RFA Spapool



Previous name:
Subsequent name: 

Official Number:                180879                                                                          

Class:                               SPA CLASS Water Carrier

Pennant No:                     X124 / A222

Laid down:                       13 August 1945
Builder:                             Hill & Sons, Bristol
Launched:                        28 February 1945
Into Service:                     14 June 1946
Out of service:                  1976
Fate:                               Broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  There were 6 ships in this Class, all coal-fired and all built to an Admiralty design. Originally intended for service with the RFA, several of them were transferred to Dockyard Service later in their careers and came under what was then the Port Authority service which in turn became the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. Some of them were also employed by the Army at times, in bases where fresh water supplies were difficult to obtain. RFA SPABECKwas for some years employed as a carrier of hydrogen peroxide fuel for experimental submarine engines, being specially converted for this task by Vickers Ltd and was based at Barrow, manned by RFA crews when not laid up between experiments.



28 February 1946 launched by Charles Hill & Son Ltd, Bristol as Yard Nr 337 named SPAPOOL

14 June 1946 delivered at a cost of £76,000

29 September 1947 bareboat chartered to the War Office. In his 1947 post-war policy, the Director of Stores indicated a reluctance to dispose of these small tankers and suggested that the Director of Victualling operated them, placed them in reserve or bareboat chartered  them to commercial companies. Two of them were bareboat chartered to the War Office for service as Water Boats in the Mediterranean and Far East

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

20 December 1956 at Port Said berthed alongside HMS ANZIO

February 1965 sailed Malta under the tow of RFA BUSTLER for Singapore

24 September 1967 the Straits Times reported that Spapool had departed Singapore for Mombassa to be the Fleet water ship in the West Indian Ocean. Commissioned under the White Ensign as an HM ship for the passage and then reverted to Port Auxiliary Status.

July 1976 purchased by Kassam, Mombasa name unchanged for further service

23 November 1976 was used as a Salvage Vessel by Divecon Ltd at Tanga, Tanzania to salvage the wreck of the tanker SOUTHERN PIONEERwhich had suffered an explosion, followed by a fire in January of this year and had subsequently sunk in shallow water with the loss of 2 of her crew.

25 December 1983 sank at Mombasa, was raised by Divecon Ltd the following year and was scrapped locally.

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website, by continuing to use the site you agree to cookies being used. More info.