Somersby

mv Somersby before becoming a RFA

Somersby-03

RFA Somersby 

Subsequent name:                RFA Reliant                                                         

Official Number:                       180097                                                                              

Class:                                     Aviation Stores /Victualling Stores Issuing Ship

Pennant No:                             A84

Laid down:
Builder:                                     Laing, Depford Yard
Launched:                                 9 September 1953
Into RFA Service:                       11 August 1957
Out of service:                            7 May 1976
Fate:                                         Broken Up

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

Originally designed as a cargo liner for Ropner Shipping Co, Darlington for the carriage of grain on the U.K. - Gulf of Mexico route and could also carry up to 12 passengers. She entered this service in March 1954 named SOMERSBY but due to uneconomical trading was turned over to tramping in 1956. She was chartered by the Admiralty for a 3 month period that year and the following year was purchased by them. After a quick docking and repairs, she entered service as RFA SOMERSBY on freighting duties and was used for the destoring of Trincomalee after the base there was handed over.

 

21 September 1953 at Laings Quay, Sunderland fitting out

4 March 1954 sailed Sunderland for sea trials

15 March 1954 sailed London to Miami, New Orleans, Mobile and Houston USA with 12 passengers. Captain John Kenny was the Master

21 May 1954 sailed London to Miami, New Orleans, Mobile and Houston USA with 6 passengers

6 August 1954 sailed London to Miami, New Orleans, Mobile and Houston USA with 12 passengers

20 October 1954 sailed Hamburg for the Gulf

8 January 1955 sailed London to Miami, New Orleans, Mobile, Houston and Brownsville, USA with 12 passengers

24 February 1955 at 33.55N 37.43W passenger Gladys Ferguson discharged dead from a stroke

5 April 1955 sailed Cardiff to Houston and New Orleans, USA with 10 passengers

6 September 1955 sailed London to Miami and Houston, USA with 12 passengers

17 November 1955 sailed London to Miami, New Orleans and Houston, USA with 12 passengers

25 January 1956 sailed London to Miami and New Orleans, USA with 12 passengers

26 March 1956 sailed London to Houston and New Orleans, USA with 4 passengers

August 1956 requisitioned by the Admiralty for duty with British Forces in Operation Musketeer - the Suez Crisis. She was one of 70 additional British merchant ships for this service. Britain also recalled seven former LST's which were out on commercial charter at the time

1 August 1957 arrived at Smith’s Dockyard Co Ltd, North Shields for examination

4 August 1957 Mr W E Young RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 August 1957 first RFA crew appointments were made and she entered service as RFA SOMERSBY, on freighting duties and was also used in connection with the destoring of the former Naval base at Trincomalee when it closed

2 September 1957 deployed from London on Operation Grapple carrying 3,931 tons of cargo to Chrismas Island

1 October 1957 Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA appointed as Master

Captain S C KERNICK

Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA
(from early in his career)
 

23 September 1958 name changed to RFA Reliant.

For further details of this ship please see RFA Reliant (2)

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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