Part of the Acorn Archive
Hearts of Oak
RFA Wave Class Oilers
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
The Fleet Train
5th May to 22nd May, 1945
The Contribution Of The British Pacific Fleet To The Assault On Okinawa.
From the Despatch by
Admiral Sir Bruce A Fraser, G.C.B., K.B.E., Commander-in-Chief,
British Pacific Fleet. 7th June, 1945, regarding the actions fought by the British Pacific Fleet during the first phases of Operation Iceberg.
A major consideration in planning any sea campaign, is to ensure that re-fuelling is possible at the required time; this was controlled by the speed (9 knots in fine weather) at which the tankers could move to the fuelling areas.
Position Cootie One = 21°12'N : 128°44'E
5th May : At 1905hrs, the Fleet withdrew and set course for Cootie One.
6th May : At 0630hrs met at Cootie One, H.M. and H.M.A. Ships CRANE, RULER, STRIKER, NAPIER, NORMAN, NEPAL, AVON, WHIMBREL, PHEASANT, and R.F.A.s WAVE KING, WAVE MONARCH, SAN AMBROSIO, SAN ADOLPHO, CEDARDALE.
Fuelling from the tankers and exchange of aircraft with H.M.S. STRIKER continued throughout the day.
At 1845hrs, the Fleet detached from the Tanker Group for the night.
7th May : At 0615hrs, Cruising Disposition was formed on the tankers, and fuelling recommenced.
Fuelling and exchange of stores, mail and correspondence were completed by 1400hrs, when the Fleet disengaged from the tankers.
H.M.A.S. NORMAN was ordered to escort R.F.A.s WAVE KING and WAVE MONARCH to Leyte; H.M. Ships WHIMBREL and AVON similarly escorted R.F.A.s SAN AMBROSIO, SAN ADOLPHO and CEDARDALE.
10th May : At 0610hrs, at Cootie One, met and formed on Tanker Group consisting of H.M. Ships SPEAKER, RULER, NEPAL, CRANE, PHEASANT, WHYALLA, BALLARAT, .WOODCOCK, WEASEL (Tug) and R.F.A.s ARNDALE, AASE MAERSK, DINGLEDALE, SAN AMADO.
The usual fuelling, exchange of mail correspondence and stores, and the replenishment of aircraft continued throughout the day.
At 1915hrs, the Fleet disengaged from the Tanker Group for the night.
11th May : At 0640hrs Cruising Disposition was again formed on the Tanker Group, and all fuelling and transfer of stores, aircraft, correspondence, and personnel was completed in time for the Fleet to disengage at 1640hrs and take departure for the operations area.
14th May : At 0630, at Cootie One, met H.M. Ships RULER, CRANE, WOODCOCK, PHEASANT, WEASEL and R.F.A.s ARNDALE and DINGLEDALE from whom fuelling commenced.
The other and incoming Tanker Group were late at the rendezvous.
They were found by search aircraft from the CAP and directed to the Fleet and consisted of H.M. Ships STRIKER, NIZAM and R.F.A.s WAVE KING and WAVE MONARCH.
They were in station by 1100hrs.
15th May : The Fleet reformed on the Tanker Group at 0630hrs, and fuelling and exchange of stores, aircraft and correspondence was continued and completed by 1700hrs.
17th May : The following were detached to Leyte in the afternoon; H.M. Ships STRIKER and NAPIER; H.M.A.S. NIZAM with R.F.A.s WAVE KING and WAVE MONARCH; H.M. Ships PHEASANT and WOODCOCK with R.F.A.s ARNDALE and DINGLEDALE.
22nd May : At 0700hrs, at Cootie One, the following were met; H.M. Tug WEASEL towing H.M.S. QUILLIAM escorted .by H.M. Ships BLACK PRINCE, GRENVILLE, NORMAN and RULER; Ships of the Fleet Train consisting of H.M. and H.M.A. Ships CRANE, CHASER, SPEAKER, NAPIER, AVON and FINDHORN, and R.F.A.S WAVE KING, WAVE MONARCH, AASE MAERSK, SAN AMADO, ROBERT MAERSK; Reinforcements H.M. Ships QUADRANT and TERMAGENT.
Fuelling, and exchange of aircraft and stores and bombs, were carried out throughout the day.