RFA Oakleaf (1)

 

MONTEZUMA_383

 

 

Previous name:               Montezuma, HMS Iron Duke, RFA Abadol
Subsequent name:

Official Number:              110604 

Class:                              Emergency Wartime Construction LEAF Group Freighting Tanker

Pennant No:                    Y7.172

Laid down:
Builder:                            Alexander Stephens & Co., Glasgow
Launched:                       11 July 1899
Into Service:                    7 July 1915

Out of service:                 25 July 1917
Fate:                                Torpedoed and sunk by UC41 off the Butt of Lewis

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:   During WW1, eighteen vessels of varying types were acquired second hand and converted or purchased and converted while on the stocks or in a few cases building as tankers. Some were converted after serving with the Dummy Battleship Squadron by the insertion of cylindrical tanks in their holds. All were originally intended to operate as RFA’s, however owing to reasons of international law and the operation of the US Neutrality Act, these oilers became Mercantile Fleet Auxiliaries, being renamed with the LEAF nomenclature and placed under civilian management, although operationally they remained under Admiralty control

 

 

11 July 1899 launched by Alexander Stephen & Sons Ltd, Linthouse as Yard Nr: 383 named MONTEZUMA for the Beaver Line service of Elder Dempster & Co Ltd, Liverpool

September 1899 completed as a cargo liner

12 September 1899 sailed on her maiden voyage from Greenock to New Orleans arriving on 2 October 1899

3 October 1899 berthed at New Orleans loading mules

22 October 1899 she commenced the first of 8 round voyages from New Orleans to Cape Town as a Boer War Transport carrying 2,039 mules of which 31 died on the voyage. The ship arrived at Cape Town on 22 November 1899

23 December 1899 berthed at New Orleans from Cape Town

24 December 1899 sailed New Orleans for Halifax to embark Canadian Troops and their horses

1 January 1900 arrived at Halifax

5 January 1900 delayed at Halifax when typhoid fever broke out among ten of the crew

8 January 1900 a Medical Commission was formed to investigate the santitary conditions on the ship following the outbreak of typhoid fever

11 January 1900 the Canadian Government rejected the Montezuma as a troop ship and chose the liner Milwaukee in her place

18 January 1900 sailed Halifax

30 January 1900 berthed at New Orleans

19 February 1900 sailed New Orleans with 1,550 mules onboard for Cape Town

24 March 1900 passed Ascension Island while on passage from New Orleans to Cape Town

21 May 1900 arrived at Newport News from East London

30 June 1900 passed St Lucia while on passage from New Orleans to Cape Town

11 September 1900 berthed at New Orleans from Cape Town

3 October 1900 sailed Orleans for Cape Town with a cargo of mules and horses for British troops

1901 was transferred to the British & African Steam Navigation Co Ltd (Elder, Dempster & Co Ltd, Managers), Liverpool - name unchanged

8 July 1901 at 3.30N 34.55W Horse Attendant Parks G Reynolds discharged dead from malaria

20 July 1901 Fireman Frank Murray discharged dead from injuries sustained from a run away horse

2 August 1901 berthed at New Orleans from South Africa. The ships Captain, Captain Owens, reported that the British were taken vigorous steps to prevent the smuggling of weapons and explosives to the Boers. The ship had been held at anchor off shore for 2 days while rummage crews had searched his ship from stem to stern

Yorkshire Post 2 August 1901

Press Cutting from the Yorkshire Post 2 August 1901

20 August 1902 resuming commercial service

22 August 1902 at 50.15N 6.45W Trimmer Mathew Young discharged dead from natural causes

7 October 1902 at Cardiff loaded with 9,000 tons of coal for Boston - to break a US coal miners strike

25 December 1902 in Hospital at Le Harve, France Trimmer John Gavin discharged dead - no cause shown in the Register of Deaths at sea

14 January 1903 sailed Barry for New York

6 April 1903 acquired by Canadian Pacific Railway Co - name unchanged

17 July 1903 berthed at King Edward Pier, Monteal from Barry

5 August 1903 passed the Scillies while on passage from Montreal to London

1 September 1903 passed Cape Magdalen while on passage from London for Montreal

10 December 1903 berthed at New Orleans from London

1904 converted to carry 1000 x 3rd Class passengers

March 1904 sailed on her first voyage from London - Antwerp - St John, N.B

2 May 1904 sailed Antwerp for Quebec and Montreal carrying Continental emigrants

18 June 1904 from Montreal passed Gravesend

18 July 1904 arrived at Quebec from London

7 August 1904 from Montreal passed the Sciliy Isles

9 August 1904 from Montreal passed Gravesend

17 August 1904 at Milbay Docks, Plymouth Donkeyman William Mellows discharged dead from asphyxia during an epeleptic fit

26 January 1905 arrived at New York from the River Tyne

31 March 1905 sailed Antwerp for London

27 April 1905 sailed Gravesend for Montreal via Antwerp

2 May 1905 sailed Antwerp for Montreal

17 May 1905 passed Marten River, Ontario

9 June 1905 passed St Catherines Point, Isle of Wight while on passage from Monteal to London

11 June 1905 passed Gravesend while on passage from Monteal to London

21 June 1905 off Greenhithe, River Thames Able Seaman William Jones discharged dead from natural causes

31 July 1905 passed Gravesend while on passage from Monteal to London

22 August 1905 passed Cape Magdalen while on passage from London for Montreal

28 August 1905 at Montreal General Hospital Fireman William McAuley discharged dead from injuries sustained from falling

11 September 1905 arrived at the Port of London from Montreal - one case of Enteric Fever - discharged ashore to the Port Sanitary Hospital

4 October 1905 berthed at Quebec from Antwerp

9 November 1905 sailed Gravesend for Antwerp and St Johns, New Brunswick

29 November 1905 passed Gravesend while on passage from London to Monteal

7 December 1905 at 7am sailed Halifax for London

11 January 1906 while on passage from Antwerp passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west for Halifax

29 March 1906 Bosun Thomas Palmer at General Public Hospital, St John, NB discharged dead from injuries sustained from falling into the hold

11 April 1906 at sea at 50.05N 8.10W Greaser Joseph Howells discharged dead from natural causes

28 April 1906 at sea at 50.26N 11.33W a child passenger Joseph Takle, aged 3 died from natural causes

6 May 1906 at sea at 48.02N 48.00W an infant passenger Anna Zamia Zidkowski aged 1 day died from natural causes

11 July 1906 sailed Montreal for London

29 July 1906 in collision with British steamer Kilmore off the West Hinder light vessel. Reported from Flushing that the Montezuma was badly damaged with the fore peak filled with water. The Kilmore sank. 

28 August 1906 arrived at Quebec

16 October 1906 sailed Montreal for London

5 November 1906 in an action in the Admiralty Division of the High Court the accident (above) was heard and the Kilmore was adjudged to be totally at fault

19 December 1906 in the River Thames below Thameshaven while on passage from St. John, New Brunswick in collision with the barge Helvellyn which foundered. No lives were lost

1 February 1907 sailed St John's NB for London

27 April 1907 berthed at the Port of London from St John's NB - one case of enteric fever - discharged ashore to the Port Sanitary Hospital

26 June 1907 sailed Antwerp to Quebec arriving on the 1 July 1907. Members of the Mennonite community were among some of the immigration passengers

10 December 1907 on passage from Montreal passed Gravesend

31 January 1908 berthed at London from St John's NB with 29 passengers

19 May 1908 sailed Montreal to London

22 August 1908 berthed at London from Montreal with 2 passengers

1 December 1908 berthed at London from Monteal with 3 passengers

1 January 1909 arrived St John, New Brunswick from London

7 January 1909 sailed St John, New Brunswick for London

21 January 1909 one crew member removed to the Port of London hospital at Denton suffering from Continued Fever

17 March 1909 passed Gravesend for London on arriving from St John, New Brunswick

20 April 1909 arrived St John, New Brunswick from London

29 April 1909 sailed St John, New Brunswick for London

15 June 1909 arrived at Quebec from London

20 June 1909 sailed Montreal for London

17 July 1909 arrived at Antwerp when on passage from London to Montreal

3 August 1909 arrived at Quebec while on passage from London for Montreal

9 October 1909 sailed Gravesend for Montreal

20 November 1909 arrived at Gravesend from Montreal

7 January 1910 sailed Gravesend for Antwerp

12 January 1910 sailed Antwerp to St John's arriving 27 January 1910

2 February 1910 sailed St John, New Brunswick for London

15 February 1910 berthed at London from St John, New Brunswick

9 March 1910 sailed Antwerp for St John, New Brunswick

18 May 1910 sailed Montreal for London

17 July 1910 sailed Montreal for London

29 July 1910 berthed at London from Monteal with 2 passengers

9 April 1911 passenger died of Typhoid at 49.40N 17.37W - buried at sea

11 April 1911 passenger died of Typhoid at 47.26N 35.48W - buried at sea

12 April 1911 passenger died of Typhoid at 47.03N 37.36W - buried at sea

14 April 1911 passenger died of Pneumonia at 44.08N 47.03W - buried at sea

18 April 1911 passenger died of Pneumonia at St Johns, New Brunswick

11May 1911 three cases of enteric fever - all died - all buried at sea

5 July 1911 sailed Antwerp to Quebec

19 July 1911 arrived at Quebec from Antwerp

13 February 1912 passed Gravesend enroute to St Johns, New Brunswick

12 March 1912 at the General Public Hospital, St. Johns, New Brunswick Assistant Steward Edward P M Pierloot discharged dead from pneumonia

20 May 1912 signalled when 70 miles west of the Lizard enroute to London from Montreal

10 July 1912 arrived at Quebec from Antwerp

14 January 1913 passed Dover enroute to St Johns, New Brunswick

21 February 1913 berthed at the Port of London - one steward was landed ashore suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis

3 June 1913 radioed that she was 160 miles southwest of Brow Head while on passage from Montreal to London

6 June 1913 berthed at London from Montreal with 1 passenger

20 June 1913 passed the Lizard while on passage from London to Montreal - Captain Griffiths was her Master

23 June 1913 while on passage to Montreal sighted the remains of a Norwegian three masted barque Glenmark of 1,357 tons adrift in the Atlantic, unmanned and drifting. The masts had been carried away, as had her lifeboats

7 July 1913 at Montreal 4th Engineer Alexander Barr discharged dead - he drowned

19 August 1913 arrived Quebec while on passage from London to Montreal

27 August 1913 sailed Montreal enroute to Liverpool

7 October 1913 berthed at Quebec

18 November 1913 berthed at Quebec while on passage from London to Montreal

10 December 1913 berthed at London from Montreal with 2 passengers 

10 February 1914 berthed at London from St Johns, New Brunswick with 3 passengers (2 of whom had been deported from Canada)

24 June 1914 went to the assistance of the Belgian Red Star liner Gothland which had gone aground on the Gunner Rocks near the Bishops Rock Lighthouse while on passage from Montreal to Rotterdam.

Gothland 08

Belgian Red Star liner Gothland

Further assistance was provided the the liner Ascanius and mail steamer Lyonesse from the Scilly Isles which was towing life boats. A lifeboat from the Gothland fell from the davits and its passengers were thrown into the sea. They were rescused by a life boat. Reported in the New York Tribune newspaper.

12 September 1914 was hired by the Admiralty to ferry part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to Britain.

2 November 1914 conversion into the Dummy Battleship HMS IRON DUKE commenced. 

20 December 1914 conversion completed and based at Loch Ewe, then at Scapa Flow.

1915 Captain Reginald Crawford listed as Master and 1st Engineer Hugh Todd listed as Chief Engineer Officer in records in the National Maritime Museum

31 May 1915 Assistant Engineer Walter John Rigby RNR discharged dead - killed in an engine room accident. He is remembered with pride on the War Memorial, at Grange Hill, West Kirby, Cheshire

6 July 1915 DBS Squadron disbanded

07 July 1915 purchased by the Admiralty had cylindrical tanks inserted into her holds, and entered service as the oiler RFA ABADOL.

7 February 1917 her management was transferred to Lane and MacAndrew and she became the oiler transport OAKLEAF

23 February 1917 ceased to be classed as an RFA

25 July 1917 while on passage from Invergordon to Port Arthur, Texas was torpedoed and sunk without warning by the German Submarine UC 41 (Oberleutnant zur See Hans Forste) in position 59.01 N 07.26 W approximately 64 miles NW of the Butt of Lewis without fatalities. The U Boat suffered an internal explosion on the 21 August 1917 and sank in the Tay estuary at 56 25N 02 35W. The entire crew were killed.

 

Notes:

 

When Elder Dempster sold their Canadian interests (Beaver Line) to the Canadian Pacific Railway Co for the sum of £1,417,500, a total of 14 ships plus 3 tugs were involved in the deal and these were as follows: LAKE CHAMPLAIN (RFA RUTHENIA), LAKE ERIE(RFA SAXOL), LAKE MANITOBA, LAKE MICHIGAN, MILWAUKEE, MONTCALM (RFA CRENELLA), MONTEAGLE, MONTEREY, MONTEZUMA (RFA ABADOL), MONTORT, MONTREAL, MOUNT ROYAL(RANGOL), MOUNT TEMPLE & MONTROSE and the 3 Liverpool tugs AFRICAN, BEAVER & OTTER

 

 

 

RFA Oakleaf (2)

 

Oakleaf_1986

Reproduced with permission of the MOD

 

RFA Oakleaf 2

 

 

Previous name:                         Oktania
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                        389540

Class:                                      THIRD LEAF CLASS Support Tanker

Pennant No:                            A111

Laid down:
Builder:                                   A B Uddevalla, Sweden
Launched:                               2 July 1981
Into Service:                           14 August 1986
Out of service:                         2007
Fate:                                      Broken up 2010

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:   On 27 October 1978 it was announced that the MoD (N) was to charter two laid up STaT 32 standard product tankers which had originally formed part of a 4-ship order for commercial owners. After three of the ships had been laid down, the owners ran into financial difficulties and found that they were unable to accept the new ships. As they were the only mercantile order then in hand, the builders completed the three ships, and after running trials, they were laid up, two at Liverpool and one at Birkenhead. After some time had elapsed, the builders took over ownership of the ships by forming three subsidiary companies which then offered the ships for sale or charter. These eventually became RFA’s APPLELEAF (3), BRAMBLELEAF (3) and ORANGELEAF (3). Some years later, the fourth ship from this original order was built as RFA BAYLEAF (3). All four ships had additional accommodation and full RAS capabilities fitted and became useful units in the Fleet. Later on, a fifth vessel was chartered and was renamed RFA OAKLEAF (2), but she differed considerably from the earlier four Leafs

 

2 July 1981 launched by Uddervallavarvet Aktiebolaget, Uddevalla as Yard Nr: 312 named OKTANIA for Rederi AB Oktetten, Stockholm

29 March 1985 approval given to charter her to replace RFA PLUMLEAF (2)

June 1985 purchased by James Fisher & Sons, Barrow-in-Furness for bare-boat charter to the MoD (N)

7 September 1985 arrived on the Tyne for formal docking and inspection

September 1985 approval granted by Lloyds Register and the Admiralty Ship’s Name and Badge Committee for her new name

December 1985 invitations to tender for her conversion were issued

15 January 1986 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

17 February 1986 arrived Falmouth for conversion by Falmouth Shiprepairer Ltd.

19 February 1986 conversion work began

11 August 1986 conversion completed at a cost of approximately £5m

13 August 1986 ran sea trials in Falmouth Bay

14 August 1986 formally renamed OAKLEAF (2) by Mrs Patricia Kemp, the wife of Mr Anthony Kemp, DST (SF)

26 August 1986 sailed Falmouth for Plymouth to store and then to Portland for BOST

28 September 1986 sailed Portland on her maiden voyage to Fort Lauderdale

March 1987 berthed at Pensacola, Florida

17 September 1987 arrived Portsmouth for the first time

3 November 1987 Mr Robert Settle RFA appointed Chief Engineer Officer. The ship was berthed at Rosyth

CEO Bob Settle

Chief Engineer Officer Robert Settle RFA

19 May 1988 berthed on Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty

1 June 1988 at Portland

13 September 1988 to 20 September 1988 humanitarian relief - supported the frigate HMS ACTIVE in relief ops after Hurricane Gilbert had hit Grand Cayman and Jamaica

November 1988 berthed at US Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia Beath, Virginia, USA

13 December 1988 berthed at Miama, Florida

April 1989 involved in Operation Ocean Tracker with USCGC Nunivak

24 November 1989 at Falmouth

2 May 1990 at Miami, Florida

July 1990 visited the US Naval Station, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico

16 June 1991 berthed at Bermuda

16 November 1991 berthed at Miami, Florida

4 January 1993 at Portland

30 January 1993 at Portsmouth

23 September 1993 to December 1993 humanitarian aid - Supported Operation Snowdon - supported the frigate HMS ACTIVE in international interdiction operations during political problems in Haiti

17 September 1994 to 30 September 1994 in Operation Spartan - supported HM ships in Maritime Interdiction Operations off Haiti

5 January 1995 Captain (E) Robert Settle RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 January 1995 at Plymouth

July 1995 while supporting the West Indies Guard ship HMS SOUTHAMPTON provided assistance following volcanic activity on the Island of Montserrat 

6 September 1995 to 15 September 1995 humanitarian aid - with the destroyer HMS SOUTHAMPTON she provided relief teams to Anguilla after Hurricane Luis had devastated the area

2 June 1997 to 22 August 1997 routine docking

10 October 1997 with the survey ship HMS HERALD she provided medical assistance to an injured yachtsman who was transferred to OAKLEAF and then by helicopter to Spain.

14 May 1999 berthed at Gibraltar and Captain Pat Thompson OBE RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

14 February 2000 to 21 April 2000 in refit

31 March 2000 Captain (E) Graham Turner RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Graham Turner

Captain (E) Graham Turner RFA

21 April 2001 to 30 April 2001 berthed at Gibraltar

15 August 2001 to 16 August 2001 berthed at Algerciras, Spain

17 August 2001 to 27 August 2001 berthed at Gibraltar

September 2001 engaged on the Argonaut 2001 deployment together with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, fourteen other Royal Naval Warships and RFA's FORT VICTORIA, BAYLEAF (3), SIR TRISTRAM, SIR BEDIVERE, SIR PERCIVALE, SIR GALAHAD (2), FORT AUSTIN, FORT ROSALIE (2) and DILIGENCE

3 September 2001 to 5 September 2001 berthed at Malaga, Spain

22 November 2001 to 27 November 2001 berthed at Malaga, Spain

17 December 2001 to 7 January 2002 berthed at Gibraltar

16 January 2002 to 18 January 2002 berthed at Algeciras, Spain

18 January 2002 to 25 January 2002 berthed at Gibraltar

26 August 2002 to 22 September 2002 contractor support period

18 October 2002 berthed alongside at the Faslane Fuel Depot, Gare Loch

31 March 2003 arrived at Carrick Roads from Devonport and anchored

1 April 2003 entered No: 2 dry dock at A & P, Falmouth

29 April 2003 undocked from No: 2 dry dock at Falmouth and berthed on Dutchy Wharf

4 July 2003 at Faslane

March 2004 berthed on a buoy in Plymouth Sound

RFA Oakleaf2 3 2004 Owen Davidson

© Owen Davidson - used with permission

1 April 2004 at Plymouth Sound

16 April 2004 alongside the Fuel Depot at Loch Striven

Oakleaf 2 Loch Striven 2004

RFA Oakleaf alongside at Loch Striven

21 April 2004 anchored in Falmouth Bay

22 April 2004 sailed from Falmouth Bay for Plymouth

23 April 2004 at Plymouth Sound

24 June 2004 berthed at Halifax

18 July 2004 at Portland

11 August 2004 Captain (X) Kim Watts RFA appointed as Commanding Officer

Capt Kim Watts

Captain (X) Kim Watts RFA

18 August 2004 berthed at Gibraltar sailing on 27 August 2004

September 2004 purchased by MoD (N)

5 September 2004 at Portland

12 November 2004 berthed at Garelochhead

18 November 2004 off Falmouth

5 December 2004 completed FOST support

13 December 2004 arrived at Portmouth

25 December 2004 at Gibraltar

24 January 2005 off Falmouth

25 January 2005 at Plymouth

31 January 2005 berthed at Gibraltar from Plymouth sailing on 2 March 2005

8 March 2005 arrived at Devonport from Gibraltar

31 May 2005 returned to A & P, Hebburn on Tyne after sea trials

15 July 2005 berthed on Yonderberry Pier, Devonport

25 July 2005 berthed at Southampton

10 August 2005 berthed on Yonderberry Pier, Devonport

19 August 2005 humanitarian aid - rescued 2 fishermen adrift in the Straits of Gibraltar after their boat had sunk and landed them at Gibraltar

19 August 2005 berthed at Gibraltar from Plymouth sailing on 20 September 2005

7 September 2005 at Loch Striven

25 September 2005 berthed at the oil fuel depot at the Gare Loch

5 October to 9 October 2005 at Loch Striven

31 October 2005

8 November 2005 berthed at Portsmouth

25 November 2005 at Plymouth Sound

28 November 2005 berthed on Yonderberry Pier, Devonport

1 December 2005 at Plymouth Sound

4 January 2006 sailed Portland

30 January 2006 berthed at Portsmouth

1 February 2006 berthed at Amsterdam

9 February 2006 berthed at Portsmouth

10 February 2006 sailed Portsmouth

5 April 2006 berthed on Yonderberry Pier, Devonport

9 April 2006 berthed at Loch Striven

17 April 2006 sailed Loch Striven

Oakleaf Fearless and Gold Rover

RFA Oakleaf (2), HMS Fearless and RFA Gold Rover
© MOD acknowledged

2 August 2006 arrived at Portsmouth

4 August 2006 sailed Portsmouth

5 August 2006 berthed at Rotterdam

28 August 2006 berthed at Gibraltar sailing on 7 September 2006

10 September 2006 arrived at Portland

27 September 2006 berthed at Gibraltar

8 October 2006 sailed Gibraltar

23 October 2006 sailed Glen Mallen

2 November 2006 arrived the River Clyde

8 November 2006 arrived Loch Ewe

12 November 2006 arrived Portsmouth

14 November 2006 sailed Portsmouth

16 November 2006 arrived the River Clyde

25 November 2006 berthed at Gibraltar

3 December 2006 in the River Clyde

10 January 2007 berthed at Portsmouth

28 January 2007 berthed on Yonderberry Pier, Devonport

8 February 2007 berthed at Gibraltar

7 March 2007 arrived the River Clyde

12 March 2007 arrived Portsmouth for the last time to lay-up for disposal

April 2007 announced that she would be reduced to “zero manning” along with RFA BRAMBLELEAF (3)

September 2007 on the Disposal List at Portsmouth

26 September 2008 due to leave Portsmouth in tow, but the proposed sale fell through

29 September 2010 left Portsmouth under tow of the tug Mega One to ship breakers in Turkey

RFA_Oakleaf_tug_Mega_One_29.09

 

22 October 2010 arrived under tow at Aliaga, Turkey for breaking up by Leyal Ship Recycling Ltd

 

Oakleaf A111 breakup 4

 

31 January 2011 reported by Leyal Ship Recycling Ltd that RFA Oakleaf (2) had been completely dismantled and recycled in accordance with all EU waste management legislation

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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