RFA Spalake




Previous name:
Subsequent name:   

Official Number:                    181508                                                                        

Class:                                   SPA CLASS Water Carrier

Pennant No:                         X123 / A260

Laid down:                           13 August 1945
Builder:                                 Hill & Sons, Bristol

Launched:                            10 August 1946
Into Service:                         28 November 1946
Out of service:                      1947
Fate:                                   Broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  There were 6 ships in this Class, all coal-fired and all built to an Admiralty design. Originally intended for service with the RFA, several of them were transferred to Dockyard Service later in their careers and came under what was then the Port Authority service which in turn became the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. Some of them were also employed by the Army at times, in bases where fresh water supplies were difficult to obtain. RFA SPABECKwas for some years employed as a carrier of hydrogen peroxide fuel for experimental submarine engines, being specially converted for this task by Vickers Ltd and was based at Barrow, manned by RFA crews when not laid up between experiments.


10 August 1946 launched at Albion Dockyard of Charles Hill & Son Ltd, Bristol as Yard Nr 338 named SPALAKE by Mrs Luckwell wife of Mr J Luckwell the Manager of Albion Dockyard

20 November 1946 sailed on trials

28 November 1946 delivered at a cost of £76,000. Based at Malta but spent a period in reserve at Sheerness

1 December 1946 sailed Devonport in ballast

3 December 1946 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

29 September 1947 bareboat chartered to the War Office. In his 1947 post-war policy, the Director of Stores indicated a reluctance to dispose of these small tankers and suggested that the Director of Victualling operated them, placed them in reserve or bareboat chartered them to commercial companies. Two of them were bareboat chartered to the War Office for service as Water Boats in the Mediterranean and Far East

14 October 1959 sailed Malta for Tobruk

11 December 1959 arrived at Malta from Benghazi

23 May 1960 sailed Malta for Tobruk

September 1960 at Tobruk on her last visit bringing fresh water for the British Garrison

RFA Spalake at Libya in 1960

26 July 1964 underway off Greenock

18 December 1970 Cabin Boy Charles McElhone discharged dead at Greenock lost overboard

24 June 1977 sold to W.H. Arnott Young & Co Ltd for scrap

August 1977 Arrived Dalmuir for demolition

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website, by continuing to use the site you agree to cookies being used. More info.