Wave-class oiler

Last updated

RFA Wave Conqueror.jpg
RFA Wave Conqueror, pictured in 1952
Class overview
Name: Wave class
Builders:
Operators:
Preceded by: Rangerclass
Succeeded by: Surfclass
Built: 19431946
In commission: 19441974
Completed: 20
General characteristics
Type: Replenishment oiler
Displacement: 16,476 long tons (16,740 t) to 16,483 long tons (16,748 t)
Length:
  • 465 ft (142 m) (p/p)
  • 492 ft (150 m) (o/a)
Beam: 64 ft 4 in (19.61 m)
Draught: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
Propulsion:
  • Parsons double reduction geared turbines
  • 3 drum type boilers
Speed: 15 knots (17 mph; 28 km/h)
Capacity: 11,900 long tons (12,091 t)

The Wave class was a class of replenishment oilers built for service supporting the Royal Navy during the later years of the Second World War. They were subsequently transferred to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary after the end of the war, and went on to support British and allied fleet units in Cold War conflicts such as the Korean War.

Replenishment oiler naval auxiliary ship with fuel tanks and dry cargo holds

A replenishment oiler or replenishment tanker is a naval auxiliary ship with fuel tanks and dry cargo holds which can supply both fuel and dry stores during underway replenishment (UNREP) at sea. Many countries have used replenishment oilers.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary civilian-manned fleet owned by the United Kingdoms Ministry of Defence

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a naval auxiliary fleet owned by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence and is one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. Its purpose is to support the Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment at sea (RAS). It also transports Army and Royal Marine personnel, as well as supporting training exercises, and engaging in anti-piracy, anti-drug smuggling, and humanitarian operations.

Contents

Design and construction

The expanding needs of the Royal Navy to carry out long range operations away from friendly fueling and replenishment stations led to the ordering of a number of tankers of around 16,500 long tons (16,765 t) displacement, able to carry 11,900 long tons (12,091 t) of fuel oil. [1] These would allow the Royal Navy and its allies increased flexibility, particularly in the Pacific theatre, where there were large expanses of water and few friendly fuel stations. A total of twenty ships were eventually built by three British yards; 12 by the Furness Shipbuilding Company, Haverton Hill-on-Tees, three by Harland and Wolff at their yard in Govan, and the remaining five by Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd, at Sunderland. [1] [2]

Fuel oil A heavy fraction obtained from petroleum distillation burned to generate power

Fuel oil is a fraction obtained from petroleum distillation, either as a distillate or a residue. In general terms, fuel oil is any liquid fuel that is burned in a furnace or boiler for the generation of heat or used in an engine for the generation of power, except oils having a flash point of approximately 42 °C (108 °F) and oils burned in cotton or wool-wick burners. Fuel oil is made of long hydrocarbon chains, particularly alkanes, cycloalkanes and aromatics. The term fuel oil is also used in a stricter sense to refer only to the heaviest commercial fuel that can be obtained from crude oil, i.e., heavier than gasoline and naphtha.

The Furness Shipbuilding Company was a shipbuilding company based in Haverton Hill, Stockton on Tees, England. It was established during the First World War, and operated from 1917 until 1979.

Harland and Wolff Northern Irish heavy industrial company

Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries is a heavy industrial company, specialising in ship repair, conversion, and offshore construction, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Harland & Wolff is famous for having built the majority of the ships intended for the White Star Line. Well known ships built by Harland & Wolff include the Olympic-class trio: RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic, the Royal Navy's HMS Belfast, Royal Mail Line's Andes, Shaw Savill's Southern Cross, Union-Castle's RMS Pendennis Castle, and P&O's Canberra. Harland and Wolff's official history, Shipbuilders to the World, was published in 1986.

Service

Thirteen of the 20 of the ships were initially built for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT), which assigned them to be operated by various merchant shipping lines. Consequently, most were named with the standard MoWT prefix "Empire". [2] The remaining MoWT owned oilers were transferred to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1946 and all were given "Wave" names. [1] [2] Several of the RFA ships served in the Far East during the Second World War, while the class was heavily involved in the Korean War. RFAs Wave Sovereign, Wave Baron, Wave Premier, Wave Prince, Wave Chief, Wave Knight, Wave Regent, Wave Laird and Wave Conqueror all served there in support of allied fleet units and task forces. [3]

The Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) was a department of the British Government formed early in the Second World War to control transportation policy and resources. It was formed by merging the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Transport, bringing responsibility for both shipping and land transport to a single department, and easing problems of co-ordination of transport in wartime.

RFA <i>Wave Sovereign</i> (A211)

RFA Wave Sovereign (A211) was a Wave-class fleet support tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and was built at Haverton Hill by the Furness Shipbuilding Company. She was extensively modified in the early 1960s.

RFA <i>Wave Baron</i> (A242)

Wave Baron was a 8,159 GRT Wave-class oiler that was built in 1946 as Empire Flodden by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton Hill-on-Tees, County Durham, United Kingdom for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was transferred to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and renamed Wave Baron. She was withdrawn from service in 1969 and scrapped in 1972.

The class began to be retired from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the late 1950s, with Wave Commander and Wave Liberator the first to be sold for scrapping in 1959. [2] Most of the remaining vessels had been scrapped by the mid-1960s, but refits and modifications allowed several to continue in service until the mid-1970s, with Wave Chief the last to be retired, in 1974.

Ships

NamePennantBuilderLaunchedOriginal nameFate
Wave Baron A242 Furness Shipbuilding Company 19 February 1946Empire FloddenScrapped in 1972
Wave Chief A265 Harland and Wolff 30 August 1946Empire EdgehillScrapped in 1974
Wave Commander A244Furness Shipbuilding Company21 April 1944Empire PaladinScrapped in 1959
Wave Conqueror A245Furness Shipbuilding Company27 November 1943Empire LawScrapped in 1960
Wave Duke A246 Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd 16 November 1944Empire MarsScrapped in 1969
Wave Emperor A100Furness Shipbuilding Company16 October 1944Scrapped in 1966
Wave Governor A247Furness Shipbuilding Company30 November 1944Scrapped in 1960
Wave King A182Harland and Wolff21 July 1944Scrapped in 1966
Wave Knight A249Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd22 October 1945Empire NasebyScrapped in 1964
Wave Laird A119Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd3 April 1946Empire DunbarScrapped in 1970
Wave Liberator A248Furness Shipbuilding Company9 February 1944Empire MilnerScrapped in 1959
Wave Master A193Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd20 May 1944Empire SalisburyScrapped in 1963
Wave Monarch A264Harland and Wolff6 July 1944Sold as oil hulk in 1960
Wave Premier A129Furness Shipbuilding Company27 June 1946Scrapped in 1960
Wave Prince A207Sir J. Laing & Sons Ltd27 July 1945Empire HeraldScrapped in 1971
Wave Protector A215Furness Shipbuilding Company20 July 1944Empire ProtectorScrapped in 1963
Wave Regent A210Furness Shipbuilding Company29 March 1945Scrapped in 1960
Wave Ruler A212Furness Shipbuilding Company17 January 1946Empire EveshamScrapped in 1977
Wave Sovereign A211Furness Shipbuilding Company20 November 1945Scrapped in 1966
Wave Victor A220Furness Shipbuilding Company30 September 1943Empire BountyChartered to Air Ministry in 1960

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Jane's Fighting Ships. p. 81.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy, Vol. 2. pp. 383–4.
  3. Rottman. Korean War Order of Battle. pp. 143–4.

Related Research Articles

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Surf-class tanker

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<i>Ol</i>-class tanker (1918)

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RFA <i>Wave Conqueror</i> (A245)

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References

James Joseph Colledge was a British naval historian, author of Ships of the Royal Navy, the standard work on the fighting ships of the British Royal Navy from the 15th century to the 20th century.

<i>Ships of the Royal Navy</i>

Ships of the Royal Navy is a naval history reference work by J. J. Colledge (1908–1997); it provides brief entries on all recorded ships in commission in the Royal Navy from the 15th century, giving location of constructions, date of launch, tonnage, specification and fate.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.