RFA Wave Emperor

RFA Wave Emperor

RFA Wave Emperor

RFA Wave Emperor


Previous name:                     
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                         180034

Class:                                       WAVE CLASS  Freighting  Oiler (unmodified)

Pennant No:                              X100 / B523 / A100

Laid down:                                19 September 1943
Builder:                                      Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill
Launched:                                 16 October 1944
Into Service:                              20 December 1944
Out of service:
Fate:                                         Arrived at Barrow for breaking up 19 June 1960


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:   A need for fast tankers to bring oil into the country had been envisaged early in the Second World War, but by the time the material had been collected and the Yards had space to build them, the need had largely passed and the original design of diesel-engined ships was abandoned. Instead, the standard 12000t Class being built were given sharper bows and sterns and turbine engines with water tube boilers. In all, twentyone of this type were built and were offered to the Admiralty, who wanted faster tankers for the Pacific Fleet Train. The Admiralty took twenty of them (the final vessel being completed commercially for Oil and Molasses Tankers Ltd, London as BEECHWOOD) and renamed them with the WAVE nomenclature. Performance varied considerably from ship to ship and they underwent various modifications in their rigs for RAS work. The eight best ones were finally given an extensive refit, with extra accommodation added to the Bridge Deck and extra turbo cargo pumps and derricks to make them more satisfactory for Fleet work. Initially expensive to run, they recouped some of their expensive repair bills by earning revenues from charter work after the Korean War. From this Class was evolved the TIDE CLASS oilers.



3 February 1943 ordered

15 September 1943 laid down

16 October 1944 launched by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton Hill as Yard Nr: 361 named WAVE EMPEROR for the Admiralty

20 December 1944 completed

12 January 1945 Mr R N Foster RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 January 1945 sailed Middlesborough to Southend arriving on 17 January 1945

19 January 1945 sailed Southend in convoy UC53A arriving New York on the 2 February 1945

19 February 1945 sailed New York in convoy CU59 in position 23 in column 2.  Arrived Avonmouth 2 March 1945 along with EMPIRE BOUNTY (later RFA WAVE VICTOR)

4 March 1945 sailed Avonmouth to the Clyde arriving the next day

11 April 1945 sailed the Clyde in convoy UC63B and then from 17 April 1945 independently arriving Curacao on the 24 April 1945

27 April 1945 sailed Curacao independently to Cristobal arriving 29 April 1945

30 April 1945 sailed Balboa independently to Manus arriving 25 May 1945

25 May 1945 arrived Manus, Admiralty Islands

1 June 1945 listed as in port at Manus, Admiralty Islands

July 1945 Pacific Task Force 112


3 August 1945 at Eniwetok with HMAS BENDIGO alongside to refuel

4 August 1945 arrived at Manus, Admiralty Islands

13 August 1945 along with HMS (later RFA) OLNA conducted the last wartime RAS in WW2 to the  British Pacific Fleet and refuelled the Escort Carrier HMS RULER, the Escort  Sloop HMS PHEASANT and HM frigates BARLE, CRANE and FINDHORN as well as units of the Australian and U.S. navies

21 August 1945 sailed Eniwetok independently arriving Leyte 28 August 1945

21 September 1945 at Hong Kong refuelled HMAS GOULBURN alongside

10 October 1945 sailed Manus, Admiralty Islands returning the next day

7 December 1945 Captain William W Peddle RFA appointed as Master



Captain William W Peddle RFA


7 October 1946 sailed Colombo to Freemantle, Australia having loaded at Abadan

13 October 1946 arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia

17 October 1946 berthed at Perth, Western Australia to discharge from Abadan

21 October 1946 sailed Perth, Western Australia for Bombay

10 November 1946 sailed Abadan

16 November 1946 passed Aden while on passage from Abadan 

20 November 1946 sailed Port Said for LEFO

30 November 1946 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

3 March 1947 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

1 April 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing eastwards

26 April 1947 arrived Port Said from Devonport

5 May 1947 sailed Aden for Abadan

11 May 1947 berthed at Abadan to load

15 June 1947 at Abadan Hospital 2nd Cook John Soares discharged dead. He had left the ship on 11 June 1947, had been admitted to hospital, and died from empyema

18 August 1947 on the River Clyde along with RFA's BROOMDALE, WAVE CHIEF and WAVE PROTECTOR in refit

20 August 1947 Mr J Wilson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 February 1948 arrived Liverpool in ballast

26 February 1948 Captain Cecil R Rosen OBE RFA appointed as Master


 Cecil R Rosen

Captain Cecil R Rosen OBE RFA


24 August 1948 at Chowder Bay, Mosman, NSW, Australia to discharge

31 December 1948 passed Gibraltar while on passage to Devonport

7 January 1949 Captain Frederick S Harvey RFA appointed as Master


Captain Frederick S Harvey

Captain Frederick S Harvey RFA as an Apprentice


16 January 1949 arrived at Malta while on passage from Devonport to Abadan

21 January 1949 arrived at Port Said

15 February 1949 arrived at Abadan

28 February 1949 sailed Port Said for LEFO

14 March 1949 berthed at Immingham to discharge sailing the same day

15 March 1949 passed Dover for Devonport

5 May 1949 Captain C F Cunningham RFA appointed as Master

30 May 1949 arrived at Port Said

31 May 1949 sailed Suez for Abadan

10 June 1949 arrived at Abadan from Devonport

3 August 1949 at Abadan Pantryman Joaquim Rodrigues discharged dead having either heat stroke or cerebral malaria

30 August 1949 Mr G McK Blair RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

6 September 1949 passed Gibraltar while on passage from Falmouth to Abadan

11 September 1949 arrived at Port Said from Falmouth

29 September 1949 sailed Suez for Abadan

29 November 1949 sailed Suez for Abadan

9 December 1949 arrived at Abadan from Falmouth

31 December 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

5 January 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

28 January 1950 while on passage from Falmouth to Abadan arrived at Gibraltar this day

3 February 1950 sailed Suez

24 June 1950 passed Gibraltar while on passage from Devonport

21 March 1950 arrived Suez while on passage from Abadan to Devonport

10 April 1950 Mr F Hobson RFA (Warrant Engineer RNR) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 June 1950 arrived at Port Said

28 March 1951 at Abadan Fireman Sheikh Habib discharged dead from Pneumonia 

28 April 1951 arrived Chowder Bay, Mosman, NSW, Australia from Abadan to discharge

28 June 1951 Captain Edward  E A Le Sage RFA appointed as Master


 Captain EEA Le Sage

Captain Edward  E A Le Sage RFA

(taken early in his sea going career)


16 July 1951 Mr R N Foster RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 February 1952 arrived Malta to discharge

24 October 1952  Captain E Payne RFA appointed as Master

2 March 1953 at anchor in the tideway of New York Harbour while on charter to Esso Standard Oil Company

5 April 1954 Captain James H Chant RFA appointed as Master

23 August 1954 Mr D F Gorrie RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 March 1956 Captain Alfred M Uglow RFA appointed as Master

30 November 1956 Mr A C Hawk RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 April 1957 in collision with m.v. Activity in the River Thames. An investigation found differences between the Engine Room movement book and the Bridge log. A recommendation was made that more use of the radar should be made.

4 July 1957 Captain George Baker RFA appointed as Master

2 December 1958 sailed Falmouth to Plymouth arrived the same day to destore prior to being laid up at Portland for disposal

7 May 1959 offered for sale in 'The Times' lying 'as is' at Portland

19 June 1960 arrived at Barrow to be broken up by T.W.Ward Ltd




Was part of the British Pacific Fleet Train - hence the B-pennant number

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2015 Christopher J White