RFA Dingledale



Subsequent name:                   Royaumont

Official Number:                       168204                                                                

Class:                                     1st DALE CLASS Freighting Tanker

Pennant No:                            Y7.44 / X 44 / B 511 / A144

Laid down:                              11 December 1939
Builder:                                    Harland & Wool (Govan)
Launched:                               27 March 1941
Into Service:                            September 1941
Out of service:                         Sold out of service 1959
Fate:                                         Broken up 1967


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  Originally there were to have been 19 ships in this Class. The first 6 were purchased off the stocks from 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 2 ships were purchased from Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd for evaluation purposes. At the outbreak of WW2, a further 11 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 5 Officers being appointed to her, the intended transfer was cancelled the following day and she thus never entered RFA service. 3 of this Class were converted into LSG’s and were then reconverted back into tankers at the end of the War.


27 March 1941 launched by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan as Yard Nr 1044 G named  DINGLEDALE for the MoWT and originally intended for management by Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd, London

15 August 1941 Mr M N Carlyle RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

29 August 1941 Captain Robert T Duthie FRGS FRAS RFA appointed as Master

Captain Robert Duthie

Captain Robert T Duthie FRGS FRAS RFA

10 September 1941 completed and placed under management of Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London.

18 September 1941 sailed from the Clyde joining Liverpool convoy ON 17. The convoy dispersed at 47°28N 40°57W and the ship arrived at Curaçao on 9 October 1941

11 October 1941 sailed Curaçao independently to Gibraltar arriving 28 October 1941 under the escort of the corvettes HMS AZALEA and HMS SPIRAEA which had deployed from Bathhurst to escort the tanker

7 November 1941 escorted by a Catalina Flying Boat from 202 Squadron Royal Air Force from dawn to dusk at 6°40N 8°50W - source Admiralty War Diary

19 November 1941 at 34°05N, 25°50W RASed with HMS's FURY, FORESTER and FORESIGHT 

25 November 1941 arrived at Gibraltar under the RN escort of HMS/m Clyde and the corvettes HMS JONQUIL and HMS COREOPSIS

16 January 1942 RASed with HMS's WESTCOTT, EXMOOR and CROOME and then returned to Gibraltar

20 January 1942 sailed from Gibraltar to support Royal Naval units in the Atlantic to 33°N 22°W which had deployed when it was suspected German heavy naval units had broken out. Sailed under the escort of the corvettes HMS GERANIUM, HMS SPIRAEA, and HMS/m CLYDE

22 January 1942  to 2 February 1942 undertook OAS trials with the cruiser HMS HERMIONE in the North Atlantic using the modified stirrup method

27 January 1942 HMS/m REGENT broke down in the Atlantic but reached Ponta Delgada, Azores. Dingledale was diverted with lubricating oil and the submarine was able to resume patrol on 2 February 1942. Dingledale also refuelled the light cruiser HMS HERMIONE  while in Ponta Delgada.

28 January 1942 HM destroyers CROOME, EXMOOR and WESTCOTT sailed Gibraltar to refuel from the oiler on their way to escort the damaged troopship LLANGIBBY CASTLE  from Horta in the Azores

29 January 1942 reported in the Admiralty War Diary (Page 855) of this day: -

War Dairy DingledaleWar Diary Dingledale 2





30 January 1942 RASed with Dido Class Cruiser HMS HERMIONE in the Atlantic being escorted by HMS/m Clyde

Stern RAs HMS Hermonie and Dingledale 2

Sailors on HMS Hermione hauling in the fuel hose from RFA Dingledale
© IWM (A 7344)

Stern RAS Dingledale and Hermonie 30 Jan 1942

RASing with HMS HERMIONE in the Atlantic
© IWM (A 7341)

13 February 1942 arrived Gibraltar with HM corvettes GERANIUM and VETCH and HMS/m CLYDE

17 February 1942 allocated to Force R for Operation Pedestal - a Malta Supply Convoy - along with  RFA BROWN RANGER

4 August 1942 sailed Gibraltar for Oiling at Sea exercies and escorted by HMS's ITHURIEL, WESTCOTT, and VIDETTE. Returned to Gibraltar the same day

6 August 1942 sailed Gibraltar for further Oiling at Sea exercies and escorted by HMS's ITHURIEL, WESTCOTT, and VIDETTE

9 August 1942 sailed Gibraltar along with RFA BROWN RANGER and under close escort of the corvettes HM ships COLTSFOOT, GERANIUM, JONQUIL and SPIRAEA for Operation Pedestal.  RFA ABBEYDALE was also part of this Convoy to Malta

10 August 1942 to 15 August 1942 along with RFA BROWN RANGER she refuelled 26 destroyers and 3 cruisers, one being HMS CAIRO, during Operation Pedestal



11 August 1942 RAS'ed with HMS LEDBURY and supplied 101 tons of FFO

HMS Ledbury


12 August 1942 pump over with RFA BROWN RANGER - 1,000 tons of FFO supplied

16 August 1942 arrived at Gibraltar with RFA BROWN RANGER and escorted by HMS's JONQUIL, GERANIUM, COLTSFOOT, SPIRAEA, JAUNTY after refuelling operations during Operation Pedestal

13 September 1942 suffered a fire in the bridge, chartroom and radio room. Suspected arson

24 September 1942 Captain Donald B C Ralph DSC RFA appointed as Master

30 October 1942 sailed Gibraltar along with RFA BROWN RANGER for oiling at sea exercises escorted by HMS's BOADICEA, PENN, PANTHER, and LOOKOUT. Exercises were with 'Force M - which consisted of HMS's FURIOUS, AURORA, CHARYBDIS, WESTCOTT, WISHART, COWDRAY, BRAMHAM, ACHATES, VANOC, VERITY, and O.R.P BLYSKAWICA  returning to Gibraltar on completion

5 November 1942 with RFA BROWN RANGER sailed Gibraltar as Force R to support Force H during Operation Torch- the Allied landings in French North Africa. Other RFA’s involved were RFA’ ABBEYDALE, DERWENTDALE (1), DEWDALE (1)  ENNERDALE (1), NASPRITE and VISCOL. Was awarded the North Africa 1942- 43 Battle Honour



During the Allied Invasion of North Africa HMS Argonaut approaching
RFA Dingledale to refuel 
Copyright IWM


8 November 1942 joined convoy KMS 3G with RFA BROWN RANGER

10 November 1942 in the London Gazette of this day on page 4879 Captain Donald B C Ralph DSC RFA was awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service Cross

13 November 1942 was the target of a German Submarine U431(Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Dommes) torpedo attack at 37°21'00"N  02°10'00"E - the torpedo missed

21 November 1942 sailed Gibraltar with RFA BROWN RANGER escorted by HMS's VENOMOUS, WIVERN, VERITY, ENCHANTRESS, FLEETWOOD, COREOPSIS, JONQUIL, BRIXHAM, and POLRUAN to rendezvous with Convoy KMS 3 and subsequently to escort the convoy to Oran and Algiers

25 November 1942 arrived at Algiers in convoy KMS3G with RFA BROWN RANGER which had joined at Bone

26 November 1942 Mr David L S Hood DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 Novenver 1942 in the London Gazette of this day Captain Robert T Duthie RFGS FRAS RFA was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross

6 December 1942 sailed Algiers in convoy MKS 3X along with RFA ABBEYDALE to Oran arriving the next day

9 December 1942 sailed Gibraltar

22 December 1942 arrived Oran

29 December 1942 sailed Oran

2 January 1943 sailed Bone under RN escort to Algiers arriving the next day

8 January 1943 sailed Algiers

9 February 1943 sailed Gibraltar to Algiers arriving 12 February 1943

27 February 1942 sailed Algiers 

2 March 1943 arrived Gibraltar

25 March 1943 sailed Oran

22 April 1943 sailed Phillipville, N.E. Algeria (now called Skikda) in ballast

23 April 1943 arrived Gibraltar

2 May 1943 sailed Gibraltar in ballast in convoy MKS012 arriving the Clyde 14 May 1943

4 May 1943 convoy MKS12 merged with Convoy SL128 

22 May 1943 sustained slight damage after grounding on the Clyde

7 June 1943 Captain Stanley G Kent OBE RFA appointed as Master

4 July 1943 sailed in Liverpool convoy OS51KM as Escort Oiler to Freetown arriving 23 July 1943

25 July 1943 sailed Freetown in convoy ST73

28 July 1943 convoy ST73 arrived at Takoradi

1 August 1943 sailed Lagos in Convoy LM 2

5 August 1943 arrived at Pointe Noire with SS Empire Cadet escorted by HMS's Swale and Bellwort - Source - Admiralty War Diary of this day

17 August 1943 sailed with SS Empire Cadet from Pointe Noire at 0800Z escorted by HMS's Swale, Bellwort and HMML's 244 and 247 to Lagos. Source - Admiralty War Diary of this day

21 August 1943 arrived back in Lagos

2 September 1943 sailed Lagos in convoy LGW1 to Takoradi arriving 4 September 1943

8 September 1943 sailed Takoradi

12 September 1943 arrived Freetown

22 September 1943 Able Seaman William Thomas Alfred Drew and Able Seaman/DEMS Gunner William Charles Leban both discharged dead by accidental drowning. They are buried in Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery in Grave 5 E 11 and 10 respectively

Drew WTALaban WC

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

Between 22 October 1943 and 17 November 1943 with RFA BROWN RANGER in Force 'R' at Operation Torch - Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham GCB DSO Commander in Chief, Mediterranean described Dingledale as having done 'yeoman service'

24 November 1943 and 25 November 1943 at Freetown, Sierra Leone with USS Hall (DD583) moored alongside to starboard. USS Macomb (DD458) was moored alongside to port and USS Halligan (DD584) was moored outboard of USS Hall. Details from USS Hall's war diary. Refuelled USS Halligan (DD584)

8 December 1943 at Freetown, Sierra Leone alongside USS Moffett (DL362) to refuel her

9 December 1943 at Freetown, Sierra Leone alongside USS Milwaukee (CL5) refuelling her with AVGAS. On completion of refuelling sailed Freetown

21 December 1943 at Freetown, Sierra Leone  USS Davis (DD937) moored alongside starboard side - source US ship's war diary

22 March 1944 sailed Freetown in convoy SL153 to Bathurst arriving 25 March 1944

27 March 1944 sailed Bathurst to Dakar arriving the next day. Involved in a slight collision with MV Nigerstrom - slight damage but sailing abilty of both ships not impaired - Source Admiralty War Diary of this day

23 April 1944 sailed Dakar in convoy OS73 to Freetown arriving 25 April 1944

25 August 1944 sailed Freetown to Dakar arriving on 28 August 1944

11 September 1944 sailed Dakar and joined convoy SL170 to the Clyde arriving 26 September 1944

17 October 1944 Captain Ernest V Blyth RFA appointed as Master

Captain Ernest V Blyth

Captain Ernest V Blyth RFA

21 December 1944 sailed the Clyde to Loch Ewe arriving 23 December 1944

6 January 1945 sailed Scapa Flow to Loch Ewe and then to Belfast Lough arriving 8 January 1945

8 January 1945 sailed Belfast Lough and joined convoy ON 277 in ballast. Convoy enroute to New York. RFA DINGLEDALE bound for Curacao parted company and sailed independently on 16 January 1945 at 44 45N 40 30W arriving on 26 January 1945

28 January 1945 sailed Curacao independently arrived at Cristobal 31 January 1945

1 February 1945 Panama Canal in transit

2 February 1945 sailed Balboa independently to Manus, Adminralty Islands arriving on 6 March 1945

19 March 1945 sailed Manus to Leyte arriving 26 March 1945

29 March 1945 from Leyte together with RFA ARNDALE escorted to area 'Midge' by HMAS PIRIE

18 April 1945 at 19.39N 124.48E HMS BLACK PRINCE RAS'ed astern.

19 April 1945 HMAS NAPIER refuelled alongside

10 May 1945 as part of the Logistic Support Group TF112 together with RFA ARNDALE and MV AASE MAERSK and MV SAN AMADO, tug WEASEL, and HMS's RULER and STRIKER and escorted by HMS's NEPAL, CRANE, PHEASANT and WOODCOCK and HMAS's WHYALLA and BALLARAT in area COOTIE ONE refuelling TF57

12 May 1945 HMS WOODCOCK provided air defence for HMS SPEAKER, HMS RULER, tankers RFA ARNDALE, AASE MARSK, SAN AMADO and RFA DINGLEDALE, with destroyer HMAS NEPAL, sloop HMS PHEASANT and Royal Australian Navy minesweepers.

14 May 1945 refuelled HMAS NAPIER

15 May 1945 with Fleet Train in Area COOTIE RASing BPF ships with RN Frigates HMS's WOODCOCK,  PHEASANT, HMAS NIZAM, HMS's RULER and STRIKER for defence of Fleet Train tankers RFA's DINGLEDALE, ARNDALE, WAVE KING and WAVE MONARCH (Operation ICEBERG TWO)

20 May 1945 sailed Leyte under escort to Manus, Admiralty Islands arriving 28 May 1945

31 May 1945 sailed Manus, Admiralty Islands (details from Commander, Manus Naval Base War Diary)

1 June 1945 refuelled HMS KING GEORGE V on course 185 degrees at a speed of 9 knots

2 June 1945 arrived Manus, Admiralty Islands (details from Commander, Manus Naval Base War Diary)

13 July 1945 together with RFA WAVE EMPEROR and MV SAN AMADO and escorted by HMS's USK and BARLE RVed with TF 37 and refuelled them

15 July 1945 refuelled HMS KING GEORGE V

16 July 1945 sailed with ss San Amado escorted by HMS USK and HMAS IPSWICH to Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands arriving 22 July 1945

2 August 1945 as Task Unit 112.2.1 refuelled HMAS's BARRARAT and BURNIE and HMS BARLE 

6 August 1945 HMS CRANE provide AA defence for HMS's ARBITER, CHASER,  RULER. tankers RFA's DINGLEDALE, WAVE KING and MV SAN AMADO, Stores Supply Ships GLENARTNEY, FORT WRANGELL during BPF replenishment with Destroyers HMAS's NORMAN, NIZAM,  HMS's BARLE and PHEASANT, together with HMAS's BALLARAT and BURNIE

2 September 1945 present in Tokyo Bay during the surrender ceremony of Japan at the end of the World War 2. Her Master and the Chief Engineer were invited aboard the American battleship USS MISSOURI to witness the signing of the unconditional surrender of Japanese Forces in Tokyo Bay. RFA WAVE KING was also in the Bay

9 September 1945 at Tokyo Bay with HMAS NIZAM alongside being refuelled

11 September 1945 sailed Tokyo Bay in the company of HMAS IPSWICH and MFA Fort Wrangell for Manus, Admiralty islands

22 September 1945 arrived Manus, Admiralty Islands

23 September 1945 sailed Manus, Admiralty Islands

28 October 1945 berthed at Brisbane for refit

5 November 1945 at Brisbane with HMAS BARCOO berthed alongside

HMAS Barcoo 300353


6 December 1945 sailed Brisbane to Singapore arriving on 21 December 1945

18 January 1946 transferred to Admiralty ownership

7 June 1946 Captain Ernest V Blyth RFA appointed as an Additional Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) vide the London Gazette of this date - page 2882

8 October 1946 sailed Port Said for Devonport

17 December 1946 Mr T H Purvis RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 April 1947 passed Gibraltar on passage to Abadan

17 May 1947 berthed at Abadan from Falmouth

13 June 1947 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

8 July 1947 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

8 January 1948 Captain Murray W Westlake DSC RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master

Murray Westlake

Captain Murray W Westlake DSC RD RFA

23 January 1948 Captain William R Parker RFA appointed as Master

29 March 1948 sailed Trinidad for LEFO

15 April 1948 berthed in Portsmouth Harbour

11 May 1948 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

16 July 1948 sailed Portland

17 July 1948 when off Ushant a crew member was taken seriously ill. Returned to Plymouth to discharge him for urgent medical attention at the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse

18 October 1948 Captain Russell G Edmonds RFA appointed as Master

17 December 1948 passed Gibraltar sailing east

25 December 1948 sailed Port Said

6 January 1949 arrived at Abadan

28 March 1949 sailed Suez

23 April 1949 sailed Port Said

6 May 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

9 May 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

25 May 1949 sailed Trinidad for LEFO

24 July 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

26 July 1949 the Portsmouth Evening News reported proceedings from Gosport Magistrates' Court (albeit it recording the name of the ship incorrectlY0 -

Press report Dingledale Gosport Court 26 July 1949

27 July 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

17 September 1949 sailed Suez

26 November 1949 sailed Abadan

8 December 1949 arrived at Suez

9 December 1949 sailed Port Said

4 February 1950 Mr A B Tate RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

12 August 1950 berthed at Perth, WA

3 March 1951 sailed Port Said

12 March 1951 passed Gibraltar sailing westbound when on passage for Portmouth

19 March 1951 Mr William J Brown OBE DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

6 April 1951 Captain Robert Grimer DSC MID RFA appointed as Master

15 May 1951 berthed at Palmers, Hebburn on Tyne in refit or repairs

29 May 1951 sailed the River Tyne for Curacao

3 January 1952 sailed Port Said

9 January 1952 Boatswain Wong Har Hang discharged dead having suffered a cerebal haemorrage.  He is buried in Kalkara Royal Naval Cemetery, Malta



Image courtesy of British War Graves - with thanks 

15 January 1952 Mr N T Davis RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

2 February 1952 Seaman Yan Len Ching discharged dead. He is buried in Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt in Plot 16 Row A Grave 4



Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project


17 April 1952 sailed from Suez

7 June 1952 Mr William J Brown OBE DSC RFA appointed Chief Engineer Officer

14 June 1952 Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA (Temporary Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

Captain E Sigwart

Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA


24 July 1952 at Palmers, Hebburn, River Tyne

11 November 1952 arrived at Bahrein

28 December 1952 arrived at Auckland, New Zealand

22 April 1953 arrived at Suez


26 July 1953 sailed Tripoli, Lebanon

13 August 1953 Mr J Edge RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 September 1953 Captain Howard D Gausden DSO RFA appointed as Master

Captain Howard D Gausden

Captain Howard D Gausden DSO RFA
image taken in 1919 when an Apprentice

11 August 1954 at Buenos Aires, Argentina 2nd Engineer Officer David Boyd RFA discharged dead having drowned. He was buried in the British Cemetery at Buenos Aires in Section 6 Area A Grave 235B. His remains were removed on 6 September 1962 and placed in the Communal Ossuary

29 November 1954 a crew member charged by Police with serious assault after two seaman - Ram Cheng Hai and Eekam Chow - suffered knife injuries and were taken to Glasgow's Western Infirmary for treatment.

18 December 1954 Mr R C Veitch RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

January 1955 to January 1956 chartered by London and Overseas Freighters Ltd, London

3 January 1955 sailed Tail of the Bank in ballast for the Persian Gulf

15 October 1955 Captain George F Rutter OBE RD RFA (Commander RNR (Retd)) appointed as Master

Captain G F Rutter

Captain George F Rutter OBE RD RFA

27 May 1956 sailed Curacao

14 August 1956 arrived at Trinidad

21 January 1957 Mr Thomas L Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

12 May 1957 while on voyage from Curacao to West Africa rescued a man who had been in an open boat for 11 days in the Atlantic about 230 miles east of the island of St. Vincent. Three others had died previously. The rescued man was landed at St Vincent.

28 July 1957 Captain Douglas G Cox OBE RFA appointed as Master

24 December 1957 in refit at Wallsend Slipway, River Tyne

4 July 1958 rescued 16 Italian seaman 30 miles south Shukra, Gulf of Aden who had been drifting in a lifeboat for 3 days after their Australian owned ship ss Grieve which had sunk in a monsoon

14 November 1958 Captain William R Town RFA appointed as Master

18 November 1958 Mr R E Davies RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

10 May 1959 laid up at Devonport for disposal

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

Broomdale dingledale for sale


9 December 1959 sold out of Service to Cie Armement Maritime SA for £65,000 00; for use as a storage vessel under the French flag registered at Djibouti - renamed Royaumont

23 January 1967 arrived at Santander, Spain in tow after sale for £64,500 to Recuperationes Submarinas S.A for breaking up


Was part of the British Pacific Fleet Train - hence the B-pennant number



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