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Esso Richmond (I) - (1940-1940)
     The ESSO RICHMOND, our Hull No. 370, first of three large twin-screw, 18 knot, national defense tankers for the Standard Oil Company, left the Yard at 4:07 A. M., April 18, 1940, for her official trials. Captain Roger Williams was in charge for the Yard and Captain Ness was in command.
The compasses were adjusted off Cape Henry, and, as standardization trials were required, the vessel headed up Chesapeake Bay to the measured-mile course at Kent Island. Enroute up the Bay the official six-hour, full-power economy and endurance trial was held. The ahead and astern steering tests and the anchor Windlass tests were then made before anchoring for the night near
the course.
     The vessel Was underway early the next morning for the standardization trials. Three runs over the course at each of five speeds were satisfactorily completed by 1 :00 P. M. The average speed for the three high-speed runs was 19.11 knots. The maximum speed over the course was 19.2 knots at about 15,875 S. H. P. The contract speed requirement was met with a comfortable margin. The U. S. Maritime Commission Trial Board was taken ashore by a launch from the U. S. Naval Academy. All trials and tests being satisfactorily completed, the vessel proceeded towards the Shipyard. About 5:30 P. M. thick fog set in, and the vessel had to anchor for the night.
     About 7:00 A. M. the next morning, April 20, the fog was lifting and the vessel was again underway. Cape Henry was passed at 9 :34 A. M. and at noon the vessel was secure at the pier. As soon as possible after arrival at the Yard, all trial-trip equipment was taken off and the vessel delivered to the Owners, sailing at about 5:00 P. M.

Source : NEWPORT NEWS SHIPYARD BULLETIN, NMay, 1940. ( Thanks to S. Dale Hargrave )