RFA Retainer

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RFA EnsignUnited Kingdom
Laid down11 October 1948
Launched19 January 1950
CommissionedJuly 1954
DecommissionedApril 1978
IdentificationIMO number5293470
FateDemolished at Barcelona on 29 October 1979
General characteristics
Displacement14,400 tons full load
Length477 ft 2 in (145 m)
Beam62 ft 2 in (19 m)
Draught25 ft .75 in (8 m)
Propulsion6-cylinder Scott-Doxford diesel engine
Speed15 knots
Aircraft carriedFitted with a small landing platform

RFA Retainer (A329) was an armament support ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Built by Scotts of Greenock as Chungking, a cargo/passenger liner for the China Navigation Co. Both Chungking and her sister vessel Changchow (later RFA Resurgent lost their initial purpose due to the Communist revolution. Chartered for a year and a half to the French Messageries Maritimes, they were purchased by the British Admiralty in 1952.[1]

In 1959, Retainer was used with the missile trials ship HMS Girdle Ness for trials of replenishment at sea with the new Seaslug missile.[2]


  1. ^ "Le paquebot Chungking, futur Retainer, affrété par les Messageries Maritimes". messageries-maritimes.org (in French).
  2. ^ "Seaslug transfer". RFA Nostalgia. 1959. Imperial War Museum A 34233.