Tidereach_1968

Reproduced with permission of the MOD

 

RFA Tidereach

 

 

Previous name:                     
Subsequent name:    

Official Number:                       186278                                                              

Class:                                    Tide Class Fleet Replenishment Tanker

Pennant No:                            A96

Laid down:                              2 June 1953
Builder:                                   Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend

Launched:                               2 June 1954
Into Service:                           30 August 1955
Out of service:                         March 1978 - laid up at Portsmouth.

Fate:                                      Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  The four ships in this Class were the first Admiralty-designed purpose-built Fleet replenishment tankers intended for enduring front-line support. They evolved from the valuable practical experience gained from HMS BULAWAYO, RFA OLNA(2) and from a number of the WAVE CLASStankers. Their forward defensive armament fit was a gun platform designed to carry a 4-inch gun and it’s director. Single 20mm Oerlikon mounts were fitted to both bridge wings and twin 40mm Bofors, together with their directors, could be mounted to port and starboard of the funnel. Accommodation was also provided for DEMS Ratings, although in practice these guns were not mounted. All four vessels gave valuable world-wide service and were the pioneers of aspects of RFA life which later became standard. 3 of them were near Suez when the Suez Conflict broke out in 1956. One of them was short on fuel and was ordered back to Malta to replenish her tanks. Unfortunately the wrong one returned and it was discovered that in 2 of them their names were too similar so they were renamed in 1958.

18 May 1954 original launch date postponed

2 June 1954 launched by Mrs S M Raw (later Lady Raw) wife of the retired Fourth Sea Lord Vice Admiral Sir Sydney Raw, KBE, CB. She was launched on the 50th anniversary of the building of the first Fleet Oiler RFA PETROLEUM

3 September 1954 Mr David C Leathley RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

22 January 1955 Commodore Thomas H Card RFA appointed as Master

1 September 1956 Captain Thomas Elder DSC RFA appointed as Master 

31 October 1956 deployed for Operation Musketeer - the Suez Crisis - along with 34 other RFA’s

24 December 1956 entered Grand Harbour, Malta with RFA BROWN RANGER, RFA WAVE VICTOR and RFA WAVE LIBERATOR after covering with RN units the Anglo-French Forces withdrawl from Port Said

3 January 1957 Captain Elder promoted Commodore and remained in command

6 March 1957 Mr J R Warne RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 September 1957 along with RFA's Tiderange and Olna (2) she assembled on the River Clyde with other units for the Home Fleet Exercises with the Depot Ship HMS MAIDSTONE as the Flagship

15 May 1959 in the North Sea RASed with HMS CENTAUR

18 August 1958 Mr G J Mathews RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

2 April 1959 Captain F G Evans RFA appointed as Master

9 January 1960 deployed in support of RN units off Iceland during 1st Cod War until 11 January 1960

1960 played the leading ship role in the film “Lifeline” about a Deck Cadet’s first trip to sea

9 June 1960 in the North Sea the main Gyro failed which nearly caused a collision with HMS BERMUDA

30 October 1960 entered Grand Harbour, Malta

February 1961 sailed Gibraltar with HMS Victorious and HMS BLACKPOOL bound for Cape Town - the deployment became known as The Old Vic Touring Company

 

Pamphlet_Cape_Town_1

South African brochure for the visit.

 

17 February 1961 to 28 February 1961 visited Simonstown, South Africa with HMS Victorious and HMS Blackpool.

6 March 1961 Surgeon Robert Noel McKinstry OBE RFA discharged dead. He is buried in the Simonstown Dido Valley CWG Cemetery, South Africa

 

McKinstry Dido Valley

 

26 June 1961 sailed Singapore with HMS VICTORIOUS, other RN units together with RFA's RESURGENT and RFA RELIANT (2) en route to Hong Kong

July/August 1961 saw service during Operation Vantage -the Kuwait Crisis - and supported the carrier HMS VICTORIOUS along with RFA’s OLNA (2), RELIANT(2) and RETAINER and 8 other RFA‘s.

12 September 1961 Mr Hugh C F Sweenie RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 March 1962 RASed with HMS BERMUDA while the cruiser was on passage from Hamilton, Bermuda to Gibraltar

4 August 1962 at Gibraltar an Able Seaman from the ship appeared before the Magistrates' Court charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and violent behaviour whereby a breach of the peace may have been occasioned. He pleaded Guilty to both offences and was fined £4. The seaman had been in a bar in Irish Town, Gibraltar and he threw a glass into the street through an open window. The glass struck a woman who was passing causing injury.

19 December 1962 Captain Norman R McLeod RFA appointed as Master

19 May 1963 Mr H W Jackinson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 July 1963 anchored in the Outer Roads, Singapore

5 December 1963 entered Grand Harbour, Malta

12 December 1963 Mr W M Clements RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 January 1964 Captain J D G Gray RFA appointed as Master

11 April 1964 at Hong Kong - refuelled HMNZS Taranaki alongside while on a buoy

23 July 1964 at Singapore

16 December 1964 in the Indian Ocean RASed HMS MOWHAWK

21 January 1965 Captain E D J Evans RFA appointed as Master

January 1965 to 11 August 1965 supported naval units providing patrols off East Malaysia, Singapore and in the the Malacca Straits during the Indonesian Confrontation, along with RFA’s GOLD RANGER, EDDYROCK, FORT CHARLOTTE and WAVE SOVEREIGN

11 February 1965 at Portland

12 March 1965 in the Persian Gulf RAS'ed with HMS MOWHAWK

18 March 1965 in the Persian Gulf off Bahrain RAS'ed with HMS MOWHAWK

15 April 1965 at Singapore

24 April 1965 prior to anchoring off Port Dickson RAS'ed with HMAS's YARRA and IBIS

30 April 1965 off Port Dickson RAS'ed with HMAS's PARRAMATTA and IBIS

May 1965 in support of Operation Seahorse - a SEATO maritime operation in the South China Sea - along with RFA’s RELIANT (2), RETAINER and TIDEPOOL

10 June 1965 north of Kuching RAS'ed with HMAS YARRA

17 June 1965 Mr G Thompson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 July 1965 in the Malacca Strait RAS'ed with HMAS PATTAMATTA with FFO

28 August 1965 south of Sibutu Passage RAS'ed with HMAS's DUCHESS and VENDETTA

5 September 1965 south east of One Fathom Bank RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS

19 September 1965 refuelled HMAS IBIS

November 1965 engaged with RN, RAN and USN units in Operation Warrior in the Coral Sea

9 November 1965 in the Malacca Strait RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS during which the hose burst

12 November 1965 in the Singapore Strait RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS

24 November 1965 in the vicinity of Tanjong Ru RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS

21 December 1965 together with HMS DEVONSHIRE flying the flag of Vice Admiral P J Hill-Norton CB Officer Second in Command, Far East Station berthed at Fremantle. HMS DEVONSHIRE secured to North Wharf and RFA TIDEREACH secured to Victoria Quay

23 December 1965 sailed Fremantle and anchored in Gage Roads

27 December 1965 sailed from Gage Roads in company of RFA TIDESPRING with both ships bound for Singapore

28 March 1966 Captain C G D Barker RFA appointed as Master

1 August 1966 Mr D Meikle RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 November 1966 in the deep water off Penang took part in Exercise Rebel Maid with RN surface and submarine units and an RAN unit. After the exercise RASed with HMAS PARRAMATTA

24 December 1966 at Hong Kong with HMAS PARRAMATTA alongside being refuelled

17 February 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

22 February 1977 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

25 February 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

20 March 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

23 March 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

29 March 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

14 April 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

17 April 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

20 April 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

22 April 1967 RASed with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

19 June 1967 Captain A L Paterson RFA appointed as Master

14 July 1967 RASed astern with HMS RELENTLESS during the Beira Patrol

22 January 1968 supported the destroyer HMS CAMBRIAN off Rodrigues Island when internal security platoons were landed to stop disturbances ashore

29 January 1968 conveyed 15 arrested Rodrigues Islanders to Port Louis, Mauritius after a mob stormed a jail on Rodrigues Island and who had been arrested by Patrols landed by the Royal Navy

15 March 1968 Mr J A Swallow RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

23 July 1968 Captain P J McCarthy RFA appointed as Master

16 May 1969 RASed with HMAS's SYDNEY and VAMPIRE in the vicinity of Pulau Aur

13 August 1969 visited Auckland, New Zealand

30 October 1969 when on passage between Tahiti to Australia visited Pitcairn Island, Pacific Ocean

October 1969 visited Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the Cook Bicentenary along with RFA‘s STROMNESS and TIDESURGE

19 December 1969 while on passage from Japan to Singapore RASed with HMAS YARRA and HMAS DUCHESS

21 December 1969 while on passage from Japan to Singapore RASed with HMAS YARRA

10 November 1971 berthed at Grand Harbour, Malta

March 1972 visted Jamestown, St. Helena

29 November 1972 when on passage to Recife, Brazil in company with TU27.8.4 RASed with USS Davis IV (DD937) and gained praise from Captain Claiborne S. Bradley USN for their "professionalism" - to which Tidereach responded: "Any time you want a tanker call on us"

31 January 1973 3rd Engineer Officer Cecil Hogarth Hill RFA discharged dead with the ship in refit at Wallsend - natural causes

13 March 1973 visited Tristan da Cunha with HMS Apollo  

April 1973 visted Jamestown, St. Helena with HMS APOLLO and HMS RHYL

22 December 1973 in the Indian Ocean together with RFA TIDESPRING (1) RASed with USS Brumby (DE1044) and USS Koelsh (DE1049)

29 August 1974 arrived at Cape Town, South Africa with various RN ships together with RFA's TARBATNESS and TIDESPRING (1) for exercises with the South African Navy

31 January 1975 3rd Engineer Officer Cecil Hogarth Hill (Pat) discharged dead

8 January 1976 off Iceland RASed with HMS BACCHANTE 

6 April 1976 deployed in support of RN units off Iceland during 3rd Cod War until 10 April 1976

11 April 1976 off Iceland RASed with HMS BACCHANTE

13 April 1976 RAS with HMS BACCHANTE in rough sea

15 April 1976 Captain Rex A Cooper RFA appointed as Master

24 December 1976 to 27 December 1977 at Grand Harbour, Malta

28 December 1976 anchored off Mgarr, Gozo 

18 April 1977 entered Grand Harbour, Malta

1 June 1977 RAS'ed with HMS ARROW, HMAS's BRISBANE and MELBOURNE and HMNZN CANTERBURY

June 1977 at the time of HM Queen's Silver Jubilee together with HMS MOWHAWK visited RAF Akrotri, Cyprus with HMS MOWHAWK berthed stern to while TIDEREACH anchored off

 Tidereach off Cyprus

RFA Tidereach off RAF Akrotri, Cyprus

Image donated by Roy Lambeth with thanks

10 July 1977 RAS'ed with HMAS BRISBANE during Exercise High Wood

12 July 1977 RAS'ed with HMAS BRISBANE during Exercise High Wood

14 July 1977 RAS'ed with HMAS BRISBANE during Exercise High Wood

16 July 1977 RAS'ed with HMAS BRISBANE during Exercise High Wood

18 July 1977 RAS'ed with HMAS BRISBANE at the end of Exercise High Wood

November 1977 berthed at Grand Harbour, Malta

4 December 1977 sailed Malta having been deployed to the Caribbean

5 June 1978 laid up in Portsmouth Harbour

24 November 1978 featured on a postage stamp from Tristan da Cunha along with RFA’s ORANGELEAF(2), RELIANT(2) and TARBATNESS

22 February 1979 sold for breaking up initially to Sparreboom Shipbrokers NV, Rotterdam and then resold to Remasa SA, Bilbao

16 March 1979 left Portsmouth under tow to Bilbao, Spain by the German Tug Peter Wessels

20 March 1979 arrived at Bilbao, Spain for breaking up.

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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