RFA Plumleaf

RFA Plumleaf

RFA Plumleaf (1)

 

RFA Plumleaf 1

 

 

Previous name:                      RFA Trinol
Subsequent name:  

Official Number:                     140263                                                                        

Class:                                    5000T FAST LEAF (ex TEXOL) CLASS Fleet Attendant Tanker

Pennant No:                          X 63 / Y7.179 / X 54

Laid down:
Builder:                                  Swan Hunter, Wallsend
Launched:                             4 August 1916     
Into Service:                           February 1917
Out of service:                        Bombed 4 April 1942 Malta Harbour
Fate:                                     Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  All ordered in 1915, the six Admiralty-designed vessels in this Class were very advanced ships for their day. They were designed to act as Escorts on Atlantic Convoys during WW1, whilst also bringing cargoes of oil fuel from the U.S. to Britain. They were fitted with six boilers and four powerful cargo pumps with a pumping rate of 2000 tonnes per hour, which for many years was too high to be used by HM ships. They were originally planned to be named after oil bearing countries with the now usual OL suffix, but their military appearance and naval names caused difficulties with the U.S. Neutrality Act, so various modifications were made and they were then placed under commercial management and given LEAF names in common with other converted ships running as Admiralty tankers under commercial management

 

4 August 1916 launched by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend as Yard Nr 1015  named TRINOL

23 August 1916 as Trinol - Engineer Lieutenant Robert M Brown RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 September 1916 as Trinol - Lieutenant William Frost RNR appointed in command

11 March 1917 completed at a cost of £261,901. Placed under management of Lane & MacAndrew  Ltd, London as an oiler transport and was renamed PLUMLEAF (1)

1917 - 1918 served on North Atlantic convoy duties

Plumleaf 25Dec1917 George Dewdney

The above image of RFA Plumleaf's 1917 Christmas Card has been donated 
to the RFA Historical Society by Mr Larry Morrison Senior from the USA
 

29 April 1918 at 41 17N 47 55W in company of RFA APPLELEAF (1) stopped by HMS LEVIATHAN who delivered despatches to both tankers

5 July 1918 entered New York on passage from Milford Haven Captain Frederick William Dunn-Taylor RFA as Master and with a crew of 67

Photo of-DUNN-TAYLOR FREDERICKWILLIAM

Captain Frederick W Dunn-Taylor RFA

 

6 August 1918 at Montreal, Canada Seaman John Dixon discharged dead having drowned

25 August 1918 at Dover with RFA Palmol alongside receiving cargo 

3 October 1918 berthed at Liverpool from Halifax with 1 DBS

2 December 1918 arrived at Liverpool

21 December 1919 at Constantinople alongside HMS TORCH refuelling her with 142 tons of FFO

20 March 1920 at Constantinople alongside HMS TORCH refuelling her with 56 tons of FFO

24 March 1920 at Constantinople alongside HMS Torch refuelling her with FFO

5 May 1920 called at Gibraltar in ballast while on passage from Constantinople to Portsmouth

22 May 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

23 May 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

29 May 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

30 May 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

20 June 1920 in the morning in collision with ss Australia 8½ miles S 27° W Magnetic from Portland Bill. The stem and port bow of the ss Austrlia was in contact with the portside of RFA PLUMLEAF forward of amidships.  PLUMLEAF then grounded.  PLUMLEAF was on passage from Plymouth to Southampton in ballast. Captain Frederick William Dunn-Taylor RFA as Master

29 June 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 December 1920 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

16 December 1920 berthed at  Portsmouth Harbou

23 December 1920 sailed Portsmouth Harbourr

19 December 1920 the collision with ss Australia was the subject of proceedings in the Admiralty Division of the High Court before Sir Henry Duke with Assessors. The ss Australia was held totally to blame

9 May 1921 at sea while on passage from Ireland to Bermuda Able Seaman Edward George Sturt discharged dead - drowned

12 November 1921 arrived at Kingston, Jamaica

1922 to 1926 in reserve at Rosyth along with 4 of her sisters

1926 to 1930 brought out of reserve during the General Strike and was chartered to Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London

6 August 1926 Captain George H Franklin RFA appointed as Master

25 August 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

17 September 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 April 1927 Mr Clifford N Ansell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 September 1927 a crew member was removed to the Seaman's Hospital, Tilbury suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis - details of the Medical Officer of Health for the Port London's report 1927

2 November 1927 berthed at Thames Haven from Curacao with 5 DBS

3 November 1927 Captain Charles L Cutsforth RFA appointed as Master

 

Charles L Cutsforth

Captain Charles L Cutsforth RFA

 

21 January 1928 Captain George H Franklin RD RFA (Captain RNR (Rtd)) appointed as Master

17 December 1928 sailed Plymouth for Trinidad passing the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard

21 January 1929 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

5 March 1929 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

6 March 1929 arrived at Plymouth from Trinidad

12 April 1929 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

20 April 1929 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 May 1928 vessel fumigated with Hydrocyanic Acid Gas to kill rates in accorance with American Regulations - one dead rat found after fumigation

13 June 1929 Mr W D Hewitt RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

3 February 1930 Captain George St. L Capsey RFA appointed as Master

4 July 1930 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

9 July 1930 Mr Frederick C Reynolds RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Frederick Reynolds

Chief Engineer Officer Frederick C Reynolds RFA

 

14 July 1930 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

1931 proceeded to Malta where she relieved RFA DREDGOL as Station Oiler

9 February 1931 Captain W Whiteley RFA appointed as Master

19 September 1931 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

24 September 1931 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

5 October 1931 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 October 1931 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 December 1931 at Malta Carpenter C Farrugia discharged dead with a fractured skull

9 April 1932 Captain John Ross Gorrie RFA appointed as Master

 

John_Ross_Gorrie

Captain John Ross Gorrie RFA

 

11 August 1932 sailed Grand Harbour, Malta

20 August 1932 at Grand Harbour, Malta alongside HMS ROYAL OAK refuelling her with 1,700 tons of FFO

9 June 1933 at Grand Harbour, Malta alongside HMS PRINCE OF WALES refuelling her with 1,383 tons of FFO

1 September 1933 Captain John H Jones RFA appointed as Master

 Capt John H Jones

Captain John H Jones RFA

26 October 1933 Mr L H Taylor RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 February 1934 Captain John Gow RFA appointed as Master

 John Gow

Captain John Gow RFA

13 May 1935 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 May 1935 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

17 May 1935 sailed UK to Malta towing Admiralty Tug "St. Angelo". Off Ushant, in heavy weather the tow broke and the tug returned to Devonport under her own steam

1936 to 1939 undertook Station Oiler duties at Gibraltar during the Spanish Civil War

6 February 1936 Mr J Paton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

19 March 1936 Captain Reginald C E Neyroud RFA appointed as Master

February 1937 served at Barcelona and at Malta

6 June 1937 Mr Charles M Morgan RFA (Engineer Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

8 August 1937 at Grand Harbour, Malta Admiral Sir A Dudley Pound visited the ship to view the RFA Aquatic Sports held alongside

4 October 1937 berthed at Gibraltar from Oran - in ballast

13 September 1938 Captain Sidney T Dunster RFA appointed as Master. At Alexandraia moored alongside HMS COVENTRY to refuel her - 243 tons of FFO supplied

 

Sidney_Dunster

Captain Sidney T Dunster RFA

27 September 1939 at Alexandria moored alongside HMS COVENTRY to refuel her - 240 tons of FFO supplied

15 October 1939 at Alexandria

29 December 1939 Mr J Glynn RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 February 1940 sailed Aden to Bombay arriving on 18 February 1940

18 February 1940 sailed Bombay to Karachi arriving the same day

19 February 1940 sailed Karachi to Bombay arriving 21 February 1940

14 March 1940 sailed Bombay to Karachi arriving 16 March 1940 

17 March 1940 sailed Karachi to Bombay arriving 19 March 1940

20 March 1940 sailed Bombay to Aden arriving 28 March 1940

28 March 1940 sailed Aden to Diego Suarez arriving 6 April 1940

6 July 1940 sailed Aden joing convoy BN 1 to Suez arriving 12 July 1940

13 July 1940 transitted the Suez Canal

14 July 1940 sailed Port Said to Alexandria arriving 15 July 1940

19 August 1940 at Alexandria with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

29 August 1940 Operation Hats - sailed from Alexandria, Egypt with two other Merchant ships as Convoy MF2 to Malta arriving on 2 September 1940. The convoy was protected, directly or indirectly, by a Royal Naval Force consisting of two aircraft carriers, one battle cruiser, three cruisers and sixteen destroyers. One of the merchant ships - the ss Cornwall was damaged but all three reached Malta delivering 40,000 tons of stores.

11 October 1940 sailed Malta in convoy MF4 to Alexandria arriving on 13 October 1940

4 November 1940 sailed Alexandria in convoy MW3 to Malta arriving 10 November 1940

13 November 1940 arrived back in convoy MF4 at Alexandria

14 November 1940 Captain Leonard Elford RFA appointed as Master

Captain Leonard Elford

Captain Leonard Elford RFA

 

10 January 1941 sailed Malta in convoy ME6 to Alexandria arriving 13 January 1940

22 January 1941 arrived at Suda Bay, Crete

25 August 1941 with HMS Hermes and HMS Enterprise escorted two companies of 3/10 Baluch onboard the Australian AMC Kanimble and occupied the port of Bandar Shapur and the terminus of the railway from Tehran to the Persian Gulf

26 March 1942 bombed, she had a heavy list to starboard, stern down and drifting out, fire amidships. Danger of her stern swinging out and ship blocking the creek; also fire danger to HMS Penelope. Fire parties were sent in a pulling cutter, starboard whaler and skiff (only available boats). Dockyard cutter manned by Marines were also sent to fight the fire. The parties got wires in aft, closed scuttles, plugged holes, assisted shoring up. secured tug to push stern in and extinguished the fire.

4 April 1942 bombed again and sank at Palatorial Wharf, Grand Harbour, Malta. Salvage officers consider her to be beyond repair.

 

Plumleaf_being_raised

RFA Plumleaf being raised in Grand Harbour Malta

5 December 1943 while still a sunken hulk in Grand Harbour, Malta the USS Savannah (CL42) moved from No 4 dry dock and  moored alongside

28 August 1947 was raised with the assistance of CSV DISPENSER.and was towed to Rinella Bay to await disposal

10 September 1947 she was accepted afloat by the MoT before being sold for demolition

11 October 1947 towed to Catalina in Sicily for demolition by the British tug MARAUDER accompanied by RFA SEA SALVOR

 

 

RFA Plumleaf (2)

 

Plumleaf_1968

 

RFA Plumleaf 2
RFA Plumleaf at Ascension Island
 

Plumleaf_Old_Kilpatrick

RFA Plumleaf at Old Kilpatrick on the Clyde

 

Previous name:                      Corheath
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                         301216                                                                

Class:                                       SECOND LEAF CLASS Support Tanker

Pennant No:                             A78

Laid down:                               August 1958
Builder:                                    Blyth Drydock & Engineering Co, Cowpen Quay, Blyth
Launched:                                29 March 1960
Into Service:                             24 August 1960
Out of service:                         1986
Fate:                                       Broken Up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data   In June 1956 the London Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference discussed Britain’s future naval strategy and the vulnerability of static bases in the face of world-wide change. Consideration was given to the provision of Fleet Trains to supply warships at sea and the Admiralty announced plans to build up a force of such ships. So began a period of major Fleet modernisation with the bare-boat chartering of 8 motor tankers for freighting duties that reintroduced the LEAF names to the Fleet. These 8 vessels were all broadly similar and were bare-boat chartered as replacements for the DALEand WAVEClasses. Although primarily intended for freighting duties, most of them were also capable of replenishment at sea

 

18 December 1959 Mr Thomas L Morton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

6 January 1960 Captain John M Humphrey OBE DSC RFA appointed as Master

29 March 1960 Launched by Blyth Drydock & Engineering Co, Cowpen Quay, Blyth  as Yard Nr:  373 named PLUMLEAF (2) for Wm Cory & Son Ltd, London. The Lady Sponsor was Lady Dorothea Metcalfe, the wife of Sir Ralph Metcalfe, a Director of the owners

29 July 1960 Completed

24 August 1960 Bareboat chartered by the Admiralty for an initial 19 year period

11 November 1960 Captain Leslie G Rowling DSC RFA appointed as Master

17 August 1961 Captain A H MacKenzie RFA appointed as Master

16 June 1962 berthed at Malta

12 October 1962 Captain Ronald V Warren DSC RFA appointed as Master

8 January 1963 Humanitarian aid - arrived off the lighthouse at Jabal At Tair, a rocky islet in the Red  Sea in response to a signal flown requesting medical assistance and evacuated a Maltese lighthouse keeper suffering from appendicitis and  landed him to hospital at  Aden the following day

20 January 1963 Mr R E Davies RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 May 1963 Captain Albert E Curtain OBE RD RFA appointed as Master

16 October 1963 Mr J Scott RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 July 1964 Mr J Edge RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 October 1964 Captain J Dines RD RFA appointed as Master

17 January 1965 first tanker to use the extended and improved Gosport oil jetty.

28 November 1965 Captain Dan de V Moulds RFA appointed as Master

January 1966 her abeam replenishment rigs were fitted to her during a refit

25 April 1966 Mr W M Clements RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

15 February 1967 Captain G Bray MBE RFA appointed as Master

19 July 1967 Mr J Ross RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 September 1967 at Singapore

12 December 1967 Lost her radar scanner during a storm off Gibraltar which necessitated a new one  being fitted there

8 February 1968 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

26 June 1968 Captain David P Kindersley RFA appointed as Master

31 October 1969 delayed Scotstoun through industrial action by the Unions against Barclay Curle. Other commerical ships were also delayed by the same action - reported in the Glasgow Herald

1969 was diverted to stand by RFA BAYLEAF(2) who, after a long refit, suffered a reoccurrence of an engine defect and towed her to Bombay for repairs

10 November 1971 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa

1972 passed to the ownership of Ocean Fleets ltd, London

12 May 1973 Captain Barry H Rutterford RFA appointed as Master

 

Barry_Rutterford

Captain Barry H Rutterford RFA

 

9 June 1973 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa

6 August 1973 sailed Tahiti with the Governor of Pitcairn Island and his wife embarked

10 August 1973 anchored off Pitcairn Island

14 August 1973 sailed Pitcairn Island

1974 transferred to the ownership of Liquid Gas Tankers Ltd (Cory Maritime Ltd, Managers) London

6 July 1974 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa

29 April 1975 Captain Rex A Cooper RFA appointed as Master

5 June 1975 the Suez Canal reopened after the 1967 Arab / Israeli War and PLUMLEAF became the first vessel to pass through the newly-opened waterway

1977 passed to the ownership of Blue Funnel Bulkships Ltd, London

6 April 1982 completed Exercise Springtrain at Gibraltar and was preparing for a Fast East deployment.

19 April 1982 sailed Portland with RFA Regent and HMS Ardent and HMS Argonaut for Ascension Island arriving on 1 May 1982 on Operation Corporate

19 April 1982 Sailed Portland for service during Operation Corporate- the Falklands Conflict - and  headed south in company with RFA REGENTand escorted by the frigates HM ships ARDENTand ARGONAUT. She had previously  conducted RAS trials with the requisitioned ships CANBERRA and ELK

21, 23 and 26 April 1982 RASed with HMS Ardent and HMS Argonaut

28 April 1982 RASed with RFA Regent

29 April 1982 began operations around Ascension Island

1 May 1982 RASed the troop ship Canberra supplying 2,171 tons of fuel at 7 54S 14 25W

May 1982 RASed with British Tamar receiving 503 tons

3 May 1982 sailed Ascension Island - RASed with HMS Fearless, HMS Ardent and HMS Argonaut

6 May 1982 sailed Ascension area along with RFA TIDEPOOLand escorted by the frigates HM ships ARDENTand ARGONAUTto join the Carrier Battle Group - TG 317.8

10 May 1982 entered the TEZ (Total Exclusion Zone) around the Falkland Islands

11 May 1982 RASed with RFA Sir Geriant

12 May 1982 RASed with HMS Plymouth

13 May 1982 conducted a pump over with RFA PEARLEAF(2) in position 47.34 S 38.28 W during which the latter received 2440t of fuel

15 May 1982 RASed with HMS Antrim

16 May 1982 detached and became part of the “motorway chain“ of tankers between the Falklands and the UK along with RFA’s APPLELEAF (3), BAYLEAF (3) and PEARLEAF (2)

18 May 1982 RASed with British Dart receiving 8201 tons

20 May 1982 RASed HMS Ambuscade and HMS Exeter

23 May 1982 RASed HMS Active, HMS Avenger, and HMS Bristol

24 May 1982 RASed HMS Andromeda, HMS Cardiff and HMS Minerva

30 May 1982 RASed HMS Glasgow

3 June 1982 suffered an engine breakdown and after repairs resumed her “motorway tanking”  operations

4 June 1982 RASed HMS Glasgow

10 June 1982 RASed with HMS Dumbarton Castle - mail and stores

13 June 1982 RASed HMS Alacrity and HMS Argonaut

14 June 1982 RASed with Cable Ship Iris and British Dart - receiving 2246 tons from this second ship

16 June 1982 RASed with Fort Austin then relieved from “tanking” operations and headed back to Ascension Island

26 June 1982 RASed with the requisitioned ferry Rangatira which was enroute to the Falklands to act as an Accommodation Ship

1 July 1982 RASed with HMS Rhyl, HMS Dimede and HMS Danae

2 July 1982 RASed with HMS Arrow

3 July 1982 RASed with HMS Arrow again

5 July 1982 RASed with HMS Plymouth and HMS Glamorgan

9 July 1982 RASed with HMS Brilliant and HMS Fearless

10 July 1982 RASed with HMS Intrepid

11 July 1982 arrived at Gibraltar

21 July 1982 RASed with HMS Ambuscade

24 July 1982 RASed with HMS Exeter, HMS Yarmouth and HMS Cardiff

29 July 1982 RASed HMS Rhyl

31 July 1982 RASed HMS Minerva and HMS Active

26 August 1982 Arrived back U.K. on completion of Operation Corporateduties. She had spent 85  days in support, had issued 19523 tonnes of fuel during 55 replenishment serials and had received 10950 tonnes of fuel from requisitioned BP tankers

November 1982 at Colombo with HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMS GALATEA

1 January 1983 to 3 January 1983 at Mombasa loading fesh water with HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMS GALATEA

3 January 1983 sailed Mombassa 

5 January 1983 jackstay transfer of diving team from HMNZS CANTERBURY and sailed to Zanzibar

10 January 1983 sailed Zanzibar to Port Louis, Mauritius arriving 20 January 1983

24 January 1983 sailed Port Louis, Mauritius to Diego Garcia

26 January 1983 RASed with HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMS GALATEA

29 January 1983 arrived at Diego Garcia

1 February 1983 sailed Diego Garcia for the Gulf of Oman RAsing with HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMS GALATEA every second day

12 February 1983 RASed with HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMS GALATEA and then sailed towards Bahrein

21 February 1983 RASed with HMNZS CANTERBURY and HMS GALATEA

28 February 1983 arrived at Karachi

4 March 1983 sailed from Karachi for Mombasa

19 October 1983 moored on the River Tyne

13 November 1984 following refuelling HMS AVENGER at sea in heavy weather and just as the RAs rig was being prepared to refuel HMS ALACRITY the rig collapsed into the sea

23 November 1984 was presented with her Falkland Islands 1982 Battle Honour at Rosyth by Admiral Sir Nicolas Hunt KCB LVO, who was then FOSNI

5 October 1986 Final RAS was with the frigate HMS ACHILLESin the Gulf of Mexico

7 November 1986 sailed Devonport for redelivery to her owners in the Far East and spent some time in Gibraltar being prepared

17 December 1986 arrived at Kaohsiung for breaking up by Cheng Yung Enterprises Ltd

 

Notes:

 

1. Became the first of this Class of Leaf’s to transit the Panama Canal.

2. Was one of the 17 tankers employed in the Mozchan on Beira Patrol duties

Additional information

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