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Esso New Orleans (3) - (1965-1973)
"Esso New Orleans (3) Launched
Skillful Spalsh Triggers Tempestuous Tiger
    The tempestuous tiger referred to in the headline and gracing the cover of this publication is the newest vessel in the ever-growing fleet of Newport News-built tankers — the Esso New Orleans.

The third "Esso New Orleans" awaits to be christened.

    The giant ship (she and her recently-delivered sister ship, Esso Houston, are the biggest tankers ever built here) slid smoothly down her Shipway 9 birth-place a few seconds after 10:45 a.m. on January 23.

Champagne spray showered the sponsor as she followed through after delivering a perfect strike to Humble's newest tiger.

    Administering the traditional bottle-smashing honors was Mrs. J.K. Jamieson, wife of the Executive Vice President and Director of the Standard Oil Company of N.J. She and her Maid of Honor, daughter Anne, formed an attractive team for the occasion.
    Fifty-eight degree temperatures and sunny Peninsula skies spelled perfect christening weather for the 81st tanker to be launched here. It was pleasant relief from the frigid weather and snow which menaced the area earlier in the week.
    A good crowd of Peninsula residents turned out for the christening and several Yard employees brought their children to view daddy's latest handiwork.
    President Holden introduced the Sponsor and Maid of Honor. Linking the protruding bow of the ship with a current Humble Oil advertising theme, he quipped that the "tigers in the tank were going to be kept there."
    An atmosphere of gaiety was present on the stand as ofhcials of the Yard, guests from Humble and others stood on the platform anticipating the big moment.
    The traditional whistles sounded — first a warning whistle, then another 20 seconds later, and finally a third. Mrs. Jamieson responded beautifully on the third whistle as she crashed the netted and ribbonspangled bottle into the tanker's bow.
    The crowd was in for a big surprise as the big ship moved quickly away from the stand and down the building way. A realistic tiger head painted on wood raised from the deck of the ship and flashing a contented smile and wary eye as he looked over the bow.
    A black and orange tiget’s tail 35 feet long curled slowly out of the port hawsepipe and down the side of the ship. As this was happening, the roaring sound of a hungry tiger boomed out over the public address loudspeakers. That tiger roar was furnished by D.L. Newman of the Shipwrights Department.

The waters of the James River greet their newest resident — a tigerinfested tanker !

    The surprise appearance of the tiger added a perfect finishing touch to the smooth ceremony.
    A post-launching luncheon was held at the James River Country Club and the tiger motif was effectively carried out there with the appearance of stuffed tigers as table decorations.
    Mrs. Carl F. Reistle, Sponsor of the Esso Houston last September, and her husband witnessed the Esso New Orleans launching. He is Chairman of the Board of The Humble Oil & Refining Company. A number of other officials of Standard Oil of N.J. and Humble were also present with their wives as they welcomed another ship to the fleet.
    The Esso New Orleans and her sister ship include many features in their design which will contribute to more efficient and economical operation. The most outstanding operational features of the ships are that each contains one automated boiler, contrasted with the two boilers found on most ships.
    The two tankers will be the largest in the Esso American Flag Fleet of 19 ships. With their reduced construction costs and efficiency of operation, Humble officials are hopeful that the ships will offer a challenge to the tanker’s chief competitor — the Texas to New Jersey pipeline.

The sponsor and her party paused for a picture before the christening ritual began. From left are Mrs. D.A. Holden; Mrs. Carl F. Reistle, who christened the Esso Houston; Miss Anne Jamieson, Maid of Honor; Mrs. J.K. Jamieson, Sponsor; John L. Jarnieson, father-in-law of the Sponsor, Company President D.A. Holden; J.K. Jamieson, Executive Vice President of Standard Oil of N.J.,and Carl F. Reistle, Chairman of the Board of Humble.

    The new Esso New Orleans is the third ship of the Esso Fleet to bear the name. The first was converted into a baby flattop during World War II after making 62 voyages as a merchant vessel. The second vessel to carry the name served as a merchant ship but she also made 84 wartime voyages. The ship was sold by Esso in 1961 and later jumboized and converted into a trailer-carrying ship.
    The Esso Houston was delivered to her owners on December 11, 1964, and she is now serving Coastwise ports between the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast. The Esso New Orleans is scheduled for delivery in early spring.
    Humble's newest tiger is now at a southside pier undergoing final outfitting operations.

Mother and daughter smiled for the photographer as they prepared for the big moment.
Source : NEWPORT NEWS SHIPYARD BULLETIN, January, 1965. ( Thanks to S. Dale Hargrave )