Wave Class Tankers

Wave Class Tankers

Wave_Master1By the early part of 1943 the Admiralty had decided to take over two 15 knot tankers of the standard “Fast” type, to supplement their overworked tanker fleet.  These two tankers were being built by Harland and Wolff as the “Empire Sheba” and “Empire Venus”, arrangements were made to take them both over once completed.

 

These two tankers were to be placed in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet and as such their main duty would be the fuelling at sea of ships of the Royal Navy, so some consideration had to be given to the special arrangements needed to equip these ships to fulfil this function.

By the early part of 1943 the Admiralty had decided to take over two 15 knot tankers of the standard “Fast” type, to supplement their overworked tanker fleet.  These two tankers were being built by Harland and Wolff as the “Empire Sheba” and “Empire Venus”, arrangements were made to take them both over once completed.

 

These two tankers were to be placed in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet and as such their main duty would be the fuelling at sea of ships of the Royal Navy, so some consideration had to be given to the special arrangements needed to equip these ships to fulfil this function.

 

Because both these ships were needed with some urgency, little alteration was made to the original design or their fitting out, though for fuelling at sea, two 60 foot pole derricks, one on either beam were fitted in the after well deck, each of these derricks had a working load of 2 tons and could carry one hose trough at their head.

 

To enable the ships to fuel warships by the stern method, a clear passage was made from the centre castle, through the after accommodation to the poop, the accommodation was moved out to the ships sides.  A flying bridge arrangement was built between the Forecastle and aft to the poop to provide a straight lead fore and aft.

 

The ships had stern chutes fitted so that they could stream hoses astern for refuelling, on the starboard quarter arrangements were made to stream two 5 inch rubber hoses and from the port quarter a single 3 inch hose for transfer of petrol.  On completion “Empire Sheba” was renamed as RFA Wave King and “ Empire Venus” became RFA Wave Monarch, both were completed in time to sail to the Far East to join the newly formed British Pacific Fleet operating with the US Navy against the Japanese.

 

By the end of 1946 nineteen ship had been completed, six were in service with the RFA, with another thirteen in commercial service until the RFA could take them over and the final vessel which would have made a fleet of twenty ships was sold to J. I. Jacobs as it was not needed, they were all completed to the same basic design, with slight differences in replenishment arrangements.

 

The final ship, that was not taken over by the Admiralty was named “Beechwood”, she did not enjoy a very long career with her new owner being sold to L. Monta of Italy and was converted to a  dry cargo ship and chartered to Ellerman lines as the “City of Athens”.

 

Two other Wave class tankers were completed in time to serve in the Far East with the British Pacific Fleet, these were RFA Wave Governor and RFA Wave Emperor.

 

The class as a whole gave good service to the RFA serving in many theatres around the world, seven of them winning the Battle honour for Korea between 1951 and 1953.  Unfortunately the ships of the class were said to be not very satisfactory ships, with the design of their machinery spaces giving rise to large repair bills, they also had a somewhat heavy fuel consumption, something that needed a high degree of skill to get around, though lessons learned from this class were incorporated in the later highly successful “Tide” class.

 

Details of ships in the class

 

Batch 1

 

Wave King

 

Builder: Harland and Wolff, Govan

Launched: 6th April 1944                                  Completed: 21st July 1944

Yard No: 1222g                                                 Official No: 179897

Tonnage: 8,159 grt, 4,545 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                      Beam: 64.3 feet                       Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Co Ltd, Newcastle.  Single shaft.

Speed:

Pennant Numbers: X 82 (1944), B 525 (BPF), A 182 (Post 1947)

Call Sign 1944: GSNX

 

Laid down as “Empire Sheba” for the Ministry of War Transport, name changed on completion.  Served as part of the replenishment group for the British Pacific Fleet, though suffered stern gland problems whilst off Okinawa and had to be towed to Hong Kong in the middle of a typhoon, she was out of service for nearly a year.  Sold to H. G. Pounds Ltd at Portsmouth for scrap.  Arrived at Barrow in Furness for breaking up on the 16th April 1960.

 

BATTLE HONOURS: No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

WKing1

 

 

 

RFA Wave King with full armament prior to 1947

 

 

Wave Monarch

 

Builder: Harland and Wolff, Govan

Launched: 6th July 1944                                    Completed: 3rd November 1944

Yard No: 1223g                                                  Official No: 169962

Tonnage: 8,159 grt, 4,545 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                       Beam: 64.3 feet                       Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Barclay Curle and Company Ltd, Glasgow.  Single shaft.

Speed:

Pennant Numbers: X 108 (1944), B 526 (BPF), A 108 (Post 1947)

Call Sign 1944: GJKQ

Laid down as “Empire Venus” for the Ministry of War Transport, name changed on completion.  Served with Wave King as part of the British Pacific Fleet.  Sold in 1960 to H. G. Pounds Ltd, Portsmouth who chartered her to Societe Miroline for use as a fuel hulk at Le Havre with the name “Noema”, she arrived at Bilbao for breaking up on the 8th April 1964.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WMonarch_1

RFA Wave Monarch

 

 

Wave Governor

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company Limited, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 30th November 1944                        Completed: 8th March 1945

Yard No: 362                                                      Official No: 180489

Tonnage: 8,190 grt, 4,568 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                        Beam: 64.3 feet                       Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardson, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft

Speed:

Pennant Numbers: X 103 (1945), B 524 (BPF), A 247 (Post 1947)

Call sign 1945: GJKV

The ship ran aground in Tsuruga Bay, Japan, and when she was eventually refloated it was found that she had damaged her bottom plating. Arrived at Rosyth for breaking up on the 9th August 1960.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

WAVEGOVERNOR1

 

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Governor entering Grand Harbour, Malta

 

 

Wave Emperor

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company Limited, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 16th October 1944                               Completed: 20th December 1944

Yard No: 361                                                         Official No: 180034

Tonnage: 8,196 grt, 4,566 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                        Beam: 64.3 feet                       Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardson, Westgarth and Company Limited.  Single shaft.

Speed:

Pennant Numbers: X 100 (1944), B 523 (BPF), A 100 (Post 1947)

Call Sign 1944: GJKT

Sold to the British Iron and Steel Company for scrap and arrived Barrow in Furness for breaking up on the 19th June 1960.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

WAVE_EMPEROR1

 

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Emperor

 

 

Wave Regent

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company Limited, Haverton Hill

Launched: 29th March 1945                                     Completed: 31st May 1945

Yard No: 363                                                            Official No: 180564

Tonnage: 8,184 grt, 4,554 nett

Length: 473.6 feet                           Beam: 64.3 feet                       Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardson, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft.

Speed:

Pennant Numbers: X 110 (1945), B 522 (BPF), A210 (Post 1947)

Call Sign 1945: GJLB

Arrived at Faslane for breaking up on the 29th June 1960.

 

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

 

WAVE_REGENT1

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Regent

 

 

Wave Sovereign

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company Limited, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 20th November 1945                                Completed: February 1946

Yard No: 364                                                              Official No: 180813

Tonnage: 8,182 grt, 4,554 nett

Length: 473.6 feet                           Beam: 64.3 feet                       Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardson, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft.

Speed:

Pennant Numbers: X 111 (1946), A 211 (Post 1947)

Arrived at Singapore for breaking up in June 1967.

 

BATTLE HONOURS: Korea 1952 – 53

 

 

 

 

 

Wave_soverign_1

 

 

RFA Wave Sovereign with RAS rigs as originally fitted

 

 

 

 

Wave_Soverign_2

 

 

 

RFA Wave Sovereign with the position of her RAS rigs changed

 

 

Wave_Soverign_3

 

 

 

RFA Wave Sovereign in the middle 1960’s

 

 

Wave Class Batch 2

 

Wave Victor

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill

Launched: 30th September 1943                                 Completed: February 1944

Yard No: 356                                                                Official No: 169126

Tonnage: 8,128 grt, 4,597 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                            Beam: 64.3 feet                        Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant Number: A 220

Callsign 1944: GCBT

Launched as “Empire Bounty” for the Ministry of War Transport, Middlesbrough and under management of Anglo Saxon Petroleum Ltd.  Handed over the Admiralty in 1946 and became RFA Wave Victor.  17 January 1954 suffered a serious engine room fire while in the Bristol Channel. In 1961 she became a fuel hulk at Gan, Maldives Islands

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

WAVE_VICTOR_1

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Victor

 

 

Wave Conqueror

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 27th November 1943                                     Completed: March 1944

Yard No: 357                                                                   Official No: 169132

Tonnage: 8,128 grt, 4,597 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                             Beam: 64.3 feet                         Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant Number: A 245

Call Sign 1944: GFWM

Launched as “Empire Law” for the Ministry of War Transport, Middlesbrough and managed by Anglo Saxon Petroleum Limited.  Became an RFA in 1946 as RFA Wave Conqueror.  Sold to H. G. Pounds Ltd of Portsmouth in 1959, she became a fuel hulk at Le Havre.

 

Arrived Spezia for breaking up on the 23rd April 1960.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

Wave_Conqueror1

 

 

 

RFA Wave Conqueror in the late 1940’s

 

 

 

Wave Duke

 

Builder: Sir James Laing and Sons Limited, Sunderland.

Launched: 16th November 1944                                         Completed: April 1945

Yard No: 755                                                                       Official No: 180048

Tonnage: 8,199 grt, 4,644 nett

Length: 473 feet                                  Beam: 64.1 feet                         Draught: 35.6 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Metropolitan Vickers Electric Company Limited, Manchester.  Single Shaft

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant Numbers: X 138 (1945), A 246 (Post 1947)

Call sign 1945:GBRL

Launched as “Empire Mars” for the  Ministry of War Transport, Sunderland. Under management of British Tanker Co Ltd.  Became RFA Wave Duke in 1946.

 

Arrived at Bilbao on the 25th December 1969 for breaking up.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

Wave_Duke_1

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Duke

 

 

 

Wave Liberator

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 9th February 1944                                               Completed: June 1944

Yard No: 358                                                                         Official No: 169143

Tonnage: 8,135 grt, 4,604 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                                  Beam: 64.3 feet                      Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited, Sunderland.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant numbers: X 146 (1944), A 248 (Post 1947)

Call sign 1945:

Launched as “Empire Milner” for the Ministry of War Transport, Middlesbrough and managed by British Tankers Limited.  Became RFA Wave Liberator in 1946.  Sold in 1956 to the Hong Kong Towage and Salvage Co, at Bombay.

 

Arrived at Hong Kong for breaking up on the 2nd May 1959.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

RFA_Wave_Liberator

RFA Wave Liberator

 

 

Wave Commander

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 21st April 1944                                                        Completed: August 1944

Yard No: 359                                                                            Official No: 169146

Tonnage: 8,141 grt, 4,604 nett.

Length: 473.8 feet                                   Beam: 64.3 feet                        Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited.  Single shaft

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant number: A 244

Call sign 1944: MQJX

Launched as “Empire Paladin” for the Ministry of War Transport, Middlesbrough and managed by Athel Line Limited.  Became RFA Wave Commander in 1946.

 

Arrived Inverkeithing for breaking up on the 9th May 1959.

 

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

wave_commander1

 

 

 

RFA Wave Commander in the 1950’s

 

Wave Protector

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill

Launched: 20th July 1944                                                            Completed: October 1944

Yard No: 360                                                                                 Official No: 169147

Tonnage: 8,148 grt, 4.609 nett

Length: 473.8 feet                                       Beam: 64.3 feet                        Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant numbers: X 136 (1944), A 215 (Post 1947)

Call sign 1944: MQKD

Launched as “Empire Protector” for the Ministry of War Transport, Middlesborough and managed by Anglo Saxon Petroleum Company Limited.  Became RFA Wave Protector in 1946.  The ship was sold to Italian breakers in 1963 after lying at Ras Hanzir, Malta as a fuel hulk for a number of years.

 

Arrived at La Grazie in August 1963 for breaking up.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAVE_PROTECTOR_1

 

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Protector

 

 

 

Wave Master

 

Builder: Sir James Laing and Sons Limited, Sunderland.

Launched: 25th May 1944                                                            Completed: December 1944

Yard No: 754                                                                                Official No: 180146

Tonnage: 8,199 grt, 4,544 nett

Length: 473 feet                                             Beam: 64.1 feet                    Draught: 35.6 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Company Limited, Newcastle.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant number: A 193

Call Sign 1944: GJMQ

Launched as “Empire Salisbury” for the Ministry of War Transport, Sunderland under management of the Eagle Oil Company Limited.  Became RFA Wave Master in 1946.

 

Arrived at Singapore for breaking up in April 1963.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

Wave_Master1

 

 

 

RFA Wave Master

 

 

 

Wave Baron

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 19th February 1946                                                Completed: June 1946

Yard No: 378                                                                            Official No: 180885

Tonnage: 8,182 grt, 4,580 nett

Length: 473.6 feet                                      Beam: 64.3 feet                       Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant numbers: X 137 (1946), A 242 (Post 1947)

Call sign 1946:

Laid down as the “Empire Flodden” for the Ministry of War Transport, but launched as RFA Wave Baron in June 1946. 27 – 31 January 1968 supported HM Ships in abortive search for the missing Israeli submarine ‘Dakar’

 

Arrived at Bilbao for breaking up on the 23rd April 1972.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:Korea 1952

 

 

 

Wave_Baron1

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Baron in June 1947

 

 

 

 

Wave_Baron2

 

RFA Wave Baron in late 1950 or early 1960’s

 

 

 

Wave_Baron3

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Baron in 1968

 

 

Wave Prince

 

Builder: Sir James Laing and Sons Limited, Sunderland.

Launched: 27th June 1945                                                      Completed: March 1945

Yard No: 761                                                                           Official No: 181127

Tonnage: 8,197 grt, 4,564 nett

Length: 473 feet                                           Beam: 64.1 feet                       Draught: 35.6 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Barclay Curle and Company Limited, Glasgow.  Single shaft

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant number: A 207

Call signs 1946: GDNX

Launched as “Empire Herald for the Ministry of War Transport, Sunderland and managed by Athel Line Limited.  Became RFA Wave Prince in 1946.

 

Arrived at Burriana for breaking up on the 16th December 1971.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:Korea 50 - 53

 

 

 

 

 

Wave_Prince1

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Prince

 

 

Wave Ruler

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company Limited, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 17th January 1946                                              Completed: April 1946

Yard No: 373                                                                        Official No: 180849

Tonnage: 8,138 grt, 4,554 nett

Length: 473.6 feet                                         Beam: 64.3 feet                      Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant Numbers: A 212

Signal Letters: GKNR

Laid down as “Empire Evesham”, she was completed for the Ministry of Transport, London.  Became RFA Wave Ruler in 1947. Became a fuel hulk at RAF Gan, Maldives Island in 1971

 

Arrived at Kaohsiung for breaking up in 1977.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:No battle honours recorded for this vessel.

 

 

 

 

 

Wave_Ruler_1

 

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Ruler

 

 

 

Wave Laird

 

Builder: Sir James Laing and Sons Limited, Sunderland.

Launched: 3rd April 1946                                                     Completed: October 1946

Yard No: 767                                                                      Official No: 180967

Tonnage: 8,187 grt, 4,645 nett

Length: 473 feet                                            Beam: 64.1 feet                  Draught: 35.6 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Metropolitan Vickers Electric Company Limited, Manchester.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant numbers: X 129 (1946), A 119 (Post 1947)

Signal letters: GKLW

Launched as “Empire Dunbar”, but completed as RFA Wave Laird.

 

Arrived at Gandia, Spain for breaking up in February 1970.

 

BATTLE HONOURS: Korea 1950 – 51

 

 

 

 

 

Wave_Laird1

 

 

 

RFA Wave Laird

 

 

 

 

Wave Knight

Builder: Sir James Laing and Sons Limited, Sunderland

Launched: 22nd October 1945                                           Completed: May 1946

Yard No: 764                                                                      Official No: 180875

Tonnage: 8,187 grt, 4,545 nett.

Length: 473 feet                                              Beam: 64.2 feet                 Draught: 35.6 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Company Limited, Wallsend.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant numbers: X 139 (1946), A 249 (Post 1947)

Signal letters:

Launched as “Empire Naseby” for the Ministry of War Transport, under management of Athel Line Limited.  Became RFA Wave Knight in 1947.

 

Arrived Willebroek, Belgium for breaking up on the 19th October 1964.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:Korea 1951 - 53

 

 

 

Wave_Knight_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Knight

 

 

Wave Chief

 

Builder: Harland and Wolff, Govan

Launched: 4th April 1946                                                    Completed: 27th August 1946

Yard No: 1306g                                                                   Official No: 180935

Tonnage: 8,097 grt

Length: 473.6 feet                                           Beam: 64.3 feet                    Draught: 35.4 feet

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Metropolitan Vickers Electric Company Limited, Manchester.  Single shaft.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Launched as “Empire Edgehill” for the Ministry of Transport and renamed on completion as RFA Wave Chief.  The only ship of the class with a complete foremast with topmast.  13 November 1957 ran aground on a sandbank at Batu Puteh, off Ferry Point, Changi, Singapore

 

Arrived Inverkeithing for breaking up on the 13th November 1974

 

BATTLE HONOURS:Korea 1951 – 53

 

 

 

Wave_Chief1

 

 

 

RFA Wave Chief in Malta in the 1960’s

 

 

 

 

Wave_Chief2

 

 

 

RFA Wave Chief in the 1970’s

 

 

Wave Premier

 

Builder: Furness Shipbuilding Company Limited, Haverton Hill.

Launched: 27th June 1946                                                 Completed: December 1946

Yard No: 389                                                                      Official No: 181515

Tonnage: 8,175 grt,

Machinery: 2 x Double reduction geared turbines by Richardsons, Westgarth and Company Limited, Hartlepool.

Speed: 14.5 knots

Pennant numbers: X 65 (1946), A 129 (Post 1947)

Laid down as “Empire Marston” but launched as RFA Wave Premier.

 

Sold to the British Iron and Steel Company and arrived at Inverkeithing for breaking up on the 11th June 1960.

 

BATTLE HONOURS:Korea 1950 - 52

 

 

 

 

 

Wave_Premier_1

 

 

 

 

RFA Wave Premier

 

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