibraltar in ballast while on passage from Greenock to Abadan

5 July 1938 Mr Alexander Ballantyne RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

29 July 1938 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

31 July 1938 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

2 August 1938 arrived at Greenock

8 August 1938 sailed Greenock for Abadan

22 October 1938 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour from Abadan

25 October 1938 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour and passing the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard westbound the next day

28 October 1938 arrived at Glasgow from Portsmouth

16 November 1938 Captain Cyril F Cunningham RFA appointed as Master

Captain Cyril Frederick Cunningham

Captain Cyril F Cunningham RFA

17 December 1938 Captain Cecil R Rosen RFA appointed Master

15 April 1939 passed Gibraltar

20 July 1939 arrived on the River Tyne from Rosyth

31 July 1939 berthed at Wallsend Slipway

2 August 1939 at North Shields, River Tyne

4 August 1939 Captain John H Jones RFA appointed Master

Capt John H Jones

Captain John H Jones RFA

10 August 1939 arrived on the Tyne and berthed at North Eastern Marine's Yard sailing later the same day for trials

13 August 1939 anchored at Invergordon

18 August 1939 at Scapa Flow with HMS MATABELE alongside being refuelled

21 August 1939 at Scapa Flow with HMS's MATABELE and PUNJABI alongside being refuelled

15 September 1939 at Loch Ewe - HMS SHARPSHOOTER alongside to be refuelled

 

Sharpshooter

HMS SHARPSHOOTER

 

17 September 1939 at Loch Ewe with HMS MATABELE alongside being refuelled

HMS Matabele

HMS MATABELE

20 September 1939 at Loch Ewe with HMS MATABELE alongside being refuelled

2 October 1939 at 0935hrs 18 August 1939 at Scapa Flow with HMS MATABELE alongside being refuelled

3 October 1939 at Scapa Flow with HMS MATABELE alongside being refuelled 

28 November 1939 sailed the Clyde with RFA BIRCHOL (1) for Loch Ewe escorted by HMS's KINGFISHER and SHELLDRAKE

16 December 1939 escorted by HMS BRITOMART

28 December 1939 Captain Cecil R Rosen RFA appointed Master

5 January 1940 to 30 January 1940 at Scapa Flow

6 February 1940 HMS DISCOVERY II moored alongside to refuel and for an overnight berth

23 February 1940 HMS DISCOVERY II moored alongside to refuel and for an overnight berth

23 February 1940 at Scapa Flow to 3 May 1940

3 May 1940 sailed Scapa Flow to Harstad in Convoy HK1 arriving on 9 May 1940. The convoy, in addition, was composed of the tanker BRITISH GOVERNOR and steamers NARVA, ASIS CROMARTY FIRTH, EMILE JAVARY and the cable ship LASSO

16 May 1940 HMS COVENTRY secured alongside and the ship sustained damage from enemy bombing - one casualty - discharged to Hospital ship ATLANTIS for treatment and passage to the U.K. The ship was attacked by 4 dive bombers in quick succession, two very near misses holed her on the port side, though not severely. She was also machine gunned. It is believed these bombers were Junkers Ju.88's. By this time, H.M.S. COVENTRY's ammunition was very nearly expended - she sailed for Harstad

18 May 1940 HMS COVENTRY secured alongside again. Rear Admiral Anti Aircraft Ships reported in his war diary that only 6 of the crew, all officers, were on board. The Master and the remaining 35 officers and men were on shore and refusing to return to the ship. Later the Master and 30 of the officers and men returned to the ship. The ships cargo at the time amounted to 6,000 tons of oil fuel and 90,000 gallons of aviation petrol. HMS COVENTRY was refuelled

20 May 1940 sailed from Lavang Fiord for Harstad

23 May 1940 sailed with ss NARVA, ss META, ss CALUMET, ss MARINA and Norwegian ss CLIO from Harstad unescorted. 

20 June 1940 at the Clyde for repairs which started on 25 June 1940 

16 July 1940 at Greenock sailed for Trinidad arriving on 31 July 1940

23 August 1940 in the London Gazette of this day on page 5200 Chief Engineer Officer Alexander Ballantyne RFA was appointed an Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Second Engineer Officer William John Littledale RFA and 2nd Engineer Officer William Herbert Victor Davis RFA were both appointed as Members of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Un-gazetted awards of the Lloyd's Bravery Medal were made to each Officer

14 December 1940 refuelled the cruiser HMS CUMBERLAND at an anchorage in the South Atlantic

hms cumberland 2

HMS CUMBERLAND

22 December 1940 returned to the Falkland Islands to load more fuel

8 January 1941 transferred stocks of fuel to RFA ARNDALE off the River Plate

25 January 1941 arrived Curacao

28 January 1941 sailed Curacao

13 March 1941 arrived Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

22 April 1941 arrived Rio de Janeiro - sailed the next day

5 May 1941 arrived Trinidad

2 June 1941 sailed Trinidad to the Falklands Islands

6 July 1941 arrived Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

22 July 1941 arrived Montevideo 

1 September 1941 arrived Rio de Janeiro sailed two days later

3 October 1941 arrived Montevideo - sailed the next day for New Orleans, then Curacao then …

3 November 1941 arrived Trinidad sailed two days later for Curacao

8 November 1941 sailed Curacao

15 November 1941 arrived New Orleans

10 December 1941 sailed New Orleans

16 December 1941 arrived Curacao to load and sailed the next day

20 December 1941 arrived Trinidad

6 January 1942 sailed Trinidad

7 February 1942 arrived Montevideo

2 March 1942 sailed Montevideo to Cape Town arriving on 17 March 1942

April 1942 Mr William J Littledale MBE RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

LITTLEDALE WILLIAM JOHN

Chief Engineer Officer William J Littledale MBE RFA

18 April 1942 in port at Bombay and replenished carriers HMS FORMIDABLE and HMS INDOMITABLE with aviation fuel

June 1942 was allocated Fleet Attendant duties in the Seychelles, Ceylon and Bombay.

29 July 1942 sailed Colombo to Trincomalee in convoy JC3 along with RFA APPLELEAF(1) arriving on 31 July 1942

1 August 1942 sailed Trincomalee as part of one of three dummy convoys used in Operation Stab - a diversionary operation to invade the Andaman Islands and thus take attention away from the US invasion of Guadacanal . Sailed at 0400Z revered course at 1700Z back to Trincomalee. Also in this dummy convoy was RFA APPLELEAF (1) and two other merchant ships with RIN and RN escort ships

2 December 1942 sailed Colombo to Bombay in convoy MB19 arriving 7 December 1942. The convoy escort was HMS OVERDALE WYKE and HMS St ANTHONY. The convoy consisted of only two ships and Captain C R Rosen RFA was the Convoy Commodore

22 December 1942 sailed Bandar Abbas to Bombay in convoy PB18 arriving 28 December 1942

29 December 1942 sailed Bombay in Convoy BM 36

3 January 1943 detached from Convoy BM36 and arrived Colombo

4 January 1943 Captain Percivale H Brooke RFA appointed as Master

 BROOKE PERCIVAL HENRY

Captain Percivale H Brooke RFA

3 February 1943 sailed Colombo in Convoy C 42

7 February 1943 convoy C42 arrived Addu Atoll

9 February 1943 at Addu Atoll refuelled HMS QUEEN OF BERMUDA alongside

13 February 1943 sailed Addu Atoll

25 February 1943 arrived Abadan

3 March 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas in Convoy PB29 arriving Bombay 9 March 1943. The convoy commodore - Commodore Hare RNR - sailed as such in RFA BROOMDALE

16 March 1943 sailed Bombay in Convoy  BM46 (Bombay - Calcutta)

21 March 1943 detached from Convoy BM46 and arrived Colombo

24 March 1943 sailed Colombo in Convoy C45 escorted by HMS TULIP arrived Trincomalee on 26 March 1943

14 May 1943 Mr Henry S Edwards RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 EDWARDS HENRYSTANLEY

Chief Engineer Officer Henry S Edwards RFA

9 April 1943 sailed Trincomalee to Colombo arriving two days later

11 April 1943 sailed Colombo in Convoy MB32 arriving Bombay 16 April 1943

17 April 1943 sailed Bombay in Convoy BP76A arrived Bandar Abbas 21 April 1943

24 April 1943 arrived Abadan

26 April 1943 sailed Abadan to Bandar Abbas arriving 29 April 1943

4 May 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas in Convoy  PB39 to Bombay arriving 10 May 1943

5 July 1943 sailed Bombay in Convoy  BP86 arrived Bandar Abbas arriving 10 July 1943

15 July 1943 sailed Abadan to Bandar Abbas arriving 18 July 1943

22 July 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas in Convoy PB49 arriving Bombay 28 July 1943

30 July 1943 sailed Bombay in Convoy  BM58 arrived Colombo 4 August 1943

5 August 1943 sailed Colombo to Trincomalee arriving 7 August 1943

11 August 1943 sailed Trincomalee arrived Colombo 13 August 1943

19 August 1943 sailed Colombo in Convoy MB 44 arrived Bombay 24 August 1943

30 August 1943 sailed Bombay in Convoy  BP93 to Bandar Abbas arriving 10 September 1943

16 September 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas in Convoy PB56 arrived Bombay 21 September 1943

24 September 1943 sailed Bombay in Convoy BM67 to Colombo arriving 29 September 1943

1 October 1943 sailed Colombo in convoy JC24 arriving Trincomalee 4 October 1943

7 October 1943 sailed Trincomalee arriving Colombo 9 October 1943

25 October 1943 sailed Colombo for Bombay with escort

1 November 1943 sailed Bombay for Abadan arriving on 8 November 1943

9 November 1943 having loaded sailed Abadan for Bombay

19 November 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas in convoy PB64 arriving Bombay 26 November 1943

27 November 1943 sailed Bombay in convoy BM76 to Colombo

2 December 1943 arrived Colombo in convoy BM76 from Bombay

6 December 1943 sailed Colombo in convoy JC28A arriving Trincomalee on 9 December 1943

30 December 1943 under going repairs at Colombo  - completed 4 January 1944

6 January 1944 sailed Colombo for Addu Atoll in convoy CX15 arriving on 9 January 1944

16 January 1944 sailed Addu Atoll in convoy XC14 arriving Colombo on 19 January 1944

4 February 1944 sailed Colombo in convoy MB64 to Bombay arriving on 9 February 1944

14 April 1944 was slightly damaged when the ammunition ship Fort Stikine blew up in harbour at Bombay, India. One of her Lascar Ratings was injured

9 June 1944 sailed independently to Colombo arriving 12 June 1944

28 August 1944 accidentally torpedoed by HMS/m SEVERN in Trincomalee Harbour, Ceylon. The ship had two tanks damaged and lost a quantity of oil into the harbour. There was no fire but Pumpman Sk Hussain Sk Ali was discharged dead with head injuries.  Repairs took several months to complete before she could re-enter service.

Fitted with gantry posts and derricks for Replenishment at Sea. The first RFA to have conical tank heating coils.

 

RFA_Broomdale_RAS

 

22 October 1944 at Trincomalee

28 January 1945 sailed Trincomalee to Colombo arriving two days later

31 January 1945 sailed Colombo to Aden in convoy JA3/2 arriving 12 February 1945

16 February 1945 sailed Aden to Suez arriving 24 February 1945

25 February 1945 transitted the Suez Canal to Port Said arriving the next day

17 March 1945 sailed Port Said independently to Malta arriving 24 March 1945

28 March 1945 sailed Malta to Gibraltar independently arriving 3 April 1945

13 April 1945 sailed Gibraltar to Falmouth in Convoy XK22 arriving 20 April 1945

20 April 1945 sailed Falmouth to Milford Haven arriving the next day

21 April 1945 sailed Milford Haven arriving Glasgow 23 April 1945

23 April 1945 at Barclay Culre Elderslie for damage repairs until August 1945

17 July 1945 Captain Russell G Edmonds RFA appointed as Master

25 July 1945 Mr J B D Payne RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

20 August 1945 sailed the Clyde to Port Said independently arriving on 5 September 1945

30 September 1945 Able Seaman Raymond Harrison P/JX 701460 (DEMS gunner) discharged dead. He is buried in Seghill (Holy Trinity) Churchyard, Seghill, Northumberland in Section H3 Grave 32

9 November 1945 arrived Shanghai, China

14 November 1945 arrived Tokyo on Fleet Attendant duties

5 December 1945 at Yohohama with HMAS ARUNTA alongside being refuelled

14 December 1945 at Yohohama with HMAS ARUNTA alongside being refuelled

21 December 1945 sailed from Tokyo Bay for Shanghai, China

20 January 1946 at Shanghai, China Chief Steward John Sampson discharged dead - died of rabies in Hospital ashore

12 March 1946 sailed Hong Kong

2 June 1947 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

10 June 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard westbound

18 June 1947 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

18 July 1947 Mr George S G Russell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 

George_S_G_Russell

Chief Engineer Officer George S G Russell RFA

18 August 1947 in refit on the Clyde along with RFA's WAVE CHIEF, WAVE EMPEROR and WAVE PROTECTOR

14 March 1948 at 14.10N 42.43E Chief Engineer Officer George Strutherd Gunn Russell RFA discharged dead having been found missing and presumed lost overboard

19 March 1948 Mr N T Davies RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

16 July 1948 Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA (Temporary Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

 Captain E Sigwart

Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA

14 February 1949 sailed Trinidad for LEFO

23 June 1949 sailed Trinidad for LEFO

10 July 1949 Captain Cecil R Rosen OBE RFA appointed as Master

24 August 1949 arrived on the River Tyne from Sheerness berthing at Hebburn

13 September 1949 Mr William J Brown OBE DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 November 1949 sailed the River Tyne for Abadan

27 May 1950 berthed at Fremantle, Australia to discharge from Abadan

29 May 1950 sailed Fremantle, Australia to Colombo

8 November 1950 Mr Harold M Pearson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 Novmber 1950 arrived at Palmers Yard, River Tyne from Rosyth

19 December 1950 Captain Francis J King RFA appointed as Master

1 February 1951 arrived the River Tyne

16 April 1951 arrived at Palmers Yard, River Tyne from Rosyth

1 February 1952 Captain Leonard Elford RFA appointed as Master and Mr Harry F Duce DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

Captain Leonard Elford

Captain Leonard Elford RFA

 

13 July 1952 Mr A Ballantyne OBE RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 August 1952 Captain Thomas H Card OBE RFA appointed as Master

8 July 1952 Mr R E Davies RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

16 October 1953 berthed at Melbourne, Australia

19 October 1953 sailed Melbourne, Australia

22 December 1953 at sea at 50.01N 02.07.30W Radio Officer Jeffrey Barton Flick discharged dead - found missing presumed drowned

8 June 1954 Captain Robert Grimer DSC MID RFA appointed as Master

7 November 1955 Captain R G Edmonds RFA appointed as Master

14 July 1956 while under charter to Shell and flying the Red Ensign at Edgewater, New Jersey while discharging one Hong Kong Seaman jumped ship. The US Immigration fined the ship's agents on behalf of the Master $1,000 US for breach of the US Immigration Act

21 July 1956 Mr W Ditchburn RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 February 1958 Captain Albert  V Barton OBE RFA appointed as Master

6 March 1958 Mr W B Jones RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 July 1958 berthed at Auckland, New Zealand

1959 laid up at Devonport

20 October 1959 offered for sale 'as lying' at Devonport in the Times of this date

November 1959 sold to Messrs Deckers & Wirtz, Antwerp for scrap but was resold

2 January 1960 arrived Bruges, Belgium for breaking up by Van Heyghen Freres

 

Notes:

 

1. She was originally destined to be one of a Class of  what was to become 93 tankers over a 15 year period, the lead ship of this Class being launched at Newcastle as BRITISH FAME on 19 June 1936.

2. Was the first RFA to be fitted with a pair of gantry kingposts and  net defence derricks for OAS experiments. Later she became the first tanker to be fitted with conical heating coils in her cargo tanks.

3. Served with the British Pacific Fleet hence the B - pennant number.

Additional information

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