Clyde support in the Holy Loch

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Holy Loch Sailor
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Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Holy Loch Sailor » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:24 am

Hello all , i can see i'll love this site , the pictures are all familiar sights and coastlines. Im currently doing as much research as i can to compile an accurate account of the US Navy at Holy Loch and the Clydeside ships that supported them from 1963 on.
Among those ships typically were the puffers contracted as garbage barges and they are easily recoqnisable if not by name by the lines alone , a very unique boat. I would like to ask if i may for assistance with a ship that's clearly not a military ship tied up alongside the Los Alamos drydock. The picture here is blown up to show her lines better , i don't believe its a garbage barge , could this be a refuel ship of some sort ? Does anyone recoqnise the colours ? Its dated approx late 60's to early 70's.
Thanks for any and all help. : )
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oddity.JPG

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iain crosbie
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by iain crosbie » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:32 am

These are the colours of the Port Auxiliary Service (PAS) vessels, civilian manned craft that support the Royal Navy in a variety of roles. I suspect this one may be a water carrier, but cannot be certain. What I can be certain of is that someone else on here will know it's name- so stand by!

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Doxford Diesel
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Doxford Diesel » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:42 am

Pretty sure its the Spalake, a water barge based at Greenock at the time the USN was in the Holy loch. Another picture of it on this websitehttp://www.rfanostalgia.org/gallery3/index.php ... /Spalake-3:

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Colin Campbell
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Colin Campbell » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:37 pm

Tried to copy this from a "welcome aboard" brochure for the USS Simon Lake sometime a resident in the Holy Loch as tender to the then Polaris submarines
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014.JPG
USS Simon Lake (AS 33)
Last edited by Colin Campbell on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Angus Mac Kinnon
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:59 pm

She is the SPA-Class naval fresh-water tanker RFA SPABURN of 1946 that was broken up at the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company's facilities in Troon in August 1977.

(I will provide further details later)
Angus Mac Kinnon

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Angus Mac Kinnon
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Holy Loch Sailor : Clyde support - Holy Loch

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:18 pm

Six SPA-Class small coastal fresh-water tankers were ordered by The Admiralty.

Two of these ended their days in Troon, Scotland, at the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company Limited, namely RFA SPABURN and RFA SPALAKE.

Whereas SPABURN spent the years 1963 through 1971 on the Clyde, the SPALAKE served mainly in the Mediterranean, in ports such as Malta, Tobruk and Benghazi, hence the reason for identifying the subject image as almost certainly the SPABURN, of which I attach a clearer image. Both vessels were laid up for quite a while, I think from the early 70s, but I don't know where.

SPABURN : O.N. 180850 : RFA No. X122/A257
Builder : Philip & Son Limited of Dartmouth
Yard No : 1128
Length : 52.4 metres
Beam : 9.1 metres
Tonnage : 718 tons
Launched : 05-01-1946
Completed : 12-04-1946
Propulsion : 3-Cyl Triple Expansion Reciprocating Steam Engine rated at 675 IHP
Fuel Type : Coal-Fired
Speed : 9 knots
Sold : 24=06-1977
Arrived for breaking up : August 1977


SPALAKE : O.N. 181508 : RFA No. X123/A260
Builder : Charles Hill & Sons of Bristol
Yard No : 338
Length : 52.4 metres
Beam : 9.1 metres
Tonnage : 672 tons
Launched : 10-08-1945
Completed : 28-11-1946
Propulsion : 3-Cyl Triple Expansion Reciprocating Steam Engine rated at 675 IHP
Fuel Type : Coal-Fired
Speed : 9 knots
Sold : 24-06-1977
Arrived Troon for breaking up : August 1977
Attachments
Naval Fresh Water Tanker SPABURN.jpg
Naval Fresh Water Tanker SPABURN
Angus Mac Kinnon

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Doxford Diesel
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Doxford Diesel » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:45 pm

Angus Mac Kinnon wrote:Six SPA-Class small coastal fresh-water tankers were ordered by The Admiralty.

Two of these ended their days in Troon, Scotland, at the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company Limited, namely RFA SPABURN and RFA SPALAKE.
RFA?? Not by the time the top picture was taken. PAS by then if painted buff.

Pretty sure the Spalake was working on the Clyde around 1970 too.

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Holy Loch Sailor
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Holy Loch Sailor » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:21 pm

Gentlemen , this is fantastic , i can't thank you enough.Im voluntarily compiling an account of the period the USN was at the Holy Loch and while other accounts do detail the american ships ive noticed the Clyde ships which made it all possible were rarely if ever mentioned.I think its a huge oversight and credit needs to be given where its due.I couldnt be happier i have the name of this ship and it's details as it's stumped a lot of us.Time fades our memories and im gratefull to you all and the website here that theres good people willing to help.I look forward to many evenings here reading accounts of the happenings on the Clyde which will always be my home port.Thank you all. : )

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Magoonigal
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Magoonigal » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:45 pm

The SPABURN was in RFA Service from 1942 to 1977 and the SPALAKE from 1946 to 1947.

If this helps!
Paul Hood.

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Brianh
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Brianh » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:10 pm

The water carriers Spa Spaburn Spalake and Spapool all operated on the Clyde by the Port Auxiliary Service (PAS)in whose colours the vessel in the picture is painted. Spa was the main vessel involved in support of the US base up to 1964 when replaced by Spalake . Spapool was used at times as a substitute.

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Angus Mac Kinnon
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Re: Clyde support in the Holy Loch

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:55 pm

Doxford Diesel wrote:
Angus Mac Kinnon wrote:Six SPA-Class small coastal fresh-water tankers were ordered by The Admiralty.

Two of these ended their days in Troon, Scotland, at the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company Limited, namely RFA SPABURN and RFA SPALAKE.
RFA?? Not by the time the top picture was taken. PAS by then if painted buff.

Pretty sure the Spalake was working on the Clyde around 1970 too.

Think you may be right - see Brian Hargreaves update - sorry if I have provided erroneous information above :(
Angus Mac Kinnon

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