RFA Bayleaf (A109)

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For other ships with the same name, see RFA Bayleaf.
RFA Bayleaf
RFA Ensign
Name: RFA Bayleaf
Builder: Cammell Laird, Birkenhead
Laid down: 1975
Launched: 27 October 1981
Completed: 25 March 1982
Commissioned: 26 March 1982
Decommissioned: 20 April 2011
Honours and
  • Falkland Islands 1982
  • Kuwait 1991
  • Al Faw 2003
Status: decommissioned
General characteristics
Class and type: Leaf class support tanker
Displacement: 37,390 t (36,799 long tons)
Length: 170.7 m (560 ft 0 in)
Beam: 25.9 m (85 ft 0 in)
Draught: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 56
Aircraft carried: None

RFA Bayleaf (A109) was a Leaf-class support tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.


Bayleaf was one of four ships ordered from Cammell Laird at Birkenhead in 1973, and laid down in 1975 as the Hudson Sound. When the ordering company ran into financial difficulties, the ships were laid up, and later were offered for sale or charter. The ship was finally launched on 27 October 1981, and when completed on 25 March 1982 she was then bareboat chartered to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and renamed Bayleaf.[1]

Service history[edit]

She was almost immediately put into active service, and sailed to Gibraltar and Ascension Island en route for service in "Operation Corporate" – the Falklands War – in company with HMS Intrepid. She arrived in the Total Exclusion Zone on 9 June 1982, finally returning to Devonport on 31 August.[1]

In January 1991 she sailed from the UK to relieve RFA Orangeleaf during "Operation Granby" – the First Gulf War.[1]

On 1 March 1997 she collided with the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia while carrying out a replenishment at sea (RAS) off Karachi.[1]

In 2001 Bayleaf was purchased outright by the MoD.[1]

RFA Bayleaf (left) with USS Carter Hall (right) in 2006

From January 2003 to April 2003 she was deployed for "Operation Telic" – the Second Gulf War.[1]

Following the reductions to the Royal Navy fleet outlined in the 2010 "Strategic Defence and Security Review" it was decided that Bayleaf would be paid off in April 2011.[2] The RFA Ensign was scheduled to be lowered for the final time on 20 April 2011 at HMNB Devonport.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f White, Christopher J.; Robinson, Peter (2011). "RFA Bayleaf". historicalrfa.org. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Padley, Peter (2011). "More Vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary". hmforces.co.uk. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Navy News (22 March 2011). "Trusty tanker Bayleaf bows out". Retrieved 27 March 2011.