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Royal Navy Ships

 

HMS Hartland Point

Photo courtesy of Mike West

 

Royal Navy Maintenance and Supply Ships

 

 

In total, twenty-one maintenance ships were ordered from Canadian shipbuilders for use by the Royal Navy.  Sixteen 'Victory' type vessels were completed by West Coast shipbuilders  but as the war ended, the orders for the final five ships were cancelled.  These five vessels, Mull of Oa, Rattray Head, Orfordness, Selsey Bill and Tarbet Ness were completed as merchant ships and as they had been built to a high specification, found a ready market as cargo liners.  All these maintenance ships were owned by the Royal Navy but two were later transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy.

 

 

In addition to the maintenance ships which were owned by the Royal Navy, there were sixteen 'Fort' ships which were used as supply or stores issuing ships.  These sixteen ships, although under Royal Navy instruction, were owned by the Dominion of Canada and placed on bareboat charter to the British Government under the management of liner companies and crewed by merchant seamen.  These ships were returned to Canada at the end of the war except for five which were permanently transferred to the Royal Navy.  The Supply or Stores Issuing Ships were:

 

Ammunition Carriers: Fort Rosalie, Fort Sandusky, Fort Wayne.

 

Air Stores Ships: Fort Colville, Fort Langley.

 

Stores Issuing Ships (Naval): Fort Providence, Fort Wrangell.

 

Stores Issuing Ships (Victualling): Fort Alabama, Fort Beauharnois, Fort Charlotte, Fort Constantine, Fort Dunvegan, Fort Duquesne, Fort Edmonton, Fort Kilmar, Fort McDonnell.

 

The ships' histories can be found in the Fort Fleet List

Royal Navy Maintenance Ships

 

Abbreviations:

BDD, Vancouver, BC - Burrard DD Co. Ltd., Vancouver, BC

WCSB, Vancouver, BC - West Coast Shipbuilders Ltd., Vancouver, BC

BDD/VDD, Vancouver, BC - Burrard DD Co. Ltd/Vancouver DD Co. Ltd.

NVSR North Vancouver, BC - North Vancouver Ship Repairs

 

Name changes shown in italics

 

Beachy Head

Fleet Role:

Escort Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

March 1945

Builder:

BDD, Vancouver, BC

History:

1947: Transferred to Royal Netherlands Navy as Vulkaan; 

1950: Returned to Royal Navy as Beachy Head;

1952: Acquired by Royal Canadian Navy;

1953: Renamed Cape Scott;

1959: Commissioned as first mobile repair ship;

1978: Broken up.

 

Berry Head

Fleet Role:

Escort Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

May 1945

Builder:

BDD North Vancouver, BC

History:

1945/46: In service SE Asia and Far East;

1960/62: Refitted and modernized at Chatham, Kent;

1963: Placed in Operational Reserve at Portsmouth  

1986/7 Scrapped

 

Buchan Ness

Fleet Role:

Landing Craft Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

July 1945

Builder:

WCSB, Vancouver,

History:

1945/6: Service in Far East;

1947: Placed in reserve;

1959: Scrapped in UK.

 

Cape Wrath

 

Fleet Role:

Coastal Craft Maintenance

 

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

 

Completion Date:

March 1946

 

Builder:

WCSB Vancouver, BC

 

History:

1951; Sold for conversion to merchant ship;

1951: Marine Fortune, Marine Enterprises Ltd., London/Lyras Bros. Ltd., London;

1954: Saint Marcos, Hanseatische Reederei/Emil Offen & Co., Hamburg, Germany

 

Dodman Point

Fleet Role:

Landing Craft Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

October 1945

Builder:

BDD Vancouver, BC

History:

1956: Became a depot ship;

1963 Scrapped at Spezia, Italy

 

Duncansby Head

Fleet Role:

Escort Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

August 1945

Builder:

BDD North Vancouver, BC

History:

1960: HQ ship for reserve fleet at Rosyth, Scotland;

1962: Recommissioned at Rosyth with Girdle Ness.   The two ships were designated as HMS Cochrane, the base at Rosyth.

 

Dungeness

Fleet Role:

Landing Craft Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

October 1945

Builder:

WCSB, Vancouver, BC

History:

1947: Levuka, W.R. Carpenter & Co. Ltd., Sydney, NSW;

1948: Triadic, British Phosphate Commissioners, London

 

Fife Ness

Fleet Role:

Landing Craft Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

November 1945

Builder:

BDD/VDD Vancouver, BC

History:

1947: Adastral, Royal Air Force depot ship;

1953: Granhill, Goulandris Bros. Ltd., London;

1954: Merlin, San Pedro Cia. Armadora, SA, Panama/Goulandris Bros. Ltd., London

 

Flamborough Head

Fleet Role:

Escort Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

April 1945

Builder:

BDD/VDD Vancouver, BC

History:

1951: Transferred to Royal Canadian Navy and renamed Cape Breton;

1953: Training ship for Artificers;

1958: Converted to Escort Maintenance ship;

1959: Commissioned as second Mobile Repair ship;

1999: Sold to Artificial Reef Society for $20,000.  Stern and main engine preserved  to be incorporated into the new North Vancouver Museum and Archive location on the site of the old Burrard Dry Dockyard where she was built.

20 October 2001: Hull scuttled in the Canadian Gulf Islands for use as a dive site. (The story and photographs of this event can be seen on Maureen Venzi's website - 'Allied Merchantmen of World War Two' website.  See my 'Links' page.)

 

Girdle Ness

Fleet Role:

Landing Craft Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

September 1945

Builder:

WCSB, Vancouver, BC

History:

1956: rebuilt as Guided Missiles Trials ship at Devonport.

1962: Accommodation ship alongside Duncansby Head for HMS Cochrane.

 

Hartland Point

Fleet Role:

Landing Craft Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

July 1945

Builder:

BDD/VDD, Vancouver, BC

History:

1956: Commenced conversion to Escort Maintenance ship;

1960: Operational base ship at Hong Kong;

1965: Reserve status at Portsmouth.

 

Mull of Galloway

Fleet Role:

Escort Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

May 1945

Builder:

NVSR North Vancouver, BC

History:

Launched as Kinnaird Head for Royal Navy; Built as Escort Maintenance ship. 

1951: Motor maintenance ship;

1954: Inshore Minesweeping Flotilla HQ;

1960: Joined HMS Sheffield to form new flagship group, Reserve Fleet;

1965: Scrapped at Hamburg.

 

Mull of Kintyre

 

Fleet Role:

Experimental Base HQ Ship for target trials

 

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

 

Completion Date:

October 1945

 

Builder:

NVSR, North Vancouver, BC

 

History:

Transferred unfinished to UK;

1946/9: Completed as Experimental base HQ ship for target trials;

1950: Armament Maintenance ship;

1955: Repair and Accommodation ship;

1957: Converted to Minesweeper Maintenance ship;

 

 

Portland Bill

Fleet Role:

Armament Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

October 1945

Builder:

BDD North Vancouver

History:

Post war converted into Merchant ship;

Zinnia, Stag Line Ltd./Joseph Robinson & Sons, North Shields, UK; 

1964: Chrysopolis;

1965: Scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan

 

Rame Head

Fleet Role:

Escort Maintenance

Type:

Victory (8580 dt)

Completion Date:

August 1945

Builder:

NVSR, North Vancouver, BC

History:

1964: In operational reserve at Portsmouth

 

Spurn Point

Fleet Role:

Landing Craft Maintenance

Type:

Victory (7130 gt)

Completion Date:

December 1945

Builder:

BDD/VDD, Vancouver, BC

History:

1947: Lakemba, Pacific Shipowners Ltd., Suva, Fiji/W.R. Carpenter Ltd., Sydney, NSW

 

Uncompleted Royal Navy Ships

Mull of Oa

Fleet Role:

Projected Maintenance ship

Type:

Victory (7130 gt)

Completion Date:

December 1946

Builder:

NVSY North Vancouver, BC

History:

Original projected name TREVOSE HEAD.  Work suspended before completion.  Sold and converted to merchant ship.

1946: Turan, Iran Nav. Co. Ltd. Tehran, Iran

1948: Betty Ryan, Comp. Argentina de Pesca SA Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

Rattray Head

Fleet Role:

Construction halted and completed as merchant ship

Type:

Victory (7130 gt)

Completion Date:

August 1945

Builder:

NVSR North Vaancouver, BC

History:

1946: Iran, Iran Nav. Co Ltd. Tehran

1948: Mabel Ryan, Comp. Argentina. De Pesca SA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

Orfordness

 

Fleet Role:

Projected Maintenance Ship, sold and completed as merchant ship

Type:

Victory (7130 gt)

Completion Date:

October 1946

Builder:

WCSB Vancouver, BC

History:

1947: Rabaul, W.R. Carpenter & Co. Ltd., Sydney, NSW

1947: Dongola, Peninsula & Oriental S.N. Co. London

1961: Apj Ashwini,

1965: Scrapped at Bombay, India

 

Selsey Bill

 

Fleet Role:

Projected Armament Maintenance Ship.  Sold unfinished.

Type:

Victory (7130 gt)

Completion Date:

November 1946

Builder:

BDD, North Vancouver, BC

History:

1946: Waitermata, Union Steamship Co., New Zealand

 

Tarbat Ness

 

Fleet Role:

Projected Maintenance Ship.  Sold before completion.

Type:

Victory (7130 gt)

Completion Date:

May 1945

Builder:

WCSB Vancouver, BC

History:

1947: Lautoka, Pacific Shipowners Ltd., Suva, Fiji/W.R. Carpenter & Son Ltd., Sydney, NSW

1947: Devanha, Peninsula & Oriental S.N. Co., London

1961: Fortune Canary

1964: Wing An

   

 

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Last modified: May 27, 2004

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