San, Lee - Fireman who died this day - RFA Wave Sovereign 1961.
Alfred, Wood - Able Seaman who died this day - RFA Tideflow 1960.
Joseph, McGarry - Assistant Steward who died this day - RFA Earner 1955.
Ships starting with D
© Handels – og Søfartsmuseet, Danmark
Subsequent name: Shelfoil
Official Number: 168340
Class: Oil Fuel Hulk
Pennant No: X128
Builder: Burmeister & Wain, Denmark
Launched: 15 August 1931
Into Service: October 1942
Out of service:
Fate: Broken up
Items of historic interest involving this ship: -
Background Data: In her day, at 10,517 grt, this ship had been one of the largest tankers afloat, her owners being a subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. For a time during WW2, the RFA were operators of half a ship , this fuelling hulk based at Scapa Flow until the base there was closed at the end of the War, when she was sold for commercial bunkering purposes
15 August 1931 launched by Burmeister & Wain Maskin Og Skipsbyggeri Aktieselskabet, Copenhagen as Yard Nr 348 named DANMARK for D/S A/S “Myren” (Holm & Wonsild, Managers) Copenhagen
October 1931 completed
2 December 1931 while on passage from Baton Rouge to Nyborg loaded with 16,000 tons of oil grounded at Knudshead. Reported in Lloyds casualty reports
1934 purchased by Det Danske Petroleum A/S (C.F. Holm, Managers) Copenhagen name unchanged
1935 managers became F.W. Kraft, Copenhagen
19 August 1939 while on passage from Dairen for Rotterdam and Copenhagen arrived at Suez with defective machinery, cylinder cover broken. Reported in Lloyds casualty reports
25 December 1939 sailed Aruba independently
12 January 1940 while on passage from Aruba to Nyborg with a cargo of 8200 t of refined petrol and 5760 t of kerosene, she was ordered to divert to Kirkwall for clearance by Contraband Control. She anchored in Inganess Bay just to the east of Kirkwall. Here she was torpedoed by the German Submarine U-23 (Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer) in position 58.59 N 02.53 W and a huge hole was blown in her side. Her crew of 40 escaped safely but the 14,000 tons of fuel destined for the Allied war effort were lost
22 January 1940 back broken, after part sank, foward section beached.
6 February 1940. the after part's position was given as 58 58 48N, 002 53 05W, or bearing 164.5 degrees, 2.34 miles from Hellier light. - Report by Naval Officer in Charge, Kirkwall. Notice to Mariners 329/40 issued.
July 1940 1,924 tons of her cargo of kerosene was salvaged
March 1941 forward section broke off allowing it to be refloated and beached nearby where it lay for some months before being refloated and towed to Inverkeithing, probably originally for demolition
7 June 1941 forward section towed to Grangemouth for conversation into stationary fuel hulk by Grangemouth Dockyard Co Ltd.
5 September 1941 sailed under tow from Kirwall to Scapa Flow arriving 13 September 1941
17 September 1941 sailed under tow from Scapa Flow to Inverkeithing arriving 25 September 1941
September 1942 conversion completed
22 October 1942 Mr F Clarke RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
27 October 1942 towed to Scapa Flow where she was used to bunker light cruisers and destroyers, being herself refilled by other tankers as required. She had an RFA Chief Officer, Third Officer, Chief Engineer and Third Engineer as part of her crew
18 December 1942 Chief Officer B Smith RFA appointed as Chief Officer-in-Charge
February 1943 HMCS ATHABASKAN while berthing alongside RFA Danmark suffered structural damage which required the destroyer to be taken in hand for repairs at Greenock commencing 11 March 1943
25 May 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Ellyson (DD454) alongside to refuel
21 June 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Ellyson (DD454) alongside to refuel
23 August 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Forrest (DD461) alongside to refuel - received 13,810 gallons
31 August 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Corry (DD463) alongside to refuel - received 14,475 gallons of FFO and 6,277 gallons of diesel
19 September 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Forrest (DD461) alongside to refuel - received 68,800 gallons
22 September 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Hobson (DD464) alongside to refuel
29 September 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Corry (DD463) alongside to refuel - received 25,745 gallons
8 November 1943 at Scapa Flow USS Hobson (DD464) alongside to refuel
14 December 1943 Chief Officer A J McKenzie RFA appointed as Chief Officer-in-Charge
17 February 1945 at Scapa Flow HMCS Saint John alongside to refuel
21 March 1945 at Scapa Flow HMCS Saint John alongside to refuel
28 June 1945 a buoy was laid on a bearing 043.5 degrees and 121 metres from the wrecked after part. Report by Northern Lighthouse Board, Notice to Mariners 10/46 issued.
3 October 1945 towed to the Clyde and laid up off Kilcreggan
July 1947 moved to lay-up in Loch Long
1948 purchased by Shell-Mex & B.P. Ltd, London who proposed to return her to service as an oil storage depot at Dublin
February 1948 arrived Dublin in tow of the tug METINDA 1V and was subsequently renamed SHELFOIL and remained here for a number of years
25 March 1953 hulk arrived Faslane to be broken up after completion of new oil installations at Dublin.
2 December 1957 the after part wreck dries to reveal 1 metre. Report taken from Diver Report 1957 Docket 28 Augst 1957
18 August 1961 the wreck has been totally dispersed to seabed level and the buoy has been removed. The position is considered to be foul. Report by Northern Lighthouse Board.
After she had been torpedoed, all amidships accommodation was still more or less intact, as were the pipelines in the cargo tanks and on deck, but a steam supply was required to operate the cargo pumps. As usual, a dry cargo hold existed abaft the forepeak tank and this space was arranged as an engine / boiler room. Uptakes from the boilers were led into a single tubular funnel which led to atmosphere through the forecastle deck. Vertical elm belting was fitted to protect the hull so that ships of all sizes were able to moor alongside whilst refuelling
Previous name: Chapman
Official Number: 149161
Class: Salvage Vessel
Pennant No: X30 / X19
Builder: New York Shipbuilding
Into Service: 1915
Out of service: March 1923
Fate: Broken up
Items of historic interest involving this ship: -
Background Data: In some old ledgers in the possession of the Admiralty and marked “ lists of RFA’s”, a number of vessels are shown as having spent some time as RFA’s during WW1. Some of these vessels were Yard Craft, partially or wholly Dockyard-manned, partly by RNR or Reserve Fleet personnel. The Director of Stores Dept was concerned with their manning and operation for a while
1915 Launched by New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden, New York as Yard Nr ? named CHAPMAN for the Dover Harbour Board, Dover
November 1915 completed
1915 Requisitioned by the Admiralty and renamed DAPPER. Was subsequently purchased by them for use as a Salvage Vessel
22 November 1915 Lieutenant Philip N Edmonds RNR appointed in command
5 October 1916 Diver William Henry Foreman, aged 46, discharged dead at Edinburgh, Scotland from disease. He was buried in Dover (Buckland) Cemetery, Dover, Kent in grave D 2196
Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project
March 1917 and other dates over a number of years assisted RFA Racer to recover gold in the HMS Laurentic which had been mined and sunk while off Lough Swilly, County Donegal, Ireland
30 April 1918 Able Seaman William Stanley Sheriff, aged 19, discharged dead. He was buried in Lower Fahan (Christ Church) Churchyard, Buncrana, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland in a grave in the south east part of the cemetery
Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project
8 May 1919 Engineer Lieutenant Thomas C Furness RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
Engineer Lieutenant Thomas C Furness RNR
9 September 1919 involved in the salvage of the schooner Markussund.
28 January 1921 applications for salvage money published in the London Gazette of 28 January 1921 on page 780
March 1923 Sold to the Dover Harbour Board
1926 involved in the attempts to salavge HMS Glatton which had exploded and later sank in Dover Harbour on 16 September 1918. The Glatton was moved where she had sunk and which caused obstruction to ship movements in the Harbour to a deeper part of the harbour. This was then filled in and the car terminal (as it is now) was built over the ship.
16 April 1940 Panamanian steamer ALBA (3444grt) ran aground on the Goodwins, 3½ miles 55° from Deal Coast Guard Station. Tug LADY BRASSEY and salvage vessel DAPPER sailed from Dover to assist. After jettisoning cargo and the efforts of seven tugs, she was finally refloated at 1830/17th, brought to the Downs and anchored.
20 March 1940 Steamer BARN HILL (5439grt), formerly of convoy HX.25A, was badly damaged by German bombers of KG26, three miles SSW of Beachy Head, in 50-34N, 0-02W. Five crew were lost, and the steamer was towed towards shore and beached three hundred yards southeast of Langney Point on the 21st. Salvage vessel DAPPER sailed to the scene at daylight on the 25th and remained there until the fire was extinguished. The steamer's back broke on the 26th and she was declared a total loss.
25 September 1940 requisitioned by the Admiralty
28 October 1940 Able Seaman Ivor Leon Rogers awarded a Commendation - details were published in the London Gazette of this date
20 January 1942 Chief Engineer Daniel J Thomas RFA appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) and Leading Salvage Hand William Webb awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) for fire fighting in a bombed ship - details were published in the London Gazette of this date. Chief Engineer Daniel J Thomas was also awarder the Lloyds Bravery Medal
9 February 1942 H M Fort 'Roughs Tower' left Tilbury, Dapper towing ahead, Lady Brassey stern tug and Crested Cock and King Lear ( Gamecock's salvage vessel) lashed alongside.
11 February 1942 1645 the fort was in position 51.33.66N 1.28.93E, 7 miles SE of Lowestoft. [This first tow, taking three days, was apparently fraught with problems, including hitting a light vessel moored off Gravesend, colliding with three buoys, R1, Mucking 1 and Mucking 2 and weather problems.
20 April 1942 assisted HMS Cotswold which had been mined in the North Sea to Shotley Spit off Parkstone where she was beached.
4 May 1942 HMS Cotswold towed by Dapper to Chatham
5 October 1942 berthed at Great Yarmouth with HMS SHEARWATER - source Admiralty War Diary
5 July 1943 sailed to Yarmouth Roads to assist the American Freighter Oremar which had fouled No 59 buoy and was in tow by HM Tug St Mellons to Great Yarmouth - source Admiralty War Diary
25 December 1943 sailed Great Yarmouth together with HMS WORCESTER which was being towed by the tugs Champion and Krooman all escorted by HMS WIDGEON - source Admiralty War Diary
13 July 1944 ordered by signal from C in C Portsmouth to sail as soon as possible to HMS LST 359 which had been mined in area 16 east of Calshot and was in danager of sinking
11 April 1945 towing to the Downs the ss Lady Brassey under the escort of HMS GREY GOOSE - souce Admiralty War Diary reporting a signal from Dapper to the Admiral commanding Dover
29 June 1946 returned to owners
January 1951 broken up at Dover
Was managed by Risdon Beazeley Ltd, Southampton during WW2
Ships of the same name
Dapper. A gun-brig of 12 guns, 185 bm, 85 x 22.5 feet. Launched by Adams, Chapel in December 1805. Sold on the 29 September 1814.
Dapper. A wood screw gunboat of the “Dapper” class launched by Green of Blackwall on the 31 March 1855, reduced to a training hulk in 1885, then a cooking depot in 1897 and given the pennant number YC 37 in 1909. Sold to a Mr Perry on the 10 May 1922.
Battle Honours for this Vessel: BALTIC 1855.
Previous name: Empire Oil
Offical Number: 165991
Class: 1st DALE CLASS Freighting Tanker
Laid down: October 1939
Builder: Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd., Glasgow
Launched: 23 July 1940
Into Service: November 1940
Out of service: 22 October 1941
Fate: Sunk off Jamestown, St. Helena, South Atlantic Ocean.
Items of historic interest involving this ship: -
Background Data: Originally there were to have been 19 ships in this Class. The first 6 were purchased off the stocks fro the British Tanker Co Ltd whilst building at the instigation of the then Director of Stores, Sir William Gick, who was concerned at the age of the RFA Fleet and ships that were approaching the end of their economic lives. A further 2 ships were purchased from Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd for evaluation purposes. At the outbreak of WW2, a further 11 ships were acquired from the MoWT war programme although one of these, to have been named EPPINGDALE, which had been registered in London as EMPIRE GOLDon 21/02/43 and intended for transfer to the Admiralty for manning and management as an RFA and despite 5 Officers being appointed to her, the intended transfer was cancelled the following day and she thus never entered RFA service. 3 of this Class were converted into LSG’s and were then reconverted back into tankers at the end of the War
23 July 1940 launched by Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Scotstoun as Yard Nr 61 named EMPIRE OILfor the MoWT and originally intended for management by Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd, London
5 October 1940 Captain Thomas H Card RFA appointed as Master and Mr Alexander B McIntyre RD RFA (Lieutenant Commander (E) RNR (Ret)) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer
14 November 1940 sailed on trials from Tail of the Bank
15 November 1940 completed. Acquired by the Admiralty and renamed DARKDALE
19 November 1940 damage sustained by the British trawler s.s. OTTERHOUND whilst alongside
21 November 1940 sailed the Clyde in Liverpool convoy OB246 under charter to Anglo Saxon Co Ltd to Curacao to load gasoline - single voyage. Arriving 11 December 1940.
14 December 1940 sailed Curacao independently to Bermuda.
21 January 1941 sailed Bermuda in convoy BHX104 which also contained RFA DELPHINULA to Belfast Lough and then to Greenock arriving 14 February. To drydock for unspecified repairs
28 February 1941 caused damage to the British tanker s.s. PETROPHALT in Loch Long
7 March 1941 sailed the Clyde independently to Oban
5 May 1941 sailed Oban independently to the Clyde arriving the next day
21 June 1941 sailed in Liverpool convoy OB 338 dispersing on 3 July 1941 to sail independently to Curacao arriving 12 July 1941
15 July 1941 sailed Curacao to St. Helena to act as Fleet oiler there
4 August 1941 arrived St Helena to act as Fleet Oiler there, carrying 3000 tons of fuel oil, 850 tons of aviation spirit, 500 tons of diesel oil and also some lubricating oil. Caused slight damage to the Norwegian tanker m.v. Nyholm prior to arrival
7 August 1941 refuelled alongside HMS ORION
21 August 1941 refuelled alongside HMS ALBATROSS
25 August 1941 refuelled alongside the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS CILICIA
26 August 1941 refuelled alongside HMS JUPITER
30 August 1941 refuelled alongside HMS AVON VALE
31 August 1941 refuelled alongside HMS ERIDGE
17 September 1941 refuelled alongside with the aircraft carrier HMS EAGLE (part of Force F) - damage was caused by the tanker to HMS EAGLE during the night when fenders were smashed and jump nets and a ladder leading to the flight deck carried away due to the prevailing swell
18 September 1941 refuelled alongside HMS DORSETSHIRE (also Part of Force F)
23 September 1941 refuelled alongside HMS ENCOUNTER and HMIS SUTLEJ
24 September 1941 refuelled alongside HMS Repulse
Between 25 September 1941 and 27 September 1941 loaded fuel from the Norwegian tanker Egero on three occasions supply about 8,000 tons of fuel oil
22 October 1941 whilst anchored in position 15.55.03 S 05.42.15 W off Jamestown Harbour torpedoed by German submarine U68 (Kapt Karl-Freidrich Merten) - reported that Darkdale exploded and turned over and sank. The U-boat fired four torpedoes of which one apparently did not hit the tanker and the Jamestown Harbour Master reported hearing only three explosions.
41 crew members were killed - for details of their names see the Roll of Honour . The Captain & Chief Engineer were ashore
The crew who were lost are also remembered with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial, London
and on the Cenotaph on the sea front at Jamestown, St. Helena within sight of where the ship was sunk and where they died
23 October 1941divers examined the wreck and shipping was diverted clear of St Helena
25 October 1941 a memorial Service was held on the Wharf overlooking the spot where she had exploded and sunk
courtesy of and with grateful thanks to the St Helena Museum
RFA Darkdale's bow
20 April 2009 during a visit to St Helena by RFA Gold Rover a memorial service was held at the Jamestown Cenotaph and wreaths were laid.
Captain Paul Minter RFA, Commanding Officer, RFA Gold Rover lays his wreath at the RFA Darkdale memorial in Jamestown, St. Helena
© The St. Helena Independent acknowledged
5 December 2013 a highly detailed report on the RFA Darkdale was published this day after the ship had been examined by the Salvage and Marine Operations Department of the Ministry of Defence. This reported that the wreck lies broken in two sections some 600m offshore of Jamestown. The bow section lies in approximately 30 m of water on a heading of 035 degrees and is inverted with the deck lying very slighly angled to starboard. The stern lies on its port side on a heading of 056 degrees approximately 8 m from the bow section in 40m of water.
On the previous morning a resident of the Island who lived in a cottage along the cliff tops above James Bay, rushed into town to report that he had spotted a submarine. He was not taken seriously and his claim was not relayed to the Master of DARKDALE. He had in fact spotted U-68, one of the first German submarines to venture to the South Atlantic. On the evening in question, the Master, Chief Engineer and Purser were dining with the Garrison Commander in the military barracks above Jamestown, 2 Ratings lay in Jamestown Hospital and a further 2 Ratings were on a run ashore, trying to get back to their ship when the torpedoes struck at approx 00.15. Only 37 names are inscribed on the Tower Hill Memorial.
The first British ship sunk south of the Equator during World War 2.