Empire_Gull_-_Unofficial

 

 

LST_3523Empire_Gull

Empire Gull 

 

Previous name:                       LST 3523,  HMS Trouncer
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                      187471

Class:                                     LANDING SHIP TANK MK 3

Pennant No:                           LST 3523 / L3513

Laid down:                             20 December 1944
Builder:                                  G T Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing Co Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, Canada
Launched:                              9 July 1945
Into Service:                           February 1970
Out of service:                        October 1978
Fate:                                     Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Nick name - Black Pig

 

Background Data:  Demands for a Landing Ship Tank were first placed around 1940 when requirements demanded a ship type that could transport and land armoured fighting vehicles and their crews onto a beach anywhere in the world, and the United States was primarily responsible for the majority of their design and construction, but in 1943, when agreement could not be reached with the United States over the allocation of the LST (2) type ships to the two Allies, the British embarked upon their own construction programme and the resulting ships were modified versions of the US-built LST (2). Some were built in the U.K. while others were built in Canada and LST (3) 3523 was one of the ships ordered from Canadian yards. Originally operated by the Royal Navy, she was transferred to civilian administration in 1956 and joined the RFA in 1970. She was the only LST ever operated as an RFA

 

24 April 1944 ordered

20 December 1944 laid down

9 July 1945 launched by G.T. Davie Shipbuilding & Repairing  Co Ltd, Lauzon as Yard Nr: 970 named LST (3) 3523 for the Royal Navy

October 1945 completed

1947 appeared in the Pink Lists as being in replacement reserve on Gareloch

April 1947 renamed HMS TROUNCER but remained on Gareloch in various reserve categories

October 1950 underwent a routine refit at Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan

February 1951 returned to reserve on Gareloch

1953 underwent dehumidification and on completion of this was laid up in the Great Harbour at Greenock

October 1956 was one of twelve of this type of ship recalled to service as a direct result of Operation Musketeer - the Suez Crisis for use as a military transport. She was transferred to civilian administration by the Ministry of Transport and was renamed EMPIRE GULL. She was sent to Harland & Wolff Ltd., Liverpool for suitable conversion for civilian operation

July 1958 received her first Lloyds Survey. The day to day management and manning was allocated to Atlantic Steam Navigation Co Ltd., London

23 October 1958 deployed to assist in the withdrawal of British troops from Jordan. Berthed at Akaba this day to load

20 February 1959 moored in Grand Harbour, Malta

3 April 1959 carrying two hundred Officers and Men and twenty vehicles from the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards arrived at Tripoli from Cyprus. One hundred and forty Officers and Men of 9 (Alma) Battery, Royal Artillery returned on board to Cyprus after four weeks training at Libya

23 May 1960 sailed Grand Harbour, Malta for Tripoli

August 1961 managers became British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London name unchanged

1 July 1961 a squadron of Centurion tanks of the 3rd Carabiniers embarked in H.M.S. STRIKER and Empire Gull for Kuwait

20 September 1962 sailed Grand Harbour, Malta for Benghazi

3 February 1963 at 14.12N 49.16E Sailor Iu Chung Lam discharged dead - presumed drowned overboard

3 March 1964 before the Law Courts, Valetta, Malta Seaman Tse Sik Ming, aged 20 years, from Shanghai, China appeared before the Magistrate charged with refusing to work. The ship was berthed at Grand Harbour, Malta. The evidence to the Court showed he refused the direct orders of the ship's Master - Captain R Thompson. In addition it was claimed he used threatening and obscene words to the Chief Steward John Brandon. It was also claimed he argued with the Cook saying he wanted to leave the ship and return to Hong Kong. He refused to wear the Company supplied uniform.

4 November 1967 grounded at Pinto Wharf, Marsa, Malta when berthing at the Army Movements Quay to unload military stores. The ship suffered slight damage to the keel. Sailed the same afternoon for Benghazi

3 January 1968 sailed Malta for Tobruk with 'S' Company, The Loyal Regiment for three weeks training in North Africa

17 January 1968 at Grand Harbour, Malta the mv Luisa, during a spell of high winds dragged her anchor and was blown against the Empire Gull. No damage was caused

24 December 1969 in dry dock at Malta

2 January 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Cyprus and loaded military cargo and thirty eight vehicles commencing the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

4 January 1970 sailed Tobruk for Cyprus and to discharge cargo

15 January 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Cyprus and loaded military cargo and forty eight vehicles as part of the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

16 January 1970 sailed Tobruk for Malta and discharge of cargo

2 February 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Malta and loaded military cargo, ammunition and sixteen vehicles as part of the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

3 February 1970 sailed Tobruk for Cyprus to discharge of cargo

February 1970 RFA manned

7 February 1970 berthed at Famagusta, Cyprus

15 February 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Cyprus and loaded military cargo and fifty four vehicles as part of the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

17 February 1970 sailed Tobruk for Cyprus and discharge of cargo

24 February 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Cyprus and loaded military cargo, and 17 vehicles as part of the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

26 February 1970 sailed Tobruk for Cyprus and discharge of cargo

8 March 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Cyprus and loaded military cargo, 36 vehicles and 1 passenger as part of the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

11 March 1970 sailed Tobruk for Cyprus and discharge of cargo and passenger

17 March 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Cyprus and loaded military cargo, ammunition, fortyeight vehicles and seven passengers as part of the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

18 March 1970 sailed Tobruk for Cyprus and discharge of cargo and passengers

26 March 1970 berthed at Tobruk from Cyprus and loaded military cargo, ammunition, forty two vehicles and seventy eight passengers as part of the withdrawl of British Military Forces from Libya

28 March 1970 sailed with 90% of her capacity loaded with RFA SIR GERIANT from Tobruk, Libya for Cyprus with the closure of British military bases there

21 August 1970 sailed from Malta for the last time after serving for 14 years in the Mediterranean and then to refit, Captain W F Barnborough RFA was the ship's Master

9 July 1970 berthed on the River Tyne

1972/3 Captain H Nelberg RFA was Master

6 September 1975 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

8 September 1975 Seaman Lok Ho Yin discharged dead having been stabbed

1 January 1976 at Marchwood Military Port

3 January 1976 sailed Marchwood for Antwerp arriving the next day and berthed at berth 326

5 January 1976 sailed Antwerp for Flushing

6 January 1976 sailed Flushing

7 January 1976 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

10 January 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port for Netley Buoys

12 January 1976 sailed Netley Buoys for Zeebrugge

13 January 1976 berthed at Zeebrugge

14 January 1976 sailed Zeebrugge for Antwerp berth 326 arriving the same day

15 January 1976 sailed Antwerp for Marchwood Military Port arriving the next day

1976 Captain E P Witten RFA was Master

24 January 1976 secured to Netley Buoys

25 January 1976 sailed from Netley Buoys for Zeebrugge

26 January 1976 berthed on Zeebrugge Mole

28 January 1976 sailed Zeebrugge Mole for Marchwood

29 January 1976 anchored at Cowes Roads

31 January 1976 moved from Cowes Roads to Netley Buoys

2 February 1976 moved from Netley Buoys to Marchwood Military Port

4 February 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port to Antwerp

6 February 1976 berthed at Antwerp on berth no: 326

7 February 1976 sailed Antwerp to Marchwood Military Port arriving the next day

13 February 1976 moved to Netley Buoys from Marchwood Military Port

15 February 1976 sailed Netley Buoys to Zeebrugge arriving the next day

18 February 1976 sailed Zeebrugge to Netley Buoys arriving the next day and then later that day to Marchwood Military Port

22 February 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port to Chatham arriving the next day to destore prior to refit

27 February 1976 sailed Chatham to Immingham Dock arriving the next day

29 February 1976 commenced refit at Immingham Dock

5 March 1976 entered dry dock

14 March 1976 Fireman Ng Ngau admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Immigham Hospital after suffering a seizure ashore

6 April 1976 the dry dock was flooded up and the ship was moved out into the basin

8 April 1976 sailed Immingham to Chatham

10 April 1976 anchored in the River Medway

12 April 1976 berthed at Chatham Dockyard in No: 3 basin to restore after her refit

13 April 1976 loaded bunkers

14 April 1976 sailed Chatham Dockyard to Marchwood Military Port

15 April 1976 berthed alongside at Marchwood Military Port

22 April 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port for Antwerp

24 April 1976 arrived at Antwerp and secured in berth 326

25 April 1976 sailed Antwerp to Zeebrugge and secured in berth 4

27 April 1976 sailed Zeebrugge for Netley Buoys arriving the next day

29 April 1976 moved from Netley buoys to Marchwood Military Port

3 May 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port to Antwerp arriving the next day

4 May 1976 alongside in berth 326 at Antwerp

5 May 1976 sailed Antwerp to Marchwood Military Port

7 May 1976 loaded bunkers at Marchwood Military Port

8 May 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port to Antwerp arriving the next day

10 May 1976 sailed Antwerp from berth 326 to Marchwood Military Port arriving the next day

17 May 1976 sailed from Marchwood Military Port to Merville, France arriving the next day

18 May 1976 at Merville anchored off Ouistreham Lighthouse and landed cargo by mexeflote

19 May 1976 sailed Merville, France to Zeebrugge berthing on the Mole at that port the next day

21 May 1976 sailed Zeebrugge for Marchwood Military Port arriving the next day

28 May 1976 moved from Marchwood Military Port to the Netley Buoys

30 May 1976 sailed Netley Buoys to Zeebrugge Mole arriving the next day

2 June 1976 sailed Zeebrugge Mole to the Netley Buoys arriving the next day

4 June 1976 moved from the Netley Buoys to Marchwood Military Port

8 June 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port to Antwerp on berth 326 arriving the next day

10 June 1976 sailed Antwerp to Marchwood Military Port arriving the next day

27 June 1976 sailed Marchwood Military Port to berth No:7 at Zeebrugge Mole arriving the next day

30 June 1976 sailed Zeebrugge

3 September 1978 withdrawn from service and destored at Marchwood

4 October 1978 sailed Marchwood for the last time to Portsmouth

19 October 1978 laid up at Portsmouth.

29 February 1980 sold for breaking up to Elkhart & Co KG, Germany and resold for scrap

14 March 1980 sailed Portsmouth in tow of the Spanish tug FANECA

18 March 1980 arrived Santander for demolition by Recuperaciones Submarinas S.A

24 March 1980 breaking up began

7 May 1980 breaking up completed

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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