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RFA FORT GRANGE

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I would say before '82, and when she was the Commodore's ship. This is how she looked when I was first on her in 1980.
 

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Best ship i ever had the pleasure of serving on.
I recall in 86 she had lost the black funnel top, however had two 20mm guns fitted in the gun bandstands.
 

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Now sadly Fort Rosalie.
 

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FG, I always admired the good looks and longevity of these ships, but never stepped aboard either, what made her such a good ship?
 

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The first thing was not being on an aircraft carrier!
Grange had a nice friendly feel about her, the crew were accepting of the naval flight and as such duties such as running the bar were shared as was cleaning. The general flight routine was more sensible and aimed to ensure the aircraft were fit and ready to fly without all the additional distractions found on a warship. Food was of a high standard as was accommodation. Although there were rounds and domestic daily cleaning routines it was all more measured and practical.
As the ship ran to a civilian shift pattern, weekends and holidays were incorporated in the routine, an example being when certain key RFA staff were off shift or at maximum overtime then routine flying couldn't continue ( everything always worked in urgent/emergency situations). the downside were port stops were frequently 'off shore' due to her cargo, however liberty boats were always laid on. RN had free access about the ship which was always interesting, likewise sunbathing and recreation was never an issue.
in 1986 we were very fortunate that it all came together, apparently it wasn't always as smooth between other squadrons or RFA crew, but life at sea is never perfect. During global 86 we embarked lads from the various RN ships for short spells of R&R, this usually was spent sunbathing and a heavy night in the bar.
in addition, Grange had a huge clearway running around the main deck, used for stacking and prepping stores prior to RAS etc, this was ideal for jousting on bicycles. Mounted on a pussers Red (bike), dustbin lid shield and broom we would ride around the clearway trying to knock each other off, gret fun especially in rough weather! but don't tell the RFA Chof.
 

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Great practical ships. great help to Alvega in San carlos water. helping our geting the freezer working. better then woolworths able to get anything on board. from small shifting spanner to bread.
 

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Royal Fleet Auxiliary
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