RFA WAVE PROTECTOR
RFA Wave Protector

 

 

Previous name:                      Empire Protector
 

Official Number:                     169147

Class:                                    WAVE CLASS  Freighting  Oiler (unmodified)

Pennant No:                          X136 / A215

Laid down:                            15 June 1943
Builder:                                 Furness Shipbuilding Company
Launched:                             20 July 1944

Into Service:                         1946

Out of service:                       March 1958 hulked at Malta

Fate:                                    Broken up 1963

 

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, 21 of this type were built and were offered to the Admiralty, who wanted faster tankers for the Pacific Fleet Train. The Admiralty took 20 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 8 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.

 

20 July 1944 launched by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton Hill as Yard Nr: 360 named EMPIRE PROTECTOR for the MoWT

18 October 1944 completed and placed under initial management of Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd London

24 October 1944 arrived Middlesborough

30 October 1944 sailed Middlesborough in convoy FS1621 to Southend arriving 1 November 1944

1 November 1944 sailed Southend and joined a Liverpool convoy UC43B arriving at New York on 12 November 1944

10 November 1944 during convoy US43B suffered an engine defect and fell out of the convoy. USS OLSEN (DE765) stood by while repairs were undertaken. Returned to convoy 4 hours later

15 November 1944 sailed New York in convoy CU47 to the Downs arriving 26 November 1944 along with EMPIRE LAW (later RFA WAVE CONQUEROR)

19 November 1944 during convoy CU47 RASed with USS Sellstrom (DE255) - dry stores

27 Novemver 1944 to Thames Haven

4 December 1944 sailed Gravesend to Southend

9 December 1944 sailed Southend to join a Liverpool convoy UC48A to New York arriving 22 December 1944

26 December 1944 sailed New York in convoy CU52 to Swansea arriving on 7 January 1945

9 January 1945 sailed Swansea independently to Milford Haven arriving the next day

11 January 1945 sailed Milford Haven to join a Liverpool convoy UC52A to Philadelphia arriving on 21 January 1945

23 January 1945 sailed Philadelphia independently to New York arriving the next day

26 January 1945 sailed New York in convoy CU56 to the Downs arriving on 6 February 1945 along with EMPIRE LAW (later RFA WAVE CONQUEROR)

10 February 1945 sailed Southend to join a Liverpool convoy UC 56A to New York arriving on 23 February 1945 along with EMPIRE LAW (later RFA WAVE CONQUEROR)

2 March 1945 sailed New York independently to Philadelphia arriving the same day

5 March 1945 sailed Philadelphia independently to New York arriving the same day

7 March 1945 sailed New York in convoy CU61 to Liverpool arriving on 18 March 1945 along with EMPIRE LAW (later RFA WAVE CONQUEROR) and EMPIRE SALISBURY (later RFA WAVE MASTER)

14 March 1945 suffered heavy weather damage

21 March 1945 sailed Liverpool in convoy UC61A to New York arriving on 1 April 1945 along with EMPIRE SALISBURY (later RFA WAVE MASTER)

8 April 1945 sailed New York in convoy CU65 to the Downs arriving on 19 April 1945 along with EMPIRE SALISBURY (later RFA WAVE MASTER)

26 April 1945 sailed Southend in convoy TBC140 to Falmouth arriving the next day

30 April 1945 to 8 May 1945 undergoing repairs and collect bunkers at Falmouth

9 May 1945 joined convoy UC67A Liverpool to New York from Falmouth having been escorted by HMS ROCHE to the convoy and arrived New York on 19 May 1945

25 May 1945 sailed New York in convoy CU72 along with EMPIRE LAW (later RFA WAVE CONQUEROR)

29 May 1945 and 30 May 1945 as a straggler from convoy CU72 was escorted by USS CHATELAIN (DE149) to rejoin the convoy

4 June 1945 arrived at Shell Haven

7 June 1945 sailed Shell Haven independently to New York

21 June 1945 sailed New York independently to Liverpool arriving 1 July 1945

25 August 1945 sailed Liverpool independently to Corpus Christi

11 September 1945 sailed Corpus Christi to Bremerhaven arriving 28 September 1945

2 October 1945 sailed Bremerhaven to Falmouth arriving on 4 October 1945

8 October 1945 boiler clean at Falmouth completed by 15 October 1945

15 October 1945 sailed Falmouth to Swansea arriving the next day

18 October 1945 sailed Swansea to Hamburg arriving 22 October 1945

19 October 1945 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

23 October 1945 to Cuxhaven

23 October 1945 sailed Cuxhaven to Falmouth arriving 26 October 1945

25 October 1945 on passage to Falmouth passed Dover Signal Station this day

5 November 1945 sailed Falmouth to Port Said arriving 13 November 1945

14 November 1945 sailed Suez to Abadan arriving 23 November 1945

24 November 1945 sailed Abadan to Colombo arriving 2 December 1945

3 December 1945 sailed Colombo to Singapore arriving 8 December 1945

17 December 1945 sailed Singapore to Abadan arriving 28 December 1945

29 December 1945 sailed Abadan

3 October 1946 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 October 1946 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

23 November 1946 became an RFA and was renamed Wave Protector

24 April 1947 in very rough weather struck the berth at Dunglass Basin, Glasgow and was damaged. Sailing cancelled

27 May 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

19 July 1947 Fireman/Greaser W Rusiecki logged as deserting at Point a Pierre, San Fernando, Trinidad. He had signed on at Plymouth on 30 June 1947

18 August 1947 sailed the Clyde for Curacao

24 September 1947 2nd Officer Angus J McLean logged as deserting at Glasgow. He had signed on at Glasgow on 12 August 1947

27 October 1947 sailed Liverpool for Falmouth

28 October 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

12 November 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west bound

8 December 1947 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour - SOS T Muir logged as deserting at Portsmouth. He had signed on at Glasgow on 12 August 1947

11 December 1947 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

20 March 1948 sailed Curacao for LEFO

13 April 1948 Captain Edward Mills RFA appointed as Master

19 June 1948 Captain Walter L Holtam RFA appointed as Master

Captain W. L HOLTAM

Captain Walter L Holtam RFA

30 June 1948 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

29 July 1948 Captain's Writer F M Langmuir logged as being absent without leave at Rosyth. He had signed on 9 January 1948 at Cardiff. He has previously served on RFA Wave Monarch

1 August 1948 sailed Suez for Abadan

19 September 1948 AB/QM W Kelly discharged to 'Detention' at Malta. He had signed on 27 July 1948 at Rosyth. He had previous served on RFA Wave Knight

8 October 1948 Mr David C Leathley RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

30 November 1948 3rd Engineer John Lamb RFA found guilty at the Criminal Court, Valetta charged with simple permanent disfigurement of the 2nd Engineer with a broken bottle. Sentenced to 40 days imprisonment.

21 December 1948 off the South West coast of Ceylon Pumpman Thomas Preacher Graham discharged dead - lost over the side

9 February 1949 at Portsmouth Harbour on the Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty

10 February 1949 moved from the Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty to "A" Dock in Portsmouth Dockyard

9 May 1949 Mr J A Ferguson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

9 June 1949 Captain Donald B C Ralph OBE DSC* RFA appointed as Master and sailed Portsmouth Harbour

23 August 1949 berthed on the River Tyne from Rosyth

1 September 1949 sailed the River Tyne

17 October 1949 struck and demolished the Moreton Bay Lighthouse at the entrance to Brisbane Harbour, Australia but only causing slight damage to the ship. Wave Protector was carring a full load of fuel from Abadan to Brisbane for the RAN and RN. The pilot was blamed for the collision

 

Moreton Bay Lighthouse

Moreton Bay Lighthouse before being demolished by RFA Wave Protector

 

12 February 1950 berthed at Auckland, New Zealand

1 March 1950 At Auckland, New Zealand Able Seaman Joseph G Hio and Fireman Emanuel Farrugia both logged as having deserted. They had both signed on at Malta on 19 December 1949

4 May 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour. Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA (Temporary Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

Sigwart HS

Captain Emil E Sigwart RFA

10 May 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

18 May 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour under tow

13 May 1950 Captain Geoffrey  B A Livesey RFA appointed as Master

 

G_B_A_Livesey

Captain Geoffrey B A Livesey RFA
as a Cadet with P&O in about 1920 

23 May 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

23 September 1950 arrived at Port Said while on passage from Falmouth to Abadan

26 October 1950 berthed at Fremantle, Western Australia from Abadan to discharge

28 October 1950 George Baker (23) and Gordon Le-Marechal (23), both firemen from the ship appeared before Perth Police Court charged with creating a disturbance (fighting) in Murray Street, Perth on 27 October 1950 they were both fined £2 with 1/6p costs. George Baker was also fined £2 with 1/- costs for resisting arrest. They both pleaded guilty.

30 October 1950 sailed Fremantle, Western Australia to Abadan to load

1 November 1950 Lawrence Gouder (23) a seaman from the ship appeared before Fremantle Police Court, Western Australia charged with deserted from duty on 30 October 1950. He pleaded Guilty and was sentenced to 8 weeks imprisonment and to be deported as soon as a ship could sign him on.

22 November 1950 Basil Leslie Richardson (19), William Saunders (19) and Thomas Edward Bowen (20) seamen from the ship appeared before Fremantle Police Court, Western Australia charged with deserting the ship. They had been arrested working in a mine. Each was sentenced to two months imprisonment and deportation

23 January 1951 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 March 1951 arrived at Sydney, NSW, Australia from Abadan

20 March 1951 sailed Sydney, NSW, Australia for Colombo, Ceylon

23 August 1951 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

28 January 1952 Mr Charles Scott DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 April 1952 passed Gibraltar sailing west

17 November 1952 arrived at the River Tyne from Le Havre, France

31 December 1952 Mr Reginald R Darroch RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Reginald R DARROCH

Chief Engineer Officer Reginald R Darroch RFA

7 January 1953 Captain James H Chant RFA appointed as Master

14 February 1953 sailed the River Tyne for Invergordon

4 March 1953 arrived Malta

14 March 1953 passed Gibraltar sailing west for Curacao

16 May 1953 arrived Quebec, Canada

1 July 1953 at Rouen, France Junior Engineer Officer George Borthwick Lynn discharged dead - drowned

26 October 1953 Captain Albert  E Curtain OBE RD RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master

28 May 1954 arrived at Wallsend Slipway, River Tyne from Malta

2 July 1954 Captain F G Evans RFA appointed as Master

12 August 1954 on sailing from Wallsend Slipway, River Tyne had to put back with engine trouble

8 December 1954 Mr Lionel W Pool RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

9 February 1955 arrived Thameshaven

9 May 1955 Mr V J Cooney RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1956 the ship's Indian crew was the subject of an enquiry by the House of the People in the Parliament of India

24 May 1956 at North Shields, River Tyne Engine Room Serang Sk Oosman Sk Hassan Edross discharged dead from a heart attack

19 June 1956 Captain James H Chant RFA appointed as Master

9 July 1956 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on Flamborough Head sailing south for Spithead

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

25 December 1956 at St Aidans Hospital, Durban, South Africa Engineroom Serang Mahomed Fackeer discharged dead - natural causes

11 December 1957 Captain Douglas N J Williams RD RFA (Commander RNR (Ret)) appointed as Master

11 November 1958 became an oil storage hulk and jetty at Ras Hanzir in Grand Harbour, Valetta, Malta as a replacement for RFA WAR HINDOO 

1961 laid up Malta

11 and 18 June 1963 offered for sale 'as lying' at Malta in the Times of these days by the Ministry of Transport

WProt for sale Press Cutting 1963

16 August 1963 sailed Malta in tow of tug TORRE GRANDE for the breakers at La Grazie, Italy

 

 Notes: -

  1. Another ship named Empire Protector was sunk on 30 May 1941 when she was torpedoed by the submarine U38 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Libe) while on passage from Port Sudan - Capetown - Freetown to London at 6.00N 14.25W. Five of the crew were killed. The Master, twenty nine of the crew and three gunners were rescused and landed at Freetown. This ship had no connection with the RFA

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