Requisitioned Auxiliary – Oakfield



Official Number:                       142415

Laid down:

Builder:                                    Harland & Wolff, Govan

Launched:                               28 March 1918

Into Service:                            15 May 1918 and 25 November 1940

Out of service:                         1919 and 27 November 1946

Fate:                                       9 April 1955 broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW1 and WW2 to augment the ships of the RFA


Career Data:

 28 March 1918 launched by Harland & Wolff, Govan as Yard Nr: 527G named War African for the Shipping Controller

15 May 1918 completed for service as a Fleet Oiler under the management of A Weir & Co

12 July 1918 at 42°0N 49°0W fired at fog buoy being towed by War Soldier by mistake

21 March 1919 at Constantinople with HMS TORCH alongside being refuelled. Issued 141 tons of FFO

27 March 1919 at the Bosphorus with HMS CANTERBURY alongside being refuelled

12 June 1919 at Dardenelles with HMS CERES alongside being refuelled – she received 560 tons of FFO


HMS Ceres



1919 Management allocated to Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd., London – name unchanged

26 August 1919 sailed the River Tyne for Hull

1 September 1919 sailed Hull for Rotterdam

3 October 1919 arrived at Port Arthur

7 October 1919 sailed Port Arthur for Rotterdam

1 December 1919 sailed Port Arthur for Gibraltar

1 February 1920 sailed Port Arthur for Gibraltar

12 March 1920 passed Sand Key sailing south

8 April 1920 passed the Lizard on passage from Port Arthur

19 April 1920 at Rotterdam Donkeyman Charles Slavin discharged dead from heart failure

8 June 1920 berthed at Port Arthur from Rotterdam

15 August 1920 sailed Port Arthur to England

1921 purchased by Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London and renamed Absia

1 January 1921 at Rotterdam

10 June 1923 arrived Las Palmas

27 September 1925 sailed Vado for Gibraltar

28 October 1925 sailed New York for Curacao

26 November 1925 sailed Curacao for LEFO

21 December 1925 at Rotterdam in dry dock

18 June 1926 arrived Glasgoe from Tampico

1926 purchased by Petroleum Maatschappij ‘La Corona’, The Hague – name unchanged

1928 purchased by Skibs A/S Nanset (I Bugge, Manager) and renamed Salsaas

27 January 1931 arrived Manila from Los Angeles

1 October 1934 sailed Old Kilpatrick Oil fuel Depot, River Clyde

7 December 1934 arrived at Las Palmas

3 July 1935 arrived at St Vincent CV from Curaçao

12 March 1936 sailed Dakar

4 July 1936 sailed Falmouth for St. Kitts

20 July 1936 arrived at Curaçao

1937 purchased by Finchley Steamship Co Ltd and renamed Oakfield

23 August 1940 sailed Bermuda in escorted convoy BHX68 with a cargo of FFO. This convoy merged with escorted convoy HX68 sailing to Liverpool arriving 8 September 1940

16 September 1940 sailed Methil in convoy FS283 to Southend arriving 19 September 1940. RFA WAR NIZAM also sailed in this convoy

26 September 1940 with RFA WAR NIZAM sailed Sheerness towards Calais as fireships in Operation LUCID. Suffered engine problems and dropped out of the operation. RFA WAR NIZAM suffered boiler problems. The Operation was cancelled

3 October 1940 sailed again as part of Operation LUCID but it was cancelled due to bad weather

4 October 1940 sailed again as part of Operation LUCID but it was cancelled once again due to bad weather

7 October 1940 sailed once more as part of Operation LUCID but an escorting destroyer was mined and the ships scattered

Early November 1940 Operation LUCID postponed

25 November 1940 requisitioned for Admiralty service as an oiler under Management of Hunting & Son Ltd., Newcastle – name unchanged

30 November 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN347 to the River Tyne arriving 2 December 1940

19 August 1941 at Sheerness Fireman William Thomas Newton discharged dead from heart failure

29 January 1946 laid up in the River Blackwater

12 December 1946 departed from the River Blackwater

27 November 1946 purchased by Oak Shipping Co Ltd (Union Martime & Shipping Co Ltd., Managers) London – name unchanged

15 March 1948 at the British Hospital, Port Said Able Seaman Essa Elmi discharged dead from meningitus

1952 transferred to Finchley Steamship Co Ltd., London – name unchanged

1955 purchased by Albert Sonnenburg, Dusseldorf – name unchanged

9 April 1955 arrived Enden for demolition by Nordseewerke