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RFA Darkdale

RFA Darkdale

The RFA Darkdale was a Dale-class fleet tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).

The vessel was built by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company of Scotstoun Glasgow, and launched on 23 July 1940 as the Empire Oil, completed in November 1940 and subsequently transferred to the RFA as Darkdale.

In August 1941 RFA Darkdale arrived at  Saint Helena as a fleet oiler fo the South Atlantic. on 22nd October1941 Darkdale was struck by four torpedoes fired by the German submarine U-68. Forty-one men were lost and two men on deck were blown clear and survived.Seven men, including the captain, were ashore. The lost crew are commemorated on the Cenotaph at Jamestown and at the Tower Hill Memorial in London.

Her wreck in James Bay off Jamestown, Saint Helena continued to leak oil, posing a potential environmental threat to the coastal waters of Saint Helena, until Ministry of Defence divers drained the ship's tanks in 2015.


The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Darkdale was bombed at St Helena in 1942. There were no survivors.


Title: RFA Darkdale
Record Type: Boats
Also Known As: Empire Oil
Date Launched: 23-07-1940
Registration: 165991
Record Maintained By: CEP
Subject Id: 52321