Allied Warships

HMS Restive (W 39)

Rescue Tug of the Assurance class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeRescue Tug
ClassAssurance 
PennantW 39 
Built byCochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd. (Selby, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down25 Apr 1940 
Launched4 Sep 1940 
Commissioned12 Dec 1940 
End service 
History

HMRT Restive was sold on 11 June 1965.

 

We don't have any commands listed for HMS Restive (W 39)


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Notable events involving Restive include:


21 Dec 1942
At 02.23 hours on 21 December 1942 German U-boat U-562 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy KMF-5 about 40 miles north of Oran and heard two detonations after 65 seconds and another after 5 minutes 50 seconds. However, only the ship of the convoy commodore, the British troop transport Strathallan was hit by one torpedo which struck on port side in the engine room. The explosion killed two engineer officers and two Indian crewmen on watch below, damaged the bulkhead separating the engine and boiler rooms and fractured a tank causing oil to enter the boiler room. The ship immediately developed a 15° list to port and the master ordered the nurses and troops to abandon ship in calm seas in the four motor boats, 16 lifeboats and rafts. All got away, except one lifeboat that had been damaged by the explosion and another that could not be launched due to the list. After it became clear that the ship would not sink fast, the evacuation was stopped and the troops ordered to the starboard side to help the stability. The about 1300 survivors in the boats and on rafts were picked up in the morning by the British destroyer HMS Verity (Lt. J.C. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN) and taken to Oran.

After two hours of work, at about 06.00 hours the British destroyer HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN) took the Strathallan in tow for Oran at a speed of 5-6 knots. Shortly after midday about 2000 survivors were transferred to the British destroyers HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN) and taken to Oran. It appeared as though the ship could be saved as the British rescue tug HMRT Restive (Lt. D.M. Richards, RNR) went alongside to assist the pumping, but at 13.15 hours oil came in contact with the hot boilers and the fumes exploded, sending flames up through the funnel. The ship was soon ablaze amidships so the master ordered the ship to be abandoned. All men went aboard the tug except a skeleton crew and were then transferred to HMS Laforey because HMS Restive continued to tow the burning ship slowly towards Oran for 14 hours, but she capsized to port and sank 12 miles off Oran in position 36°01'N, 00°33'W at about 04.00 hours on 22 December.

The Strathallan had 440 crew members, 26 gunners, 248 Queen Alexandra nurses and 4408 British and American troops (among them 296 officers, some possibly of the Headquarter staff of the 1st US Army) on board. Of this number, only 6 crew members and five troops were lost.

24 Feb 1943
HMS Brixham picks up 53 men from the American merchant Nathanael Greene that was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-565 about 40 nautical miles north-east of Oran in position 35°56'N, 00°05'E. Brixham took the Nathanael Greene in tow until the British rescue tug HMRT Restive took over at 21.00 hours and beached the vessel at Salamanda, four miles west of Mostaganem at 06.30 hours the next day.

27 Mar 1943
HMRT Restive (Lt. D.M. Richards, RNR) takes the British merchant City of Perth in tow and beach her south of Cape Figalo, Algeria. The ship had been torpedoed by the German U-boat U-77 the day before about 52 miles west of Oran in position 35°50’N, 01°41’W.

4 Jul 1943
HMRT Restive (Lt. D.M. Richards, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (K 78) pick up more than 300 survivors from City of Venice and St. Essylt that were sunk by the German U-boats U-409 and U-375 in the convoy KMS-18B off Cape Tenes, Algeria.


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