RFA Resurgent


Previous name:                      Changchow III
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                     184366                                                                           

Class:                                   RETAINER CLASS Armaments/Victualling Stores Issuing Ship

Pennant No:                          A280

Laid down:
Builder:                                Scotts' Ship Building, Greenock
Launched:                            31 July 1950
Into Service:                         15 February 1951

Out of service:                      18 August 1979 laid up at Rosyth
Fate:                                    Broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:   There were two ships in this Class, which had originally been built as cargo/passenger liners for their owners’ China - Hong Kong - Amoy - Indonesia trade. As built, the Promenade and Upper Decks on each side were for the exclusive use of 48 x First Class passengers for whom their was luxurious accommodation in 2-bert cabins. They also had a Card Room, Lounge, Veranda Lounge and 2 Dining Saloons for European and Chinese palates respectively. There were no Second Class passengers but a steep social drop in accommodation in 8 and 10 berth cabins for 320 Steerage Class passengers who also had their own Dining Saloon. Both ships proved surplus to requirements almost at once, as the trade at that time was overstocked with tonnage and the Chinese Communist Government stopped all immigration as soon as they came to power.. The Admiralty purchased both ships and after employing them for a while on charter work, they were converted into Armament Stores Issuing Ships, although they also carried a proportion of Victualling Stores too. They were eventually replaced by RFA’s FORT GRANGE and FORT AUSTIN


31 July 1950 launched by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Greenock as Yard Nr: 654 named CHANGCHOW III for China Navigation Co, London

15 February 1951 completed and after trials was chartered by Cie des Messageries Maritimes, France for their France - South Pacific - Sydney service

23 July 1951 at Marseilles No 1 Greaser Ting Ching Chong discharged dead - stroke

6 September 1951 at sea at 16.00S 117.49E passenger Louis Jacques Vaesen discharged dead - natural causes

29 February 1952 purchased by the Admiralty but remained on charter

21 July 1952 berthed at Sydney, NSW from Noumea

26 July 1952 at Sydney, NSW but prevented from putting to sea due to severe weather

29 December 1952 berthed at Sydney, NSW from Noumea

3 January 1953 sailed from Sydney, NSW for Marseilles, France

March 1953 finally delivered to the Admiralty

25 April 1953 renamed RESURGENT and was again chartered out

Resurgent before grey paint

Renamed Resurgent but lacking grey paint

2 October 1953 at Curacao 2nd Cook Lo Chun discharged dead - natural causes

February 1954 she was offered for charter by the MoT until 04/55, with the possibility of an extension thereafter

1955 - 1957 on charter to British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London same name

July 1957 returned to Admiralty service

August 1957 taken in hand by Vickers Armstrong (Shipbuilders) Ltd at Palmers Hebburn Yard for conversion into an Armaments Stores Issuing Ship for service with the Far East Fleet

3 August 1957 Mr William J Brown OBE DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

22 August 1957 berthed on Admiralty Quay, River Tyne

29 October 1957 berthed on Admiralty Quay, River Tyne together with RFA WAVE DUKE

31 December 1957 alongside Palmer, Heburn Yard, River Tyne together with RFA's TIDEREACH, WAVE EMPEROR and WAVE KNIGHT (1)

1 May 1958 Captain E Payne RFA appointed as Master

2 August 1958 conducted RAS trials off the Tyne with the frigate HMS BLACKWOOD

28 August 1958 sailed from the Tyne on completion of her conversion

Setember 1958 trials and then to Cairn Ryan for ammunition storing

8 October 1958 at Plymouth

9 October 1958 sailed for the Far East

13 October 1958 berthed at Gibraltar

17 November 1958 sailed Aden

21 December 1958 in exercises off Hong Kong with HMS CEYLON, HMS CHEVIOT, HMS CAVALIER, HMS CARDIGAN BAY together with RFA's RELIANT and TIDESURGE

Christmas 1958 at Hong Kong

3 January 1959 Mr Reginald R Darroch RFA appointed Chief Engineer Officer


Chief Engineer Officer Reginald R Darroch RFA

January 1959 sailed Hong Kong for Singapore

28 January 1959 RASed HMS CARDIGAN BAY off Singapore

February 1959 storing at Singapore

24 February 1959 RASed with HMAS MELBOURNE

13 March 1959 undertook a RAS with HMAS VOYAGER

14 March 1959 berthed at Fremantle, Australia with HMS CHICHESTER, HMS CHEVIOT and HMAS VOYAGER

18 March 1959 sailed Fremantle

24 March 1959 undertook a RAS with HMAS VOYAGER and other RN and RAN warships

31 March 1959 at Singapore for maintenance

6 April 1959 off Singapore RASed with HMAS ANZAC - 5 tons of ammunition supplied

7 April 1959 undertook a RAS with HMAS VOYAGER

14 April 1959 to 28 April 1959 took part in the SEATO exercise 'Sea Demon'

18 April 1959 off Johore Shoal Buoy RASed with HMAS ANZAC

23 April 1959 heavy jackstay transfer to HMAS's ANZAC and VOYAGER

27 April 1959 undertook a RAS with HMAS VOYAGER

28 April 1959 at Manilla

4 May 1959 at Singapore

25 May 1959 with HMS's ALBION and CHICHESTER crossed the Indian Ocean

June 1959 at Durban and Mombassa

July 1959 at Aden and the Persian Gulf with HMS CENTAUR and 1st Destroyer Squadron

August 1959 at Karachi

11 August 1959 sailed Karachi

13 August 1959 to 21 August 1959 took part in exercise 'JET 59'

August 1959 to Trincomalee to de-ammunition the damaged HMS HOGUE

27 August 1959 at Penang

September 1959 at Hong Kong

October 1959 at Trincomalee handing over to RFA RETAINER

November 1959 arrived at Plymouth to destore and to Milford Haven to de-ammunition

December 1959 at Plymouth 

18 December 1959 Captain Walter L Holtam RFA appointed as Master

Captain W. L HOLTAM

Captain Walter L Holtam RFA

27 January 1960 Captain J Dines RFA appointed as Master

September 1960 RASed with HMS ARK ROYAL in the English Channel


26 June 1961 sailed Singapore with RFA's RELIANT (2), TIDEREACH and HMS VICTORIOUS with other RN units

July 1961 saw service during Operation Vantage - the Kuwait Crisis - along with 12 other  RFA’s

15 October 1961 Mr W E Young RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 December 1961 Captain F G Edwards OBE RFA appointed as Master

May 1962 Seaman Francis John Clark discharged dead

15 June 1962 together with HMS ARK ROYAL and other RN and RAN warships involved in Exercise Potluck off Hong Kong

16 June 1962 berthed at Hong Kong

17 June 1962 sailed from Hong Kong. The Medical Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA transferred by light jackstay to assist the ships Doctor with a case of suspected appendicitis

18 June 1962 RAS'ed with HMNZS TARANAKI and HMAS PARRAMATTA off Okinawa

21 June 1962 while on passage from Hong Kong to Singapore with RFA's RELIANT (2) and WAVE MASTER and RN, RAN and RNZN ships took part in Exercise Homerun. RFA WAVE MASTER RAS'ed with all the ships

27 June 1962 RAS'ed with HMAS PARRAMATTA

July 1963 accompanied the carrier HMS VICTORIOUS from the U.K. - Far East along with RFA’s RELIANT (2), TIDESPRING and WAVE RULER (1)

17 July 1963 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

24 September 1963 at Mombassa, Keyna - Ambrose Ryan, Civilian Naval Stores clerk, discharged dead after dying in hospital from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident in a game park some three weeks before

31 March 1964 Mr Charles H Gurr RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 April 1964 Captain Alistair C Gibson RFA appointed as Master

1 May 1964 at Plymouth (see note 1)

30 July 1965 at Milford Haven (see note 1)

8 August 1965  to11 August 1965 took part in the Clyde Royal Review along with RFA‘s BLACK RANGER, OLYNTHUS (2), ROWANOL and WAVE PRINCE

27 August 1965 Mr J W Stuart RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

August 1965 berthed at Smith's Dock, River Tyne for a refit

18 September 1965 Captain Nicholas B J Stapleton RD RFA appointed as Master

5367Stapleton Capt N B J

Captain Nicholas B J Stapleton RD RFA

17 March 1966 along with RFA’s RELIANT(2) and TIDEPOOL was in support of the destroyer HMS CAMBRIAN and the frigate HMS PLYMOUTH on the Beira Patrol in the Mozambique Channel

6 July 1966 Captain J D G Gray RFA appointed as Master

26 August 1966 Mr W E Young RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 October 1966 commenced to take part in Exercise Millsail - an advanced weapon exercise - in the Subic training areas, together with RFA's TIDESPRING, FORT DUQUESNE and FORT ROSALIE together with various RN and RAN units

31 October 1966 berthed Sydney, NSW, Australia

7 December 1966 Captain J Gulessarian RFA appointed as Master

13 June 1967 Mr G R Henderson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 October 1967 to 25 January 1968 part of TF 318 - the Aden Task Force formed to cover the final British withdrawal from the area codenamed Operation Magister along with 9 other RFA’s and she took part in the final Fleet Review with 5 of the other RFA‘s involved

13 January 1968 Captain J H McLoughlin RFA appointed as Master

1 April 1968 Mr J P Mair RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 December 1968 at Liverpool

14 March 1969 Humanitarian aid - a Catering Boy aboard developed appendicitis in the South Atlantic and the Ship’s Surgeon radioed for assistance in conducting the necessary operation. A rendezvous was made with the Russian CHELUSKIN about 600 miles NW of Ascension Island  and the operation was conducted by two Russian Surgeon Commanders with the Ship’s Doctor acting as anaesthetist

23 May 1970 visited RAF GAN

June/July 1970 Beira Patrol

February 1971 visited Jamestown, St. Helena

6 June 1971 in the South China Sea responded to a radio message for medical assistance from a Singapore registered cargo vessel 'Ocean Mercury' when a seaman Yeung Siu Fun who had suffered a stroke. Treated onboard by the ship's doctor and then conveyed to a Singapore Hospital for treatment arriving on 7 June 1971

12 February 1972 with HMS TRIUMPH visited Recife, Brazil on good will visit

30 March 1972 sailed Malta with RFA WAVE CHIEF and HMS BULWALK. RASed with HMS BULWALK off the island

31 August 1973 at Devonport unloaded a 3 engined Junkers 52 aircraft donated by the Portuguese Government for the Imperial War Museum

8 October 1973 Humanitarian aid - she came across the blazing and abandoned Cypriot-registered  vessel NEJMA whilst on passage from La Spezia boarded her, extinguished the blaze and then towed the heavily damaged ship to Majorca

25 August 1974  at Rosyth

13 June 1975 at Rosyth

20 January 1976 at Wellington, New Zealand - self maintenance period - sailed 2 February 1976

27 January 1977 at Portland Dockyard

28 March 1977 on the River Tyne

27 April 1977 on the River Tyne

28 April 1977 sailed the River Tyne for Rosyth arriving the next day

11 May 1977 moved from Rosyth Dockyard to an achorage to load ammunition

17 May 1977 sailed the Forth to the Atlantic off Lands End for exercises

21 May 1977 anchored in Mounts Bay

23 May 1977 anchored in Plymouth Sound

31 May 1977 sailed Plymouth for further exercises off Lands End

8 June 1977 arrived at Portland for work-up

13 June 1977 sailed Portland and RAS'ed with RFA STROMNESS and a Dutch ship. Exercises with HMS DEVONSHIRE and was towed by RFA STROMNESS

23 June 1977 FOST and RN staff on-board. RAS'ed with RFA BLACK ROVER

1 July 1977 sailed Portland

4 July 1977 passed Gibraltar

5 July 1977 stopped between 0900 - 1100 to replace 4 fuel inlet valves

8 July 1977 arrived Malta - anchored off Marsaxlokk

12 July 1977 sailed Malta

15 July 1977 arrived Iskenderum, Turkey

18 July 1977 sailed Iskenderum

19 July 1977 ship stopped at 1400 to change another fuel inlet valve

20 July 1977 anchored at Souda Bay, Crete until 1500 then berthed alongside

23 July 1977 sailed Souda Bay

25 July 1977 stopped yet again to change fuel inlet valve

28 July 1977 arrived at Gibraltar

29 July 1977 sailed Gibraltar

2 August 1977 berthed at Rosyth - No 3 berth

15 August 1977 moved to anchorage

22 August 1977 sailed Rosyth

24 August 1977 anchored

25 August 1977 berthed at Rosyth

3 September 1977 sailed Rosyth and RAS'ed with HMS's DIOMEDES and SHEFFIELD

6 September 1977 stopped to change fuel inlet valves again

8 September 1977 stopped to change fuel inlet valves again

9 September 1977 Hurricane Clara off Bermuda prevented the ship berthing there

11 September 1977 anchored off Bermuda

12 September 1977 sailed Bermuda suffering engine troubles again. RAS'ed with HMS HERMES

15 September 1977 alongside at Mayport Naval Base. Florida along with HMS HERMES. Moved off jetty to allow RFA TIDEREACH to go alongside. Also in post was HMS ANTRIM and the USS Roosevelt. The RN, RFA and US Navy ships had visited Mayport to be pat of a 10 ship Task Group taking part in exercies

21 September 1977 sailed Mayport

23 September 1977 between 0600 nand 1800 RAS'ed with all ships in the Task Group

24 September 1977 alongside at Norfolk, VA

28 September 1977 sailed Norfolk, VA and RAS'ed with RFA STROMNESS

29 September 1977 RAS'ed with RFA STROMNESS again

1 October 1977 RAS'ed with HMS ARROW. On exercise - ship blacked out in the evening

3 October 1977 RAS'ed with RFA TIDEREACH

9 October 1977 RAS'ed with HMS DIOMEDES

10 October 1977 RAS'ed with RFA TIDEREACH and HMS KENT

11 October 1977 RAS'ed with HMS HERMES

12 October 1977 anchored off Lisbon alongwith other NATO ships

16 October 1977 sailed Lisbon

17 October 1977 involved in Exercise Ocean Safari until 28 October 1977

22 October 1977 off the North coast of Spain to meet the Task Group. 

24 October 1977 RAS'ed with HMS ARROW

26 October 1977 headed out into the Atlantic

31 October 1977 anchored off Rosyth

18 January 1978 at Plymouth

3 February 1978 at Rosyth (see note 1)

21 April 1978 at Bermuda (see note 1)

24 June 1978 at Plymouth (see note 1)

1 October 1978 at San Francisco, California (see note 1)

13 July 1979 conducted her final operational RAS with the carrier HMS BULWARK

18 August 1979 arrived Rosyth to destore.

September 1979 sailed Rosyth for Bermuda, Mayport before transiting the Panama Canal. On arrival in the Pacific she visited San Diego, San Francisco, Prince Rupert (BC), Vancouver, Keyport (Seattle), before returning via the Panama Canal, Bermuda, Devonport and Rosyth to destore and pay off in December 1979

December 1979  laid up for disposal

18 March 1981 sold to Davies & Newman Ltd, London for £189,000 on behalf of Asturamerican  Shipping Co Inc, Panama and was then resold to Desguaces Vige S.A, San Estaban for scrap

5 May 1981 sailed Rosyth in tow of the Panamanian-registered Spanish tug SUZANNE M

13 May 1981 arrived Avilez where some superstructure was removed to lighten her

15 May 1981 arrived for breaking up at San Esteban de Pravia, Spain by Desguaces Vige 



1. Locations kindly provided by Bosun George Collings RFA (Retired) from his Discharge Book

2. Was one of the 11 store ships employed in the Mozchan on Beira Patrol duties


Additional information

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