RFA Salvage Duke




Subsequent name:                     IMROZ

Official Number:                         169402                                                              

Class:                                       King Salvor Salvage Class

Pennant No:                               W34 / A234

Laid down:                                 29 July 1942

Builder:                                      William Simons & Co., Renfrew
Launched:                                  1 November 1943
Into Service:                               24 November 1943
Out of service:                            1947
Fate:                                          Destroyed by fire & explosion


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  There were originally 13 ships in this Admiralty-designed Class, 12 of which saw service as RFA’s. The final unit in the Class was completed as a Submarine Rescue Vessel under the White Ensign. All were basically similar and were used as Ocean Salvage Ships. During wartime were armed with 4 x 20 mm AA guns


1 November 1943 launched by Wm Simons & Co Ltd, Renfrew as Yard Nr: 763 named SALVAGE DUKE

17 November 1943 at Glasgow registered in the name of SALVAGE DUKE and as entry 28/43 in the Registry

24 November 1943 completed and placed under management of Risdon Beazely Ltd,. Southampton

6 December 1943 sailed Milford Haven in escorted convoy KX12 arriving Gibraltar 15 December 1943

22 December 1943 sailed Gibraltar in escorted convoy KMS035 to Augusta and thence Algiers

27 February 1944 sailed Algiers in escorted convoy KMS042 which also contained RFA’s DEWDALE (1) and  ECHODALE, and detached to Augusta

2 March 1944 sailed Augusta in unescorted convoy AH28 to Bari arriving 4 March 1944

10 March 1944 took over responsibility for all salvage operations in the Bari area from USS Extricate (ARS-16)

10 December 1945 together with RFA PRINCE SALVOR took HMS LST 3002 in tow after she had been rammed by ss Poland Victory 120 miles south of Suez . She was struck just about midships causing a hole about 44 ft wide on the upper deck and 32 ft wide at the keel and cutting the LST almost in two, leaving just about 10 ft to hold her together. One of the ship’s boats was damaged in the collision and the other seemed reluctant to yield to gravity. The crew of the LST abandoned ship, being taken aboard Poland Victory by rope ladder while she held position embedded in the LST. One crew member lost his life in the accident. He was Able Seaman Keith Larcombe and he is buried in the Suez War Memorial Cemetery. HMS LST 3002 was still afloat next morning and a skeleton crew re-boarded her. The PRINCE SALVOUR and SALVAGE DUKE towed the LST slowly back to Port Taufiq

1945/1946 salvaged the Japanese auxiliary cruiser “Shiratoka” – Lieutenant Commander Broomfield Jones RN in command

31 December 1946 sailed Singapore in company with RFA SALVICTOR for Portsmouth

5 February 1947 arrived at Malta from Singapore sailing again on 8 February 1947 for Portsmouth

21 February 1947 berthed at Plymouth with an engine defect

24 February 1947 sailed Plymouth

1948 chartered by the Turkish Navy (Denizcilik Bankasi TAO, Istanbul, Managers) and renamed IMROZ while on loan from the Admiralty

19 April 1948 at Sea of Marmora stood by the British steamer Thistledale which had grounded on a mud bank at Injeh Burnu. Efforts to tow the ship off the mudbank by the IMROZ had not been succesful

4 April 1953 the Coventry Evening Telegraph reported –

4 4 1953 Coventry Evening Tele IMROZ


13 January 1959 destroyed by fire and explosion at Iskenderon, Turkey while alongside a tanker Mirador. Her entire hull above the waterline was destroyed

14 January 1959 the Birmingham Daily Post newspaper reported that –


14 1 1959 Brum Daily Post Salv Duke


Turkish Government replaced her by purchasing RFA SALVIOLA and renaming her IMROZ II




1. The tanker MIRADOR was owned by Mirador Cia Nav Panamena, Panama and she sustained serious damage as a result of a fire which broke out following an explosion on 16/12/58 while she was transferring fuel and oil to the US naval oiler OCKLAWAHA in Iskenderun Roads. Two Greek members of her crew lost their lives and the fire was not extinguished until 19/12/58, by which time the after part of the ship had been gutted. On 13/01/59 she sank at Iskenderun after a second explosion, followed by fire, in which another six of the tankers crew were killed. This fire also destroyed IMROZ, which was replaced in the Turkish Navy by her sister SALVIOLA