RFA Green Ranger




Previous name:                        
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                     168231

Class:                                  RANGER CLASS Fleet Attendant Oiler

Pennant No:                          X 42 / B 515 / A 152

Laid down:                            23 September 1940
Builder:                                 Caledon, Dundee
Launched:                             22 August 1941
Into Service:                          4 December 1941
Out of service:
Fate:                                    18 November 1962 ran aground when under tow - Total loss.


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:   The six ships in this Class were designed in the mid -1930’s by Rowland Baker as replacements for the 2000t BELGOL CLASSand were the first Admiralty-designed tankers since the  1917 5000t FAST LEAF CLASS. As originally built, for camouflage purposes, they had canvas deckhouses, a dummy plate funnel forward, their foremast was on the starboard bow, the wheelhouse was offset to port, and in some cases their genuine funnel was cut low and was on the port quarter, fitted with a spark arrester. Originally armed with 1 x 4” LA, 1 x 12 pdr HA/LA and several Lewis guns, as the War progressed the armament fits altered and finally averaged 1 x 4” HA, 1 x 40mm Bofors and 4 x single 20mm Oerlikons. These vessels served extensively as Escort Tankers on the Russian Convoys, Norwegian coastal raids, Malta Convoys and with the British Pacific Fleet. Apart from GRAY RANGER which became a War Loss, the Class had exceptionally long Service lives and were finally replaced by the ROVER CLASS

28 August 1939 ordered

23 September 1940 laid down

21 August 1941 launched by Caledon Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Dundee as Yard Nr 391 named GREEN RANGER

24 October 1941 Mr J J Moore RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

November 1941 Captain Horace W Taylor RFA appointed as Master

4 December 1941 completed and joined the Fleet  Fuelling Service as an Aviation Spirit Carrier. She  was the Navy’s first large spirit carrier with white oil. She spent many years out East, based firstly at Mombasa

20 February 1942 sailed Methil in convoy EN49 to Oban arriving on 23 February 1942

23 February 1942 sailed Oban in convoy OS20 to Freetown arriving 12 March 1942

15 May 1942 sailed Cape Town independently to Mombasa arriving 27 May 1942

18 July 1942 sailed Freetown independently to Takoradi arriving 24 July 1942

25 July 1942 sailed Takoradi independently to Lagos arriving 26 July 1942

12 August 1942 sailed Lagos independently to Cape Town arriving 23 August 1942

9 September 1942 sailed Cape Town independently to Mombasa arriving 21 September 1942

1 November 1942 24 of her Ratings, along with 29 Ratings from RFA EAGLESDALE and 1 Officer from RFA ARNDALE were being repatriated to the UK aboard the MOWT troopship  ss MENDOZA when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-178 70 miles ENE of Durban in position 29.13 S 32.13 E whilst sailing independently from Mombasa to Durban - one of the Green Ranger's crew - Able Seaman Sydney David Fawns Cochrane discharged dead. He is remembered with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial




17 January 1943 as reported in the Admiralty War Diary of this date Green Ranger was to be converted from a spirit tanker to carry fuel oil. It was directed she sail to Bombay with a full load of aviation spirit for a refit, docking and the conversion work as it was not possible to undertake the work at Kilindini

1 February 1943 sailed Kilindini independently arriving Addu Atoll arriving 11 February 1943

14 February 1943 sailed Addu Atoll in convoy A3 to Colombo arriving 18 February 1943

19 February 1943 sailed Colombo independently to Trincomalee arriving on 21 February 1943

28 February 1943 sailed Trincomalee independently to Colombo arriving on 1 March 1943

2 March 1943 sailed Colombo in convoy MB27 to Bombay arriving 6 March 1943

19 March 1943 sailed Colombo independently to Trincomalee arriving 20 March 1943

15 April 1943 sailed Bombay independently to Bandar Abbas arriving 20 April 1943

21 April 1943 sailed Banda Abbas independently to Abadan arriving 23 April 1943

24 April 1943 sailed Abadan 

28 April 1943 sailed Bandar Abbas in convoy PA35 to Aden arriving 6 May 1943

6 May 1943 sailed Aden independently to Suez arriving 10 May 1943

12 May 1943 arrived and then sailed Port Said independently to Alexandria arriving 14 May 1943

15 May 1943 sailed Alexandria in convoy MW28 to Malta arriving 21 May 1943

3 June 1943 sailed Alexandria in convoy XTG1 to Sousse arriving 10 June 1943

13 September 1943 refueled Italian Battleships "Italia" and "Vittorio Veneto" at Mersa Sarobh prior to them sailing to Alexandria

14 October 1943 Captain George S Perry RFA appointed as Master

 G S Perry

Captain George S Perry RFA

25 November 1943 in dry dock No 5 at French Creek, Malta

26 November 1943 Captain Horace W Taylor RFA discharged dead. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium

18 December 1943 sailed Malta in convoy UGS25 to Port Said arriving 21 December 1943

7 January 1944 sailed Abadan independently to Colombo arriving 16 January 1944

16 January 1944 sailed Colombo independently to Trincomalee arriving the next day

18 January 1944 C in C East Indies reported by signal to the Admiralty that Green Ranger had many defects and was unsuitable to join the British Pacific Fleet until she had a refit and was provided with modern oiling at sea gear. He intended to arrange for the ship to undergo a refit at Bombay which could last two months

3 March 1944 at Trincomalee Harbour, Ceylon alongside HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH refuelling her

7 April 1944 at Trincomalee Harbour, Ceylon USS Fanning (DD385) alongside to refuel 

4 November 1944 Mr William E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

25 November 1944 sailed Trincomalee independently arriving the next day

10 December 1944 sailed Colombo independently to Trincomalee 12 December 1944

1 February 1945 sailed Trincomalee independently to Bombay arriving 6 February 1945

February/March/April 1945 undergoing repairs at Bombay

16 April 1945 sailed Bombay independently to Colombo arriving 19 April 1945

26 April 1945 sailed Colombo independently to Darwin towing HMS Barbain arriving 15 May 1945. She was directed on arrival off Darwin to slip HMS Barbain to allow her to enter harbour under her own steam. It was estimated their SOA would be 10kts - details from the Admiralty War Diary

18 May 1945 sailed Darwin independently to Manus arriving 24 May 1945

1 July 1945 at Manus in harbour with RFA BACCHUS (2), RFA BROWN RANGER, RFA RAPIDOL, with RFA WAVE MONARCH departing this day

11 July 1945 at Seeadler Harbour, Admiralty Islands HMAS BURNIE alongside for replenishment of water


30 August 1945 sailed Manus independently to Hong Kong arriving on 9 September 1945

13 October 1945 arrived Manus 

17 November 1945 Captain Robert D Almond RFA (Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master. Remained in command until 9 March 1946

Captain Robert Almond

Captain Robert D Almond RFA

14 February 1946 arrived at Dreger (Papua New Guinea)

22 Febbruary 1946 sailed Dreger (Papua New Guinea) to Port Moresby arriving 24 February 1946

26 March 1946 arrived Bombay from Port Moresby

4 April 1946 sailed Bombay to Abadan arriving 8 April 1946

12 June 1946 Captain Ernest W J Rousell RFA appointed as Master

Captain Ernest WIlliam ROUSELL

Captain Ernest W J Rousell RFA
early in his career at sea

23 August 1946 Mr D S Wood RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 September 1946 was accidentally struck by a torpedo fitted with a dummy warhead which had gone off course during a naval firing exercise in Portland Harbour. She was struck below the waterline but remained afloat and was repaired.

25 October 1947 Mr A B Tate RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

31 October 1947 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)

21 September 1948 arrived at Singapore

4 August 1949 Mr Harry F Duce DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Harry F Duce

Chief Engineer Officer Harry F Duce DSC RFA

9 February 1950 Captain E Payne RFA appointed as Master

25 June 1950 to the 27 July 1953 saw service during the Korean War along with 18 other RFA’s and was awarded the Korea 1951-52 Battle Honour. Became part of the British Fleet Train as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet and formed Task Force 77 based at Sassebo

6 July 1950 refuelled HMS TRIUMPH at Okinawa, Japan along with RFA FORT CONSTANTINE which supplied the aircraft carrier with stores

HMS Triumph 1950


6 January 1951 Mr J G Simpson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

12 March 1951 at Sasebo, Japan moored alongside USS Orleck (DD 886) refuelling her - the US ships log shows she received 150,472 gallons of fuel oil


USS Orleck (DD 886)

13 June 1951 received contaminated AVGAS fuel off loaded from HMS GLORY which had come from RFA WAVE PREMIER

27 June 1951 refuelled HMS GLORY

25 September 1951 at Kure, Japan berthed alongside HMS OCEAN and refuelled her

14 October 1951 at Inchon together with RFA WAVE PREMIER refuelled RN warships including HMS THESEUS

29 October 1951 escorted to the west coast of Korea by HMAS MURCHISON

2 November 1951 off Mogudeki Island with HMAS MURCHISON alongside being refuelled

18 November 1951 at Sasebo, Japan Assistant Steward Ng Tsui Chung discharged dead from natural causes while being treated on RFA Maine (4)

23 November 1951 at Fox Anchorage refuelled USS Edmonds alongside

29 February 1952 Captain Frederick G Evans RFA appointed as Master

18 March 1952 refuelled HMS GLORY

5 April 1952 refulled HMS GLORY

20 May 1952 in the London Gazette of this day on page 2788 Captain Eric Payne RFA  was awarded a 'Mention in Dispatches'

25 September 1952 at Kure, Japan refuelled HMS OCEAN alongside

14 October 1952 at Sasebo, Japan refuelled HMS OCEAN with AVGAS alongside

October 1952 at Sasebo, Japan the Masters and Officers of RFA's WAVE SOVEREIGN and GREEN RANGER and the then MFA FORT LANGLEY received an RPC from the Wardroom of HMS OCEAN

Awarded the Battle Honour Korea 1951 - 1952

11 June 1953 at Kure, Japan with HMAS CULGOA berthed alongside and refuelled

18 August 1953 at Kure, Japan with HMAS CULGOA berthed alongside and refuelled

7 September 1953 Mr Harry F Duce DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 November 1953 at Kure, Japan with HMAS CULGOA berthed alongside and being refuelled

6 November 1953 at Kure, Japan HMAS CULGOA slipped

11 December 1953 Captain Hubert G Carkeet RFA appointed Master

13 January 1954 at Taedong Do HMAS MURCHISON berthed alongside and was refuelled

11 February 1954 at Taedong Do HMAS MURCHISON berthed alongside and was refuelled

19 February 1954 at Taedong Do HMAS MURCHISON berthed alongside and was refuelled

15 March 1954 at Taedong Do HMAS MURCHISON berthed alongside and was refuelled

4 June 1954 arrived at Malta while on passage from the Far East to the UK flying a paying off pennant

28 November 1954 Mr George Bray RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO George Bray in 1918

Chief Engineer Officer George Bray RFA (image taken in 1918)

February 1955 Captain A H Mackenzie RFA appointed as Master

22 September 1955 Captain Frank S Samson RFA appointed Master



Captain Frank S Samson RFA


29 November 1955 sailed Malta with RFA BLUE RANGER and HMS ARK ROYAL for Toulon

8 December 1955 arrived at Malta with RFA BLUE RANGER and HMS ARK ROYAL from Toulon

5 March 1956 Captain Henry O L'Estrange DSC RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master and Mr J Ross RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

31 July 1956 was chartered for supplying  fuel to US and Canadian Arctic stations accompanied by the ice breaker D'Iberville 

31 July 1957 in collision with the Norwegian BUCCANEER in fog off Beachy Head, but managed to reach Southampton safely

6 September 1957 Captain George Robson RFA appointed as Master

12 September 1957 Mr E Smeaton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 September 1957 put into the River Tagus, Lisbon with engine trouble

1957 to 1958 supported Operation Grapple- the British H-bomb test at Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean - along with 16 other RFA’s




18 September 1957 deployed on Operation Grapple carrying 125 tons 18.25 cwt of cargo to Chrismas Island

14 April 1958 RASed with HMS CARDIGAN BAY while she was on passage from Hong Kong to Bankok

17 April 1958 RAS'ed with HMS St. BRIDES BAY while the RN ship was on passage between Hong Kong and Sasebo

1958 to 1962 laid up in Operational Reserve at Devonport

18 November 1962 whilst on her way from Reserve to refit at Cardiff in tow of the tug CASWELL in a Force 8 gale, the tow broke and was blown ashore off Mansley Cliff, North Devon. Her Crew of 7 were rescued by breeches buoy

Green Ran ashore 



8 December 1962 she broke in two overnight and became a total loss






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

2. The Minister of Transport’s Shield was awarded to the Hartland (Devon) Lifesaving Apparatus Co for affording the best wreck service in 1962/63

Additional information

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