RFA War Krishna
RFA War Krishna

 

Official Number:                  143823 

Class:                                   WAR CLASS Freighting Tanker

Pennant No:                         Y7.335 / X88

Laid down:
Builder:                                 Swan Hunter WR, Low Walker
Launched:                            24 October 1919  
Into Service:                          26 November 1919
Out of service:                      31 December 1946
Fate:                                       Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data: To combat the alarming losses of British merchant ships during WW1, the New Ministries and Secretaries Act was passed in December 1916, which provided for the appointment of a Shipping Controller with very wide powers “to take such steps as he thinks best for providing and maintaining an efficient supply of shipping”. On 20 December 1916, the first meeting of the Merchant Shipbuilding Advisory Committee took place where it was decided that an extensive shipbuilding programme should be started, the ships to be of a simple design and as far as possible to be of a standard type as regards hulls and engines. These new vessels for the Government were given a standard nomenclature, the prefix to their names being WAR. Eight hundred and twenty one vessels were ordered from U.K. yards and abroad and four hundred and sixteen were completed to Government order, two hundred and seventy nine were sold and transferred to private owners before completion and the remainder were cancelled. Of the 416 completed to Government order, fifteen were transferred to Admiralty service as oilers. They were all modified versions of the A and B Class standard dry cargo ships, known as the Z Class. All had two large dry cargo holds, six of them had five cargo tanks and the remaining nine had seven cargo tanks, specially designed for the carriage of heavy fuel oil. Most of them were initially under commercial management.

 

 

27 November 1919 completed and placed under initial management of Lane and Mc Andrew Ltd, London

29 November 1919 sailed the River Humber for Trinidad

19 December 1919 sailed Trinidad for Gibraltar

2 January 1920 berthed at Gibraltar to discharge cargo (1)

15 February 1920 berthed at Gibraltar from Trinidad to discharge cargo (1)

24 March 1920 sailed Aden for Abadan (2)

18 April 1920 sailed Colombo for Fremantle, Western Australia

10 May 1920 arrived at Sydney, NSW

19 May 1920 sailed Sydney, NSW for Melbourne, Victoria

28 May 1920 at Melbourne moored alongside HMS RENOWN to refuel her

HMS Renown 4

HMS RENOWN

7 July 1920 berthed at Port Adelaide from Albany

9 July 1920 to 10 July 1920 at Adelaide moored alongside HMS RENOWN to refuel her

16 July 1920 arrived at Sydney, NSW

30 July 1920 at Sydney, NSW moored alongside HMS RENOWN to refuel her

6 August 1920 sailed Sydney, NSW for Port Said

25 September 1920 arrived at Aden from Sydney

13 October 1920 arrived at Portsmouth

28 October 1920 arrived at Suez from Abadan

13 November 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Dockyard from Aberdeen

16 November 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Dockyard

17 December 1920 arrived at Port Said from Southampton

25 January 1921 arrived at Suez from Abadan

1921 transferred to Admiralty ownership but remained under commercial management

16 March 1921 sailed Suez for Abadan

17 April 1921 sailed Port Said for Portishead and Barrow

30 April 1921 diverted to Thameshaven

19 May 1921 sailed London for Mexico via Sheerness

16 June 1921 radioed the US Naval Radio Service she was 85 nmiles SW of Miama (3)

2 July 1921 arrived at Plymouth from Tampico

9 August 1921 on passage from Plymouth to Abadan passed Gibraltar this day

16 August 1921 arrived Port Said

22 August 1921 passed Perim

3 September 1921 radioed the US Hydrographic Office that a whistle buoy was at 37.47N 39.31W and thus was a danger to navigation (3)

22 September 1921 sailed Malta for Devonport

1 October 1921 arrived at Portland

5 December 1921 at Greenock

25 December 1921 sailed Suez

January 1922 under the management of Davies & Newman.

January 1922 sailed Devonport to Fayal, Azores to refuel HMS CONSTANCE

HMS CONSTANCE

HMS CONSTANCE

January 1922 while at anchor at Fayal, Azores was struck by HMS CONSTANCE which had come alongside the ships starboard side too fast causing damage to the hull. Sailed to Gibraltar for survey, dry docking and repair

13 June 1922 arrived at Devonport from Port Arthur, Texas

13 July 1922 at Devonport

27 July 1922 sailed Plymouth for Trinidad

4 January 1923 sailed Glasgow in ballast for Trinidad to load cargo

8 January 1923 when some 500 miles from Plymouth lost her propeller and had to wait 80 hours before being taken intow by RFA FORTOL

15 January 1923 arrived at Plymouth under the tow of RFA FORTOL

4 February 1923 sailed Devonport after Dockyard repairs

5 February 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 February 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

17 February 1923 at Fayal, Azores alongside HMS CONSTANCE to refuel her

18 February 1923 sailed Fayal, Azores for Gibraltar

14 April 1923 berthed at Singapore from Abadan

19 April 1923 sailed from Singapore for Abadan

20 June 1923 at Mohammerah

13 December 1923 sailed Abadan for Malta

27 February 1924 sailed Colombo for Malta

24 March 1924 sailed Colombo for Auckland, New Zealand  

22 April 1924 anchored at Auckland, New Zealand

11 May 1924 at Auckland, New Zealand with HMS DUNEDIN alongside being refuelled

12 May 1924 moored alongside HMS HOOD to refuel her at Auckland, New Zealand - 2,000 tons FFO supplied

HMS HOOD

HMS HOOD

14 May 1924 moored alongside HMS REPULSE to refuel her at Auckland, New Zealand - 2,000 tons FFO supplied

HMS Repulse

HMS REPULSE

16 June 1924 sailed Colombo, Ceylon for Abadan

20 January 1925 sailed Port Said

2 March 1925 sailed Port Said for Devonport

19 March 1925 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

23 March 1925 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

4 April 1925 at Malta

17 April 1925 sailed Devonport for Hull

19 April 1925 arrived at Hull

19 June 1925 sailed Trinidad for Devonport

8 July 1925 Captain Frederick Stanley Browne RFA appointed as Master and Mr W W Ridgeway RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

31 July 1925 arrived at Port Said from Plymouth

17 August 1925 sailed Abadan

28 September 1925 sailed Abadan

25 November 1925 at Abadan

30 November 1926 at 31.47N 31.24E Sailor Siewak Roh discharged dead - beri beri

31 December 1926 sailed Abadan for Singapore

23 January 1927 sailed Singapore for Suva

16 February 1927 at 16.16N 69.54E Engineer's Boy Wang Ah Jok discharged dead - drowned

28 February 1927 arrived at Sydney, NSW, Australia

7 March 1927 sailed Sydney, NSW, Australia for Tarakan

30 April 1927 berthed at Garden Island, Sydney, NSW, Australia from Suva and discharged cargo for HMS RENOWN which was due to arrive in the port

20 July 1927 Captain J Reid RFA appointed as Master

28 July 1927 Mr David E Morgan MIMarE, AMIME RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO David E Morgan

Chief Engineer Officer David E Morgan MIMarE, AMIME RFA

 

22 September 1927 at Hong Kong

28 September 1927 sailed Hong Kong for Singapore

25 October 1927 sailed Abadan for Malta

14 November 1927 arrived at Malta

7 January 1928 Mr James Paton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 February 1928 Captain Charles L Cutsforth RFA appointed as Master

 

Charles L Cutsforth

Captain Charles L Cutsforth RFA

 

16 July 1928 - first ship to discharge her cargo into the newly built No: 1 oil tank at Stokes Hill, Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia. 7,896 tons of FFO from Borneo discharged

4 August 1928 discharged further FFO into the new No: 2 oil tank at Darwin

5 August 1928 sailed Darwin

14 November 1928 arrived at Malta

10 January 1929 called at Gibraltar while on passage from Port Said to Portsmouth

15 January 1929 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

2 February 1929 in dry dock number 12 at Portsmouth Harbour

5 February 1929 in No: 3 Basin, Portsmouth Dockyard

21 November 1929 berthed at Gibraltar from Abadan to discharge cargo

11 August 1930 Captain Walter C T Barns RFA appointed as Master and Mr John R Flett RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

17 February 1931 arrived at Port Said from Gibraltar

30 July 1931 at Port Said Government Hospital Fireman Chang Sing discharged dead from insanity and debility

24 September 1931 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

14 October 1931 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

6 October 1931 Captain Frank J Delamotte RFA appointed as Master

7 October 1931 Mr W W Ridgeway RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

18 November 1931 sailed Abadan for Port Said

10 February 1932 at Plymouth Magistrates' Court Able Seaman John Houston appeared charged with stealing a number of items from the ships pantry. He pleaded 'Guilty' and was fined £3

 

 W Krishna press report 

Press report from the Western Morning News of 11 February 1932

 

8 April 1932 passed Perim when on passage to Malta

9 July 1932 sailed Abadan

15 September 1932 sailed Abadan for Singapore

11 October 1932 engines failed twice when sailing from H.M. Naval Base, Singapore to Abadan. She was towed back from the Straits of Malacca on the second occasion.

WAR Krishna floating dock

RFA War Krishna in the floating dock at Singapore
courtesy of Gordon Cutting

16 October 1932 three officers from the ship were involved in a personal injury accident in a motor vehicle in Singapore

19 November 1932 struck by lightening while on passage in the Straits of Malacca

21 November 1932 berthed at Singapore from Rangoon.

24 November 1932 sailed from Singapore to Colombo

20 January 1933 arrived Gibraltar

10 February 1933 Mr J A Macintosh RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 March 1933 passed Gibraltar sailing east

11 August 1933 fire broke out in fore hold which was containing naval stores while the ship was berthed at Hong Kong. Two fire boats attended and extinguished the blaze

27 September 1933 sailed Port Said

8 October 1933 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

30 November 1933 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

24 April 1934 Captain Stanley G Kent RFA appointed as Master and Mr George C Dunning RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 

G_C_Dunning_RFA

Chief Engineer Officer George C Dunning RFA

31 May 1934 at Abadan in Hospital Sailor Teng Moh Koh discharged dead 

2 October 1934 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

5 November 1934 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

23 March 1935 sailed Malta

27 March 1935 sailed Suez

20 April 1935 passed Perim

26 April 1935 sailed Port Said

30 April 1935 at Malta

11 June 1935 sailed Port Said

19 June 1935 arrived at Gibraltar

25 June 1935 sailed Gibraltar

30 June 1935 at Port Said

23 September 1935 arrived at Suez

29 October 1935 sailed Port Said

9 December 1935 arrived at Port Said

15 December 1935 passed Perim

4 January 1936 at Aden

1 February 1936 sailed Suez, arriving at Port Said the same day

27 February 1936 at Port Said

24 March 1936 passed Perim

30 March 1936 at Port Said

3 July 1936 passed Perim

10 July 1936 at Port Said sailing the next day

20 July 1936 passed Gibraltar

25 July 1936 at Portland Harbour

28 July 1936 Captain Richard D Scanlon RFA (Lieutenant Commander RN (Retd)) appointed as Master

3 August 1936 passed Gibraltar

3 September 1936 arrived at Malta

11 September 1936 sailed from Malta for Port Said and Abadan

18 October 1936 arrived Suez

8 November 1936 arrived at Sunderland from Sheerness in ballast

19 November 1936 in dry dock at T W Greenwell & Co., Sunderland

25 November 1936 while the ship was in refit in dry dock at T W Greenwell & Co., Sunderland two of the crew - 2nd cook Tan Yam aged 24 and Fireman's Boy Tung Thung - were found unconcious in a small locker space where they had been overcome with carbon monoxide fumes while sleeping instead to attending to their duties. They were discovered by the Chief Officer on his rounds. The Medical Officer of Health Dr A S Hebblethwaite directed their removal to the Borough Hospital. It is believed that Tan Yam had been unconsious for about 12 hours and Tung Thung for more than 24 hours. Their condition was reported by the hospital as progressing favourably after oxygen treatment

17 December 1936 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour and sailing to sea the next day

12 November 1937 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 November 1937 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

29 November 1937 in dry dock at T W Greenwell & Co., Sunderland

28 February 1938 berthed at Gibraltar from Port Said to discharge cargo

7 March 1938 at Gibraltar Bay with HMS IMOGEN alongside being refuelled

24 December 1938 arrived at Plymouth Sound from Abadan

5 January 1939 at Smiths Dock, River Tyne in refit

10 January 1939 Mr Harold R Bullimore RFA (Engineer Lieutenant Commander Royal Navy (Retd)) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

19 January 1939 sailed the River Tyne for Sheerness

1 October 1939 sailed Port Said in convoy BLUE 3 to Gibraltar arriving on the 11 October 1939

13 October 1939 sailed Gibraltar in escorted convoy HG3 to Liverpool arriving 21 October 1941

October 1939 ten of her Chinese firemen refused to sail in the ship and were placed in detention

November 1939 undertook paravane running trials with long and short wires

12 March 1940 at Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia

26 April 1940 berthed at Fremantle, Western Australia

6 October 1940 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

14 November 1940 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

22 November 1940 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

25 December 1940 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

7 January 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

18 January 1941 Mr Evan M Phillips RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

PHILLIPS EVANMAXWELL

Chief Engineer Officer Evan M Phillips RFA

18 March 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt - Fireman Peng Tsuan discharged dead - natural causes

21 March 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

10 April 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

29 April 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

2 May 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

12 May 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS NIZAM alongside to refuel

20 May 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS NIZAM alongside to refuel

29 June 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS NIZAM alongside to refuel

19 July 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS NIZAM alongside to refuel

31 July 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS NIZAM alongside to refuel

2 August 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS NIZAM alongside to refuel

10 September 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS NIZAM alongside to refuel

19 May 1942 Captain Frederick L Finch RFA appointed as Master

2 July 1942 arrived and sailed from Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

28 August 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt with HMAS VENDETTA alongside to refuel

26 September 1942 Mr H Marshall RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

22 February 1943 in collision with Dutch ship mv Macoma causing slight damage

7 April 1943 arrived and sailed from Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

20 April 1943 sailed from Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

1 May 1943 arrived and sailed from Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

7 May 1943 at Anglo Swiss Hospital, Alexandria Mess Room Boy Lee King Due discharged dead - natural causes

15 May 1943 sailed from Tobruk - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

28 May 1943 arrived at Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

22 June 1943 sailed Tripoli in convoy KMS16 to Alexandria arriving 27 June 1943

28 June 1943 arrived at Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

29 June 1943 sailed from Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

28 July 1943 sailed Alexandria in escorted convoy GUS 11 to Malta arriving 3 August 1943. RFA RELIANT (1) also sailed in this convoy to Malta

14 August 1943 sailed Malta in escorted convoy KMS22 to Alexandria arriving on 19 August 1943

29 August 1943 arrived and sailed from Port Said - reported in the Admiralty War Diary

30 September 1943 sailed Alexandria in escorted convoy GUS17 to Malta arriving on 3 October 1943

13 October 1943 sailed Malta in escorted convoy KMS28 to Alexandria arriving on 18 October 1943. RFA PEARLEAF (1) also sailed in this convoy

25 December 1943 Chief Engineer Officer Harry Marshall RFA discharged dead. He is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cememery, Egypt in Plot 4, Row J Grave 9

 

DSC06638
 
Image courtesy of British War Graves - with thanks 

 13 January 1944 Captain Richard Henry Pullman Mayhew RFA appointed as Master

Captain Richard H P MAYHEW

Captain Richard H P Mayhew RFA

 

18 January 1944 Mr E M Phillips RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 February 1944 sailed Port Said in convoy GUS30 to Malta arriving on 11 February 1944

21 June 1944 sailed Augusta in convoy VN48 to Naples arriving the next day

28 June 1944 sailed Naples under escort to Piombino arriving 21 July 1944

21 July 1944 sailed Citta Vechia under escort 

21 August 1944 sailed Naples in convoy VN60A to Citta Vechia arriving the next day

25 August 1944 sailed Citta Vechia under escort

11 September 1944 sailed Naples under escort to Piombino arriving 14 September 1944

21 September 1944 sailed Leghorn under escort to Piombino arriving 22 September 1944

12 October 1944 at 10th Indian Hospital, MEF Sailor Omda Meah discharged dead from Pulmonary Tuberculosis. He was buried in Kentara Military Cemetery Plot 34, Row B Grave No2

9 January 1945 was damaged when in collision with USS The Cottonwoods at Mar Grande, Taranto 

16 April 1945 sailed Taranto independently to Bari arriving 18 April 1945

21 April 1945 sailed Bari in convoy AH31/2 to Ancona arriving the next day

24 April 1945 sailed Ancona in convoy HA31A

26 April 1945 arrived at Taranto

24 May 1945 sailed Taranto independently  to Port Said arriving 29 May 1945

1 June 1945 sailed Suez independently to Aden arriving 6 June 1945

10 June 1945 sailed Aden independently

14 August 1945 sailed Trincomalee, Ceylon independently to Rangoon arriving  20 August 1945

5 October 1945 at the Rangoon River, Burma Captain Richard Henry Pullman Mayhew RFA discharged dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound. He was buried in Rangoon Military Cemetery, Plot 2 grave 19

 

 MAYHEW RHP

 

12 June 1946 Captain Frederick L Finch RFA appointed as Master

6 July 1946 Seaman Mohamed Ahmed discharged dead. He died at the Combined Services Hospital, Trincomalee of renal failure

31 December 1946 laid up at Trincomalee

July 1947 handed over to the MOT for disposal

1947 purchased by Bulk Storage Co, (P. Bauer, Managers), Trincomalee for use as a hulk name unchanged.

11 February 1949 left Trincomalee under tow

2 March 1949 arrived for breaking up at Karachi

 

 

Additional information

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