RFA Prince Salvor



Previous name:
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                     169090                                                                           

Class:                                   KING SALVOR Class Ocean Salvage Ship

Pennant No:                          W05 / A292

Laid down:                            8 July 1942
Builder:                                 Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co
Launched:                             8 Mar 1943

Into Service:                          8 September 1943
Out of service:                       1966
Fate:                                     Broken up 1967 at Pomphlett


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


8 March 1943 launched by Goole Shipbuilding & Repair Co Ltd, Goole as Yard Nr 390 named HMS PRINCE SALVOR

8 September 1943 completed and placed under management of Risdon Beazeley Ltd, Southampton

12 September 1943 sailed the Humber

28 September 1943 sailed Aberdeen in convoy EN287 arriving the Clyde 30 September 1943

8 October 1943 sailed in convoy KMS 29G from the Clyde to Gibraltar. Arrived Gibraltar on 20 October 1943. RFA OCEAN SALVOR sailed in the same convoy which was destined to continue onto Colombo.

20 October 1943 sailed Gibraltar in convoy KMS29 with RFA OCEAN SALVOR to Alexandria arriving 30 October 1943

8 February 1944 at the Anglo Swiss Hospital, Alexandria Ships Cook Henry George Olsen discharged dead from a stroke

July 1944 at Alexandria undertaking salvage work - source - Admiralty War Diary

13 February 1945 arrived Ras Aamer, Libya for salavage work but this was delayed due to bad weather - source - Admiralty War Diary

10 December 1945 together with RFA SALVAGE DUKE took HMS LST3002 in tow after she had been rammed by ss Poland Victory 120 miles south of Suez . She was struck just about midships causing a hole about 44 ft wide on the upper deck and 32 ft wide at the keel and cutting the LST almost in two, leaving just about 10 ft to hold her together. One of the ship's boats was damaged in the collision and the other seemed reluctant to yield to gravity. The crew of the LST abandoned ship, being taken aboard Poland Victory by rope ladder while she held position embedded in the LST. One crew member lost his life in the accident. He was Able seaman Keith Larcombe and is buried in the Suez War Memorial Cemetery. LST3002 was still afloat next morning and a skeleton crew re-boarded her. The PRINCE SALVOR and SALVAGE Duke towed the LST slowly back to Port Taufiq

24 March 1946 involved with RFA KING SALVOR, RFA SALVICTOR 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

29 November 1946 involved in the raising of the 14,000 ton Japanese Cruiser Shiretoko which had been bombed and was lying in an AFD at Singapore.

21 March 1947 involved in the demolition of a sunken 250 ton floating crane at Singapore

5 April 1948 James Buchanan, Seaman on PRINCE SALVOR pleased guilty at Singapore Assizes to four charges concerning the unlawful possession of revolvers and ammunition. During a dispute with a taxi driver he drew a revolver. He was later arrested.

19 April 1948 James Buchanan, see above, had his sentence of 7 years rigorous imprisonment confirmed by the Singapore Full Court of Criminal Appeal after being found in Singapore with two revolvers and ammunition he had taken from the ship

26 August 1949 alongside at Hong Kong

5 February 1950 ran aground on the Pratas Reef 180 miles south east of Hong Kong. Crew rescued. Salvaged by the tug Margaret Moller which repaired gaping holes in the forward hull.

15 January 1952 assisted the British ship 'Edendale' to be refloated after she had been aground for 19 days on a sandbank at Swatow, Guangdong, China

18 January 1952 British freighter Taikinshan ran aground on the Paracel Islands. Prince Salvor steaming to assist in the rescue of the crew - 64 survivors rescued - 9 other crew members missing believed drowned. Ship abandoned on reef breaking up

4 February 1956 the Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail reported the ships arrival at Singapore with the following press report

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 4.2.56 Prince Salvor

5 June 1956 sailed Penang to attend the Wallem’s tanker 'Lucky Carrier'  which had run aground at Fakir Point during a monsoon and

8 August 1956 towed the tanker to Singapore for repairs

11 July 1958 to 26 August 1958 was in the Outer Roads at Singapore

22 September 1962 sailed Malta for the UK

1966 reported purchased by Vamvounakis Bros, Piraeus name unchanged

26 October 1967 sold for breaking up by Davies & Cann Ltd, Pomphlett, Plymstock, Devon

Prince Salvor breaking up



Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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