Airsprite
RFA Airsprite

                                                                         

Official Number:              168388

Class:                               SPRITE CLASS Spirit Carrier

Pennant No:                     X115 / A115

Laid down:                        September 1941
Builder:                             Blythswood S. B. Co Ltd., Glasgow
Launched:                         22 December 1942
Into Service:                     16 February 1943
Out of service:                   October 1963 - Laid up in reserve at Devonport.
Fate:                                 Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:

 

There were two ships in this Class which were Admiralty-designed and they both spent most of their careers in U.K. and Mediterranean waters

2 January 1943 Mr Robert A Higgie RFA appointed as Acting Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Robert A Higgie

Acting Chief Engineer Officer Robert A Higgie RFA

22 December 1942 launched by Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Scotstoun as Yard Nr: 72 named AIRSPRITE

16 February 1943 completed

4 February 1943 Captain Walter L Holtam RFA appointed as Master

Captain W. L HOLTAM

Captain Walter L Holtam RFA

16 February 1943 at Glasgow

17 February 1943 joined the Fleet Fuelling Service as a petrol carrier carrying high octane for coastal forces

24 February 1943 sailed in convoy WN 398 from Loch Ewe to Methil arriving on 25 February 1943

26 April 1943 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS ANSON refuelling her - 950 gallons aviation spirit

HMS Anson

HMS ANSON

1 May 1943 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS HOWE refuelling her. RFA PETRONEL was alongside at the same time delivering fresh water

HMS Howe

HMS HOWE

7 August 1943 at Scapa Flow

18 August 1943 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS ANSON refuelling her

6 February 1944 at Scapa Flow

5 August 1944 at Scapa Flow

17 August 1944 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS INDEFACTIGABLE refuelling her

1 September 1944 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS INDEFACTIGABLE refuelling her

26 September 1944 sailed Methil Roads

11 December 1944 at Scapa Flow

20 March 1945 Mr R W Cook RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 September 1945 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 September 1945 sailed Portsmouth Harbour to the Downs

16 September 1945 sailed the Downs to Sheerness arriving the next day

18 December 1945 at Sheerness

20 December 1945 at Dover

27 December 1945 sailed Sheerness to the Downs - remained anchored at the Downs until 29 December 1945

29 December 1945 at Dover

19 January 1946 sailed Sheerness to Dover

21 January 1946 sailed Dover to Sheerness

1 February 1946 Captain Walter  E Tate RFA appointed as Master

5 March 1946 sailed Sheerness to Dover arriving the same day

19 April 1946 sailed Dover to London

25 April 1946 sailed London to Greenock

27 April 1946 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard

11 June 1946 at Greenock thence to Faslane Dock

17 August 1946 sailed Faslane Dock passing the Lizard on 19 August 1946 to Devonport

11 October 1946 Captain H Oakley RFA appointed as Master

16 October 1946 Mr R B Turner RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

25 October 1946 sailed Devonport to Malta arriving 6 November 1946 with minor defects

11 November 1946 sailed Malta to Port Said arriving 15 November 1946

16 November 1946 sailed Port Said to Aden arriving 23 November 1946

28 November 1946 sailed Aden to Colombo arriving 8 December 1946

12 December 1946 sailed Colombo to Singapore arriving 19 December 1946

16 April 1947 at Singapore

7 April 1948 arrived at Port Said from Tobruk

11 April 1948 sailed Port Said to Malta arriving 15 April 1948

26 April 1948 sailed Malta to Port Said 30 April 1948

8 May 1948 sailed Port Said to Benghazi and Haifa

23 May 1948 sailed Haifa to Beirut

25 May 1948 arrived at Haifa from Beirut

27 May 1948 sailed Haifa

12 July 1948 Mr John McI Lumsden RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

NASPRITE AIRSPRITE

RFA's AIRSPRITE & NASPRITE alongside of each other in Misida Creek, Malta astern of HMS RIFLEMAN in February 1949

1 April 1949 Captain A R Wheeler RD RFA (Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

20 April 1949 sailed Malta to Lisbon to load a commercial cargo for the UK

21 May 1949 entered the Cromaty Firth off Invergordon and moored alongside HMS IMPLACABLE

Implacable 1947

HMS IMPLACABLE

24 May 1949 sailed Cromaty Firth

8 July 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

7 September 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

23 September 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

2 September 1949 Mr J J Moore RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

23 January 1950 at Spithead alongside HMS IMPACABLE and HMS VENGENCE refuelling both of them. Anchored at No 10 berth at Spithead

26 January 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

22 February 1950 Captain G O W Evans DSC RFA appointed as Master

23 February 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

10 April 1950 in dock at Immingham

2 May 1950 sailed Immingham

8 May 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

19 July 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

26 July 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

20 September 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1 November 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

3 November 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

9 November 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

10 November 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

16 November 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

17 November 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

23 November 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

24 November 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

4 December 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

5 December 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

20 December 1950 Mr Arthur L Barr RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 

Arthur_L_Barr

Chief Engineer Arthur L Barr RFA

 

17 February 1951 the Portsmouth Evening News reported ...

Press Cutting Pmouth Even News 17Feb1951

28 March 1951 Captain Richard L Barber MID RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master

1 August 1951 Captain Arthur Jackson OBE RFA appointed as Master

8 January 1952 Mr Wilfred C Shortland RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

29 May 1952 at Chatham alongside HMS CAMPANIA refuelling her with Aviation fuel oil

16 January 1953 at Malta alongside HMS OCEAN which discharged AVGAS to her

23 January 1953 Mr E A H Chantler RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 March 1953 suffered a fair amount of structural damage when going alongside the carrier HMS THESEUS at the Detached Mole in Gibraltar when she became jammed under the port bow of the carrier and was freed with the assistance of a Harbour Launch

hms theseus

HMS THESEUS

7 March 1953 Captain George  Baker RFA appointed as Master

May 1953 at Aarhus refuelled HMS's GAY ARCHER, GAY FENCER, GAY BOMBARDIER and an older Vosper 'shortboat' boat 1023

11 December 1953 Mr David Meikle RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

Meikle1

Chief Engineer Officer David Meikle RFA

 

6 January 1954 Captain Stanley S Maddock RFA appointed as Master

 Captain S S Madock

Captain Stanley S Maddock RFA
kindly donated by his daughter Mrs Gillian Pickard

 

27 July 1954 Captain R J Lockwood RFA appointed as Master

2 November 1954 Mr J McL Lumsden RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

19 March 1955 Captain George Robson RFA appointed as Master

27 July 1955 passed the Lloyds Signal Station at Dover sailing east

18 October 1955 Mr D Meikle RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

26 March 1956 passed the Lloyds Signal Station at Dover sailing east

18 July 1956 Captain H W Lawford RFA appointed as Master

7 August 1957 Mr B C Jeremiah RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

2 January 1958 Captain Walter Gibb MBE RFA appointed as Master

27 June 1958 Mr B W Edwards RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

18 April 1959 at Devonport alongside HMS CENTAUR refuelling her with aviation spirit

15 June 1959 Captain Samuel C Dunlop MBE RFA appointed as Master

29 June 1959 at Portsmouth

1 October 1959 at Plymouth

12 October 1959 Mr B W Edwards RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 July 1960 at Spithead

29 July 1960 berthed at Malta from Gibraltar

1 August 1960 sailed Malta to the UK

19 August 1960 at Plymouth

October 1963 laid up in reserve at Devonport

January 1965 transferred to the MoT for disposal

12 January 1965 offered for sale, 'as lying', at Devonport in 'The Times' of this day

11 March 1965 sold for scrap to a Brussels based company

13 March 1965 sailed Devonport in tow of the Dutch tug CLYDE for the breakers

14 March 1965 arrived at Antwerp for breaking up by Scrappingco, Willebroek

 

Notes:

 

1.  Care should be taken not to confuse RFA Airsprite with HMAS Air Sprite which was in commission as an air sea rescue vessel between 1960 and 1976 in the Royal Australian Navy

 

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