RFA Nasprite


RFA Nasprite



Official Number:                     168062

Class:                                      SPRITE CLASS Spirit Carrier

Pennant No:                            A252

Laid down:                              7 March 1940
Builder:                                    Blythswood Shipbuilding, Scotstoun
Launched:                               28 November 1940
Into Service:                            11 February 1941

Base Port:                                Malta (1952)
Out of service:                         Laid up 1954
Fate:                                        Broken up at Williebroek, February 1964


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  There were two ships in this Class which were Admiralty-designed and they both spent most of their careers in U.K. and Mediterranean waters


9 October 1939 ordered

7 March 1940 laid down

28 November 1940 launched by Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Scotstoun as Yard Nr: 65 named NASPRITE

19 December 1940 Mr L W Pool RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 February 1941 completed at a cost of £ 97,207

12 February 1941 joined the Fleet Fuelling Service as a petrol carrier

April 1941 until February 1942 served as harbour oiler at Scapa Flow

10 July 1941 in collision with the corvette HMS MARIGOLD

29 July 1941 was damaged when going alongside the battleship HMS KING GEORGE V


king george v1



29 November 1941 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS DUKE OF YORK to refuel her – 2000 gallons of aviation spirit

9 February 1942 Captain Arthur J D Gosney RFA appointed as Master



Captain Arthur J D Gosney RFA


23 February 1942 sailed Lyness for Grangemouth

9 April 1942 sailed Methil in convoy EN 69/2 to Oban arriving 11 April 1942

12 September 1942 Captain Francis J King RFA appointed as Master

5 October 1942 sailed Adrossan to the Clyde

18 October 1942 sailed the Clyde in convoy KX2 to Gibraltar arriving 29 October 1942 with RFA’s ABBEYDALE, BROWN RANGER, DERWENTDALE (1), DEWDALE (1), DINGLEDALE, ENNERDALE (1) and VISCOL. She was awarded the North Africa 1942 Battle Honour

30 October 1942 at Malta Able Seaman Grazio Magro discharged dead – drowned

20 May 1943 in Operation Husky – Naval Operation Orders dated this day – Appendix 1 – shows NASPRITE would be based at Malta to supply 80 octane spirit when refuelling off beaches

24 June 1943 sailed Algiers in convoy GTX3 in company with 26 other ships including RFA CELEROL, RFA CHERRYLEAF (1) and RFA OLIGARCH arriving Malta 28 June 1943

3 July 1943 sailed Alexandria

10 July 1943 In Operation Husky – the British element of the invasion of Sicily – along with RFA’s CEDARDALE, DERWENTDALE (1), ENNERDALE (1) and  PEARLEAF (1)

17 July 1943 Mr T Dowling RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

5 August 1943 arrived at Augusta – source Admiralty War Diary of this day

12 August 1943 NOIC Augusta reported to the Admiralty by signal that he intended sailing NASPRITE, RFA WAR KRISHNA and numerous Landing Craft escorted by HMS WHITING, HMS PIROUETTE and HMS GRAYLING as Convoy Pungent. RFA WAR KRISHNA to sail to Malta escorted by HMS PIROUETTE and HMS GRAYLING. The NOIC’s signal did not indicate where NASPRITE was bound – source Admiralty War Diary of this day

22 August 1943 during Operation Husky – D plus 12 – a stick of bombs was dropped near Nasprite – no damage suffered – reported in C in C Meds report on Operation Husky page 521

23 August 1943 arrived at Augusta – source Admiralty War Diary of this day

26 November 1943 while going alongside the Ferry Vessel SS MESSINA in charge of a pilot the anchor davits and stem struck the passenger deck and wood rubbing band of the MESSINA. Slight damage to both vessels. MESSINA owned by the railway company and based at Messina. Location of collision not shown in the Admiralty War Diary of 28 November 1943 or in a signal from the Master of the NASPRITE to the Admiralty 

1944 ran aground off Italy

27 May 1944 sailed Naples in convoy NV 41 to Malta arriving the next day

9 June 1944 sailed Naples in convoy NV44 to Malta arriving the next day 

15 August 1944 in Operation Dragoon – the Allied invasion of the south of France – along with  RFA’s CELEROL, DEWDALE (1) and ENNERDALE (1)

4 September 1944 sailed Naples in convoy NV62 to Augusta arriving on 5 September 1944

8 September 1944 sailed Augusta in convoy AH66 to Taranto arriving the next day

13 December 1944 Captain E H Butterworth RFA appointed as Master

14 April 1945 sailed Taranto under escort to Zara arriving on 16 April 1945

9 November 1945 arrived at Ancona from Venice

12 November 1945 sailed Ancona

21 November 1945 sailed Ancona to Bari arriving the same day

21 April 1946 at Malta Chief Engineer Officer Thomas Haddow RFA discharged dead – from shock and multiple injuries due to a fall ashore

 Thomas Haddow

Chief Engineer Officer Thomas Haddow RFA


1 September 1946 Captain J Bottomley RFA appointed as Master

9 August 1947 Mr J Sinclair RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

18 October 1947 Mr Andrew N Porteous RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 31 October 1947


CEO Andrew Porteous

Chief Engineer Officer Andrew Porteous RFA
Image courtesy of Jim Small

24 May 1948 Mr F A Essam RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer



RFA’s AIRSPRITE & NASPRITE alongside of each other in Misida Creek, Malta astern of HMS RIFLEMAN in February 1949


1 April 1949 Captain S P Rice RFA appointed as Master

4 May 1949 sailed Grand Harbour, Malta with RFA’s SPABROOK, ROWANOL (2) and BLUE RANGER for overnight exercises with RN units and the Royal Air Force off Malta

4 July 1949 sailed Malta with RFA’s FORT DUQUESNE, ROWANOL (2) and BLUE RANGER together with RN units for exercises off Navarin

12 September 1949 Captain D A C Butler RFA appointed as Master

15 November 1949 moored alongside HMS GRAVELINES at Malta – sailed 16 November 1949


HMS Gravelines



12 April 1950 berthed at Malta this day from Gibraltar

28 November 1950 Mr J J Moore RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 June 1951 Captain Allistoun M Macquire-Samson RFA appointed as Master

21 September 1951 alongside HMS MANXMAN





10 February 1952  Mr Charles W Urry RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer


CEO Charles URRY

Chief Engineer Officer Charles W Urry RFA


28 February 1952 sailed Malta with RFA ROWANOL (2) for Cagliari, Sardinia

11 July 1953 Captain A H Mackenzie RFA appointed as Master

15 March 1954 sailed Malta for Gibraltar and Combined Fleet Exercises after which to Toulon, France

17 June 1954 in refit at Swan Hunter,  River Tyne

1 July 1954 in refit at Swan Hunter,  River Tyne

13 July 1954 berthed on the Admiralty Quay, Hebburn on Tyne

15 July 1954 sailed the River Tyne for Rosyth

31 August 1954 laid up Devonport

29 September 1960 at Devonport moved from 2 Lynher Trot alongside RFA GREEN RANGER to 2 West Mud moorings alongside RFA SURF PIONEER

21 August 1961 at Devonport moved from Millbay Docks to 2 West Mud moorings alongside RFA SURF PIONEER

29 May 1962 at Devonport moved from 2 West Mud moorings on RFA SURF PATROL to Looking Glass Trot

August 1963 put up for disposal

3 September 1963 advertised for sale ‘as lying’ at H M Devonport in the Times of this day by the MoT


Eddycreek offered for sale


22 October 1963 Bill of Sale to Douglas Arnold, Ashford, Middlesex

11 November 1963 Bill of Sale to Lamico Shipping Co, Sussex with mortgage Bill of Sale to Barclays Bank Ltd., London

21 January 1964 on discharge of mortgage Bill of Sale to Douglas Arnold (Marine Engineer), Ashford, Middlesex

5 February 1964 arrived Antwerp for demolition by Scrappingco, Willebroek

19 March 1964 registry closed