Gold_Ranger_1964

Reproduced with permission of the MOD

 

RFA Gold Ranger

 

Official Number:                             168175

Class:                                           RANGER CLASS Fleet Attendant Oiler

Pennant No:                                  X30 / A130

Laid down:                                    14 May 1940
Builder:                                          Caledon, Dundee
Launched:                                     12 March 1941
Into Service:                                  4 July 1941
Out of service:                               July 1973
Fate:                                             Broken up at Hong Kong

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  The six ships in this Class were designed in the mid - 1930’s by Rowland Baker as replacements for the 2,000t BELGOL CLASS and were the first Admiralty-designed tankers since the 1917 5,000t FAST LEAF CLASS. As originally built, for camouflage purposes, they had canvas deckhouses, a dummy plate funnel forward, their foremast was on the starboard bow, the wheelhouse was offset to port, and in some cases their genuine funnel was cut low and was on the port quarter, fitted with a spark arrester. Originally armed with 1 x 4” LA, 1 x 12 pdr HA/LA and several Lewis guns, as the War progressed the armament fits altered and finally averaged 1 x 4” HA, 1 x 40mm Bofors and 4 x single 20mm Oerlikons. These vessels served extensively as Escort Tankers on the Russian Convoys, Norwegain coastal raids, Malta Convoys and with the British Pacific Fleet. Apart from GRAY RANGER which became a War Loss, the Class had exceptionally long Service lives and were finally replaced by the ROVER CLASS

 

12 March 1941 launched by Caledon Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Dundee as Yard Nr 389 named GOLD RANGER

 March 1941 Mr Reginald R Darroch RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Reginald R DARROCH

Chief Engineer Officer Reginald R Darroch RFA

26 June 1941 Captain Percival H Brooke RFA appointed as Master

 BROOKE PERCIVAL HENRY

Captain Percival H Brooke RFA

4 July 1941 completed

5 July 1941 sailed Dundee to join the Fleet Fuelling Service arriving at Grangemouth the same day

7 July 1941 sailed Grangemouth

11 July 1941 at Leith Docks

27 July 1941 arrived Methil Roads

31 July 1941 sailed Methil Roads

8 August 1941 arrived Scapa Flow for OAS trials remaining there until 9 December 1941

August 1941 undertook OAS trials with the heavy cruiser HMS BERWICK using the Trough Method

rn berwick

HMS BERWICK

3 November 1941 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS DUKE OF YORK to refuel her with 551 tons of FFO

duke of york1

HMS DUKE OF YORK

12 December 1941 sailed Lyness to the Clyde arriving the next day

15 December 1941 at Glasgow for repairs remaining on the Clyde and area until early January 1942

12 January 1942 Admiralty reported she had loaded 1,000 tons of Admiralty FFO prior to sailing as a convoy refuelling tanker to Freetown - Source Admiralty War Diary of this date

18 January 1942 directed to be part of Convoy OS 17 from Liverpool but did not sail.

29 January 1942 refuelled from RFA DEWDALE (1)

8 February 1942 arrived at Freetown

19 April 1942 sailed Freetown in convoy ST20. The convoy dispersed on 19 April 1942

25 May 1942 arrived Freetown

22 October 1942 Captain Raymond V Boodle RFA appointed as Master

 Raymond Boodle

Captain Raymond V Boodle RFA

4 January 1943 ordered to sail from the East Indies to act as Fleet Attendant Oiler at Durban. At Kilindini with HMAS NIZAM alongside being refuelled

8 January 1943 sailed Mombasa for refit in Durban

17 January 1943 arrived Durban for refit. RFA ARNDALE refitted at the same time

8 March 1943 docked in the dry dock at Durban, South Africa

11 March 1943 undocked from the dry dock at Durban, South Africa

17 April 1943 sailed Durban independently to Mombasa arriving on 23 April 1943

14 July 1943 at Kilindini alongside HMS FROBISHER refuelling her

hms Frobisher

HMS FROBISHER

23 July 1943 at Kilindini alongside HMS FROBISHER refuelling her

14 November 1943 sailed Mombasa

17 November 1943 returned back at Mombasa

17 February 1944 Mr Harry F Duce DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Harry F Duce

Chief Engineer Officer Harry F Duce DSC RFA

13 June 1944 docked in the dry dock at Durban, South Africa

17 June 1944 undocked from the dry dock at Durban, South Africa

7 April 1945 sailed Mombasa independently to Colombo arriving on 16 April 1945

15 April 1945 allocated for duty in Operation Dracula and to be the base oiler at Rangoon, Burma when the port had been captured

17 April 1945 sailed Colombo independently to Trincomalee arriving on 19 April 1945

26 April 1945 sailed Trincomalee

1 May 1945 arrived at Kyaukpyu, Yangon Island, Burma

2 May 1945 took part in Operation Dracula - the entry into Rangoon - along with RFA ECHODALE

3 May 1945 Captain Ernest C Rogers RFA appointed as Master

Captain Ernest C Rogers

Captain Ernest C Rogers RFA

4 May 1945 sailed Kyaukpyu in convoy KRS1A arriving at Rangoon on 19 May 1945

19 May 1945 sailed Rangoon independently to Trincomalee arriving 25 May 1945

26 June 1945 sailed Trincomalee independently to Bombay arriving 1 July 1945

7 July 1945 under going repairs at Bombay Dockyard completed 20 August 1945

26 July 1945 Mr J A McKenzie RFA appointed Chief Engineer Officer

24 September 1946 struck by a practice torpedo in Portland Harbour during test firing

15 October 1946 Captain Douglas N J Williams RFA (Lieut-Commander RNR) appointed as Master

28 November 1946 Mr W E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 October 1947 Mr William H Macfarlane RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 CEO Wm H MacFarlane

Chief Engineer Officer William H MacFarlane RFA

29 January 1948 at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands the RRS John Biscoe alongside being refuelled

31 January 1948 sailed from Port Stanley, Falkland Islands to Bermuda

6 May 1948 Captain William R Parker RFA appointed as Master - remained in command until 31 March 1950 and then from 12 April 1950 until 26 May 1950

27 July 1948 reported by radio that she had, together with HMS's SHEFFIELD and SPARROW ridden out a hurricane and were making passage to Bermuda Dockyard

8 October 1948 sailed from Bermuda with RN ships shortly before what was described as the most destructive hurricane to hit the Island for 20 years arrived. She safely rode out the hurricane at sea before returning to the Island.

Between 1949 and 1950 Gold Ranger was based in the West Indies and during this period she made a number of excursions to the Antarctic in support of various expeditions

31 January 1949 sailed with HMS's GLASGOW, JAMAICA, SNIPE. SPARROW, BIGBURY BAY, WHITESANDS BAY, the tugs EMINENT, FREEBOOTER and JUSTICE together with the Harbour Service Vessel MOORPOUT to the West Indies

21 February 1949 sailed Trinidad

28 March 1949 sailed Kingston, Jamaica

30 March 1949 involved in exercises with UK, US and Canadian Naval units off the US Naval Base at Guatanamo Bay, Cuba

Gold Ranger Exercise

Press Cutting from The Times newspaper 6 April 1949

7 October 1949 at the Royal Naval Hospital, Bermuda Fireman James Foster Pigot discharged dead - heart failure

26 November 1949 sailed Port Stanley, Falkland Islands with RRS JOHN BISCOE to the South Shetlands and Deception Island in Antarctica for Operation Corkscrew - providing aviation fuel at Deception Island, Antarctica for aircraft being used by the Falkland Island Dependencies Survey

 

John Biscoe in 1956 renamed HMNZN Endeavour

RRS John Biscoe in 1956 after being renamed HMNZS Endeavour

 

2 December 1949 anchored at Whalers' Bay, Deception Island and off loaded stores and drums of fuel ashore. The John Biscoe off loaded two aircraft for use by the team based there

1949 Press report Kalgoorie Miner Gold Ranger

Press report from the Kalgoorie Miner newspaper

8 December 1949 sailed Deception Island for Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

16 February 1950 Mr W E Burke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 December 1950 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

2 December 1950 arrived at Plymouth from Aruba

13 December 1950 Captain James H Chant RFA appointed as Master

26 December 1950 in dock at Immingham along with RFA's BLACK RANGER and FORTOL

7 March 1951 Mr D S Wood RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

31 August 1951 involved in major naval exercises with the Home Fleet around the UK and off Gibraltar

28 September 1951 at Invergordon HMS St AUSTELL BAY berthed alongside to refuel

St Austell Bay

HMS St AUSTELL BAY

1 October 1951 sailed from Invergordon together with twenty four RN ships and the tug Mediator

10 October 1951 sailed Invergordon for the Home Fleet Autumn Cruise together with 

10 January 1952 Mr W H Macfarlane RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

15 September 1952 sailed Rosyth with RFA WAVE PREMIER and UK, US, Canadian and New Zealand naval units to take part in Operation Mainbrace

18 September 1952 berthed at Rosyth

19 September 1952 at Rosyth with USS Fred T Berry (DDE 858) alongside refuelling her

Fred T Berry

USS Fred T Berry (DDE 858)

20 September 1952 sailed Rosyth to take part in Operation Mainbrace (Part 2)

3 October 1952 took part in Operation Hurricane 1- the first British atomic bomb tests at the Monte Bello Islands off NW Australia  - along with 6 other RFA’s

13 October 1952 Mr R C Veitch RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

16 February 1953 Captain Alfred M Uglow RFA appointed as Master

11 September 1953 Captain Leslie G Rowling DSC RFA appointed as Master

16 October 1953 sailed Sunderland for Sheerness

28 December 1953 Mr C D Reid RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 April 1954 Mr J C Calvert RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 April 1954 at Taedong Do HMAS MURCHISON berthed alongside and was replenished with fresh water

11 June 1954 at Taedong Do HMAS MURCHISON berthed alongside and was refuelled with fuel and replenished with fresh water

23 March 1955 at Tung Wah Hospital, Hong Kong Sailor Pang Fook discharged dead from meningitis

1 June 1955 South of Lombok, Indonesia RASed with HMAS WARRAMUNGA (astern) and HMAS ARUNTA (abeam)

 

Gold Ran RAN RAS

Image copyright:© Australian War Memorial

14 July 1955 Mr Lionel W Pool RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

16 August 1955 took part in Exercise Comex between Kure and Kagoshima with RN Units. RASed with HMS St BRIDES BAY

15 March 1956 Captain Stephen J Pethurst RFA appointed as Master

Captain Stephen J Pethurst

Captain Stephen J Pethurst RFA
(image taken in 1920)

31 October 1956 in Operation Musketeer - the Suez Crisis - along with 34 other RFA’s

4 December 1956 together with RFA WAVE SOVERIGN and RN Units engaged in patrol duites in the Red Sea

9 July 1957 Mr J Brett RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 August 1957 RAS'ed with HMS LOCH FADA at Khor Kuwai, Persian Gulf

22 November 1957 Captain R J Lockwood RFA appointed as Master

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

 

Port_London_Christmas_Island

 

24 February 1958 to 1March 1958 involved in fleet exercises with RFA's WAVE MASTER, FORT CHARLOTTE, FORT SANDUSKY, HMS NEWCASTLE and 9 other RN ships

25 March 1958 berthed at Jesselton with HMNZS ROYALIST

RFA GOLD RANGER 1958 Mar25 Jesselton Alongside HMNZS ROYALIST for CW

RFA GOLD RANGER alongside HMNZS ROYALIST
at Jesselton
© Mike Day collection

17 February 1959 RAS'ed HMS CAVALIER between Hong Kong and Singapore

30 April 1959 Captain Nicholas B J Stapleton RD RFA (Lieut-Commander RNR) appointed as Master

5367Stapleton Capt N B J

Captain Nicholas B J Stapleton RD RFA

10 June 1959 after release from Exercise Saddleup and while on way to Sandakan RAS HMAS's ANZAC and TOBRUK

16 June 1959 RASed with HMAS's ANZAC and TOBRUK and RN ships

2 July 1959 during exercises with RN and RAN ships RASed with HMAS's ANZAC and TOBRUK

23 December 1959 RASed with HMAS QUICKMATCH

2 January 1960 RASed with HMAS VENDETTA astern and HMAS QUICKMATCH abeam

6 January 1960 RASed with HMAS QUICKMATCH

18 February 1960 RASed with HMAS QUEENBOROUGH abeam and HMAS QUIBERON astern

23 March 1960 Mr R E Davies RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

6 April 1960 and 7 April 1960 off Singapore engaged in RAS exercises together with RFA's RELIANT (2), RESURGENT, FORT CHARLOTTE, OLNA (2) and HMAS's QUEENBOROUGH, ANZAC and TOBRUK

16 May 1960 off Singapore RASed with HMAS VOYAGER

19 July 1960 off Pulo Aur RASed HMAS VAMPIRE

5 August 1960 together with HMS ALBION and RFA's WAVE MASTER, TIDEFLOW, RETAINER and FORT DUNVEGAN entered Telok Tekek

24 December 1960 4th Engineer Norman George Cowell RFA discharged dead - he is buried in Kranji Military Cemetery, Singapore in Plot 14 Row D Grave 17

 

COWELL_N_1

Image supplied by Tony Beck with thanks

 

18 March 1961 Captain Dan de V Moulds RFA appointed as Master

4 May 1961 Mr J Scott RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

July 1961 provided support during Operation Vantage- the Kuwait Crisis -along with 12 other RFA’s

7 April 1962 Captain Walter Gibb MBE RFA appointed as Master

23 May 1962 with RN units was engaged on anti pirate patrols in the Tawau area and off the Celebes

4 June 1962 berthed at SIngapore Naval Base

14 June 1962 Mr C D Reid RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

29 March 1963 Captain B H Lawrence RFA appointed as Master

9 June 1963 at Thomas Road Hospital Singapore Chief Cook Cheng Wang Cheous discharged dead - natural causes

16 August 1963 Captain Charles Stuart Bonshaw Irwin DSO DSC RD RFA (Lieutenant Commander RNR (ret)) appointed as Master

Captain B Irvine

Captain Charles S B Irwin DSO DSC RD RFA
with thanks to Peter Harrison

28 January 1964 her Ship‘s Badge was officially presented to her

6 June 1964 while on passage from Jesselton Harbour to Singapore RAS'ed with HMAS's PARRAMATTA, SYDNEY and YARRA

31 July 1964 Mr J R Ramsey RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 September 1964 refuelled HMAS's IBIS, TEAL and GULL

25 October 1964 at Tawau anchorage alongside HMAS IBIS to refuel her

30 October 1964 at Tawau anchorage alongside HMAS IBIS to refuel her

2 November 1964 at Tawau anchorage alongside HMAS IBIS to refuel her

6 November 1964 at Tawau anchorage alongside HMAS IBIS to refuel her

19 December 1964 at Tawau anchorage alongside HMAS DERWENT to refuel her

25 December 1964 Christmas Day spent at anchor 6 miles east of Tawau

January 1965 to 11 August 1965 provided support to RN units from the Far East Fleet and units of an Inshore Squadron during the Indonesian Confrontation along with RFA’s EDDYROCK, FORT CHARLOTTE, TIDEREACH and WAVE SOVEREIGN

13 January 1965 at 5.00N 130.00E refuelled HMAS's GULL and HAWK

2 February 1965 alongside HMAS DUCHESS while anchored off Tawau Jetty refuelling her

27 March 1965 berthed at Singapore Naval Base with HMAS PARRAMATTA alongside

29 May 1965 anchored off Tawau with HMAS PARRAMATTA berthed alongside being refuelled

20 June 1965 off Boreno RAS'ed with HMAS YARRA

13 July 1965 off Tawau RAS'ed with HMAS YARRA

1 August 1965 at 5N 130E refuelled HMAS's GULL and HAWK alongside

21 August 1965 off Sipidan Island at 04.35N 19.35E while on passage from Hong Kong to Manus RAS'ed with HMAS's YARRA and PARRAMATTA

1 September 1965 Captain G Bray MBE RFA appointed as Master

12 September 1965 Mr R C Veitch RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 September 1965 to the south of Sibutu Passage RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS and VENDETTA

16 October 1965 in the Moro Gulf (off Philippines East Coast) RASed with HMAS CURLEW

20 December 1965 in the Singapore Strait RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS

8 February 1966 in lee of Sibutu Passage refuelled HMAS's HAWK and GULL

2 March 1966 off Tawau RASed with HMAS's DERWENT and VAMPIRE

21 March 1966 off Tawau RASed with HMAS DERWENT

7 April 1966 Captain J G M Coull RFA appointed as Master

April 1966 off Tawau undertook night patrols under the direction of HMAS DERWENT

15 June 1966 refuelled HMAS GULL

24 July 1966 RASed with HMAS DERWENT and then for practice also RASed astern

23 August 1966 at Labuan refuelled HMAS PARRAMATTA

15 September 1966 off Johore Shoal Buoy refuelled HMAS's HAWK, CURLEW and GULL

21 October 1966 refuelled HMAS's HAWK, CURLEW and SNIPE while on passage from Tacloban, Phillipines to Singapore

25 October 1966 off Luzon RASed with HMAS PARRAMATTA

7 February 1967 RASed with HMAS HAWK

9 February 1967 together with HMS MANXMAN and HMAS GULL off the Bankok River

HMS MANXMAN

HMS MANXMAN

13 March 1967 together with HMS DARTINGTON and HMAS GULL alongside each other at the Fleet Anchorage. The cast off each other on 14 March 1967

22 March 1967 Captain C W P Summer RFA appointed as Master

26 April 1967 Mr Ronald C Putt MID RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 

Ch_Eng_R_C_Putt

Chief Engineer Officer Ronald C Putt MID RFA

5 May 1967 at Singapore Dockyard

15 June 1967 sailed Singapore returning 17 June 1967

19 June 1967 sailed Singapore for exercises returning 23 June 1967

2 July 1967 sailed SIngapore for exercises berthing at Manila on 8 July 1967

10 July 1967 sailed Manila for Exercise Sea Dog arriving Linguyan Gulf 11 July 1967

12 July 1967 sailed Linguyan Gulf for Subic Bay arriving 13 July 1967

13 July 1967 sailed Subic Bay to Linguyan Gulf arriving 14 July 1967

19 July 1967 sailed Linguyan Gulf returning to Singapore 28 July 1967

1 August 1967 sailed Singapore for RASing returning 4 August 1967

18 August 1967 sailed Singapore for RASing returning 21 August 1967

22 August 1967 sailed Singapore for Ko Phanghan arriving 25 August 1967

28 August 1967 sailed Ko Phanghan for Hong Kong arriving 4 September 1967

17 September 1967 sailed Hong Kong for Singapore arriving 26 September 1967

The insigna of the Dragon Squadron (6MCMS) was displayed on her funnel

28 Septmeber 1967 sailed Singapore returning the following day

October 1967 together with RFA TIDEPOOL RASed with HMS DAMPIER during the Survey ship return to the UK

Dampier 04

HMS DAMPIER

23 October 1967 involved in the rescue of an Indonesian ship Perak which was adrift in the Nicobar Strait. She towed the Perak with 19 crew on board to Sabang. North Sumatra

27 October 1967 at Singapore Dockyard

13 November 1967 sailed Singapore returning 18 November 1967

23 November 1967 sailed Singapore returning the next day

26 November 1967 sailed Singapore returning 9 December 1967. Sailed later the same day berthing at Penang on 11 December 1967

14 December 1967 sailed Penang berthing at Singapore on 16 December 1967

19 December 1967 sailed SIngapore returning there on 22 December 1967

2 January 1968 sailed Singapore returning there on 5 January 1968

16 January 1968 off Singapore RASed with HMAS YARRA

February 1968 Captain R M Miller RFA appointed as Master

5 February 1968 in the vicinity of the Johore Shoal Buoy alongside HMAS SYDNEY refuelling her

4 March 1968 sailed Singapore Naval Base for Yokosuka US Naval Base, Japan arriving 15 March 1968

23 March 1968 sailed Yokosuka US Naval Base, Japan for Kure, Japan arriving 25 March 1968

29 March 1968 sailed Kure, Japan for Hong Kong arriving 2 April 1968 inadvertenly entered, by one mile, waters claimed by the Government of Communist China and was escorted to the International shipping lane to Hong Kong by Chinese gun boats

7 April 1968 sailed Hong Kong to Singapore arriving 17 April 1968

18 April 1968 sailed Singapore returning the next day

23 April 1968 sailed Singapore for Jahore Bay returning to SIngapore 30 April 1968

4 May 1968 sailed Singapore for Manus arriving 14 May 1968

15 May 1968 sailed Manus to Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia arriving 24 May 1968

29 May 1968 sailed Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia to Singapore Naval Base arriving 6 June 1968

11 June 1968 sailed Singapore Naval Base returning 14 June 1968

17 June 1968 sailed Singapore Naval Base returning on 26 June 1968

18 August 1968 Mr G R Henderson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

26 August 1968 at Singapore Dockyard

2 November 1968 in the Singapore Strait RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS

22 November 1968 off the Johore Shoal Buoy RAS'ed with HMAS DUCHESS

19 October 1969 in the Java Sea RASed with HMAS YARRA

December 1969 Captain E G May DSC RFA appointed as Master

22 March 1970 RASed with HMNZS Taranaki while on passage from Hong Kong to Manila

30 October 1970 RASed with HMAS SYDNEY and then sailed for Singapore

2 November 1970 north east of Singapore RASed with HMAS's SYDNEY and VENDETTA

1 April 1971 off Singapore RASed with HMAS YARRA

4 May 1971 berthed at Singapore

31 October 1971 took part in the final steam past of seventeen ships from the RN, RAN, RNZN and RFA Far  East Fleet in the Singapore Straits after the closure of the naval base there which also included RFA’s FORT SANDUSKY, OLNA (3), RELIANT (2), RESOURCE, STROMNESS, TIDEFLOW and TIDEPOOL. Immediately afterwards for three hectic days she participated in Operation Curtaincall - a combined RN, RAN, RNZN and RFA Fleet Exercise off the NW coast of Malaysia

20 June 1972 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa

21 August 1972 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa

23 September 1972 2nd Officer Malcolm Douglas Cameron Lee RFA discharged dead after an accident in Singapore -he was buried at sea

22 December 1972 arrived Singapore for the last time to destore and to be laid up

7 March 1973 offered for sale this day in the Straits Times, Singapore

5 April 1973 on the Disposal List

July 1973 sold out of service to Tunas Tankers & Bunkering Service Pte Ltd under the Singapore flag

March 1977 broken up at Hong Kong by Lee Sing & Co Ltd

 

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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