Previous name:                     Allegiance
Subsequent name:                HMS Kingfisher   ARA Tehuelche   ARA Guardiamarine Zicari  

Official Number:                    168719                                                    

Class:                                   KING SALVOR Class Ocean Salvage Ship

Pennant No:                         W191 / B441 /A291  Q81

Laid down:                           17 May 1941
Builder:                                William Simons & Co Ltd., Renfrew
Launched:                            18 May 1942
Into Service:                         17 July 1942
Out of service:                      1961                     
Fate:                                   Broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  There were originally 13 ships in this Admiralty-designed Class, 12 of which saw service as RFA’s. The final unit in the Class was completed as a Submarine Rescue Vessel under the White Ensign. All were basically similar and were used as Ocean Salvage Ships. They had a complement of 72 and during wartime were armed with 4 x 20 mm AA guns.

17 May 1941 laid down as HMS ALLEGIANCE

RFA King Salvor was placed under commercial management at the commencement of her Admiralty service

21 December 1942 the 25,000 ton British Troopship Strathallan was torpedoed 60 miles north of Oran with 6,000 soldiers on board. The Strathallan caught fire. King Salvor's crew made major efforts to extinguish the fire and save the ship. The ship sank.

17 January 1943 arrived at Algiers from Oran escorted by HM ML 280

30 January 1943 sailed Algiers to Bougie escorted by HMS CLACTON and HMS BUDE

13 February 1943 Fireman William Armstrong discharged dead. He is buried in the Bone War Cemetery, Annaba, Algeria  


Courtesy and copyright of The War Graves Photographic Project

14 March 1943 at Hussein Dey, Bay of Algiers salvaging the USS Thomas Stone (AP-29) which was aground

USS Thomas Stone

USS Thomas Stone (AP-29)

16 March 1943 at Hussein Dey, Bay of Algiers suspended the salvage work on the USS Thomas Stone (AP-29) to provide assistance to other cargo ships being towed in which were sinking

14 May 1943 sailed to Bizerta together with RFA SALVENTURE carrying between the two ships 894 and 981 Balloon Squadrons, Royal Air Force escorted by HMS SHAINT and HMS INCHMARNOCK and proted by fighter aircraft

30 May 1943 involved in the repairs to the docks at Ferryville

6 July 1943 in the London Gazette of this day 4th Engineer Officer 'Jock' Harold Franklin Brown from King Salvor was appointed to Membership of the Order of the British Empire for boarding a ship on fire and displaying great courage and inspiring leadership which set an example to all and he disregarded the danger from the constantly exploding ammunition throughout the entire operation.

30 September 1943 involved with other tugs in the towing of LCT342 from the Gulf of Salerno, Italy

11 October 1943 engaged in salvage operations at Naples when two officers descended into the interior of an overturned derrick barge to facilitate the removal of this craft. An explosion occurred and 3rd Officer Sidney Rouse Everett sustained serious burns. He was rescued by the 4th Engineer Officer Harold Franklin Brown MBE. The 4th Engineer Officer was subsequently awarded the George Medal for his bravery.


Order and Medals awarded to 4th Engineer Brown MBE GM for his World War 2 service on King Salvor

17 October 1943 3rd Officer Sidney Rouse Everett RFA discharged dead. He is buried in the Naples War Cemetery, Italy.


Courtesy and copyright of The War Graves Photographic Project

13 August 1944 sailed Taranto in convoy HA29A to Augusta arriving the next day

15 August 1944 sailed Augusta in convoy MKS43 to Algiers arriving on 20 August 1944

25 August 1944 berthed at the Port of Cagliari, Sardinia

30 January 1945 damaged by a mine at St Louis de Rhone - there were no casualties. Temporarty repairs were undertaken at La Ciotat. Damage to starboard side amounted to a hole 10 feet square to number one hold and further damage to the starboard fuel tank. C in C Med requested repairs to be undertaken at Gibraltar as a high priority. (Source Admiralty War Diary of 1 February 1945 page 1234)

12 March 1945 repairs from mine damage completed. The delay caused by the repairs to the damage resulted in her transfer to the British Pacific Fleet being postponded. (Source Admiralty War Diary of this day - Page 52)

26 June 1945 sailed Suez for Aden for onward routeing

August 1945 Lieutenant R H A Adams RNVR in command

24 March 1946 involved with RFA SALVICTOR, RFA PRINCE SALVOR and another salvage vessel in the salvage of a US Liberty ship 'Josiah Nelson Cushing' for which the crews of the salvage ships received salvage money. The salvage of this vessel was completed by 16 May 1946

21 May 1946 sailed Hong Kong to Swatow - made fast to wreck

29 May 1946 RFA PRINCE SALVOR berthed alongside at Swatow

3 June 1946 berthed at Hong Kong

28 September 1946 Petty Officer Leslie H Pilling P/JX 140603 discharged dead - drowned

Pilling LH

15 December 1946 involved with three RN ships in the salvage of a ship 'Rosebank' for which the crews of all four ships received salvage money. The salvage of this vessel was completed by 27 December 1946

21 December 1946 the Gloucester Citizen reported -


King Salvor 21 12 46


3 February 1951 left Singapore being towed back to the UK by the tug Empire Air

January 1953 notice given by the Admiralty that the officer and crew of King Salvor who had been involved in the salvage of a ship Josiah Nelson Cushing between 24 March and 16 May 1946 had been awarded Salvage Money

19 November 1953 in refit at Portsmouth Dockyard

28 April 1954 renamed HMS KINGFISHER and commissioned as a submarine rescue vessel. Lieutenant Commander Robert J Clutterbuck DSO, Royal Navy appointed in Command



HMS Kingfisher


2 June 1954 at Portsmouth Dockyard inspected by the Admiral Superintendent - Rear Admiral A G V Hubback CB CBE

June 1954 commenced work up on the River Clyde where she was to be based as a tender to the 3rd Submarine Squadron

1958 paid off as a Bell Rescue Ship and was subsequently employed as a submarine support ship and tender



HMS Kingfisher


December 1960 sold to Argentinian Navy and reanmed ARA TEHUELCHE

1961 Lieutenant Commander D. Victor E. Peláez appointed in Command

1 May 1961 sailed Chatham for Mar del Plata, Argentina via Las Palmas, Cape Vere Islands



Argentinian Naval Ship Tehuelche

1962 Lieutenant Commander D. Osvaldo H. Branca appointed in Command

1963 Lieutenant Commander D. Mario Noriega appointed in Command

4 June 1963 renamed ARA GUARDIAMARINA ZICARI. This was in memorary of Midshipman Oswaldo Raul Zicari who died in the waters of the River Plate while trying to rescue the crew of a boat on 23 February 1953

1964 Lieutenant Commander D. Alberto A. Larraga appointed in Command

1965 Lieutenant Commander D. John C. Malugani appointed in Command

1966 Lieutenant Commander D. Norberto M. Couto appointed in Command

1967 Lieutenant Commander D. Alejandro Delgado appointed in Command

1968 Lieutenant Commander D. Alberto M. D'Agostino appointed in Command. Engaged in the salvage of three ships - Orkney Islands, Cutral Co and Fray Luis Beitran which had burnt and sunk in the Central Dock of the River Plate

1969 Lieutenant Commander D. John C. Etchegoyen appoined in Command

1970 Lieutenant Commander D. Julio M. Lera appointed in Command

1972 Lieutenant Commander D. Ernesto F. Diamante appointed in Command

4 February 1974 entered the port of Mar del Plata for the last time

1974 official disposed of

1976 purchased by DGFM

November 1976 broken up Argentina



  1. She served in the Pacific during WW2 and salvaged a number of wrecks from Hong Kong Harbour.
  2. Served in the British Pacific Fleet - hence the B pennant number

Additional information

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