RFA AirspriteIn the early years of the Second World War two ships were ordered to increase the number of vessels available to carry petrol in bulk.  Both of these vessels were built by Blythswood Shipbuilding and were designed and constructed to be of the single deck type of ship, with poop and forecastle, like the Ranger class and like that class had a straight stem, raked slightly forward and a cruiser type stern.

In the early years of the Second World War two ships were ordered to increase the number of vessels available to carry petrol in bulk.  Both of these vessels were built by Blythswood Shipbuilding and were designed and constructed to be of the single deck type of ship, with poop and forecastle, like the Ranger class and like that class had a straight stem, raked slightly forward and a cruiser type stern.

 

As well as carrying petrol, these two ships could also carry lubricating oil, a vital commodity to any ship.  The cargo capacity was 533 tons of petrol and 52 tons of lubricating oil.  The cargo was discharged through two pumps, one for petrol which had a capacity of 50 tons per hour and one for lubricating oil, which had a capacity of 10 tons per hour.

 

Both ships were fitted with steam triple expansion engines, built by D. Rowan and Company of Glasgow, with a single propeller which gave them a speed of 10 knots.

 

These ships were originally intended to be armed with a single 12pdr HA/LA gun, with two Hotchkiss and one Lewis gun for their protection, though it seems that this changed slightly with the war.  Surprisingly, the only armour fitted to these ships seems to be to the top, sides and ends of the wheelhouse and consisted of plastic plating, as far as we can ascertain there was no armour protection to the tanks or pump room.

 

Airsprite

 

Builder: Blythswood Shipbuilding Company Limited, Glasgow.

Launched: 22 December 1942                         Completed: 16 February 1943

Yard No: 72                                                          Official No: 168388

Tonnage: 970 grt, 306 nett.

Length: 204.5 feet                        Beam: 33.2 feet                 Draught: 13.5 feet

Machinery: 1 x 3 Cylinder triple expansion engine by D. Rowan and Company Limited, Glasgow.  Single screw.

Speed: 10 knots

Pennant Numbers: X 115 (World War 2), A 115 (Post 1947)

 

BATTLE HONOURS for this vessel: No battle honours recorded for this ship

The ship spent the majority of her career in Home and Mediterranean waters.

 

Arrived at Antwerp on the 14 March 1965 for breaking up.

 

 

 

 

Airsprite-03

RFA Airsprite

 

 

 

Nasprite

 

Builder: Blythswood Shipbuilding Company Limited, Glasgow.

Launched: 28 November 1940                           Completed: 11 February 1941

Yard No: 65                                                           Official No: 168062

Tonnage: 965 grt, 306 nett

Length: 204.5 feet                        Beam: 33.2 feet                  Draught: 13.5 feet

Machinery: 1 x 3 Cylinder triple expansion engine by D. Rowan and Company Limited, Glasgow.  Single screw.

Speed: 10 knots

Pennant Numbers: X 59 (World War 2), A 252 (Post 1947)

 

BATTLE HONOURS for this vessel: NORTH AFRICA 1942

The ships supported the landing in North Africa during Operation Torch.  The rest of her career was spent, like her sister in UK and Mediterranean waters.

 

Arrived at Willebroek in February 1964 for breaking up

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RFA Nasprite

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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