Buenos Aires before entering service as RFA Demeter


Previous name:                      Buenos Aires
Subsequent name:                                                                          

Class:                                   Stores Issuing Hulk

Pennant No:

Laid down:
Builder:                                  Gotaverken, Gothenburg, Sweden
Launched:                              1919

Into Service:                           17 November 1941
Out of service:                         About 1946
Fate:                                      Broken up at Antwerp February 1950


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  She was originally built as a cargo / passenger liner for her owners’ American trade. After her purchase by the Admiralty the Liverpool firm of Grayson, Rollo & Co built a platform over the engine and mounted a donkey boiler and auxiliaries on it. She was then towed to Scapa Flow where she was moored near Lyness and acted as a naval and victualling stores issuing hulk until the end of the War. Was named after DEMETER, the Goddess of Agriculture ( also known as CERES) who was the daughter of  SATURN and RHEA

Launched by Gotaverken Aktiebolaget, Gothenburg as Yard Nr 349 named BUENOS AIRES for Rederiaktiebolaget Nordstjernen ( A.A. Johnson, Managers) Stockholm

18 January 1920 delivered incomplete owing to a strike

19 February 1921 sailed New York loaded with a cargo of wheat

17 March 1921 berthed on the Thames from Canada with a cargo of wheat

12 January 1937 ran aground 25 miles south of La Libertad, San Salvador while on passage from Kotka and Antwerp to Vancouver. The salvage tug Favourite sailed from Panama (reported in the Times)

5 April 1940 sailed Trinidad independently to Rio de Janeiro arriving 19 April 1940

20 April 1940 sailed Rio de Janairo independently to Santos arriving 21 April 1940

28 April 1940 sailed Santos independently to Bueno Aires arriving 2 May 1940

3 July 1940 sailed Bueno Aires independently to Freetown, Sierra Leone arriving 20 July 1940

2 August 1940 sailed Freetown, Sierra Leone in Convoy SL 42 to Liverpool arriving 22 August 1940 

3 September 1940 arrived at Grangemouth in tow

11 September 1940 sailed Liverpool in Convoy OB 212. This convoy dispersed at 53.30N 20.42W on 16 September 1940 and she then sailed independently to New Orleans arriving 2 October 1940

24 October 1940 sailed New Orleans independently to Bermuda arriving 1 November 1940

3 November 1940 sailed Bernuda in Convoy BHX.86 but returned to Bermuda arriving on 8 November 1940 on the orders of the Convoy Commodore

10 November 1940 sailed Bermuda independently to Halifax arriving on 13 November 1940

14 November 1940 sailed Halifax in Convoy HX 88 to Liverpool arriving on 30 November 1940

31 December 1940 struck a mine at the entrance to the River Mersey. Her engine bedplate was badly cracked and her engines were damaged. She was towed into Liverpool where she was condemned

12 March 1941 was bombed and damaged during an air raid whilst lying at Liverpool

June 1941 purchased by the Admiralty for conversion for service as a stores issuing hulk at Scapa Flow.

17 November 1941 to 25 July 1945 RFA crewed

17 November 1941 Mr I A Sharp RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 November 1941 Captain Frank J Delamotte RFA appointed as Master

17 October 1942 renamed Demeter

20 May 1943 Mr I A Sharp RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 August 1943 Captain Thomas G Bennett MID RFA (Lieut-Commander RN (rtd)) appointed as Master until 23 April 1945 when he retired from the RFA

14 September 1944 Mr Matthew Blair RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 September 1945 sailed under tow from Lyness to Crombie arriving on 2 September 1945 and then to Grangemouth arriving the same day

3 September 1945 sailed Grangemouth under tow

November 1945 became an ammunition hulk at Crombie

26 November 1945 the Dundee Evening news reported that ...

Press Report Demeter 16 Nov 1945

1 November 1947 Cabin Boy Hamish David Barrie discharged dead. He is buried at Perth (Wellshill) Cemetery in Sec. K. Parochial 2 Div. Grave 113



Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project


1949 on the Disposal List at Rosyth

30 January 1950 sold to Belgian breakers

4 February 1950 sailed Rosyth in tow for breaking up at Antwerp


Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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