RFA Wave Governor Wave Gov IWM

Previous name:                      Empire Trinidad
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                     180489

Class:                                    WAVE CLASS  Freighting Oiler (unmodified)

Pennant No:                          X103 / B 524 / A247

Laid down:                            19 September 1943
Builder:                                  Furness Shipbuilding, Haverton-Hill-on-Tees
Launched:                             30 November 1944
Into Service:                          8 March 1945
Out of service:                       1960 
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, twentyone 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.


3 February 1943 ordered by MoWT

19 September 1943 originally laid down as EMPIRE TRINIDAD

November 1944 during construction the ship's hull was painted on the port forward and starboard quarter with anti corrosive paint composition no: 173 - as a trial.

30 November 1944 launched by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton Hill as Yard Nr: 362 named WAVE GOVERNOR for the Admiralty.

11 December 1944 Mr Alexander B McIntyre RD RFA (Lieutenant Commander (E) RNR (ret)) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

Alex Bain McIntyre photo

Chief Engineer Officer Alexander B McIntyre RD RFA

26 March 1945 sailed Middlesbrough to Southend arriving on 28 March 1945

31 March 1945 sailed in convoy UC062A to New York having joined from Southend and arrived at New York on 11 April 1945

24 April 1945 sailed from New York in convoy CU067 to Liverpool and then detached to the Clyde in what was described as a 'USN Special' Detached to the Clyde arriving 4 May 1945

13 June 1945 sailed the Clyde independently

15 June 1945 arrived Belfast for fitting of armament and OAS facilities by Harland & Wolff Ltd then sailed to Curacao arriving on 24 June 1945 to load

29 June 1945 sailed Curacao independently to Cristobal arriving on 1 July 1945

2 July 1945 transited the Panama Canal

3 July 1945 sailed Balboa independently to Eniwetok arriving 23 July 1945

28 July 1945 refuelled HMAS PIRIE with a bouyant hose supplying 70 tons of FFO


11 September 1945 to 18 September 1945 at Hong Kong

24 September 1945 at Subic Bay - sailed 26 September 1945

11 October 1945 at Hong Kong with USS Conway (DD507) berthed alongside to refuel

13 October 1945 at Hong Kong with HMAS BENDIGO and HMAS CASTLEMAINE alongside to be refuelled

13 November 1945 sailed Hong Kong independently to Singapore arriving 17 November 1945

15 January 1946 at Hong Kong

20 January 1946 sailed Singapore to Bombay arriving on 2 February 1946

10 February 1946 sailed Bombay to Abadan arriving 20 February 1946

22 February 1946 sailed Abadan to Colombo arriving 2 March 1946

24 January 1946 Captain Thomas Elder DSC RFA appointed as Master

8 April 1946 at Kure sailed to Singapore 15 April 1946

21 April 1946 sailed Singapore to Hong Kong arriving 25 April 1946

2 June 1946 at Taikoo Dock, Hong Kong Steward Santan Furtado discharged dead having drowned

10 July 1946 sailed Hong Kong to Colombo arriving 19 July 1946

20 July 1946 sailed Colombo to Abadan arriving 28 July 1946

30 July 1946 sailed Abadan to Hong Kong arriving 15 August 1946

11 October 1946 sailed Hong Kong to Singapore arriving 15 October 1946

19 October 1946 sailed Singapore to Hong Kong arriving 24 October 1946

29 October 1946 sailed Hong Kong, passed Singapore on 3 November 1946 to Colombo 8 November 1946

9 November 1946 sailed Colombo to Bombay arriving 13 November 1946

6 December 1946 sailed Bombay to Abadan arriving on 10 December 1946

12 December 1946 sailed Abadan  to Aden arriving 17 December 1946

20 December 1946 sailed Aden to Abadan arriving 25 December 1946

26 December 1946 sailed Abadan.

10 January 1947 sailed Port Said

16 January 1947 passed Gibraltar

22 January 1947 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

28 January 1947 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

15 February 1947 Mr J A McKenzie RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

9 May 1947 berthed at Killingholme to discharge

10 May 1947 sailed Killingholme

11 August 1947 Captain Ernest C Rogers RFA appointed as Master

Captain Ernest C Rogers

Captain Ernest C Rogers RFA

 1 September 1947 sailed Curacao to the Mersey

19 September 1947 arrived at Eastham to discharge

21 September 1947 sailed Eastham in ballast for Curacao

3 October 1947 arrived at Curacao to load

27 December 1947 berthed at Avonmouth to discharge

31 December 1947 sailed Avonmouth in ballast for Curacao

17 January 1948 sailed Curacao for LEFO

18 May 1948 Captain Iden W J Hall RFA appointed as Master



Captain Iden W J Hall RFA


29 July 1948 at Sea Oilman Sk Sulleyman Abdul Gafour discharged dead having died from heat stroke

26 March 1949 sailed Abadan

5 April 1949 arrived Suez

7 April 1949 sailed Port Said for LEFO

22 April 1949 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard steaming eastwards

13 July 1949 sailed Abadan

24 July 1949 sailed Port Said for LEFO

6 August 1949 berthed at Killingholme from Abadan to discharge

8 August 1949 sailed Saltend, Killingholme in ballast for Abadan

21 February 1951 Greaser D Munro appeared before the Singapore First Police Court when he missed his ship and was prosecuted for being absent without leave. He pleaded Guilty and was fined $10

3 March 1951 berthed at Gladstone, Queensland for engine repairs and fresh water while on passage from the Persian Gulf to New Zealand

9 March 1951 berthed at Auckland, New Zealand

7 April 1951 at Singapore Naval Base Able Seaman Donal Grant discharged dead - drowned

July 1951 berthed at Gladstone, Queensland

5 November 1951 arrived Chowder Bay, Mosman, NSW, Australia from Balboa to discharge

9 November 1951 sailed Chowder Bay, Mosmon, NSW, Australia for Curacao

5 December 1951 Mr J B Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 December 1951 Captain Francis J King RFA appointed as Master

21 January 1953 sailed from Grand Harbour, Malta

10 March 1953 grounded at Suruga Bay, Japan. Refloated by discharging some of her cargo into the sea

26 June 1953 Captain Alfred W Camamile DSC RFA appointed as Master

5 May 1955 Captain J Bottomley RFA appointed as Master. On sailing Sheerness in collision with HMS GRENVILLE - no damage

HMS grenville


11 May 1955 Mr Frederick B Hobson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

17 April 1956 arrived on the Clyde at Glasgow

27 April 1956 Mr William J Brown OBE DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

22 December 1956 Mr D F Gorrie RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

15 June 1957 thirteen crew members on route from Pakistan to join the ship which was in refit at Falmouth went down with influenza on arrival at London Airport and were detained in Denton Hospital and Thurrock Hospital - source the Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the Port of London (1957)

16 June 1957 Captain Walter L Holtam RFA appointed as Master

Captain W. L HOLTAM

Captain Walter L Holtam RFA

November 1957 Lascar crew 'jumped ship' and refused to sail her. A Trinidadian crew were signed on at Port of Spain, Trinidad.

31 December 1957 Humanitarian aid - sailed Singapore carrying relief supplies to Trincomalee after Ceylon had been battered by a typhoon.

3 February 1958 Captain Alfred M Uglow RFA appointed as Master until 21 March 1959

3 July 1958 Mr E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

9 January 1959 sailed Trinidad to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

30 April 1959 destored and laid up at Rosyth

14 August 1959 offered for sale in 'The Times' lying 'as is' at Rosyth

2 June 1960 for the second time offered for sale in 'The Times' lying 'as is' at Rosyth

20 July 1960 purchased by BISCO for £64,500 for scrap

9 August 1960 handed over to Shipbreaking Industries Ltd at Rosyth

22 August 1960 breaking up commenced




1. Early in her career she grounded in Tsuruga Bay, Japan and was refloated with some bottom damage.

2. In January 1945 her Master suggested that abeam-method working parties on the lower deck during OAS operations were in danger and their working ability was severely affected in heavy weather. He recommended that a spar deck be constructed on a level with the flying bridge capable of taking all OAS trough-method gear and winches. This was the forerunner to the RAS deck of today.

3. Was part of the British Pacific Fleet Train - hence the B-pennant number

Additional information

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