RFA Fort Rosalie (1)



Reproduced with permission of the MOD


RFA Fort Rosalie 1



Official Number:                     180636

Class:                                      CANADIAN FORT CLASS Stores Ship

Pennant No:                            X142  / B559 /  A186

Laid down:                              29 August 1944
Builder:                                    United Shipyards Limited, Montreal, Canada
Launched:                               18 November 1944
Into Service:                            20 November 1947
Out of service:                         1 May 1972
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 three 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 three 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, sixteen ships were completed as Stores Issuing Ships as follows: three as Ammunition Carriers, two as Air Stores Issuing Ships, two as Naval Stores Issuing Ships and nine 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, eight of these ships became RFA’s. They were only armed during WW2.


18 November 1944 launched as a “Canadian” type by United Shipyards Ltd, Montreal as Yard Nr: 43 named FORT ROSALIE (1) for the MoWT

7 April 1945 completed as an Ammunition Carrier and placed under initial management of Ellerman and Bucknall Steamship Co Ltd, London and served with the British Pacific Fleet Train

12 July 1945 sailed Montreal for Falmouth

23 August 1945 sailed Liverpool

18 September 1945 sailed Balboa, Panama for Pearl Harbour

1 October 1945 entered Pearl Harbour

12 October 1945 at Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands

21 October 1945 berthed at the Naval Base at Manus, Admiralty Islands

4 November 1945 arrived at Shanghai, China

12 November 1945 sailed Shanghai, China

27 November 1945 at sea at 28°17N 125°53E Fireman Jainodeen Sk Mohammed discharged dead - natural causes

26 December 1945 at Hong Kong Quartermaster John McDonald discharged dead - reported missing believed killed or drowned

11 January 1946 at Hong Kong Lascar Seaman Eusoof Ahmed Calloo discharged dead from natural causes

28 March 1946 the ship's Master was Captain John Blewett

May 1946 Naval Rating were used to load Naval Stores for Hong Kong during a dockers strike in Sydney, Australia

20 July 1946 arrived at Yokohama

22 September 1946 with HMS CAMPERDOWN, RFA's WAVE SOVEREIGN and FORT CONSTANTINE sailed Kure, Japan

18 November 1946 sailed Hong Kong for Colombo

7 December 1946 sailed Colombo to Sydney, NSW, Australia

25 December 1946 while on passage from Fremantle to Sydney called at Albany, Australia to land a sick member of the crew. Sailed the same day for Sydney, NSW

30 January 1947 sailed Sydney, NSW for Portsmouth, England

22 March 1947 passed Gibraltar when on passge to Devonport from Brisbane

29 July 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

15 August 1947 at Portland, Dorset Lascar Doulat Khan x Doraf Ali discharged dead having apparently suffered heart failure

17 November 1947 Captain Thomas Elder DSC RFA appointed as Master

18 November 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

20 November 1947 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour - transferred to the Admiralty, under RFA management and was converted into an ASIS

1 December 1947 Mr George C Dunning RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer



Chief Engineer Officer George C Dunning RFA


7 May 1948 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 July 1948 at 24°26N 36°05E Bhandary Ramjan Joagnoo discharged dead from TB

31 July 1948 arrived at Bombay, India from Devonport

3 January 1949 arrived at Malta after passage from Plymouth

3 April 1949 sailed Gibraltar for Plymouth

9 May 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

10 August 1949 Mr I Cameron RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 October 1949 passed Gibraltar from Plymouth when on passage to Sydney, NSW

13 December 1949 berthed at No: 8 North Wharf, Fremantle, Australia to load 1,400 tons of ammunition for Sydney, NSW

9 January 1950 arrived at and anchored off Melbourne

7 March 1950 berthed at No 3 Naval Buoy, Sydney, NSW, Australia

13 March 1950 sailed Sydney, NSW, Australia for Singapore

20 March 1950 berthed at Townsville, Queensland with engine defects - the local fire service maintained a 24 hour guard on her due to her explosives cargo. She sailed the next day for Singapore

14 April 1950 sailed Singapore

12 May 1950 sailed Port Said

18 May 1950 while on passage from Seletar to Plymouth left Malta this day

21 June 1950 Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA appointed as Master



Captain Stanley C Kernick RFA
early in his career

22 June 1950 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west bound

24 June 1950 from Plymouth arrived at Newport Docks

25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953 saw service during the Korean War for more than 18 months, along with 18 other RFA’s

10 July 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 July 1950 towed from Portsmouth Harbour to Spithead under tow of the tugs Alligator, Careful and  Restive

19 July 1950 anchored at Spithead

21 July 1950 arrived at Plymouth from Spithead to load further cargo following an explosion at the Naval Armanents Depot, Bedenham, Fareham Creek

Press Cutting Fort Rosalie 1 explosion 1950

Press cutting from The Times 17 July 1950


23 August 1950 at 12.45N 51.23E Fireman Abdoorman Mohammed Essack discharged dead from cardiac failure

5 September 1950 berthed at Singapore

11 August 1951 following an explosion on a Barge in Portsmouth Harbour and a major explosion on a Barge in Gibraltar Harbour the later which resulted in the sinking of NAV BEDENHAM a signal was received from the Admiralty to dispose of 1,000 unstable Torpex Depth Charges - part of the ships cargo. This hazardous operation was completed successfully in waters between Japan and Korea

16 October 1951 at Sasebo with HMAS MURCHISON alongside receiving ammunition

25 November 1951 at sea between Kure and Sasebo RASed with HMAS MURCHISON supplying ammunition

31.December 1951 at Sasebo received stores from HMAS MURCHISON which had been brought from Hong Kong

June 1952 returned to the UK after Korean Operations. Prior to leaving on her homeward voyage the Master received a signals from

  1. Admiral A Scott-Moncrief - Far East Command -

"During the past eighteen months FORT ROSALIE has rendered exceptional service to the Fleet involving hard work and little limelight. We are all very grateful. I wish the Ship's company and armament staff a very happy return home"

and from

2. Admiral G Dyer - Commander in Chief, United Nations Escort & Blockade Force C.T.F.95

"Your fine work for Ships of this command is sincerely appreciated. Your effort and those of other Auxiliaries are often unsung but of vital importance to carrying the war to the enemy. God speed and good luck to each of you"

23 August 1952 the Galloway Gazette reported -

Galloway Gazette 23 8 1952

1 September 1952 Captain A R Wheeler RD RFA (Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

3 October 1952 in support of Operation Hurricane 1 - the first British test atomic bomb explosion at Monte Bello Islands off NW Australia - along with RFA’s FORT BEAUHARNOIS,  FORT CONSTANTINE, GOLD RANGER, WAVE PRINCE, WAVE RULER (1) and WAVE SOVEREIGN

25 November 1952 at Glasgow (see note (3) below)

12 December 1952 Mr Wilfred C Shortland RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

28 December 1952 berthed at the Military Port at Cairnryan

6 May 1953 at Sasebo reammunitioned HMAS CULGOA alongside

2 September 1953 a crew member appeared before Singapore Fifth Police Court for smoking onboard while the ship was discharging ammunition at Singapore Naval Base - he was fined $1

11 May 1954 while on passage from Singapore to Penang used by RNA Service to dump old depth charges. She was escorted by HMS WHITESAND BAY

15 November 1954 at Leith (see note (3) below)

16 November 1954  Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA (Temporary Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

 Captain E Sigwart

Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA


7 February 1955 passed the Lloyds Signal Station at Dover sailing east bound

10 February 1955 at Chatham caused damage to South Lock Wall while berthing. Scoring marks on ships plates

2 September 1955 Mr J McI Lumsden RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

10 January 1957 sailed Portsmouth with AWRE stores for Jamaica and then Christmas Island

1 October 1956 Captain J Dines RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master

8 October 1956 Mr Harry G May RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 December 1956 sailed the UK with Naval Stores for Christmas Island 

1957 - 1960 involved in Operation Grapple at Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean - the British H-bomb - along with 16 other RFA’s





11 August 1957 General Servant Perdo Diaz discharged dead - natural causes

17 April 1958 Mr J W Ritchie RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 August 1958 Commodore Thomas Elder CBE DSC RFA  appointed as Master

1 April 1959 Captain Leslie J Mack DSO RFA appointed as Master

22 June 1960 arrived at Malta from Palmas Bay, Sardinia

7 July 1960 sailed Malta for Rhodes

29 July 1960 berthed at Malta with RFA's FORT DUQUESNE and RFA WAVE KNIGHT (1) after fleet exercises

26 September 1960 at New York City Sailor Lall Ming discharged dead. His body was washed ashore and it was found he had drowned.

14 November 1960 Mr G Thompson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

15 December 1960 Captain Howard D Gausden DSO OBE RFA appointed as Master


Captain Howard D Gausden

Captain Howard D Gausden DSO OBE RFA
photo taken when as an Apprentice in 1919

22 May 1961 berthed at Malta from Gibraltar

18 August 1961 berthed at Malta from Ajaccio together with RFA Wave Knight (1) and HMS DUCHESS 

24 November 1961 Mr A Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 June 1962 together with RFA's WAVE BARON and FORT DUQUESNE and various RN warships berthed at Barcleona, Spain for an eight day visit

7 July 1962 sailed Malta for Gibraltar and the UK

14 September 1962 Captain George Robson RFA appointed as Master

October 1962 restored and sea trials in the Plymouth area

November 1962 further storing at RNAD Milford Haven. Sailed Milford Haven to Middle East and Far East stations via the South Atlantic

December 1962 at Freetown (for bunkers), Ascension Island, Cape Town (bunkers)

23 December 1962 arrived at RNAD Mombassa - cross stored with RFA FORT LANGLEY who she relieved on station.

January 1963 sailed Monbassa

27 January 1963 arrived Singapore.

February 1963 sailed Singapore for the Andaman Sea

27 February 1963 took part in Exercise JET63 with RN and RAN units

17 March 1963 Exercise JET63 completed and sailed to Hong Kong

17 April 1963 sailed from Singapore to USN Philippine exercise area

24 April 1963 Took part in SEATO Exercise 'Sea Serpent' with units of the RN, RAN, RNZN, USN and Phillippine Navy

8 May 1963 Exercise 'Sea Serpent' completed. Ships anchored in Manila Bay.

11 May 1963 returned to Singapore

June to July 1963 involved in exercises off Singapore supporting Far East Fleet ships visiting Hong Kong and Manila

31 July 1963 at Singapore Winchman/Sailor Chan Hi discharged dead - natural causes

August 1963 storing at Singapore - both armaments and victualling stores for RN units in the Persian Gulf. Sailed for the Middle East calling at Karachi for bunkers

September 1963 in the Persian Gulf and at Bahrain

October 1963 two day RAS with RFA FORT LANGLEY off Socotra Islands . Stand off Aden for two weeks then deployed to Mombassa

November 1963 Sailed Mombassa to support ships exercising. To Karachi and then return to Mombassa

December 1963 at Mombassa cross stored with RFA FORT LANGLEY who was relieving her on station. Sailed to Gan to RAS with RFA WAVE SOVEREIGN

19 December 1963 Mr David Meikle RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer


Chief Engineer Officer David Meikle RFA

25 December 1963 anchored Malacca Strait

26 December 1963 anchored off Singapore

27 December 1963 alongside RNAD Singapore to destore

January 1964 to April 1964 refit in H.M. Dockyard, Singapore

April 1964 restore and trials

6 May 1964 Captain Sydney S F Dalgleish OBE RFA appointed as Master

8 May 1964 RAS with FORT SANDUSKY cancelled due to the deployment of the FORT SANDUSKY to the Seychelles

18 May 1964 sailed Singapore for SEATO Exercise 'Ligtas' off the island of Mindoro, Philippines

27 May 1964 at Subic Bay, Phillippines with RFA's TIDESPRING (1), WAVE SOVEREIGN, RELIANT (2)  and FORT CHARLOTTE arrived and together with HMAS SUPPLY formed Task Group 490.7. RFA TIDEFLOW which should have joined the Task Group remained at Singapore due to a mechanical breakdown

4 June 1964 arrived Hong Kong with the Far East Fleet

5 June 1964 Fireman Cheung Ying discharged dead - natural causes - had previously been transfered to HMS BULWALK for treatment  and this aircraft carrier was off Margarin Bay, Phillipines at the time of his death

30 June 1964  berthed at Singapore

24 July to 7 August 1964 Exercise 'FORTEX' 1964

August to October 1964 Singapore station ammunition ship

October/November 1964 deployed in support of Indonesian confrontation visited Kutching, Labaun and Hong Kong

13 October 1964 Mr A Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

December 1964 berthed at Singapore

15 January 1965 while en-route to the UK and off Muka Head, Malaya a crew member suffered a perforated stomach ulcer. He was medevaced off the ship by a RAAF  helicopter operating from RAF Butterworth.

27 January 1965 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

February 1965 visit to Hong Kong cancelled - visited Australia instead (at Darwin for 8 days) - returned to Singapore

11 March 1965 together with RFA's WAVE SOVEREIGN and TIDFESURGE joined in the Singapore Exercise area with HM Ships ALAX, LINCOLN, ZEST, BARROSA, CAESAR, CARYSFORT and WHITY plus HMAS PARRAMATTA for exercises

24 March 1965 RASed with HMAS SUPPLY (ex RFA TIDE AUSTRAL) - received 254 tons of FFO

21 April 1965 Mr S P Awati RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 April 1965 berthed at Hong Kong

20 April 1965 sailed Hong Kong

26 April 1965 berthed at Singapore

May 1965 deployed to Manilla 

7 May to 22 May 1965 SEATO Exercise 'Sea Horse'

30 March 1966 Mr J Ross RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer - sailed Singapore

2 September 1966 Captain R J Lockwood RFA appointed as Master

4 October 1966 commenced to take part in Exercise Millsail - an advanced weapon exercise - in the Subic training areas, together with RFA's TIDESPRING, FORT DUQUESNE and RESURGENT together with various RN and RAN units

18 May 1967 Mr J A Swallow RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 October 1967 Captain Basil V Dobbie RFA appointed as Master

27 December 1967 at Bahrein

25 April 1968 at Hong Kong

2 May 1968  Mr B W Edwards RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 August 1968 with RFA TARBATNESS joined in Exercise "Winged Foot" together with RFA's OLNA (3) and REGENT and RN and RAN ships off Penang

10 November 1969 off Singapore RASed with HMAS YARRA supplying 174 shells and 180 cartridges

19 December 1969 in the Subic Bay exercise area RASed with HMAS YARRA by heavy Jackstay

10 February 1971 during Operation FEBEX between Singapore and Hong Kong RASed ammunition with HMAS YARRA

1 May 1972 de-stored out of service and laid up at Rosyth Dockyard, Scotland

24 January 1973 sailed Rosyth in tow for Spanish breakers along with RFA FORT SANDUSKY

10 February 1973 arrived at Castellon, Spain for breaking up by Varela Davalillo

March 1973 breaking up began




  1. Additional information kindly supplied by Mr Michael Dyson
  2. Prior to RFA service was a member of the British Pactific Fleet - hence the B pennant number
  3. From the Discharge Book of Fred W J Raddon



RFA Fort Rosalie (2)


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


For details of RFA Fort Rosalie (2) please see RFA Fort Grange


Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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