RFA Eaglesdale

 Eaglesdale e-bay

Eaglesdale 01


Previous name:                       Empire Metal
Subsequent name:                  N Tisar

Official Number:                      168248

Class:                                    1st DALE CLASS Freighting Tanker

Pennant No:                            X104 / B 512 / A104

Laid down:                              20 December 1940
Builder:                                   Furness Shipbuilding, Haverton Hill
Launched:                               18 November 1941
Into Service:                            9 January 1942
Out of service:                         21 July 1958 - laid up on the River Tyne
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


18 November 1941 launched by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton-Hill as Yard Nr: 339 named EMPIRE METAL for the MoWT

28 November 1941 Mr Charles M Morgan RFA (Lieutenant Commander (E) RNR) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

2 January 1942 at Middlesborough

9 January 1942 completed. Acquired by the Admiralty and renamed EAGLESDALE

19 January 1942 in collision with the British ss KINGSWOOD on the River Tees and was damaged above the waterline

kingswood 43


22 January 1942 sailed Middlesborough to the Tyne arrived the same day

February 1942 fitted for OAS trials

12 February 1942 sailed the Tyne to Methil Roads arriving the next day - to anchor

16 February 1942 sailed Methil in convoy EN47 along with NAV BISON arrived the Clyde 19 February 1942

17 February 1942 passed Dunnet Head

19 February 1942 prepared for OAS trials in the Clyde area

20 February 1942 at Greenock

4 March 1942 having sailed Londonderry she commenced extensive OAS trials with German equipment from the captured supply ship GEDANIA fitted with rubber hoses and  deck rollers.The success of these trials resulted in the general introduction of the rubber hose and deck rollers

Stern RAS with Eaglesdale HMS Kepple 1942

Trial Stern RAS with HMS Kepple off Londonderry
© IWM (A 7863)
Trial Stern RAS with HMS Kepple and Eaglesdale 2
Trial Stern RAS with HMS Kepple off Londonderry
© IWM (A 7865)

9 March 1942 at Londonderry

17 March 1942 at Greenock

18 March 1942 Captain Frank P Hennin RFA appointed as Master

25 March 1942 sailed River Clyde in ballast in convoy OS23 for Freetown and then Curacao, Netherland Antilles arriving on 14 April 1942

22 April 1942 sailed Curacao to Table Bay, South Africa due 19 May 1942

26 May 1942 sailed Capetown independently to Port Elizabeth arriving on 28 May 1942

30 May 1942 sailed Port Elizabeth independently to East London arriving 31 May 1942

12 June 1942 sailed East London independently to Durban arriving the next day

13 June 1942 sailed Durban independently to Mombasa arriving 22 June 1942

6 October 1942 sailed Diego Suarez independently to Mahe arriving on 10 October 1942

1 November 1942 Able Seaman Stephen Cavanagh, Fireman John Fish, Cook John Ireland, Steward Rex F Mitchell, Fireman John Morris, Ordinary Seaman William Mowbray, Ordinary Seaman Robert S Sanderson and Carpenter Harry Thompson all discharged dead - while being repatriated to the UK on s.s. Mendoza this ship was torpeoded and sunk in the Indian Ocean by German Submarine U-178 The survivors were picked up by the South African Naval whaler NIGEL and the American CAPE ALVA and were landed at Durban


Those who were lost are recorded with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial


3 March 1943 at Kilindini with HMAS NIZAM alongside being refuelled

HMAS Nizam AWM 301090


18 March 1943 at Kilindini with HMAS NIZAM alongside being refuelled

31 March 1943 carried out trials of the British system of OAS

1 April 1943 sailed Mombasa independently to Bombay arriving on 14 April 1943

22 April 1943 to 8 June 1943 undergoing repairs at Bombay

11 June 1943 sailed Bombay in convoy BP83 to Bandar Abbas arriving on the 16 June 1943

16 June 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas independently to Abadan arriving on 18 June 1943

20 June 1943 sailed Abadan independently to Bandar Abbas arriving 22 June 1943

26 June 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas in convoy PA43 to Aden arriving 3 July 1943

13 August 1943 Mr John B Russell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

26 October 1943 was at Mombasa

4 January 1944 sailed Seychelles independently to Colombo arriving 12 January 1944

26 January 1944 under going repairs at Colombo

3 February 1944 sailed Colombo in convoy CX17 to Addu Atoll arriving 6 February 1944

7 February 1944 sailed Addu Atoll independently to Colombo arriving 14 February 1944

11 March 1944 at Trincomalee with HMAS CESSNOCK alongside to refuel

24 March 1944 at 8.05S 81.48E RASed with HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH supplying her with 710 tons of FFO and together with RFA's ARNDALE and EASEDALE also RASed other RN warships

26 March 1944 RASed with HMAS NAPIER supplying 310 tons of FFO

9 April 1944 sailed Trincomalee independently to Colombo arriving 11 April 1944

26 April 1944 sailed Colombo in convoy JC 46 to Trincomalee along with RFA’s APPLELEAF(1) and ECHODALE arriving 28 April 1944

30 April 1944 sailed Trincomalee under escort. On this day TF 67, consisting of the oilers RFA's EAGLESDALE (as Force Commodore), ECHODALE, ARNDALE, APPLELEAF (1), PEARLEAF (1) and the distilling ship RFA BACCHUS (2), escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS's LONDON and SUFFOLK had sailed from Trincomalee Harbour on Operation TRANSOM. Off the Harbour entrance the frigate HMS FINDHORN joined TF 67. Course had then been set for Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. TF 67 had arrived at Exmouth Gulf on 12/5/44

25 October 1944 sailed Bombay independently to Abadan arriving 31 October 1944

2 November 1944 sailed Abadan independently to Colombo arriving 11 November 1944

15 November 1944 sailed Colombo independently to Trincomalee 17 November 1944

13 January 1945 sailed Chittagong in convoy RK3A to Akyab, Burma arriving 14 January 1945

20 January 1945 off Akyab Harbour, Burma refuelled HMAS NAPIER

23 January 1945 off Akyab Harbour, Burma refuelled HMAS NORMAN

6 March 1945 sailed Trincomalee independently to Colombo arriving 8 March 1945

6 April 1945 sailed Trincomalee independently to Colombo and RASed with HMS/m SIRDAR and HMS MEADOWSWEET


© IWM (FL 5010)

8 April 1945 arrived at Colombo

14 April 1945 sailed Colombo to Freemantle

April 1945 RASed HMS MEADOWSWEET which had sailed from Fremantle, Western Australia on 6 April 1945 while escorting HMS/m SIRDAR for Trincomalee, Ceylon and which arrived on 23 April 1945

27 April 1945 RASed tugs towing AFD 18 and 20 from Colombo

5 May 1945 arrived at Fremantle, Australia

15 May 1945 Mr Wilfred C Shortland RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

17 May 1945 sailed Freemantle independently to Colombo arriving 1 June 1945

9 June 1945 sailed Colombo independently to Darwin arriving 26 June 1945

27 June 1945 sailed Darwin independently to Manus arriving 8 July 1945 joining RFA's GREEN RANGER,  BACCHUS (2) and BROWN RANGER

12 July 1945 sailed Manus, Admiralty Islands

1 August 1945 at sea off Saipan in convoy with RFA CEDARDALE and escorted by HMAS LAUNCESTON

1 September 1945 at Manus, Admiralty Islands with RFA's BROWN RANGER, SERBOL and ss FORT LANGLEY later to become RFA FORT LANGLEY

9 September 1945 while at Manus refuelled HMAS NORMAN alongside

September 1945 spare propeller shafts for the ship and RFA EASEDALE supplied by Wm Beardmore & Co Ltd and despatched to Colombo (15.9.45) and to SNSO Rosyth (30.10.45)

16 September 1945 at Seeadler Harbour, Admiralty Islands with HMAS HOBERT alongside being refuelled

21 October 1945 sailed Manus independently to Sydney, NSW arriving on 30 October 1945

27 December 1945 2nd Officer R C Rogers RFA and Miss Joyce Mills of Moree Station, Yass, NSW were married at St James' Church, Sydney NSW. The reception was held onboard.

12 February 1946 arrived at Sydney, NSW

19 April 1946 arrived River Tyne for refit from Sheerness

6 May 1946 berthed at Wallsend Slipway & Engineering, River Tyne

June 1946 Captain Henry F Colbourne RFA appointed as Master

4 July 1946 berthed at Newcastle Quay, River Tyne with HMS TURMOIL (later to become RFA TURMOIL)

12 July 1946 sailed the River Tyne

22 September 1946 arrived at Abadan

28 September 1946 sailed Abadan for Geraldton, Western Australia

27 January 1947 sailed Port Said for Abadan

2 February 1947 passed Aden

19 March 1947 while on passage from Abadan to LEFO passed Aden this day

24 July 1947 Captain William R Parker RFA appointed as Master

13 October 1947 Mr Lionel W Pool RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

19 November 1947 arrived at Trinidad from Barrow

26 November 1947 sailed from Trinidad

17 December 1947 Captain Raymond V Boodle RFA appointed as Master

  Raymond Boodle

Captain Raymond V Boodle RFA

15 February 1948 sailed Aruba for the UK

4 March 1948 passed Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

6 March 1948 Mr Frederick O Brims RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 15 October 1950



Chief Engineer Officer Frederick O Brims RFA
(early in his career at sea)

9 April 1948 arrived at Abadan from London

12 April 1948 sailed Abadan

16 May 1948 on passage from Abadan passed Aden

23 May 1948 sailed from Port Said

30 May 1948 passed Gibraltar sailing west

7 June 1948 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

21 July 1948 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

2 August 1948 arrived at Port Said from Portsmouth

20 August 1948 arrived at Abadan from Karachi

23 August 1948 sailed Abadan for Malta

5 September 1948 at Port Said

24 September 1948 at Port Said

29 September 1948 sailed Suez

22 October 1948 at Port Said

12 November 1948 at Port Said

7 February 1949 to 17 February 1949 at Newcastle on Tyne

24 March 1949 at Bombay, India

17 April 1949 arrived at Macquarie Point Oil terminal, Hobart, Tasmania to discharge 10,000 tons of FFO. She had arrived from Abadan via Bombay where they had changed the crew

22 April 1949 due to sail from Hobart - delayed until the 23 April 1949

23 April 1949 sailed but had to return the same day when 100 miles out from Hobart with an engine defect

25 April 1949 sailed again from Hobart, Tasmania to Colombo for boiler cleaning



RFA Eaglesdale - Photograph Courtesy of the Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania

Photograph Courtesy of the Mercury, Hobart, TasmaniaPhotograph Courtesy of the Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania


6 June 1949 at Abadan

11 July 1949 at Rosyth

19 July 1949 arrived Palmers, Hebburn on Tyne from Rosyth

31 August 1949 berthed at Palmers, Hebburn on Tyne together with RFA BROOMDALE

2 September 1949 Captain Douglas S Norrington RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master

24 September 1949 sailed Gibraltar for Abadan

1 October 1949 arrived at Port Said

3 October 1949 sailed Suez

18 October 1949 sailed Abadan for Sydney, NSW, Australia

20 November 1949 arrived Sydney, NSW, Australia from Abadan

24 November 1949 sailed Sydney, NSW, Australia for Abadan

12 December 1949 arrived at Singapore

10 June 1950 passed Gibraltar when on passage from Abadan for Plymouth

21 June 1950 to 26 June 1950 at Plymouth

10 July 1950 Mr J Mel. Lumsden RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 September 1950 at Devonport Engine Room Cassab Gooland Sarwar Hoosein discharged dead from natural causes

6 September 1950 passed Gibraltar sailing east bound

13 September 1950 arrived at Port Said

15 September 1950 while on passage from Plymouth to Abadan sailed Suez this day

26 September 1950 berthed at Abadan

11 March 1951 sailed Malta for Abadan

14 March 1951 arrived at Port Said

7 June 1951 arrived at Hong Kong

21 July 1951 sailed Aden for the UK

6 August 1951 passed Gibraltar sailing west

30 October 1951 sailed Curaçao

18 November 1951 landed an injured seaman at Bighi Hospital, Malta following an accident on board when he crushed his fingers

19 November 1951 sailed Malta for Aden

30 November 1951 arrived at Aden

19 December 1951 sailed Mena Al Ahmadi for Gibraltar

1 January 1952 sailed Port Said

4 February 1952 Captain Thomas Elder DSC RFA appointed as Master

10 March 1952 sailed Gibraltar for Malta

22 May 1952 Mr S Turner RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 September 1952 at 7°06N 82°0E Lascar Seaman Hussain Ali discharged dead - apparently through heart failure - buried at sea

16 February 1953 Mr Ciriaco G McFadzean RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 July 1953 Captain D A C Butler RFA appointed as Master

5 April 1954 Captain James H Chant RFA appointed as Master until 13 April 1954

9 May 1954 before Wallsend Magistrates' Court Donkeyman Thambi Arputham Pillai from the ship pleaded Guilty to being drunk at Back Benton Way, Wallsend on 2 May 1954 - he was fined 10/-

1 October 1954 Captain Edward E A Le Sage RFA appointed as Master

Captain EEA Le Sage

Captain Edward E A Le Sage RFA
(while early in his career at sea)

7 February 1956 at Mestre, Venice, Italy Seaman 1st Class Ismail Adam discharged dead from burns

1956 - One of 35 RFA's in Operation Musketeer

3 June 1956 Mr W C Shortland RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

29 November 1956 Captain Leslie G Rowling DSC RFA appointed as Master

28 March 1957 Mr Frederick B Hobson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 June 1957 arrived at Baltimore

29 July 1957 arrived Leith

10 September 1957 Captain Edmund H Butterworth RFA appointed as Master



Captain Edmund H Butterworth RFA

21 July 1958 laid up on the River Tyne

15 and 22 January 1959 offered for sale in The Times on these dates 'as lying' at Admirals Quay, Hebburn on Tyne


Times Eaglesdale 15 1 1959


November 1959 sold to Soc Misr de Nav Maritime SAE, renamed as N Tisar and the registration changed to Egypt

26 November 1959 sailed in tow from the Tyne after sale for £65,000

29 November 1959 after resale, arrived Hamburg for breaking up by Eisen u.Metall KG Lehr & Co




1. Served as a RAS oiler with the Eastern Fleet and at the Cape between 1943 and 1946.

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

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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