The Leaba-class Destroyer Tenders are one of the most underestimated ships in the history of the SDF-Navy, mainly because it didn't feature, what people usually associate with mighty warships. She neither had big guns, nor aircraft, not massive arrays of torpedo tubes... what she had were the workshops and facilities to support, supply and maintain a small division of torpedo boats or a flotilla of destroyers, including more tasking repair jobs.
In their time, the SDF-Navy built six of these vessels, Leaba, Imeall, Ámóg, Babhstar, Óstá and Féar, lovingly called Lilly, Imma, Amy, Baby, Osty and Fairy by her crews and the crews of the torpedo boats, mostly of the Reathaí-class, they worked with. Due to them being laid down in 1920, they were older then the Naval Armament Program of 1922, which they were a part of. Their armament could only be finalized following the introduction of the Alqatat Gunsmiths 20mm AA-Gun and its subsequent license production as the Gabha G-36 20mm Gun in 1930 and 1933 respectively.
A fourth vessel was built based on their design, SDFS Faoileán, a Seaplane Tender.
SDFS Imeall - The Queen of the Northern Islands
From the start of her career in 1921, this vessel built in Launceston was used in the Northern Island Area, with her homeport being Rua, the northernmost post of any SDF-Navy Vessel (and today homeport of the Northern Island Constabulary). She was the Naval Base there until there was a real one built in 1933-1936, securing these waters with the help of three torpedo boats from any danger. From the get-go, she was adapted to the climate, with her doors being small air-locks, heaters and other amenities, which other ships didn't receive. She was used in many cases to help ships in emergency situations and to supply communities, which no other ship would dare to set sail for.
In 1936, for the Opening of the Rua Port (to which a small Naval Base was attached almost as an afterthought), she participated in a Rally between vessels of the SDF-Navy and Freighters planned to reach that port, from Silverport to Rua over Conall Curach. While in second place, the leading vessel (a freighter named Mudskipper broke down. Imeall, and her crew, could easily have won the race, but instead decided to stop and aid the vessel, taking her under tow and finishing second to last. This earned her the title of the Queen of the Northern Islands (and Mudskipper a longer stay in the shipyard).
In 1940, she was refitted, but unlike her sisters, there was not a single AA-gun more, instead she lose her entire complement of six 20mm machine cannons for four 40mm AA-guns, loosing none of her capabilities.
Until her planned retirement in 1990, she participated in a number of operations, including the cover-operation for Operation Summer Sun during the Second Vellenge War in 1983.
When she on her last cruise, under tow, the Queen of the Northern Islands tore free of her ropes just north of the Arctic Circle in a storm, lost ever since. From time to time, sailors in the area report seeing her, cruising along the less-travelled routes for any vessel in emergency. Others say, that she is sunk by now.
Whichever is true, SDFS Imeall has a reputation as large as her sisters'.
SDFS Ámóg - Mommy Amy
The Amy was commissioned in 1922 and almost immediately send to support a division of torpedo boats in the waters of the Archipelago, where she had a long and mostly unassuming career in hunting down and destroying wanna-be-privateers with her boats, with much success. She was also used for training excercises, together with the cruiser Rhiannon, which escalated after a time.
On the 12th of June 1941, SDFS Rhiannon's main artillery fired live ammunition onto SDFS Ámóg, her shells overpenetrating and scarcely missing one of the torpedo storage rooms and the live torpedoes stored in there. This also ended the rivalry, both crews far too shocked to continue it.
Refitted in 1942 to carry more AA-armament and loosing some of her capabilities in that refit, she remained in service until 1991 - even participating in the Second Vellenge War, where she acted as a transport and repair workshop for the land-push of Operation Summer Sun. When she was put out of service, the legend goes, her first Captain stated, that the love of his life was going.
In 1965, she hit an uncharted rock heavily, damaging her keel, but not breaking it by miracle.
She was scuttled in the Archipelago's waters in 1995, she lies 25 metres of depth to develop a coral reef.
- Displacement: 13,000 tons full load
- Length (overall): 148 metres
- Width: 19.2 metres
- Draught: 7.4 metres
- Propulsion: Geared turbines
- Speed: 15 knots max
- Complement: 750 sailors and officers
- Armament: 6x Gabha G-36 20mm Guns, 1x 76mm gun
- Armour: None.
- Notes: Support ship, specialized in small watercraft
She was one of the first vessels of the SDF-Navy to be summoned and in her first battles against the Abyssals, the First Battle of Traverse, she was the flagship and petrified with fear against a much superior force of the enemy. She soiled herself and was relieved of command by one of the sloops, which later repelled the attacking force by imporovising slings for their depth charges.
A lot of time later, Amy was assigned to Operational Sector Wide Sea - South West, where she became a support ship and moral support. Her hobby of tinkering, mostly with toys, was known.
She retains her tan from her service on the Archipelago and had three scars on her: One on her stomach, one along her spine, one on the chest. She prefers one-piece swimsuits because of that.
Her uniform is the school uniform of Launceston's Claí High School, close to which she was built.