RFA Celerol

Celerol_2

 

 

Official Number:                    140348

Class:                                  SECOND 2000t BELGOL CLASS Tanker

Pennant No:                         X  10 / X 16 / A 116

Laid down:
Builder:                                Short Brothers, Pallion
Launched:                             23 May 1917
Into Service:                         10 September 1917
Out of service:                      1958

Fate:                                    Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  There were ten ships in this Class, all Admiralty designed of which five were named after Allied countries while the other five were given names indicating power or speed, all with the OL suffix. Three of them, RFA’s FRANCOL, MONTENOL and SERBOL had upright funnels with a single tall mast close by, while the remainder had a raking funnel and two raking masts. During WW2 the mainmast was removed from these

 

23 March 1917 launched by Short Bros & Co Ltd, Sunderland as Yard Nr: 410 named CELEROL

10 June 1917 Engineer Lieutenant John P Howard RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO John P Howard

Engineer Lieutenant John P Howard RNR

1 September 1917 Lieutenant A Mills RNR appointed in command. He was discharged to hospital 4 October 1917. He was transferred from RFA THERMOL

10 September 1917 completed

RFA Celerol Dazzle painted

RFA CELEROL Dazzle Painted

September 1917 the Admiralty commenced censorship of mail from ships at the start of World War 1. Stamps showing an item had been censored were applied to the outside of the envelope

censor 2

8 October 1917 Fireman H Martin logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 8 September 1917

31 December 1917 Fireman F Janson logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 21 October 1917

3 January 1918 at Rosyth alongside HMS GALATEA refuelling her

HMS Galatea 1914

HMS GALATEA

20 February 1918 outbreak of fire in the stoke hold. Lieutenant Marshall F Woodward RNR exercised good judgement in handling of the ship during the fire (noted on his RNR record)

4 May 1918 Ordinary Seaman R Ibbs logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 1 September 1917

12 June 1918  Ordinary Seaman Arthur Fielder MMR 871663 discharged dead having died in South Queensferry Hospital. He had signed on on 8 March 1918. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the East London Cemetery, Plaistow, London and is remembered on a Screen Wall.

6 August 1918 Lieutenant Alexander McLean RNR appointed in command

31 August 1918 Leading Fireman Pat Harris logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 2 August 1918

20 September 1918 Able Seaman Jas Garnish MMR 866252 logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 11 April 1918

16 October 1918  Able Seaman W Wright MMR 942079 logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 27 April 1918. He returned to the ship on the 11 November 1918

1 November 1918 Greaser Herbert James Brown MMR 917607 discharged dead having died on H M Hospital Ship Garth Castle at Rosyth from influenza. He had signed on on 2 March 1918. He was buried in Dunfermline Cemetery, Fife, Scotland in grave ED 2581

Brown

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

 

1 November 1918 Greaser J Kearn MMR 880328 logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 30 December 1917

3 April 1919 Able Seaman  J H Kennedy was discharged as 'Incompetent'. He had signed on on the 8 March 1919

22 April 1919 Greaser John Joseph Jackson MMR 793976 logged as deserting from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 21 November 1917. He surrendered on 10 June 1919

J J Jackson

Greaser John Joseph Jackson MMR 793976

1 June 1919 north of Tromso, Norway  HM Monitor M33 came alongside to be refuelled - received 19 tons of FFO. HM Monitor M31 also came alongside to be refuelled

20 July 1919 at Tromso with HMS MANTIS berthed alongside to refuel 

hms mantis

HMS MANTIS

21 July 1919 at Tromso HMS MANTIS slipped

11 August 1919 at Tromso, Norway HMS EREBUS came alongside to be refueled with FFO - received 311 tons FFO

HMS EREBUS

HMS EREBUS

24 September 1919 at Tromso, Norway HM Monitor M24 came alongside to be refueled with FFO - received 2,000 gallons

2 October 1919 at Hammerfest, Norway HMS MANTIS secured alongside to refuel - received 25 tons

3 October 1919 at Tromso, Norway HM Monitor M33 came alongside to be refueled - received 33 tons of FFO

11 October 1919 at Tromso, Norway HM Monitor M31 moored alongside

9 November 1919 Ordinary Seaman Alfred Honsley MMR 962367 logged as deserting. He had signed on on 24 October 1919

12 November 1919 Captain Alexander McLean appointed as Master - previously been in command as Lieutenant RNR since 6 August 1918

24 November 1919 arrived at Riga and berthed alongside RFA FRANCOL

1 January 1920 anchored in Reval Roads, Estonia

5 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia AB Signalman J Wilson absent without leave

6 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia AB Signalman WIlson's absence reported to HMS DUNEDIN at 0600hrs.

6 January 1920 AB Signalman Wilson returned to the ship in custody by HMS DUNEDIN's shore patrol at 2230hrs

10 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia RFA WAR PATHAN came alongside and delivered stores. 

11 January at Reval, Estonia HMS STURDY and the FS Corvette Meuse alonside to be refuelled. 58 tons of FFO to HMS STURDY and 70 tons of FFO to FS Meuse

13 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia HMS DUNEDIN came alongside to be refuelled. 310 tons of FFO

16 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia HMS TURBULENT came alongside to be refuelled. 110 tons of FFO

17 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia - Estonia oil Lighter No 1 alongside asking for oil. On direction of HMS DUNEDIN provided with 250 tons of FFO

21 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia HMS GRENVILLE moored alongside from 0800 to 1145hrs

23 January 1920 at Reval, Estonia FS Ancre alongside to be refuelled. 92 tons FFO

24 January 1920 sailed Reval, Estonia to Latvia escorted by HMS DUNEDIN and HMS TURBULENT

26 January 1920 at Latvia moored alongside RFA FORTOL  - pump over of 572 tons FFO plus stores and 94 bags of coal

28 January 1920 cast off from RFA FORTOL and sailed Latvia to Copenhagen

29 January 1920 ran aground off Amager Island, Drogden Channel, Latvia - engines full astern failed to refloat the ship. A signal was sent to the SNO at Copenhagen asking for assistance.

30 January 1920 still aground - tanks sounded and water was found to be entering No 3 & 4 tanks and the ship bunkers. HMS GRENVILLE arrived to render assistance. With HMS GRENVILLE towing and the ships engine's at full astern the tow wires parted and the starboard fairleads, stantions etc carried away. HMS CALEDON arrived to render assistance. Tow wires parted on five seperate occasions and the ship was bumping heavily on the ground.

31 January 1920 Tug St Faith arrived. Ship suffering from ice on the upper decks. Working parties from HM ships in attendance  came onboard to clear the ice. The tow line from the tug St. Faith parted.

1 February 1920 a Danish tug and a Salvage ship arrived with additional equipment. Bower anchors set but all attempts to move the ship failed.

2 February 1920 Danish Salvage steamer Kattegat arrived with air compressors. Ship still aground

3 February 1920 forward pumproom flooded to the depth of 10 feet

4 February 1920 divers reported the ship was resting on rocks directly under No 5 tank and the aft pumproom

5 February 1920 compressors running continually, tugs still attempting to tow ship off the rocks. Divers inspected the hull again

6 February 1920 further work by the tugs and the ships engine going 'Full Astern' resulted at the ship being pull clear at 22:00hrs

7 February 1920 at 00:20hrs fire discovered in the steward's store forward. Fire party mustered and the fire extinguished. Sailed under own power to Copenhagen arriving at 15:45hrs, Air compressors still running on Tanks 1,2,3 and 4.

8 February 1920 moored alongside RFA WAR PATHAN for bunkers

9 February 1920 salvage vessel Kattegat still moored alongside

10 February 1920 and 11 February 1920 Board of Enquiry held on HMS GREENWICH into the stranding of the ship. The Master, 2nd Officer, 3rd Engineer, Signalman Wilson, AB Lewis and OS Caldicott called as witnesses

12 February 1920 alongside RFA FRANCOL for bunkers. Sailed from Copenhagen accompanied by RFA MIXOL to Rosyth

15 February 1920 while on passage to Rosyth the steering engine broke down. RFA MIXOL informed by W/T. Steering Engine repaired.

16 February 1920 steering engine breaks down again - repaired. Admiralty tug assists the ship into Rosyth Dockayrd

17 February 1920 Water Boat Flagon alongside and supplied 21 tons of water for the ships boilers and drinking use.

18 February 1920 Dockyard diving party examining damage to hull

22 February 1920 at anchor off Charlestown, Fife awaiting turn in dry dock

26 February 1920 at anchor off Charlestown, Fife - RFA ATTENDANT alongside to provide 90 tons FFO as bunkers

1 April 1920 Captain John H Jones RFA appointed as Master

3 August 1920 sailed Grangemouth for Rosyth

13 September 1920 sailed Grangemouth for Invergordon

18 October 1920 at Invergordon alongside HMS COVENTRY to refuel her

1 March 1921 Captain James D Ashworth RFA appointed as Master

Capt J D Ashworth

Captain James D Ashworth RFA

5 July 1921 Captain J Henderson RFA appointed as Master

January 1926 to 1934 in reserve at Rosyth

12 July 1934 sailed Grangemouth for Rosyth in ballast

1 February 1936 has paravanes fitted and the Admiralty wrote to the Grangemouth Dock Company who under took the work

 

letter2

Courtesy Falkirk Council Archives

 

30 October 1936 Captain John P Tugwood DSC RD RFA appointed as Master

Captain TUGWOOD JOHN PERCIVAL

Captain John P Tugwood DSC RD RFA

4 November 1936 HMS CHALLENGER, a survey ship whose boilers had collapsed was taken in tow from Port of Spain, Trinidad by RFA CELEROL to Bermuda

19 April 1937 at La Rochelle refuelling HMS's SHROPSHIRE and HOOD

28 June 1937 arrived at Plymouth from La Pallice

7 July 1937 sailed Plymouth

26 October 1937 assisted HMS SOUTHAMPTON to land 291 Spanish refugees at La Pallice, France and who had escaped from the Civil War in Spain on a Spanish trawler. The trawler - Maria Tero - had broken down and the refugees had not eaten for five days. Once landed RFA CELEROL refueled HMS SOUTHAMPTON

8 November 1937 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

12 November 1937 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

9 December 1937 sailed the River Tyne for Devonport

11 December 1937 berthed at Devonport

16 January 1938 sailed Plymouth for Gibraltar

20 January 1938 berthed at Gibraltar

6 February 1938 arrived at Libau, Baltic and anchored outside of the port

13 April 1938 arrived at Plymouth

21 September 1938 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard under the tow of two tugs sailing west

5 December 1938 arrived on the River Wear in ballast from Rosyth for refit

13 January 1939 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

7 August 1939 at Rosyth alongside HMS EDINBURGH refuelling her with 300 tons FFO

12 August 1939 at Grimsby Roads alongside HMS EDINBURGH refuelling her

31 August 1939 Acting Captain Frederick L Finch RFA appointed as Temporary Master

26 November 1939 Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA appointed as Master

21 December 1939 in refit at Cardiff which ended on 18 January 1940

4 May 1940 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS YORK refuelling her with 1,156 tons of FFO

18 May 1940 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS YORK refuelling her with 265 tons of FFO

24 May 1940 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS ARK ROYAL refuelling her

25 May 1940 cast off from HMS ARK ROYAL

23 June 1940 sailed Methil via Southend to Dover to discharge then to Sheerness arriving 5 July 1940

18 August 1940 was attacked by German aircraft NE of the Shingles buoy at Portland

5 September 1940 sailed Southend in Convoy FN273 to Methil arriving on 7 September 1940

9 September 1940 sailed Methil in Convoy OA 212 along with RFA WAR BHARATA to the Clyde arriving on 15 September 1940

1 October 1940 Captain Howard D Gausden RFA appointed as Master and Mr George T Beed RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

Captain Howard D GausdenCEO George T Beed

           Captain              Chief Engineer Officer
Howard D Gausden           George T Beed
RFA                              RFA
 

6 November 1940 in collision with ss Neuralia which had dragged her anchor while in the River Clyde at the Tail of the Bank between Greenock and Helensburgh. No blame attached to the Master of RFA CELEROL

18 December 1940 at Tail of the Bank alongside HMS PHOEBE refuelling her

30 January 1941 Mr Matthew Blair RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 January 1941 in refit on the Clyde through to 25 March 1941

8 April 1941 at Scapa Flow through to 28 April 1942

12 April 1941 conducted OAS trials at Scapa Flow with the cruiser HMS EXETER using a modified Stirrup Method and a 5-inch hose

16 April 1941 in collision with the battleship HMS PRINCE OF WALES at Scapa Flow

13 May 1941 Captain Edward Mills RFA appointed as Master

29 May 1941 undertook Trough Method trials of OAS with RFA BELGOL and destroyers

25 July 1941 undertook OAS trials at Scapa Flow with the cruiser HMS SHROPSHIRE during which she was towed by the cruiser

28 August 1941 Captain Leslie J Mack RFA appointed as Master

28 September 1941 at Scapa Flow Deck Hand/DEMS Gunner John Wilkinson discharged dead. 

28 November 1941 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS DUKE OF YORK refuelling her

13 January 1942 Captain William G Gilmore RFA appointed as Master

Captain William Gilmore

Captain William G Gilmore RFA

27 March 1942 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS FROBISHER refuelling her - supplied 382 tons of FFO

30 May 1942 sailed Methil in Convoy EN 91/2 to Oban arriving the next day

14 July 1942 sailed the Clyde independently to Loch Ewe arriving the next day

July 1942 on Fleet Attendant duties off Iceland

18 August 1942 at Hvalfjord, Iceland alongside HMS JAMAICA refuelling her with 421 tons of FFO

3 September 1942 at Hvalfjord alongside HMS DUKE OF YORK refuelling her with 300 tons of FFO

13 September 1942 ordered to prepare to proceed from Hvalfjord with the destroyer HMS BRAMHAM if additional oil was required to support Convoy PQ 17

20 October 1942 at Hvalfjord, Iceland alongside USS Melville (AD2)

26 October 1942 at Hvalfjord, Iceland alongside SS Ozark

28 October 1942 at Hvalfjord, Iceland alongside SS Sheldon Clark with HMS BARBRIDGE outside of her

8 December 1942 at Reykjavik, Iceland berthed alongside  USS Chateau Thierry (AP31) to refuel her - supplied 189,924 gallons

4 January 1943 in collision with the HNMS NAMSOS when proceeding in company from Akvreyri to Hvalfjordur. Damage to HNMS reported as being extensive and she proceeded to Isafjord - source NOB Iceland War Diary

10 February 1943 at Hvalfjord alongside HMS HOWE refuelling her. Cast off the next day.

26 February 1943 sailed Reykjavik in Convoy RU 63 to Loch Ewe arriving 2 March 1943

3 March 1943 sailed Loch Ewe in Convoy WN 399 to Methil arriving the next day

11 March 1943 in refit at Sunderland completed 8 April 1943

7 April 1943 Mr James E Hawthorn RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

    Image of CEO James HAWTHORN

Chief Engineer Officer James E Hawthorn EDA

 

12 April 1943 sailed Methil in Convoy EN 216/2 to Loch Ewe arriving 14 April 1943

3 May 1943 at Greenock

20 May 1943 sailed from the Clyde in Convoy KMS15 to Gibraltar arriving on 30 May 1943

9 June 1943 while at Gibraltar Third Officer Charles Petty-Major admitted to the Royal Naval Hospital

16 June 1943 sailed Gibraltar, along with RFA’s ABBEYDALE and BROWN RANGER, in Convoy KMS 16 and detached for Oran

24 June 1943 sailed Oran, along with RFA's CHERRYLEAF, NASPRITE and OLIGARCH in Convoy GTX 3 to Port Said arriving on 4 July 1943

31 July 1943 berthed at Birerte Harbour, Tunisia

29 August 1943 at Malta

4 September 1943 sailed from Malta in Convoy MKS24 to Bizerta arriving on 10 September 1943

29 September 1943 at Palermo

4 October 1943 until 7 February 1944 at Bizerta

19 February 1944 arrived at US base at La Goulette, S. France

10 May 1944 sailed Bizerta in Convoy KMS 49 to Malta along with RFA PRESTOL arriving the next day

20 July 1944 3rd Engineer Officer William Bushell discharged dead.  He is buried in Kalkara Royal Naval Cemetery, Malta - He served under the name of William Wilcock

 

Wilcock_WB

Image courtesy of British War Graves

 

29 July 1944 sailed Malta and joined Convoy GUS 47 to Bizerta arriving the next day

13 August 1944 sailed Maddalena carrying diesel and lubricating oil for Operation Anvil (later Operation Dragoon). She failed to find her allocated Convoy SM 2 and sailed unescorted to her assigned beachhead

15 August 1944 Took part in Operation Dragoon - the Allied invasion of the South of France - along with RFA’s DEWDALE (1), ENNERDALE (1) and NASPRITE

1 September 1944 in the Bay of St Tropez, France USS LCI(L) 557 alongside to refuel - received 3,000 gallons

5 September 1944 in the Bay of St Tropez, France USS Auk (AM57) alongside to refuel

uss auk

USS Auk (AM57)

6 September 1944 in the Bay of St Tropez, France USS PC 1174 alongside to refuel

14 September 1944 sailed from south of France in Convoy SRM 10 bound for Naples and detached to Ajaccio

23 September 1944 at the Gulf of Frejus, France USS LST 1012 alongside to refuel - supplied 38,000 gallons

28 September 1944 sailed Toulon in Convoy SRM 14 to Naples arriving 1 October 1944

9 October 1944 at Marseilles with USS LST53 alongside being refuelled - supplied 40,000 gallons

30 October 1944 sailed Marseilles independently to Toulon arriving the next day

31 October 1944 at Toulon with USS Benson (DD421) alongside to fuel

USS Benson DD 421 01

USS Benson (DD421)

2 November 1944 sailed Toulon independently to Naples arriving on 5 November 1944

6 November 1944 sailed Naples independently to Augusta arriving the next day

7 November 1944 sailed Augusta independently to Malta arriving the next day

26 November 1944 sailed Malta independently to Augusta arriving the next day

28 November 1944 sailed Augusta independently to Taranto arriving the next day

10 February 1945 sailed Ancona in Convoy HA 11/2 arrived Bari 11 February 1945 - detached to Taranto

28 February 1945 sailed Ancona in Convoy HA 16A/ arrived Bari 3 March 1945

16 March 1945 sailed Ancona in Convoy HA 19A/ arrived Bari the next day

1 April 1945 sailed Ancona in Convoy HA 25/2 and detached for Taranto

15 May 1945 sailed Gibraltar in convoy MKS101G to Liverpool in ballast arriving on 22 May 1945

21 July 1945 Captain Geoffrey B A Livesey RFA appointed as Master

 

G_B_A_Livesey

Captain Geoffrey B A Livesey RFA
as a Cadet with P&O in about 1920

 

6 September 1945 at Port Talbot

19 November 1945 from Barry arrived at Plymouth

23 November 1945 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

4 December 1945 while on passage from Devonport arrived at Port Said

10 December 1945 arrived at Aden

17 December 1945 arrived at Abadan from Devonport

21 February 1946 Mr Philip E Bassadona RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 March 1946 at Hong Kong

5 September 1946 at Hong Kong

14 October 1946 at Hong Kong medical aid required for a crew member - supplied from HMS BERMUDA

Celerol 1947

RFA CELEROL in March 1947

11 May 1947 at Gibraltar with defect in main thrust bearing - temporary repairs permitted ship to sail on 14 May 1947

3 June 1947 Captain E E Laurence RFA appointed as Master

11 June 1947 Mr J Hall RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 November 1947 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 November 1947 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

8 January 1948 sailed Saltend, Hull in balast for Invergordon

20 January 1948 arrived Jarrow Oil Wharf, River Tyne from Invergordon

21 January 1948 sailed the River Tyne for Invergordon

31 January 1948 arrived Jarrow Oil Wharf, River Tyne from Invergordon

5 February 1948 sailed Jarrow Oil Wharf, River Tyne for Invergordon

23 February 1948 arrived Jarrow Oil Wharf, River Tyne from Invergordon

24 February 1948 sailed River Tyne for Devonport

10 March 1948 Mr F Campbell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 February 1949 Captain Franklin G Edwards RFA appointed as Master

18 February 1949 entered Cambletown Harbour

19 February 1949 at Cambletown Harbour with HMS CROSSBOW and HMS BROADSWORD alongside being refuelled

26 September 1949 Captain Edward E A Le Sage RFA appointed as Master

 Captain EEA Le Sage

Captain Edward E A Le Sage RFA
taken early in his career at sea
 

30 January 1951 Captain John Mc Angus RFA appointed as Master

Capt John Mc Angus

Captain John Mc Angus RFA

2 May 1951 Captain Albert V Barton RFA appointed as Master

22 January 1952 at the Gareloch alongside HMS ZEEBRUGGE (an LST) refuelling her after she had been brough forward and commissioned from being laid up. 465 tons of FFO supplied

29 January 1952 at the Gareloch alongside HMS ZEEBRUGGE refuelling her. 1027 tons of FFO and 40 tons of diesel fuel supplied

8 April 1952 at the Gareloch alongside HMS TRACKER (also an LST) refuelling her after she had been brought forward and commissioned from being laid up

17 May 1952 Mr Victor J Cooney RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

10 October 1952 Captain H R Davies RFA appointed as Master

29 March 1953 laid up at Rosyth

June 1958 sold to BISCO for scrap

9 July 1958 arrived for breaking up at Rosyth by Shipbreaking Industries Ltd 

17 July 1958 transfered to Bo'ness for breaking up by P & W McClellan Ltd

17 July 1958 arrived for breaking up at Bo'ness

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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