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Sunday, 3 October 2010


Ship No 500

The ENGADINE was another first of type ordered by the Admiralty, for a true Helicopter support ship.

She was one of the largest vessels built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb shipbuilders.

As the shipyard was so busy at the time some of the building of units was sub-contracted out to the Burntisland Shipyard on the other side of the River Forth.

She was built to Merchant Navy standards as she was to operate as an auxiliary and not as a warship, manned by a crew from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) with a permanent staff of Royal Navy on board as well, she was the only ship in the RFA at the time fitted with stabilisers.

The Royal Navy and Falklands War The Royal Navy and Falklands War
Soldiers and journalists alike wasted no time in telling the story of the campaign to recapture the Falkland Islands after the Argentinian invasion in April, 1982. Almost without exception, however, they are concerned largely on the role of the Army, for it was the part they played which particularly fired the public imagination, and it may be said that the role of the Royal and Merchant Navies, the abiding images of which are for many the pictures of the exploding frigate Antelope, and the burning Atlantic Conveyor, has hitherto been overshadowed by the yomping of the Marines and the exploits of certain gentleman of the press. Yet none of them would have been there at all had the Royal Navy not provided the necessary transport, not to mention air cover and bombardment support. In the book David Brown, head of what was formally the Naval Historical Branch at the Ministry of Defence, tells in full for the first time the extraordinary story of how the fleet was assembeled; of how merchant-ships from luxury liners such as the Canberra to cargo-carriers of every description were 'Taken Up Form Trade' and, in a staggeringly short time, converted to their new role. He describes the stupendous problems presented by the assembling, and stowing, of the thousands of tons of stores and equipment needed by the Expeditionary Forces and the way in which these problems were dealt with.

The ENGADINE was renowned for her high standard of accommodation.

She was in effect a floating helicopter school with room for up to eight helicopters at a push.

She had a deadweight of about 8,000 tons and at 6384 grt, with a length between perpendiculars of 385 feet and a beam of 58 feet with a design draught of 35 feet and 4 inches.

She was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb on 16th of September 1966.

She was de-commissioned in 1989 and served as a repair ship for a further seven years.

 Ready For Anything

RFA ENGADINE was to provide service with the fleet for 30 years before being scrapped in 1996.

You will soon be able to read much more about her on the new website.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I love that photo on your header. Great shot, wow.