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The Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the South Atlantic

Atlantic Conveyor

During the Falklands war, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary played a vital role supporting and supplying the Falklands Task force during Operation Corporate. The ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary listed below served in the Falklands along with the requisitioned ships also listed below.

Ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary are manned by RFA officers and civilian crews, their normal peacetime defenses were supplemented by whatever was available and the weapons of any troops they carried. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary suffered devastating losses when the Atlantic Conveyor was sunk and endured terrible risks in daylight supply runs and transporting troops to the beachheads as evidenced when the Landing Ship Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram crewed by RN, RFA personnel and civilians were bombed while attempting a landing of the Welsh Guards at Bluff Cove.

RFA Engadine used as a maintenance support ship for the helicopters used during the conflict. It transported four Wessex Mk V helicopters of 847 Sqdn with their C/O Lt Cdr Booth. Once in San Carlos Bay, the Wessex dissembarked enabling aircraft of 825 Sqdn to embark for essential maintenance.
The ship was used for Ground Crew R & R throughout the conflict. 847 Sqdn was used to form a Garrison Unit at Navy Point, a base across the bay from Port Stanley.

Landing Ship Logistics

Please see: British Ships for technical information about these ships.

Name

Entered Warzone

RFA Sir Galahad

RFA Sir Tristram

RFA Sir Percivale

RFA Sir Geraint

RFA Sir Lancelot

RFA Sir Bedivere

Troop Transports

Name

Entered Warzone

Tonnage

Origin

Queen Elizabeth 2

23/5/82

67,000

Cunard Liner; Req

Canberra

13/5/82

44,807

P&O Liner; Req

Norland

13/5/1982

12,000

P&O Ro-Ro ferry; Req

Tor Caledonia

6/6/82

10,000

Whitwill Ro-Ro ferry; Req

St Edmunds

7/6/82

9,000

Sealink Ro-Ro ferry; Req

Nordic Ferry

25/5/82

6,500

Townsend Thorsen Ro-Ro ferry; Req

Baltic ferry

25/5/82

6,500

Townsend Thorsen Ro-Ro ferry; Req

Elk

13/5/82

5,463

P&O Ro-Ro ferry; Req; 2 40mm guns

Europe

13/5/82

4,190

Townsend Thorsen Ro-Ro ferry; Req

Atlantic Conveyor

13/5/1982

14,496

Cunard Container ship; red and converted to aircraft ferry; Sunk

Contender Bezant

7/6/82

11,000

Sea Containers Ltd container ship; req

TEV Rangatira

?

?

Transported regular and reserve troops to the Falklands from the UK.

Astronomer

?

?

Taken up from trade and converted to a make-shift aircraft carrier, departed Portsmouth on 8th June 1982.

Atlantic Causeway

?

?

Ro-Ro container ship converted to makeshift helicopter carrier

Supply Ships

Fort Austin

26/4/82

23,600

RFA Fleet Replenishment Ship

Fort Grange

26/5/82

23,600

RFA Fleet Replenishment Ship

Resource

25/4/82

22,890

RFA Fleet Replenishment Ship

Regent

8/5/82

22,890

RFA Fleet Replenishment Ship

Stromness

13/5/82

16,792

RFA Stores support ship

Saxonia

20/5/82

8,000

Cunard freighter; Req

Lycaon

21/5/82

11,804

Chartered freighter; China Mutual steamship

Geestport

6/6/82

9,750

Chartered Freighter

Support Ships

Uganda

8/5/82

16,907

P&O liner; Req and Converted to hospital ship

British Enterprise

 

1,600

BUE North-sea oil-rig support ship; Req

Stena Seapsread

8/5/82

6,061

Stena North-Sea oil rig support ship; req

Stena Inspector

 

7,000

Stena North-Sea oil rig support ship; req

Engadine

2/6/82

9,000

RFA Helicopter Support Ship

HMS Pict

18/5/82

1,478

United Trawlers; Req as Minesweeper Tender

HMS Cordella

18/5/82

1,238

J. Marr trawler; Req as Minesweeper

HMS Farnella

18/5/82

1,207

J. Marr trawler; Req as Minesweeper

HMS Junella

18/5/82

1,615

J. Marr trawler; Req as Minesweeper

HMS Northella

18/5/82

1,238

J. Marr trawler; Req as Minesweeper

RMAS Typhoon (A95)

1,380

RMAS (Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service) Ocean Going Tug
The Typhoon was the first ship to leave the UK ahead of the Task Force during the Falklands War.
Undertook duties in South Georgia, trans-shipping troops from QE2 to Canberra, and also had to duty of towing Sir Galahad to her war grave position.

Salvageman

2/5/82

1,568

United Towing ocean tug; req

Yorkshireman

9/5/82

689

United Towing ocean tug; Req

Irishman

9/5/82

689

United Towing ocean tug; Req

Wimpey Seahorse

2/6/82

1,599

Wimpey marine ocean tug; Req

St Helena

 

3,150

United International Bank Ltd island supply ship; Req

Iris

21/5/82

3,873

Chartered BT cable ship

Avelona Star

?

?

Refrigerated stores ship, loaded with food.

Laertes

?

?

Ammunition ship

Europic Ferry

?

4190 tons

Townsend Thoresen ferry, carried war supplies.

MV Strathewe

?

?

General Cargo Ship

Tankers

Bayleaf

9/6/82

40,000

RFA Tanker

Brambleleaf

Before 21/4/1982, was in the south atlantic at start of hosilities.

40,000

RFA Tanker

Plumleaf

25,790 tons

RFA Tanker

Scottish Eagle

10/6/82

33,000

Chartered King Line tanker

Alvega

 

33,000

Chartered Finance for Shipping Ltd tanker

Balder London

 

33,000

Chartered Llyods of London tanker

Olmeda

25/4/82

36,000

RFA Tanker

Olna

23/5/82

36,000

RFA Tanker

Tidespring

17/4/82

27,400

RFA Tanker

Tidepool

13/5/82

27,400

RFA Tanker

Pearleaf

4/5/82

25,790

RFA Tanker

Fort Toronto

12/5/82

19,982

Chartered Canadian Pacific water tanker

Eburna

27/5/52

19,763

Chartered Shell tanker

G.A. Walker

?

18,744

Chartered Canadian Pacific tanker

British Dart

14/5/82

15,650

Chartered BP tanker

British Tamar

?

?

Chartered BP tanker

British Test

21/5/82

16,653

Chartered BP tanker

British Tay

23/4/82

15,650

Chartered BP tanker

British Trent

5/5/82

15,649

Chartered BP tanker

British Wye

25/5/82

15,649

Chartered BP tanker

British Esk

22/4/82

15,643

Chartered BP tanker

British Avon

?

15,640

Chartered BP tanker

Anco Charger

15/5/82

15,974

Chartered P&O tanker

Blue Rover

2/5/82

11,522

RFA Tanker

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