Allied Warships

HMS Oriana (W 117)

Rescue Tug of the Favourite class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeRescue Tug
PennantW 117 
Built byGulfport Shipbuilding Co. (Port Arthur, Texas, U.S.A.) 
Laid down 
Launched15 Aug 1942 
Commissioned22 Dec 1942 
End service 

Returned to the US Navy in 1946 and sold into mercantile service being renamed Ocean Pride
Renamed Pan America in 1947
Renamed Zeeland in 1956

Former nameBAT-1

We don't have any commands listed for HMS Oriana (W 117)

You can help improve this page
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Oriana include:

25 Mar 1943

Passage of floating dock AFD 24 from Trinidad to Freetown.

On 25 March 1943, the dock in tow of the tugs HMS Frisky and HMS Zwarte Zee departed Trinidad. Escort was provided by the sloop HMS Milford (Lt.Cdr. G. MacClelland, RN), corvettes HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR), HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR) and the ASW trawlers HMS Morris Dance (T/Lt. S.A. MacKechnie, RNVR) and HMS Yestor (Lt. R.C. Holt, RNVR). A third tug was also present as stand by tug, this was HMS Oriana.

On 1 April 1943, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN) and the corvette HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR) departed Trinidad to overtake and join the 'convoy'. HMS Alcantara was to fuel the oil firing sloop and corvettes at sea during the passage to Freetown. The coal firing trawlers were to coal in Brazilian ports.

On 24 April 1943, the corvette HMS Snowdrop (Lt. P.A. Tinne, RNVR) and the motor launches HMS ML 296 (T/Lt. R.C. Breckenridge, RCNVR), HMS ML 289 (?), HMS ML 287 (T/Lt. J.B. Bramwell, RNVR), HMS ML 281 (T/Lt. P.S. Castle, RNVR), HMS ML 266 (T/Lt. D.R. Beverley, RCNVR) and HMS ML 209 (T/Lt. A.M.C. Scott, RNVR) departed freetown to make rendezvous with the convoy which did at 1130Z/26. ML 281 had however returned to Freetown on the 26th after having been detached due to a defective Asdic installation.

On 27 April 1943, the A/S yacht HMS Virginia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Dobson, RNR) and corvettes HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. A.G. Scott, RNR) and HMS Thyme (Lt. H. Roach, RNR) departed Freetown to join the convoy which they did early in the evening of the same day.

The dock and it's escorts arrived at Freetown on 28 April 1943.

16 Jul 1943
At 0617B/16, HMS Cleopatra (Capt. J.F. Stevens, RN) was torpedoed amidships and heavily damaged off Sicily in position 37°06'N, 16°04'E by the Italian submarine Alagi.

HMS Cleopatra was part of ' Force Q ' at that time together with her sister ship HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN). They had been operating east of Sicily during the night.

At 0920B/16, HMS Cleopatra was joined by the tug HMS Oriana.

At 0940B/16, the escort destroyer HMS Eggesford (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN) and minesweepers HMS Poole (Lt. W.L.G. Dutton, RNR) and HMS Seaham (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Brett, RNR) joined as A/S screen.

HMS Euryalus, HMS Quilliam and HMS Quail remained with HMS Cleopatra until about 1530B/16 when they set course to proceed to Malta arriving around 1645B/16. Around the same time the Oriana parted company to return to Syracuse.

HMS Cleopatra limped into Malta around 1800B/16.

One officer and twenty-one ratrings were killed in the attack.

16 Sep 1943
Around 0530 hours, HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 3 Bars, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN) and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), returned to the assault area.

HMS Valiant took up a bombarding position off the northern beaches while HMS Warspite went to the same position as on the previous day. Once again HMS Valiant had great difficulty in obtaining contact with her forward observer and it was not until 1648 hours that she was able to open fire on the Nocera area. She ceased fire at 1728 hours having fired 19 rounds. She retired from the area at dusk screened by the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN). They eventually went to Augusta arriving there on the 17th.

Meanwhile HMS Warpite had sustained a heavy air attack. She had difficulty owing to enemy jamming in communicating with her F.O. but eventually opened fire at 1309 hours on ammunition dumps and traffic concentration near Altaville. 32 rounds were fired of which half landed dead on the target and 8 within 100 yards of it.

At 1410 hours, HMS Warspite was proceeding towards the northern area for further bombardment when she was attacked by about 10 FW 190's one of which was shot down. Immediately afterwards, three remote-controlled bombs were sighted almost overhead at 6000 to 8000 feet, their parent aircraft being at 20000 feet. No radar report of their presence had been received. The bombs dived vertically on to the ship which could take no avoiding action in this congested area. Two of the bombs near missed the ship but one hit the ship penetrating into No.4 boiler room where it burst. The concussion was terrific, five of the ships boiler rooms were flooded almost at once, though the ship was able to proceed at slow speed on the starboard engines until about 1500 hours when the last boiler room filled with water and all steam failed.

The USN tugs USS Hopi and USS Moreno arrived quickly on the spot and had the ship in tow by 1700 hours. Speed was 4 knots. Escort was now provided by the AA cruiser HMS Delhi (Capt. A.T.G.C. Peachey, RN) and the destroyers HMS Panther, HMS Pathfinder and escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Hamilton, RN) and ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski).

At 1930 hours the light cruisers HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) joined them with HMS Euryalus taking over the tow with the intention to leave the area at a higher speed. However the cable parted and the USN again took the damaged battleship in tow. To everyone's surprise, in spite of a night of full moonlight, no air attacks were made by the enemy. In the morning, Spitfires arrived to give fighter cover, followed by two more tugs, HMS Nimble, HMS Oriana and the salvage vessel HMS Salveda. Around 2300 hours, another tug, USS Narragansett joined just as HMS Warspite was to enter the straits of Messina. It took the Warspite five hours to negotiate the Straits due to the strong current. She finally arrived safely at Malta around 0800 hours on 19 September. HMS Euryalus, HMS Scylla had parted company around 1030B/18 and arrived at Bizerta around 0145B/19. (1)


  1. ADM 234/358

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

Return to the Allied Warships section