RFA Wave Conqueror
 
RFA Wave Conqueror entering Grand Harbour, Malta GC
 
 
RFA Wave Conqueror
 
SS Empire Law before entering RFA Service
 
 
 

Previous name:                         Empire Law
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                        169132

Class:                                       WAVE CLASS  Freighting Oiler (unmodified)  

Pennant No:                             X131 / A245

Laid down:                               16 December 1942
Builder:                                     Furness Shipbuilding, Haverton Hill
Launched:                                27 November 1943
Into Service:                             1946
Out of service:                          1958

Fate:                                       Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

 

Background Data:  A need for fast tankers to bring oil into the country had been envisaged early in the Second World War, but by the time the material had been collected and the Yards had space to build them, the need had largely passed and the original design of diesel-engined ships was abandoned. Instead, the standard 12000t Class being built were given sharper bows and sterns and turbine engines with water tube boilers. In all, twenty one of this type were built and were offered to the Admiralty, who wanted faster tankers for the Pacific Fleet Train. The Admiralty took twenty of them (the final vessel being completed commercially for Oil and Molasses Tankers Ltd, London as BEECHWOOD) and renamed them with the WAVE nomenclature. Performance varied considerably from ship to ship and they underwent various modifications in their rigs for RAS work. The eight best ones were finally given an extensive refit, with extra accommodation added to the Bridge Deck and extra turbo cargo pumps and derricks to make them more satisfactory for Fleet work. Initially expensive to run,they recouped some of their expensive repair bills by earning revenues from charter work after the Korean War. From this Class was evolved the TIDE CLASS oilers.

27 November 1943 launched for the Ministry of War Transport by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton Hill as Yard Nr 357

March 1944 completed and was placed under the initial management of  Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London

13 April 1944 sailed from Belfast Lough to New York in convoy UC019

14 April 1944 at 0500hrs began dropping astern from Convoy UC019. By 1400hrs began returning to the the convoy and when 12 miles astern USS Robert E Pearcy was detailed to escort her. By 2000hrs had rejoined the convoy

3 May 1944 sailed from New York to Liverpool in convoy CU023. Empire Bounty (later to become RFA WAVE VICTOR) was in the same convoy. The convoy speed was 14 kts

13 May 1944 became a straggler from convoy CU023 and had to be escorted by USS Schmitt (DE676) to Liverpool

1 July 1944 sailed from Liverpool to New York in convoy CU032. Empire Bounty (later to become RFA WAVE VICTOR) was in the same convoy

11 July 1944 anchored in Gravesend Bay, New York

18 July 1944 sailed from New York in convoy CU032

19 July 1944 reported by USS Commander of Destroyer Escort 6 that Empire Law became a straggler at 0630hrs but by 1030hrs was back on station while in convoy CU032

22 July 1944 suffered engine defects and had to return to New York unescorted

5 August 1944 sailed from New York to the River Mersey in convoy CU034. Empire Milner (later to become RFA WAVE LIBERATOR) was in the same convoy

17 August 1944 sailed Liverpool to New York in convoy UC034

4 September 1944 sailed New York to the River Mersey in convoy CU038

6 September 1944 at Sea at 41.39N 62.02W Chief Officer Frank Wheatley discharged dead from asphyxiation

22 September 1944 sailed St Helens Roads to New York in convoy UC038B

25 September 1944 suffered boiler defects and returned to Milford Haven for repairs

27 September 1944 sailed Newport, Wales to New York in convoy UC039A

14 October 1944 sailed New York to Swansea in convoy CU043

29 October 1944 sailed St Helens Roads to New York in convoy UC043A

15 November 1944 sailed New York in convoy CU047 but suffered engine defects and was directed to returned to Boston by the US Escort Commander and  while escorted USS ATR8. Empire Protector  (later to become RFA Wave Protector) was in the same convoy

24 November 1944 joined convoy CU048 sailing from Boston to Thames Haven

26 November 1944 suffered engine defects and hove to. USS Slater (DE766) and USS Kirkpatrick (DE318) detailed to screen the ship until repairs could be made and then escort the ship to rejoin the convoy. If repairs were to take past 1600Z 30 November 1944 she was to be escorted to Fayal, Azores

15 December 1944 joined convoy UC049A from Liverpool to New York

20 January 1945 sailed New York to Avonmouth in convoy CU056

10 February 1945 sailed Barry Roads to New York in convoy UC056A

7 March 1945 sailed New York to Cherbourg in convoy CU061

14 March 1945 while crossing the Atlantic in Convoy CU061 suffered heavy weather damage

2 April 1945 sailed Liverpool to New York in convoy UC062B

16 April 1945 sailed New York to Liverpool in convoy CU066

2 May 1945 joined convoy UC066A sailing from Barry Roads to New Tork

25 May 1945 sailed New York for Le Harve in convoy CU072. Empire Protector (later to become RFA WAVE PROTECTOR) was in the same convoy

31 May 1945 suffered heavy weather damage

5 June 1945 sailed Seine Estuary for Falmouth

8 June 1945 passed the Lloyd's Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

20 June 1945 sailed New York for Falmouth

12 September 1945 passed the Lloyd's Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

14 September 1945 arrived Hartlepool (for refit?)

7 November 1945 sailed Hartlepool

11 November 1945 passed Gibraltar. Arrived Port Said 17 November 1945 arrived Abadan 27 November 1945

1 December 1945 sailed Abadan for Lorenzo Marques arriving on 13 December 1945

16 December 1945 sailed Lorenzo Marques  to Beira arriving 18 December 1945

21 December 1945 sailed Beira to Abadan arriving 1 January 1946

3 January 1946 sailed Abadan to Suez arriving 12 January 1946

18 January 1946 sailed Port Said

24 January 1946 while on passage from Port Said to Falmouth passed Gibraltar

28 January 1946 arrived at Clyde Anchorage

6 February 1946 sailed the Clyde Anchorage passing Gibraltar on 10 February 1946 to Port Said

23 September 1946 sailed Gibraltar to Devonport

1 October 1946 arrived the River Tyne from Devonport

1946 to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and renamed Wave Conqueror

6 February 1947 at Plymouth

5 May 1947 at Glasgow

15 May 1947 sailed Pembroke Dock for Falmouth

16 May 1947 passed the Lloyd's Signal Station on the Lizard sailing eastwards

20 May 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing westwards

30 May 1947 arrived Trinidad from Falmouth

24 June 1947 at Plymouth

10 July 1947 arrived Trinidad from Devonport

31 July 1947 Chief Steward John Kincaid logged for deserting at Plymouth. He had signed on at Glasgow on 5 May 1947

6 August 1947 Pumpman M Halleron logged for deserting at Plymouth. He had signed on at Glasgow on 5 May 1947

7 August 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

11 August 1947 arrived Fayal from Devonport

28 August 1947 Fireman/Greaser W Lunt discharged to the Royal Naval Hospital, HMS MALABAR, Bermuda sick suffering from TB. He had signed on at Plymouth on 1 August 1947

8 October 1947 at Glasgow

9 November 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

31 March 1948 sailed Curacao for LEFO

13 April 1948 Mr R N Foster RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 May 1948 AB B Gillman logged for deserting at Newport. He had signed on at Cardiff on 20 April 1948

21 June 1948 while on passage to Devonport passed Gibraltar

28 August 1948 arrived Abadan from Devonport to load

13 January 1949 Captain Arthur J D Gosney RFA appointed as Master

Captain GOSNEY ARTHURJAMESDENZIL

Captain Arthur J D Gosney RFA

9 March 1949 arrived Port Said

12 March 1949 while on passage from Devonport to Abadan sailed Suez this day

16 April 1949 berthed at Saltend Dock, Hull from Abadan to discharge

24 June 1949 sailed Abadan for LEFO

20 August 1949 sailed Abadan to Suez arriving 5 September 1949

7 September 1949 sailed Port Said for LEFO

17 October 1949 passed Gibraltar

23 October 1949 arrived Port Said from Falmouth

19 February 1950 Captain Robert D Almond RFA (Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

Captain Robert Almond

Captain Robert D Almond RFA

29 April 1950 arrived Port Said while on passage from Devonport to Abadan

1 May 1950 sailed from Suez to Abadan

11 May 1950 arrived Abadan

June 1950 joined HMS COSSACK, HMS JAMAICA and HMAS SHOALHAVEN at the RAN naval base at Kure, Japan.

28 June 1950 HMS's TRIUMPH and COSSACK arrived at Kure from Hong Kong and berthed alongside and were refuelled. Having refuelled HMS TRIUMPH moved alongside a jetty to discharge four Seafire and two Firefly aircraft which were all defective.

Involved in supporting Allied ships in the Korean War as part of the West Coast Support Group. Task Group 96.8

29 September 1950 while on passage from Devonport to Abadan passed Gibraltar this day

12 January 1951 berthed at Fremantle, Western Australia

6 April 1951 arrived the River Tyne from Portsmouth and berthed at Swan Hunters

8 April 1951 Mr W E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 April 1951 Captain Robert H Venning RFA appointed as Master

23 May 1952  whilst anchored off Immingham, she was hit by the Norwegian vessel BELRAY and was badly damaged aft.

27 May 1952 was towed to North Shields for repairs by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd

21 June 1952 Mr J H Young RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 August 1953 Captain William  W Peddle RFA appointed as Master

 

PEDDLE_WM_WALTER

Captain William W Peddle RFA

 

10 November 1953 Mr C A Herbert RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

29 March 1954 arrived at Chowder Bay, Monson, NSW Australia to discharge

31 March 1954 sailed Chowder Bay, Monson, NSW, Australia

22 May 1954 Mr J A Ferguson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

25 May 1954 Captain G W Webster RFA appointed as Master

30 May 1954 Mr Harry G May RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

19/20 February 1955 a Customs search of the ship while anchored off the Singapore Naval Base resulted in the seizure of about $22,000 worth of opium which was found hidden in one of the tanks. The drug was first class Persian opium. No one was arrested.

11 July 1955 Captain William R Parker RFA appointed as Master

14 November 1955 Mr J B Morgan RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1956 Deployed for Operation Musketeer - the Suez Crisis - along with 34  other RFA’s

9 November 1957 at Jacksonville, Florida, USA Seaman Kwan Ng Han discharged dead - drowned

31 December 1957 final arrival Sheerness

4 January 1958 destored, laid up at Sheerness and was transferred to the MoT for disposal

August 1958 engines in a defective condition; placed on the Disposal List at Sheerness

19 August 1958 advertised for sale 'as lying' at H.M. Dockyard, Sheerness in the Times of this date by the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation

December 1958 sold commercially to H G Pounds, Portsmouth and became an oil hulk at Le Havre, France

6 April 1960 left Le Havre in tow enroute to Italian breakers was replaced as a fuel hulk by RFA  WAVE MONARCH

23 April 1960 arrived for breaking up at Spezia by CN del Golfo

Additional information

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