RFA Creosol


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Official Number:                  139147

Class:                                   SECOND 1,000t CREOSOL CLASS Harbour Oiler

Pennant No:                         N  11 / X 18 / X 32

Laid down:
Builder:                                 Short Brothers Ltd ., Sunderland
Launched:                            5 February 1916
Into Service:                         22 August 1916
Out of service:                      7 February 1918
Fate:                                      Sunk


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  On the outbreak of WW1, the Admiralty embarked on a further programme of tanker construction for the newly-formed RFA Service. Eventually there were 18 ships in this Class, 12 of which were named after trees with the OL suffix, while the remainder had names connected with the oil industry also with the OL suffix. 4 of the Class were diesel engined and were sold after the Armistice but the rest, being triple expansion steamers, had long and successful lives.


5 February 1916 launched by Short Bros Ltd, Sunderland as Yard Nr 405 named CREOSOL

16 July 1916 Lieutenant Edmund C S Richardson RNR appointed in command. He was transfered to RFA Thermol on 10 December 1917.

18 August 1916 Engineer Lieutenant Stephen Nicholson RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer. He was discharged on 2 September 1917

22 August 1916 Completed

22 August 1916 Fireman Pat Drake logged as deserted. He had signed on on 16 August 1916. Leading Fireman M Walsh logged as deserted this day but shown as returning to the ship. He had signed on on the 16 August 1916

5 October 1916 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS FEARLESS to receive 170 tons of FFO pumped out from the cruiser

HMS Fearless 1912


16 July 1917 Cook Ed Henry logged as ‘sent to cells on HMS (unreadable) and transferred from there to HMS Eagle’

5 August 1917 Sub-Lieutenant H Davies RNR (the Chief Officer) noted in RFA records as ‘Did not return to ship’ He had signed on on 1 July 1917 and a replacement was appointed on 17 August 1917

1 September 1917 Engineer Lieutenant R D Rees RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

9 December 1917 Lieutenant W Jones-Williams RNR appointed as Commanding Officer. He previously had served on RFA Kurumba.

7 February 1918 in position 54.52.30° N 01.11.30° W, on passage from the Humber to Sunderland, she was torpedoed  and sunk off Sunderland by the German submarine UC17 (Oberleutnant zur See Erich Stephan). Her cargo had been taken from the double bottoms of the British Law Shipping Co Ltd ss LARGO LAW  which had  loaded at New York. The value of  the  lost cargo was put at £3,225. Two of  her crew were killed and are recorded in the Roll of Honour for 1918

16 April 2012 the wreck of RFA Creosol has been made a designated wreck under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designation of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2012. The ships location is recorded as above