Fort_Langley_1965

Reproduced with permission of the MOD

 

RFA Fort Langley

 

 

Previous name:                        Montebello Park

Subsequent name:

Official Number:                       180495

Class:                                     CANADIAN FORT CLASS Stores Ship

Pennant No:                            A230  B532

Laid down:                              22 June 1944
Builder:                                   Victoria MD, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Launched:                               31 October 1944

Completed:                             28 December 1944
Into RFA Service:                     18 May 1954

Out of service:                         1970
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

 

18 May 1945 completed as an Air Stores Issuing Ship, acquired by the MoWT, renamed FORT LANGLEY and placed under initial management of Alfred Holt & Co, Liverpool. On completion she was completely stored at Victoria with British and USN aircraft spares and sailed direct to join the Pacific Fleet Train, arriving in time for the closing stages of the War against Japan. She also ferried reserve aircraft and spares for Fleet Air Arm Squadrons from Sydney to Manus or Leyte.

24 June 1945 sailed San Francisco to Pearl Harbour 

3 July 1945 sailed Pearl Harbour to Manus arriving 16 July 1945

16 September 1945 sailed Manus to Brisbane arriving 23 September 1945

21 October 1945 sailed Brisbane to Sydney, NSW arriving the next day

3 July 1947 at Sydney, NSW

16 September 1947 sailed Sydney, NSW for Singapore

1948  Managers became George Nisbet & Co, Glasgow

29 April 1948 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

16 September 1949 at Hong Kong

20 October 1949 arrived at Mombassa

30 November 1949 arrived at Malta

19 January 1950 arrived at Port Said while on passage from Plymouth to Lake Timsah

17 February 1950 sailed Lake Timsah for Malta

20 February 1950 arrived at Malta

24 February 1950 sailed Malta for Plymouth

1 March 1950 passed Gibraltar

18 April 1950 at Greenock, River Clyde

19 April 1950 sailed Glasgow for Devonport

20 April 1950 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

10 May 1950 arrived at Malta while on passage from Devonport to Trincomalee

17 May 1950 arrived at Port Said 

25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953 Saw service during the Korean War

5 November 1950 berthed at Perth, Western Australia

25 November 1950 sailed Port of Fremantle for Melbourne after loading stores

3 February 1951 arrived at Gage Roads, Port of Fremantle from Melbourne

8 July 1951 at Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow Sailor's Cook Chan Chow discharged dead from cancer of the throat

28 July 1951 anchored Holy Loch

25 January 1953 at the Royal Naval Asian Hospital, Singapore Greaser Ip Chun discharged dead from pneumonia and other matters all natural causes

11Sptember 1953 at 60 Buoy, Sasebo Harbour with HMAS CULGOA alongside being reammunitioned

5 November 1953 arrived Hong Kong from Sasebo then sailed to Leith for refit

22 February 1954 Captain Rowland K Hill OBE RFA appointed as Master

Captain Rowland Kelsey Hill OBE

Captain Rowland K Hill OBE RFA

23 February 1954 transferred to Admiralty ownership, name unchanged

3 May 1954 Mr A B Tate RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

May 1954 transferred to RFA management and converted into an ASIS

22 December 1954 the Officers and crew made a donation of $405 to the Singapore Flood Relief Fund

15 November 1955 Mr L Cochrane RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 May 1957 Captain Hubert G Carkeet RFA appointed as Master

17 April 1958 Fireman's Boy Fai Ling discharged dead apparently from a heart attack

6 August 1958 Captain D A C Butler RFA appointed as Master

12 December 1958 Second Officer Philip H Banks RFA discharged dead. Buried in Kalkara Royal Naval Cemetery, Malta.

RFA Fort Langley Banks

 

 

31 December 1958 in Grand Harbour, Malta the ships motor boat was pulling away from the Gozo landing steps when about 20 yards off shore the boats engine stopped. An examination found that the body of Steward Ronal Walker (19) of HMS VICTORIOUS had become entangled in the propellor. Police and a diver from HMS FORTH were called and recovered the body.

1959 along with RFA FORT DUQUESNE she was the winner of the annual Bulawayo Cup for the most conspicuous efficiency in  replenishment-at-sea in the Mediterranean  area

13 January 1959 RASed with HMS BERMUDA off Malta

20 January 1959 RASed with HMS BERMUDA off La Spezia

21 January 1959 the Doctor from HMS BERMUDA transfered by light jackstay to treat an injured crew member returning to HMS BERMUDA later that day

9 March 1959 RASed with HMS CENTAUR off Malta

HMS Centaur Aircraft carrier

HMS CENTAUR

17 June 1959 berthed at Malta after taking part in exercise Sardex with units of the Royal Navy and RFA's Fort DUQUESNE, WAVE SOVERIGN and WAVE VICTOR

10 October 1959 with HMS's BIRMINGHAM, DAINTY, DARING and HMS/m TALLY HO and RFA's TIDE AUSTRAL and RFA FORT DUQUESNE sailed Malta to take part in Anglo-Spanish exercises in the Western Mediterranean

HMS BIRMINGHAM WW2

HMS BIRMINGHAM

11 January 1960 Mr B C Jeremiah RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 January 1960 Captain Frank C Holt RFA appointed as Master

 Captain Frank Holt

Captain Frank C Holt RFA

4 May 1960 Captain Norman R McLeod RFA appointed as Master

14 September 1960 Captain J D G Gray RFA appointed as Master

October 1960 RASed with HMS CAPRICE off Pulau Tiomen

15 September 1961 Mr W P Garrick RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

29 April 1962 while on passage to Manila RAS'ed with HMAS MELBOURNE

21 April 1963 Captain Robert H Venning RFA appointed as Master

14 August 1963 Mr J W Ritchie RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

16 September 1963 at 0.12N 68.42E Assistant Steward Chan Wan Lang discharged dead from natural causes

1964 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

6 March 1964 during exercise Jet supplied HMAS YARRA with ammunition by jackstay transfer

7 November 1964 Captain Alf Waters RFA appointed as Master

9 November 1964 Mr N Bothwell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 June 1965 the ship was searched on arrival at Singapore by Customs who found 135lbs of opium. The ship had arrived from Hong Kong. Three of the Chinese crew were arrested

12 August 1965 off the Johore Shoal Buoy supplied HMAS YARRA with ammunition by jackstay transfer

9 December 1965 together with RFA FORT DUQUESNE berthed at Fremantle, Western Australia and secured to the North Wharf

11 December 1965 together with RFA FORT DUQUESNE sailed from Fremantle for Carnarvon

April 1966 a proposal to fit air conditioning to the ship for the safe transportation of Polaris missiles east of Suez was rejected by the Amiralty Board - PRO ADM 1/28354 refers

15 July 1966 Captain William R Town RFA appointed as Master

12 June 1966 together with RFA's TIDESPRING (1) and FORT DUNVEGAN at anchor off the eastern side of Pu Tioman

26 August 1966 Mr W B Jones RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1967 was converted at Chatham Dockyard for the freighting of missiles and other Polaris  material supporting the Navy’s fleet of Polaris-armed submarines

 Langley3

25 August 1967 Captain D de Vere Moulds RFA appointed as Master

21 September 1967 Mr P W Scott RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 November 1967 berthed at the US Naval Supply Centre at Charleston, South Carolina to commence a Polaris material support shuttle service between the USA and RNAD Coulport, Scotland.

31 December 1967 Captain John Logan RFA appointed as Master

15 January 1968 during a 'hurricane' which hit Scotland a crane near the Firth of Clyde Dry Dock crashed onto Fort Langley causing damage to the superstructure. No one was injured

Langely and crane

RFA Fort Langley having been hit by the Firth of Clyde Crane (see details above)
kindly donated by Gareth Logan

2 July 1968 Mr Peter Otway RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

2 May 1969 Mr Ronald C Putt MID RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 May 1969 sailed Portland for RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long arriving 8 May 1969

9 May 1969 sailed RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long for Portland arriving 11 May 1969

16 May 1969 sailed Portland for RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long arriving 19 May 1969

21 May 1969 sailed RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long for Bermuda arriving 3 June 1969

12 June 1969 sailed Bermuda for Charlestown NC arriving 15 June 1969

19 June 1969 sailed Charlestown NC for RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long arriving 3 July 1969

18 July 1969 sailed RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long for Bermuda arriving 1 August 1969

8 August 1969 sailed Bermuda for Charlestown NC arriving 12 August 1969

16 August 1969 sailed Charlestown NC for RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long arriving 30 August 1969

16 September 1969 sailed RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long  for Bermuda arriving 30 September 1969

3 October 1969 sailed Bermuda for Charlestown NC arriving 6 October 1969

11 October 1969 sailed Charlestown NC to RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long arriving 27 October 1969

4 November 1969 sailed RNAD, Coulport, Loch Long  for Devonport arriving 6 November 1969 to destore pending disposal.

February 1970 laid up, purchased by Marine Salvage Co Ltd, Port Colbourne, Ontario then resold to Spanish breakers

17 July 1970 sailed Devonport in tow for the breakers

21 July 1970 arrived at Bilbao, Spain for breaking up by Hierros Arbulu

August 1970 demolition begun

 

Notes: -

 

  1. Served in the British Pacfic Fleet Train - hence the 'B' pennant number

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website, by continuing to use the site you agree to cookies being used. More info.