View Full Version : Wave Chief refuelling RFA Amherst 1961
6th June 2008, 14:36
My first trip to sea was on the Wave Chief (out of Plymouth)and as pantry boy it was a hell of an experience. During my 4 months I was seasick every time we went to sea, because she was in and out of port all the time, from Portland to Rosyth. Sometimes we acted as a target ship for submarines and aircraft, and some times refueling the occasional ship. Including HMS Exmouth which came alongside at the wrong angle and mounted the side of the ship right next to the port hole I was looking out off at the time, a sight never forgotten, the bows of a warship sliding up onto the rail and then stopping and sliding back again. Then we did 7-8 days refueling a NATO exercise in heavy seas, including a Dutch aircraft carrier (VAN ....!!!) It was said that we had set a record for the amount of ships refueled in a week !!! But the longest spell was 10 days, when we went mid-Atlantic to refuel an ammunition ship HMS Amherst. We were only informed afterwards that she was carrying the nuclear reactor for the first British sub HMS Dreadnought!! I wonder why at the time why the Maltese crew had almost panic when the 2 ships almost collided. But as pantry boy I was bottom of the list for information. PJG
6th June 2008, 16:55
It was RFA Amherst (Ammunition Ship).
5th September 2008, 20:29
Those are really interesting photos of Amherst. The first I've ever seen of her RASing. She spent most of her time freighting between the Naval Bases around the world. She was famous for supposedly having a sprung dance floor, as one of the VIP guests at a Warsash School of Nav training dinner told me when I said I wanted to join the RFA.
As an Ammunition carrier there may well have been some truth in the story behind her trip to US.
The 10 knot RFA Fort Langley also did some freighting trips accross the Atlantic.
6th September 2008, 01:19
Thanks for posting the photos PJG, RFA Amherst is another of those RFA's I had only heard a few of the older hands talking about.
It's always good to turn memories of the mess room into visual reality.
Did a couple of trips on Wave Prince and no one ever tried to mount us, thankfully.
6th September 2008, 17:02
Welcome to the SN - RFA Club.
Looking forward to your book.
26th February 2009, 10:43
whatever hapened to one of my old ships the WAVE PROTECTOR?
26th February 2009, 10:53
After some years as a storage hulk at Raz Hanzir, Malta, Wave Protector was sold to Italy for scrap in August 1963.
Some photos here http://www.rfaaplymouth.org/GGMwaves.htm
and there are 3 in the Gallery.
27th February 2009, 11:10
Lancastrian............... Thanks for that info and I had a wee shuftee at the link you suggested it was a long time ago I was a crew member 1950
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