retainer 22There were 2 handsome looking ships in this Class which had originally been built as cargo / passenger liners for their owner’s China – Hong Kong – Amoy – Indonesia trade and carried 48 x 1st Class passengers in luxurious 2-berth cabins with separate dining saloons for European and Chinese palates. No 2nd Class passengers were carried, but there was a steep social drop in accommodation in 8 and 10-berth cabins for 320 Steerage Class passengers. Both ships proved surplus to requirements almost at once, mainly for political reasons, and were purchased by the Admiralty. They remained on charter to commercial companies until they were finally taken in hand for conversion into Armament Stores Issuing Ships.

 

There were 5 holds and ‘tween decks, served by a combination of 2,5,7 and 10 ton derricks while 3 of the holds also had electric lifts and they carried a range of armament stores, dry and frozen provisions, NAAFI stores, medical stores as well as 200 survivors’ kits. They were also fitted with a small cargo platform aft for VERTREP purposes.

The 2 ships were RESURGENT and RETAINER.

RESURGENT:


RESURGENT


Builder: Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Greenock.

Launched: 31 July 1950 as CHANGCHOW. Completed: 15 February 1951
Purchased by the Admiralty on 29 February 1952 and was renamed RESURGENT on 25 April 1953.

Yard Nr: 654 Official Nr: 184366 Signal Letters: GGTM

Tonnages: 9301 grt 3781 nrt 14400 dwt

Dimensions: 477’02” (o.a.) x 62’02” x 25’00¾”

Machinery: 1 x 6 cyl Doxford diesel by the builders. 6500 bhp

Speed: 15 knots

Complement: 112 RFA plus 24 Stores Staff

Pennant Nr: A 280

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Was laid up at Rosyth in 1980. Arrived Avilez after sale for scrap where some superstructure was removed to lighten her before moving to Gijon 2 days later for final demolition which was completed on 27 May 1981


RETAINER:


retainer 22


Builder: Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Greenock.

Launched: 19 January 1950 as CHUNGKING Completed: 31 July 1950
Purchased by the Admiralty on 29 February 1952 and chartered out and was renamed RETAINER on 19 December 1952

Yard Nr: 649 Official Nr: 184289 Signal Letters: GGVC

Tonnages: 9301 grt 3783 nrt 14400 dwt

Dimensions: 477’02” (o.a.) x 62’02” x 25’00¾”

Machinery: 1 x 6 cyl Doxford by the builders. 6500 bhp

Speed: 15 knots

Complement: 112 RFA plus 34 Stores Staff

Pennant Nr: A 329

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Was laid up at Rosyth in 1978. Arrived Barcelona for demolition by Desguaces Cataluna S.A. on 19 February 1979. Demolition began on 20 February 1980.

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