Terry Lees, Lind - Catering Boy who died this day - RFA Wave Ruler (1) 1963.
Jasoodeen Hasson, Mea - Engine Room Tindall who died this day - RFA Fort Sandusky 1961.
Alfred Herbert, Turnley - Captain who died this day - RAFA Kurumba 1939.
Henry, Gomm - Able Seaman who died this day - RFA Oleander (2) 1934.
RFA Fort Charlotte
Fort Charlotte in the Indian Ocean
Previous name: Buffalo Park
Official Number: 175375
Class: CANADIAN FORT CLASS Stores Ship
Pennant No: B587 / A236
Laid down: 6 November 1943
Builder: North Van, North Vancouver, Canada
Launched: 12 February 1944
Into Service: 11 June 1948
Out of service: 1967 Laid up
Fate: Broken up
Items of historic interest involving this ship: -
Background Data: After the outbreak of WW2, the first cargo vessels built in Canada for the War Effort were the “North Sands” type, the hulls of which conformed to original British working drawings supplied by the North Sands Shipyard of J.L. Thompson & Sons at Sunderland. Following experience gained from these ships, improved versions with a more economic operation were introduced. These were the ”Victory” and “Canadian” types. The “Victory” type was an oil burner and two water tube boilers were substituted for the original 3 Scotch boilers. Because of the then concerns about oil fuel supplies, the “Canadian” type had coal bunkers and alternate oil fuel capacity installed, but with a reversion to the original 3 Scotch boilers of the “North Sands” type. In 1943, when the shipping situation in the Pacific was becoming acute, the British Government ordered that a number of the ships of the Canadian building programme be completed as Stores Issuing Ships whose intended task would be to follow and victual naval units as part of the British Pacific Fleet Train. In all, 16 ships were completed as Stores Issuing Ships as follows: 3 as Ammunition Carriers, 2 as Air Stores Issuing Ships, 2 as Naval Stores Issuing Ships and 9 as refrigerated Victualling Stores Issuing Ships. All were managed by commercial companies with vast experience of Far Eastern Waters as Mercantile Fleet Auxiliaries with Merchant Navy Crews and a detachment of Stores Staff from the Victualling Division of the Admiralty under a Commander. On the refrigerated ships, the refrigerated space was in the tween decks and amounted to 111,480 cubic feet in 25 chambers. The lower holds were used for non-perishable items of stores, clothing, etc. After WW2, 8 of these ships became RFA’s. They were only armed during WW2.
12 February 1944 launched as a “Victory” type by North Vancouver Shiprepairers Ltd, North Vancouver as Yard Nr 139 named BUFFALO PARK for the Canadian Government (Park Steamship Co, Montreal, Managers)
27 March 1944 registered at Montreal, Canada as ss Buffalo Park. Call sign VDYZ
6 April 1944 delivered by builders
23 April 1944 sailed Victoria, British Columbia independently to Los Angeles arriving 27 April 1944
28 April 1944 sailed Los Angeles independently to Cristobal
10 May 1944 sailed Cristobal independently to Curacao arriving on 13 May 1944
14 May 1944 sailed Curacao independently to Trinidad arriving the next day
20 May 1944 sailed Trinidad in convoy TJ 33 arriving Cape Town 17 June 1944
22 June 1944 sailed Cape Town independently to Port Elizabeth arriving two days later
1 July 1944 sailed Port Elizabeth independently to Durban arriving 3 July 1944
20 July 1944 sailed Durban independently to Cape Town arriving 23 July 1944
26 July 1944 sailed Cape Town independently to Port Harcourt arriving 4 August 1944
8 August 1944 sailed Port Harcourt independently to Takoradi arrived 11 August 1944
16 August 1944 sailed Takoradi independently to Trinidad arrived 30 August 1944
31 August 1944 sailed Trinidad independently to Cristobal arriving 4 September 1944
7 September 1944 sailed Balboa independently to Los Angeles arriving 16 September 1944
25 September 1944 sailed Los Angeles independently to Vancouver arriving 30 September 1944
21 October 1944 sailed Vancouver independently to Balboa arriving 5 November 1944
6 November 1944 sailed Cristobal independently to New York arriving 14 November 1944
21 November 1944 sailed in convoy HX321 from Halifax to Southend loaded with metal and wood
6 January 1945 sailed in convoy TBC30 to Milford Haven arriving on 9 January 1945
24 January 1945 sailed Milford Haven independently to Cardiff arriving the next day
10 February 1945 sailed Cardiff via Barry Roads to join convoy ON284 from Liverpool to Philadelphia arriving 1 March 1945
14 March 1945 sailed Philadelphia independently to Cristobal arriving on 21 March 1945
25 March 1945 sailed Balboa independently to Vancouver arriving 6 April 1945
1945 - acquired by the MoWT and renamed Fort Charlotte under initial management of Ellerman and Bucknall Steamship Co Ltd, London then under Eastern and Australian Steamship Co, London
8 December 1945 at Yokohama with HMAS Arunta alongside receiving naval stores
29 September 1947 arrived at Hobart, Tasmania
10 October 1947 transferred to the Admiralty
9 May 1948 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour
7 June 1948 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour
9 June 1948 Captain Frank P Hennin OBE RFA appointed as Master
11 June 1948 transferred to RFA management at Gibraltar; converted into a NS/VSIS at Portsmouth Dockyard.
26 August 1948 Mr E D Fielder RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
5 December 1948 Fireman Nan Lung discharged dead. He died in the Royal Naval Hospital, Bighi, Malta from heart failure and is buried in Kalkara Royal Naval Cemetery, Malta
Image courtesy British War Graves
12 August 1949 sailed Singapore to Hong Kong with part of a 3 mile boom of 1,000 buoys that was constructed to provide Hong Kong with a defence from illegal shipping entering their waters. 350+ of the buoys weight 13 tons each while a further 600 weighed 1½ tons each. They were joined by steel cable.
25 June 1950 saw service during the Korean War along with 18 other RFA’s and arrived from the 27/07/53 U.K. loaded with the bulk of War Reserves and replacements for what had already been expended 3 months after the outbreak of the War.
11 January 1950 Mr Henry S Edwards RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
27 July 1950 Captain Donald B C Ralph OBE DSC RFA appointed as Master
6 June 1950 at sea Seacunny Mohomad Baba discharged dead - heart failure
7 March 1952 Mr A Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
20 May 1952 Captain F G Edwards RFA appointed as Master
25 June 1952 Mr George G Stenhouse RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
Chief Engineer Officer George G Stenhouse RFA
13 December 1952 alongside HMAS ANZAC supplying naval stores
7 October 1954 Mr A Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
12 October 1954 sailed Hong Kong with 16 other RN and RAN ships in Operation Satex based on Seeadler Harbour, Manus Island
1 April 1955 Captain H W Flint RFA appointed as Master
25 March 1956 in the company of RFA Wave Master and nine RN vessel sailed from Hong Kong for exercises
6 June 1956 Captain Flint taken serious ill and collapsed at sea with a burst appendix some 400 miles from Singapore in the Karimata Strait. An RAF surgeon (Squadron Leader Agnes Bartels M.B., B.S., F.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., RAF) sent by RAF Flying Boat to operate on him at sea. The Captain's life was saved
25 July 1956 Captain A R Wheeler RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master
31 October 1956 supported Operation Musketeer- the Suez Crisis - along with 34 other RFA’s.
4 July 1957 Mr Charles Scott DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
20 September 1957 Captain S Thomas RFA appointed as Master
24 February 1958 to 1March 1958 involved in fleet exercises with RFA's Wave Master, Gold Ranger, Fort Sandusky, HMS Newcastle and 9 other RN ships
2 October 1958 2nd Steward Ho Fatt discharged dead at Singapore having suffered heart failure
5 October 1958 Mr A Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
17 December 1958 at Kwang Wah Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong Sailor Chung Chan discharged dead - natural causes
6 April 1959 off Singapore RASed with HMAS ANZAC
9 April 1960 Captain Albert E Curtain OBE RD RFA (Commander RNR (Retd)) appointed as Master
19 May 1960 anchored in the Outer Roads, Singapore
4 April 1961 Mr E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
7 April 1962 Captain Leslie J Mack DSO RFA appointed as Master
6 May 1962 Mr G Thompson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
July 1961 saw service during Operation Vantage- the Kuwait Crisis - along with 12 other RFA’s
30 May 1962 at sea off Yokohama, Japan RAS'ed stores with HMAS PARRAMATTA
15 November 1962 with RFA's Wave Sovereign and Wave Ruler (1) and several RN units headed by HMS TIGER attended the Commonwealth Games, Perth, Western Australia together with RAN and RNZN ships
21 November 1962 berthed at Fremantle, Western Australia along with HMS/m ANCHORITE
27 April 1963 Mr C E Prentis RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
21 May 1963 at Sea at 13.51N 112.15E Seaman Knut Malvin Kjerstad discharged dead from extensive burns
18 October 1963 a strike at Singapore Naval Base resulted in Fort Charlotte being diverted to Hong Kong for repairs.
1964 Captain C N Rennels RFA appointed as Master
10 February 1964 following the loss of HMAS Voyager (D04) with 82 of her crew being killed the Chinese crew of Fort Charlotte collected £16.00 for the 'Voyager Fund'
9 March 1964 during exercise Jet Train II towed by HMAS YARRA
January 1965 to 11 August 1965 in support of naval units performing patrols off East Malaysia, Singapore and in the Malacca Straits during the Indonesian Confrontation, along with RFA’s EDDYROCK, GOLD RANGER, TIDEREACH and WAVE SOVEREIGN.
29 April 1965 Captain Archibald Murchie RFA appointed as Master
3 May 1965 while on passage to Singapore RAS'ed with HMAS YARRA with naval stores
13 February 1966 Captain Archibald M M Telfer RFA appointed as Master
26 August 1966 Mr E S Brazier RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
18 November 1967 and 25 November 1967 offered for sale 'As lying' at H M Dockyard Singapore by the Ministry of Transport in the UK Times newspapers of these days.
January 1968 sold to Singapore ship breakers for $670,000 (reported in the Straits Times)
June 1968 broken up at Singapore
- Before RFA service was part of the British Pacific Fleet - hence the B pennant number