Surf class tanker

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RFA Surf Patrol, underway in 1956
Class overview
Name:Surf class tanker
Builders:Bartram & Sons
Operators:RFA Ensign Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Preceded by:Sprite class tanker
Succeeded by:Leaf class tanker
In commission:1951–1961
General characteristics Surf Patrol and Surf Pioneer
Type: Replenishment oiler
Displacement: 15,800 long tons (16,054 t)
Length: 496 ft (151 m)
Beam: 60 ft 6 in (18.44 m)
Draught: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Propulsion: Droxford 4 Cylinder Diesel engines
Speed: 13.75 knots (15.82 mph; 25.47 km/h)
General characteristics Surf Pilot
Displacement: 10,519 long tons (10,688 t)
Length: 153.8 ft (46.9 m) p/p
Beam: 20.1 ft (6.1 m)

The Surf class were a class of replenishment oilers taken up for service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, supporting the the Royal Navy during the Korean War. Two were commercial tankers under construction in British yards as the war began. A third ship was captured from in the Far East and brought into the RFA as Surf Pilot. She was never utilised however, and was laid up until being scrapped in 1960. The remaining two tankers were laid up at about this time, and were either sold or scrapped by 1970.


Two tankers, the Tatri and Beskidy were ordered by a Polish shipping company from the British shipbuilding firm of Bartram & Sons. They had been launched in early 1951 but with the outbreak of the Korean War the Royal Fleet Auxiliary purchased the Tatri and Beskidy on 14 July 1951, naming them Surf Patrol and Surf Pioneer respectively.[1] Meanwhile in April 1951 allied forces had captured a Korean tanker, the Yung Hao.[1] The Yung Hao had originally been built for Japanese owners in 1938, but had come under Korean ownership in 1947.[2] The Yung Hao was taken into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary as Surf Pilot, but was immediately laid up at Singapore.[1][3] She never saw active service with the RFA, though she remained on their lists until 1958, and was eventually scrapped at Singapore in 1960.[1][2]

Of the other two Surf class tankers, Surf Pioneer was withdrawn from active service in 1960 and was scrapped in 1970.[4] Surf Patrol was laid up from 1961, and was sold into commercial service in December 1969 as the Marisurf.[5] She continued in civilian service until being broken up in 1980.[2]


 Name   Pennant   Builder   Previous name   Launched   Acquired   Fate 
Surf Patrol A357 Bartram & Sons Tatri 7 February 1951 14 July 1951 Sold in December 1969
Surf Pioneer A365 Bartram & Sons Beskidy 23 April 1951 14 July 1951 Scrapped in 1970
Surf Pilot Harima Dock Co., Ltd. Yung Hao 1938 April 1951 Scrapped in 1960


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy, Vol. 2. p. 349. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 ""4045674"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. Retrieved 9 March 2009.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Miramar" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Olver. "Surf Class Tankers". Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  4. "RFA Surf Pioneer". Royal Fleet Auxiliary Historical Society. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  5. "RFA Surf Patrol". Royal Fleet Auxiliary Historical Society. Retrieved 9 March 2009.