RFA Cyclone


RFA Cyclone 

 Growler sails Portsmouth

 Growler A111 


Previous name
Subsequent name:              

Official Number:                   181186

Class:                                     BUSTLER Class Fleet Tug

Pennant No:                          A111

Laid down:                             31 January 1942

Builder:                                   Henry Robb, Leith
Launched:                             10 September 1942
Into Service:                          16 May 1943

Out of service:                       1977
Fate:                                        Broken up


Background Data:   At the outbreak of WW2 there was a need for modern Fleet Tugs to augment the existing numbers, and experience dictated use of a proven, pre-war design to be built in a commercial shipyard. The answer was provided by Henry Robb of Leith who built 8 ships of this Class for the Royal Navy , making them the first RN Fleet Tugs powered by 2 x 8 cylinder diesel engines. The tugs were ordered in pairs. Oil fuel capacity was 405 tons which gave a range of about 1700 miles. As completed, the Class was armed with 1 x 12 pdr AA gun, 1 x 2 pdr AA, 2  x 20 mm AA  and 4 x Lewis .303 machine guns and had a complement of 42. They were designed for ocean towing, salvage and rescue and had a 30 ton bollard pull but were not suitable for harbour work. Early in the War they were involved in trials of pressure-minesweeping methods, where a dumb barge was towed behind the tug with the aim of exploding mines intended for merchant ships and warships. Unfortunately the pressure wave created by the tug alone was sufficient to detonate the mines, so the trials were abandoned. Post-War, the Class was ripe for commercial charter and eventually 6 of the Class saw service as RFA’s

Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


For details of this ships career please see RFA Growler (2)