HMS Enforcer
RFA Enforcer
RFA Enforcer


Previous name:
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                      163015

Class:                                      ENVOY CLASS Tug

Pennant No:                            W177 / A 177

Laid down:
Builder:                                    Cochrane & Sons, Selby
Launched:                               22 July 1944
Into Service:                            1 December 1944
Out of service:                         26 May 1960
Fate:                                         Broke mooring & ran aground - July 1963


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  There were six Admiralty-designed Fleet Tugs in this Class, three of which saw service as RFA’s. As completed they were armed with 1 x 12 pdr AA gun, 1 x 2 pdr AA , 2 x 20 mm AA and 4 x .303 machine guns. They had a bollard pull of 16 tons and  a complement of 33


22 July 1944 launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby as Yard Nr: 1288 named HMS ENFORCER

1 December 1944 completed

20 December 1944 sailed from Milford Haven as a rescue tug in convoy ON273 to Gibraltar

14 January 1945 sailed Oran towing AFD18 to Malta


An AFD of the same class as AFD18

25 January 1945 sailed Malta towing AFD18 to Aden arriving 27 February 1945

10 March 1945 sailed Aden towing AFD 18 to Cochin escorted by HMS BANFF. The Floating Dock arrived on 24 March 1945 for onward towage to Australia

30 April 1945 sailed Gibraltar as a rescue tug in convoy MKS 098G

8 May 1945 arrived Liverpool

28 November 1945 sailed Loch Ryan towing German type V11C submarine U481 for destruction under Operation Deadlight. On 30 November 1945 the tow parted and the submarine was sunk by gunfire from the Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica at 56 11N 10 00W the following day

orp blyskawica

Polish destroyer ORP Blyskawica

3 December 1945 sailed Loch Ryan towing German type V11C submarine U776 (by then HMS/m N65) for destruction under Operation Deadlight. The submarine foundered at sea at 55.08N 05.30W

15 May 1946 sailed Alexandria to Bermuda together with tugs Warden and Reward towing Admiralty Floating Dock AFD no: 5 - arrived 47 days later

6 September 1946 Lieutenant Tom Pickering MID RNR appointed as Commanding Officer

25 November 1946 in heavy weather was towing the British steamer Ayrshire Coast (773 tons) with six feet of water in her engine room and hold from Lyme Bay to Portland after the ship had issued a Mayday call. The tow parted.

3 January 1947 Captain J B Gibson MBE (Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master and Mr A M McWhirter appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

6 May 1947 sailed Plymouth towing the French Navy target ship Impassible to Brest to be returned to the French Navy

June 1947 under C-in-C Portsmouth

22 and 23 July 1947 took part in the Clyde Fleet Review by HM King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth rogether with RFA BLACK RANGER and RFA PRESTOL - reported at length in the Glasgow Herald 31 May 1947

22 December 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing eastwards

15 February 1948 with tugs RFA JAUNTY and RFA CAUTIOUS towed an AFD from Devonport to the Clyde

20 May 1948 Mr J Salter appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

23 July 1948 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing westwards

6 November 1948 fish carrier mv Eldberg grounded off Port Min. Pulled off making water by Enforcer, all the crew saved. Ship lost 56°71N, 6°22W - report from the Northern Lighthouse Board Wreck Returns

2 January 1949 sailed Portsmouth to attend on the RMS Queen Mary which was aground off Cherbourg - the ship refloated herself and did not require the assistance of tugs

10 January 1949 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing eastwards

1949 under RFA conditions and renamed RFA ENFORCER

31 May 1949 passed the Lloyds SIgnal Station on the Lixard sailing east bound with a tow

October 1949 sailed Rosyth to Gibraltar with the salvage ship Retrieve in tow

18 October 1949 Dundee Evening Telegraph reported -

RFA Enforcer 18-10-1949


26 January 1950 transferred to Rosyth also passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound with a tow

21 May 1950 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound with a tow

3 August 1950 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west bound with a tow

11 October 1950 sailed the Helford River arriving at Cardiff the next day

14 October 1950 sailed Plymouth with tow

26 October 1950 arrived at Harwich sailing later the same day

10 November 1950 sailed Harwich to Torbay arriving 12 November 1950

21 November 1950 arrived at Rosyth

27 November 1950 arrived Plymouth sailing the next day

10 May 1951 at Rosyth Seaman Laurence Johnson Niven discharged dead - cause unknown

13 October 1952 together with the Admiralty tug Earner involved in the attempted recovery of the Hull trawler St Ronan which had run aground on St John's Point, Caithness. HMS WIDEMOUTH BAY stood by. All the crew were rescued

24 March 1953 Mr R C Wood appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

22 August 1953 with RN units searched the seas south of the Nab Tower for the yacht Sea Otter which had been dismasted in heavy seas. The yacht was found and towed to Portsmouth

22 November 1954 towing HMS FARNDALE to the north of the North Foreland

February 1955 together with RFA ENVOY, Superman towed the submarine depot ship HMS MONCLARE from the Clyde to Portsmouth for refit. RFA WARDEN was the spare tug. The tow broke off the Sicilly Islands in heavy seas and was not able to be reconnected for 12 hours. The MONCLARE and the tugs reached Portsmouth on 7 February 1955

22 September 1956 towing HMS RATTLER in the Irish Sea

4 January 1957 Mr A E Daw appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

22 February 1957 Mr J A Coade appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

7 March 1957 arrived Hartlepool from the River Tyne

8 March 1957 sailed Hartlepool for Rosyth

5 October 1957 with RFA GROWLER (2) took AFD22 under tow from Falmouth to Sheerness Dockyard

5 January 1958 at Portsmouth Harbour moored alongside HMS WARDEN

6 October 1958 while on passage from Bristol to Gibraltar was in collision with the Spanish trawler OSEBE which sank in position 36.17 N 06.39 W

26 May 1960 laid up at Rosyth

10 July 1962 on the Disposal List at Rosyth

9 July 1963 purchased for scrap for £6,266 by Jas A. White & Co Ltd, St David’s Harbour, after breaking her moorings and piling up on rocks near the Forth Bridge where she was wrecked

31 August 1964 by this date was completely broken up


Additional information

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