RAFA Tide Austral
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Fleet Tanker
Musgrave Yard
Slip Number
Launch Date
September 1, 1954
Launched By
Mrs J B Foley
May 17, 1955
Royal Australian Navy
13165 grt
BP Length
550 feet
71 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
17 knots
Double Reduction (D.R.) Geared Turbines
Official No.
 RAFA Tide Austral

Pennant No: A99 / AO 195 / O 195 / A195
Laid Down: 5th August 1952.
Armament (Main): 6 40/60mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in two Twin and two Single mountings.
The tanker was operated by the British Admiralty with a civilian crew as a Royal Fleet Auxiliary under the name Tide Austral from 1955 to 1962. Her service under Admiralty control included various charter periods including two years (1956-58) when she was employed at the Admiralty's discretion, operating in direct payment of a debt incurred for the taking over of Shell Tankers Ltd building berths.
In 1962 the Naval Board decided to add Tide Austral to the Australian Fleet and to commission her, contrary to the Royal Navy's practice with oilers, as a White ensign vessel manned by a naval crew.
She commissioned (as HMAS Tide Austral) at Southampton on 15th August 1962 under the command of Captain Geoffrey V. Gladstone, DSC and Bar, RAN.
At a ceremony at Portsmouth on 7th September 1962 the ship was renamed Supply by Mrs O.H. Becher, wife of Rear-Admiral Otto H. Becher, CBE, DSO, DSC and Bar, Australian Naval Representative, United Kingdom.
Supply sailed from Portsmouth on 1st October 1962 bound for Sydney, where she arrived on 6th December 1962. Since joining the Australian Fleet Supply has served as a Fleet Oiler during exercises and training operations, mainly in Australian and New Guinea waters and in the Far East. She underwent a long refit from December 1970 to November 1971. The ship participated in an exercise at Pearl Harbour in September 1972, in which ships of the RAN, USN, US Coastguard, Canadian Armed Forces and RNZN took part.
In February 1973 HMA Ships Perth, Derwent and Supply were constituted as a Task Group to make a goodwill cruise of a number of countries bordering the Indian Ocean. After visits by the Task Group to Port Louis, Mauritius and Mombassa, Kenya, Supply detached on 16th March. After visiting Port Victoria, Mahe Island in the Seychelles Group the ship returned to Australia. During July and August 1973 Supply supported the RNZN frigates Otago and Canterbury (the latter after she had relieved Otago) which observed the French nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll.
16th December 1985 finally paid off. During her service with the Royal Australian Navy covered 667,421 nmiles
13th January 1987 left Sydney in tow of the Dutch tug Smit Lloyd 109 bound Kaohsiung for breaking up in Taiwan
February 1987 arrived at Kaohsiung for breaking