Anglo-American Oil Company

A place for any requests for help and information in tracing relatives, ships, etc
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Anglo-American Oil Company

Post by mcmahos » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:17 pm

I have received an email from Tony Hall with some anecdotes and photos from his research into his late father's history. He thought they may be of interest to members.
It's amazing to see what strange links and odd encounters communicating in public spaces can lead to as my chance visit to Clyde Maritime revealed (Original article is here: While Googling for information about The Standard Oil Company of New Jersey I found a listing that said, “The first ships of the Anglo-American Oil Company (A.A.O.C. Ltd) were both Clyde-built.” This aroused thoughts of my late father who was a merchant seaman employed by the A.A.O.C. Ltd and served on three of their ships. So it was a nice surprise to find these coastal steamers on the ClydeMaritime website and I wondered if I could share some history with photos and documents that came to light after he passed away in 1993.

In 2003 I discovered the website and contacted the owner Gordon Tumber who was excited to hear that my father passed through Gravesend Sea School on the 1st December 1924 to embark on a career at sea in the Merchant Navy. I told him about the photos and documents and between us we pieced together the story of his continuous A.A.O.C. Ltd employment on these ships from 1925-1940. Gordon also asked permission to include the story of the unbelievable works of art he imagined and created on board the S.S Eastwick during the 1930s. The link to the story is at: ... ckhall.htm

Moving forward a few years Auke Visser requested permission to add some of my photos and documents to his Esso UK Tanker’s site. The ships my father sailed on and the dates can be viewed here: M.V. Juniata 1925-1931 S.S. Osceola 1931-1932 (built in 1897 by D. J. Dunlop & Coy, Port Glasgow.) S.S Eastwick 1932-1940

In 2007 completely out of the blue I received an email from Allan Besant who lives in the Orkney Islands. He told me he was doing the history of the Juniata as a tanker and as a block ship at Scapa Flow in the Second World War. He asked me for permission to use my picture of her as when completed he wanted to give it to the Orkney Archive dept in Kirkwall. I readily agreed. And get this; in return he emailed some photos of the S.S. JUNIATA where the fore part lies to this day in Inganess Bay! My father was on this ship for six years and here I was staring at her in disbelief more than 80 years after he signed on. See attached photos.

I have started to upload some additional and improved quality A.A.O.C. Ltd photos as well as some new digital photos, potted history and videos of my father’s masterpieces. My flickr photostream at: Page 1 & 2

The photo on the above site with my father in Royal Navy uniform I found in an envelope with a scribbled note where he said, (abbrev) “I was C.P.O. Bo ‘sun aboard Hull, Rescue Tug Saucy. The Saucy and fellow tug H.M.R.T Lariat left Hvalfjord, Iceland in August 1944. The Lariat lost a seaman 5 days out, he was killed by the tow rope after a guy rope parted.” The mystery unravelled when I opened a tattered cutting held together with brown tape from The People newspaper. The article told of a tow that nearly ended in disaster. It said, “For 10 days and nights, in great seas and a raging gale, two small rescue tugs, the Saucy and the Lariat, towed a 2,750-ton floating dock in the Atlantic. Tow-ropes parted in giant seas and U – boats were near, but the little tugs stuck to their job.”

I was curious and dug deeper to see if I could find out more about the tow. In brief, an internet search linked me to and to my amazement the daughter (now deceased) of one of the crew on the floating dock was also looking for information to piece together as she called it “this epic voyage.” She discovered the tugs mission was to deliver the floating dock to Sydney and sent me an Australian newspaper cutting that said after a voyage of 16,000 miles lasting nine months the floating dock arrived in Cockatoo Bay. “The longest ocean tow in history.”

To finish with a couple of Scotland connections I can relate too; one of my father’s Certificates of Discharge says, M.V. Juniata -- Place of Discharge Aberdeen, 30/6/29. His very last Certificate of Discharge when he left the employment of A.A.O.C. Ltd says, S.S. Eastwick -- Place of discharge Bowling Glasgow, 20/7/40. I am guessing here, but would this be the nearest port the Eastwick was allowed to dock for him to travel to Campbeltown to sign on to Deep Sea Rescue Tugs?

Thanks for listening, I hope you think this is worthy of bringing to the attention of ClydeMaritime.
S.S. Juniata Wreck in Inganess Bay,   Orkney Isles Starboard Side.jpg
SS Juniata - Scapa Flow
S.S. Juniata Wreck in Inganess Bay,   Orkney Isles.jpg
SS Juniata - Scapa Flow
S.S. Juniata wreck in Inganess Bay, Orkney Isles. JUNIATA 1918 021 Port Side.jpg
SS Juniata - Scapa Flow
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