BLACKBURN CLASS of Naval Aviation Stores Carriers


BLACKBURN CLASS Naval Aviation Stores Carriers


James R Smith


On 7 February 1943 The Admiralty placed an order for 2 small naval aviation stores carriers with Jas Pollack & Sons at Faversham and an additional order for a further 2 vessels of this type was placed on 24 December 1943.  A final order for a further 3 ships was placed with the Blyth Drydock & Shipbuilding Co Ltd on 1 June 1944.



All 7 vessels were originally planned to be twin-screwed with dimensions of 172’06” (o.a.) x 31’05” x 10’00½” and were to have 2 x 8 cyl diesel engines by Crossley Bros Ltd, Manchester with a 10½” bore and 13½” stroke  producing 960 bhp and giving a service speed of 10½ knots, but the final 3 vessels were engined by White’s Marine Engineering Co at Hebburn-on-Tyne. They were armed with 1 x 12 pdr A.A. gun aft and 2 x 20mm A.A. guns above the bridge deck. The order for the second batch of 2 of these vessels was subsequently cancelled on 9 May 1947 but these ships were subsequently lengthened and completed as single-screw coasters for commercial owners. They had holds forward and aft and for cargo handling were fitted with 1 x 12t and 1 x 6t derrick stepped on a tripod mast forward of the bridge. They had a limited capacity for carrying even cased aircraft and they mainly carried aviation stores. Of the 5 vessels completed to the original Admiralty order, 4 were naval-manned whilst one was transferred to the RFA and was mainly used to ferry aircraft between Northern Ireland and the West coasts of England and Scotland and also to carry general naval and /or victualling stores. The full breakdown of their histories was as follows:




07/02/43          Ordered

15/03/45          Launched by Jas Pollack, Son & Co Ltd., Faversham as Yard Nr: 1838 named HMS RIPON (F 106) for the Admiralty

08/45               Completed

25/02/59          Purchased by the Government of Montserrat as RIPON

1961                Purchased by Wall Inter-Island Shipping Service Ltd., Montserrat and was renamed RIPON M

1994                Deleted from the Registers – existence in doubt




07/02/43          Ordered

31/12/43          Laid down

16/05/46          Launched by Jas Pollack, Son & Co Ltd., Faversham as Yard Nr: 1839 named HMS SEA FOX  (F 114) for the Admiralty

11/46               Completed

05/51               Withdrawn from Commissioned Service

01/11/51          Taken in hand for conversion to meet Lloyds Register Requirements for Merchant Ships  in order to change to RFA manning

24/01/52          Entered service as RFA SEAFOX

10/53               Was reclassified as a Victualling Stores Issuing Ship

01/58               Placed on the Disposal List

12/58               Purchased by Lloyds Albert Yard & Motor Packet Services Ltd., London as SEAFOX

1959                Purchased by Ambassador Steamships Private Ltd., ( F. Collis & Co Ltd, managers) Cochin, name unchanged

1968                Purchased by M. Darapayana, Khoramshahr (Iran) and was renamed ROUBAYE DARYA

1971                Purchased by Gulf Shipping Co S.A, Khorramshahr, name unchanged.

1999                Deleted from Registers – presumed broken up as no further details available.




24/12/43          Ordered

09/05/47          Order cancelled

18/12/48          Launched by Jas Pollack, Son & Co Ltd, Faversham as Yard Nr: 1844 named GOLDHIND for E.J. & W Goldsmith Ltd., London.

09/49               Completed

1952                Purchased by Coastal Tankers Ltd, London and was renamed PURPLE EMPEROR

1955                Purchased by Anchor Shipping & Foundry Co Ltd., Nelson (New Zealand) and was renamed TOWAI

1969                Purchased by Southern Cross Shipping (Pty) Ltd., Port Moresby (Papua) and was renamed AKANA.             

1969                Purchased by Akana Pty Ltd, Port Moresby., name unchanged.

1972                Purchased by Heatherington Kingsbury Pty Ltd., Port Moresby , name unchanged.

1974                Purchased by Coastal Tug & Barge Pty Ltd., Port Moresby, name unchanged.

1975                Purchased by Seafreight Pty Ltd, Port Moresby, name unchanged.

1977                Purchased by Ali Ahamed, Male (Maldives) and was renamed MINAA MAAREE

1979                Purchased by D. Ibrahim Kalayfaanu, Male and was renamed MASAHI

1983                Was scuttled off Male.




24/12/43          Ordered

09/05/47          Order cancelled

24/09/49          Launched by Jas Pollack, Son & Co Ltd., Faversham as Yard Nr: 1845 named GOLDLYNX  for E.J. & W Goldsmith Ltd, London

02/50               Completed as a coaster BALLYEDWARD

1951                Purchased by Efford Shipping Co Ltd., London and was renamed SPRINGWOOD

1953                Purchased by Leadenhall Shipping Co Ltd., London and was renamed LEAFOAM

1953                Purchased by John Kelly Ltd., Belfast and was renamed BALLYEDWARD

1970                Purchased by Zodiac Shipping Ltd., Belfast and was renamed  LADY HYACINTH

1973                Purchased by Commercial Ferries Ltd., Belfast and was renamed GOLDEN TRADER

13/04/74          Arrived San Esteban de Pravia for demolition by Desguaces Blanco




01/06/44          Ordered

04/02/46          Launched by Blyth Drydock & Shipbuilding Co Ltd., Cowpen Quay, Blyth as Yard Nr: 311 named HMS BLACKBURN (F 113) for the Admiralty

1946                Completed as an Aircraft Transport

1950                Became an RNVR Drillship on the Clyde

15/06/53          Participated in the Queen Elizabeth 11 Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead

1970                Purchased by H.G. Pounds Shipowners & Shipbreakers Ltd., Portsmouth, name unchanged

1974                Purchased by Gardline Shipping Ltd, Lowestoft and was renamed ISIS LOCATOR

1975                Owners became Gardline Shipping Ltd, Lowestoft and she was renamed GARDLINE LOCATOR

08/97               Arrived Singapore for demolition by Ban Choon Sg. Pte. Ltd



01/06/44          Ordered

28/03/45          Launched by Blyth Drydock & Shipbuilding Co, Cowpen Quay, Blyth as Yard Nr: 309 named HMS ROC for the Admiralty

1945                Completed as an Aircraft Transport

1959                Purchased by Ungava Transports Ltd, Quebec and was renamed GASPESIAN

1965                Purchased by North Shipping & Transportation Ltd, Quebec, name unchanged

1977                Purchased by Gulf Brownsville Shipping Ltd., Quebec, name unchanged

10/12/77          Foundered 50 n.m. off Brownsville, Texas




01/06/44          Ordered

28/05/45          Launched by Blyth Drydock & Shipbuilding Co, Cowpen Quay, Blyth as Yard Nr: 310 named HMS WALRUS (F 116) for the Admiralty

1945                Completed

1953                Was renamed HMS SKUA

1962                Purchased by Segans, Nantes and was renamed ASTRAGALE

1967                Was converted into a drilling and Diving Support Vessel

1973                Purchased by Soc Navale, Nantes, name unchanged

1979                Purchased by Cosag Marine Services Ltd., London, name unchanged

1983                Purchased by Hydrosphere Ltd., London and was renamed HYDRAGALE

09/84               Arrived Milton Regis for demolition by Liguria Maritime Ltd.