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Delphinula 55 

Greatful thanks to Bill Rice for donating the lower image of RFA Delphinula 

 

Previous name:                        Buyo Maru

Official Nnmber:                       140285
                                                                      
Class:                                         Freighting Tanker

Pennant No:                              Y7.188

Laid down:                                 1907
Builder:                                       Armstrong, Whitworth, Newcastle
Launched:                                  19 December 1907
Into Service:                                1915

Out of service:                             1946

Fate:                                              Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  Purchased by the Admiralty from commercial owners, she was used for naval oil freighting duties, mainly on a run from Chatham to Bermuda with naval stores then down to Trinidad to load oil for U.K. bases. Was the sister ship of RFA LUCIGEN

 

19 December 1907  launched by Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle as Yard Nr: 804 for H.E. Moss & Co Ltd, Liverpool but was sold to Toyo Kisen Kabushika Kaisha, Yokohama and named BUYO MARU

February 1908 completed

1 March 1909 sailed Japan for San Francisco

28 May 1909 sailed Honolulu for San Francisco

10 February 1910 berthed at Noumea, New Caladonia with a cargo of 5,000 tons of coal to discharge - reported in the Sydney (NSW) Morning Herald

29 August 1910 berthed at Honolulu from Valparaiso

4 September 1910 sailed Honolulu for Yokohama

5 May 1911 sailed Yokohama for Honolulu but delayed by adverse weather 

19 May 1911 berthed at Honolulu from Yokohama for bunkers. This was the ships first voyage after the fitting of a wireless telegraphy instrument - reported at length in the Hawaiian Star newspaper

22 August 1911 berthed at Honolulu for bunkers while on a voyage from South America to Yokohama loaded with 600 tons of nitrate and carrying 2 first class, 9 second class and 171 steerage class passengers. Sailed 24 August 1911 - reported in the Hawaiian Star newspaper

17 February 1912 berthed at Honolulu to discharge 750 tons of nitrate. Sailed for Yokohama 20 February 1912

9 May 1912 arrived at Honolulu from Hong Kong sailing later the same day for Valpariso

15 August 1912 sailed Valparaiso for Hong Kong

11 February 1913 berthed at Honolulu to discharge 900 tons of nitrate and load bunkers

September 1913 grounded at Iwaki, Japan

1915 purchased by the Admiralty, placed under management of Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co  Ltd, London and was renamed DELPHINULA

27 April 1917 secured at Camber, Hong Kong

14 May 1917 off Sandakan, Borneo stopped by HMS CADMUS and boarded to confirm identity - allowed to proceed

HMS CADMUS

HMS CADMUS

2 November 1917 at sea Fireman Tung Lang Leung discharged dead - no reason given in records at the TNA

12 November 1917 off Perim stopped by HMS TOPAZE and boarded to confirm identity - allowed to proceed

2 August 1918 at Genoa Fireman Chey Tang discharged dead having drowned

24 August 1918 torpedoed by the German submarine U-63 (Kapitanleutnant Kurt Hartwig) - in the Mediterranean at 35.42N. 22.16E while on passage, in ballast, from Naples to Malta and then Milo in an escorted unnumbered convoy of eleven ships. The ship was damaged but there were no fatalities and she was able to reach Suda Bay, Crete under her own steam

13 October 1918 Able Seaman Ah Ping discharged dead from natural causes. He was buried in Suda Bay War Cemetery, Crete, Greece in grave X1 B 19

 

Ping-A-H

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

 

21 August 1919 arrived at Port Said

20 October 1919 at Constantinople Greaser Spirami Vella discharged dead - drowned

9 February 1920 arrived at Port Said from Constantinople

14 May 1920 called at Gibraltar from Alexandria for orders

9 June 1920 sailed Port Arthur, Texas for Devonport

2 July 1920 arrived at Portmouth from Texas

7 July 1920 sailed from Portsmouth for Port Arthur, Texas

1 August 1920 sailed Galveston, Texas for Sheerness with a cargo of 45,000 barrels of FFO - reported in the Galveston Daily News of the next day

25 August 1920 arrived at Sheerness from Houston, Texas

2 September 1920 sailed Sheerness for Houston, Texas

30 September 1920 sailed Galveston, Texas for Sheerness

21 October 1920 arrived at Portsmouth to discharge from Port Arthur

23 October 1920 sailed from Portsmouth

29 October 1920 berthed at Portsmouth

1 November 1920 sailed from Portsmouth

6 November 1920 sailed Portsmouth for Singapore

25 November 1920 arrived at Aden from Portsmouth

31 January 1921 Chief Cook and Baker George Albert Ernest Ettie discharged dead at Cape Town, South Africa - he is buried in Woltemade Cemetery, Cape Town, South Africa - he died of Cerebral Malaria

Ettie GeorgeChief Cook and Baker George A E Ettie

31 January 1921 at Cape Town, South Africa Chief Steward Alfred Russell discharged dead - cerebral malaria

1 April 1921 arrived at Suez from Abadan

2 April 1921 sailed Port Said for Portsmouth  

18 April 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

21 April 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

27 April 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 June 1921 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

30 June 1921 arrived at Port Said from Portsmouth when on passage to Abadan

7 July 1921 arrived at Aden from Portsmouth

22 August 1921 sailed Portsmouth for Port Arthur, Texas

13 September 1921 arrived at Port Arthur, Texas from Portsmouth

5 October 1921 at Halifax berthed alongside HMS CAMBRIAN and refuelled her

6 October 1921 at Halifax berthed alongside HMS CALCUTTA and refuelled her with 653 tons of FFO

7 October 1921 at Halifax berthed alongside HMS RALEIGH and refuelled her with 867 tons of FFO

1 November 1921 passed Bermuda while on passage to Devonport

14 November 1921 arrived at Devonport from Port Arthur, Texas

17 December 1921 sailed Portsmouth for Plymouth and then to Port Arthur, Texas

18 December 1921 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

30 December 1921 Seaman Walter James Anders discharged dead - accidental drowning. He was buried at sea

W ANDERS

Seaman Walter James Anders

5 February 1922 arrived Plymouth from Port Arthur, Texas

24 February 1922 sailed Plymouth for Port Arthur, Texas

25 March 1922 sailed Port Arthur, Texas for Devonport

17 April 1923 Mr Henry C Etty RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer. Previously served on RFA Turmoil (1)

CEO Henry Etty

Chief Engineer Officer Henry C Etty RFA

22 May 1924 Captain Frederick J Sweeting RFA appointed as Master

26 September 1924 berthed at Port Arthur to load

27 December 1924 berthed at Avonmouth

1 June 1925 sailed Trinidad for Curacao

3 June 1925 sailed Curacao for Devonport

7 August 1925 sailed Devonport for Malta

5 September 1925 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west bound

6 October 1925 Mr Frederick L Angus DSM RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

Frederick L Angus2

Chief Engineer Officer Frederick L Angus RFA

4 December 1925 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

8 December 1925 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

21 January 1926 at 5.27pm in the Firth of Clyde off Cloch Point while in ballast from Old Kilpatrick to Trinidad was involved in a collision with ss Belfri. Delphinula suffered damage to the starboard bow between the hawse pipe to the break of the forecastle all above the water line. She proceeded up river to Rothesay Dock for survey. The collision later became the subject of High Court action on 15 June 1926 and this was reported in Lloyds List Law reports

25 July 1926 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

27 September 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1 October 1926 sailed from the Oil Fuel Jetty, Gosport

15 October 1926 sailed Falmouth for Bermuda

20 November 1926 Captain John B Hurst RFA appointed as Master until 8 December 1926

4 December 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1 December 1926 berthed at Invergordon to discharge cargo

7 December 1926 & 8 December 1926 berthed at the Oil Fuel Jetty, Gosport

9 December 1926 Captain Wm Alfred Wooster RFA appointed as Master

William Alfred WOOSTER

Captain Wm Alfred Wooster RFA

14 December 1926 Mr Leonard A Sharp RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

SHARP LEONARD ARMSTRONG

Chief Engineer Officer Leonard A Sharp RFA

14 December 1926 sailed Portsmouth for Kingston, Jamaica arriving on 29 December 1926

7 February 1927 berthed at Tai-o-hae Bay, Nukahiva, Marquesas Islands to await the arrival and then replenish the battlecruiser HMS RENOWN with the Duke & Duchess of York onboard

10 February 1927 sailed Marquesas Islands for Trinidad

24 May 1927 sailed Sierra Leone for Trinidad

2 July 1927 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

6 July 1927 in Dry Dock 9 at Portsmouth Harbour

31 August 1927 at Trinidad

6 September 1927 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

30 September 1927 sailed Portland, Dorset for Trinidad

24 April 1928 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

1 August 1928 Mr John B Russell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

17 October 1928 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour 

18 October 1928 Captain Wm Alfred Wooster RFA appointed as Master

27 October 1928 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

14 January 1929 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

28 May 1929 berthed from Portsmouth Harbour

1 June 1929 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

9 September 1929 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

12 September 1929 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

12 December 1929 Mr Ernest K Horsley RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Ernest K Horsley

Chief Engineer Officer Ernest K Horsley RFA

15 March 1930 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

2 April 1930 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

28 April 1930 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

14 May 1930 berthed at Trinidad

3 June 1930 passed Dover having sailed from Devonport

20 June 1930 sailed Sheerness for Trinidad

8 July 1930 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

8 September 1930 sailed Trinidad

3 October 1930 arrived Plymouth Sound

4 October 1930 berthed at the South Yard, Devonport Dockyard for a refit

25 October 1930 at Devonport in refit together with RFA WAR KRISHNA

17 November 1930 Captain William H Green RFA appointed as Master

Captain WILLIAM HERBERT GREEN

Captain William H Green RFA

10 January 1931 arrived at Devonport from the Old Kilpatrick Admiralty Oil Fuel Depot on the River Clyde

26 March 1931 passed Gibraltar for Port Said

2 April 1931 while on passage to Abadan arrived Port Said

12 July 1931 sailed Plymouth for Trinidad

28 July 1931 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

9 October 1931 was at Plymouth

16 November 1931 Captain William H Green RFA appointed as Master

1 December 1931 sailed Plymouth for Trinidad

14 January 1932 arrived at Milford Haven

16 January 1932 Mr Ernest K Horsley RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

12 May 1932 berthed at Milford Haven

19 May 1932 Mr W Maybray RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 June 1932 sailed Trinidad to Devonport

9 November 1932 arrived at Bermuda from Chatham

16 December 1932 radioed she was 1,400 miles SW of Valentia while on passage to Devonport

30 December 1932 berthed at Rosyth

6 March 1933 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

23 May 1933 Captain William H Green RFA appointed as Master

1 June 1933 Captain William J Shipton RFA appointed as Master

Captain William J Shipton

Captain William J Shipton RFA

20 September 1933 arrived Port Said from Sheerness

27 October 1933 arrived at Port Said

5 November 1933 while on passage to Devonport passed Gibraltar this day

26 December 1933 arrived at Glasgow

6 February 1934 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

22 March 1934 arrived at Sunderland from Chatham in ballast

24 March 1934 in dry dock at T W Greenwell & Co Ltd., Sunderland during refit

3 April 1934 berthed at Kilingholme

13 May 1934 berthed at Grangemouth

19 May 1934 berthed in Portsmouth Harbour

24 May 1934 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

20 August 1934 Mr Albert Nicholls RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

NICHOLLS ALBERT

Chief Engineer Officer Albert Nicholls RFA

13 September 1934 berthed at Trinidad

5 October 1934 arrived at Sierra Leone from Trinidad

9 October 1934 sailed Sierra Leone for Trinidad

7 January 1935 arrived at Sunderland for repairs from Rosyth in ballast. RFA OLNA (1) was in refit at the same time at the same ship yard

12 January 1935 sailed from the River Wear

15 January 1935 arrived at Plymouth sailing the next day

30 January 1935 arrived at Port Said from Plymouth

21 March 1935 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

4 March 1935 arrived at Suez from Abadan

25 March 1935 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 July 1935 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

15 August 1935 arrived at the River Wear from Invergordon in ballast

16 August 1935 at Greenwell's Dock, Sunderland

23 August 1935 sailed the River Wear for Sheerness in ballast

16 October 1935 sailed Curacao

4 November 1935 arrived on the River Clyde

11 November 1935 sailed the River Clyde

20 February 1936 arrived at Plymouth Sound

27 February 1936 berthed at Gibraltar from Devonport delivering Naval Stores for the NSO

1936 the management contract was terminated and she was withdrawn from service

9 December 1939 sailed the Clyde independently to Liverpool arriving on 11 December 1939

12 December 1939 sailed Liverpool in convoy OB52 until it dispersed on 17 December 1939 and then sailed independently to Houston, Texas arriving on 4 January 1940

8 January 1940 sailed Houston independently to Halifax arriving on 17 January 1940

20 January 1940 sailed Halifax in convoy HXF17 to the Downs arriving on 1 February 1940

10 February 1940 sailed Southend in convoy OA89 until the Convoy dispersed on 13 February 1940 and then sailed independlently to New York arriving on 27 February 1940

3 March 1940 sailed New York independently to Halifax arriving 6 March 1940

9 March 1940 sailed Halifax in convoy HX26 to Liverpool arriving on 26 March 1940

6 April 1940 sailed Liverpool in convoy OB124 until the Convoy dispersed on 10 April 1940 and then sailed independently to New York arriving on 20 April 1940 

25 April 1940 sailed New York independently to Philadelphia arriving on the same day

29 April 1940 sailed Philadelphia independently to Halifax arriving on 3 May 1940

4 May 1940 sailed Halifax in convoy HX40 to Weymouth Bay arriving on 18 May 1940

20 May 1940 sailed Weymouth Bay independently to Southend arriving the next day

10 Jun 1940 sailed Southend in convoy OA165 until it dispersed on 12 June 1940 and then sailed independently to Port Arthur arriving on 29 June 1940

6 July 1940 sailed Port Arthur independently to Bermuda arriving on 12 July 1940

14 July 1940 sailed Bermuda in convoy BHX58 to Halifax and joining convoy HX58 to Methil Roads arriving on 31 July 1940

1 August 1940 sailed Methil Roads in convoy MT127 to the River Tyne arriving the same day

2 August 1940 sailed River Tyne in convoy FS239 to Southend arriving the next day

11 August 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 249 to the River Tyne arriving the next day

22 August 1940 sailed the River Tyne in convoy FN259 to Methil arriving the next day

12 March 1941 at Liverpool damaged by German bombing

 

Copy_of_delphin

RFA Delphinula as a hulk alongside the detached mole in Gibraltar during World War 2

Became a fuel hulk alongside the Detached Mole at Gibraltar where she remain through out the rest of World War 2 

19 July 1941 at 25 berth Gibraltar with HMAS NESTOR alongside being refuelled

8 November 1946 sold for £10,000 to Spanish breakers

13 September 1947 arrived under her own steam at Pasajes, Spain for breaking up

Notes: -

Source - (1) Gibraltar Chronicle

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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