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Mobil Tankers
Birkenhead - (1921-1944)
 "Birkenhead" during WW2, outbound, July 21st, 1943.
(Photo US Coast Guard)
( Photo Collection John Curdy )

Source : Pacific Marine Review, Volume 18, December, 1921.
Birkenhead, hull 166, tanker for Vacuum Oil Co; 425 LBP; 57 beam; 26-3 loaded draft; 10,100 DWT; rec engs; 3 Scotch marine boilers, 15-2x 12; keel Dec 9/20; launch Julv 9/21; deliver Oct 26 21.

LOA 438 ' 6 ", Beam 57 ', Depth 33 ' 10,698 DWT, 82,087 bbls. Triple expansion engine 51" stroke.
Birkenhead is a sister of the Vacuum and the Cargoyle.
Built 1921 at Moore's Shipbuilding Company, Oakland, California, for Vacuum. Entered Socony's fleet by merger in 1931. This ship was named after a Vacuum Oil plant in England.
With the exception of two offshore voyages in 1938, one to Italy and one to France, Birkenhead served as a Gulf Stream regular along the US east coast. She was in mothballs for a brief spell in 1939, but was reactiva-ted upon the outbreak of WWII in Europe.
On US entry into the conflict, Birkenhead was exposed to - but escaped - the German U-boat assault of early 1942.
She was requisitioned by WSA, and later accepted by the government in a six-old-for-three-new barter in October 1943.
Under government ownership birkenhead was sent to the Pacific, and at Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, she was put into  uniform by the Navy. Her name was changed to USS Antona, and she served as a station tank-er and mobile refuelling unit,  keeping pace with the combatant fleet all the way to Okinawa. At the end of her career as USS Antona, the records showed that she had delivered 48,360,186 gallons of fuel oil to 591 ships of every description. After the war Antona, nee Birkenhead, was commended by the Navy as having "served admirably and done her duty in the best Navy tradition".

Additional information Starke & Schell registers :

BIRKENHEAD - 1921   USA    1T (aft)     (10¾)
6,960 grt for Vacuum Oil Co., Inc., New York,  425.0 x 57.2
Tanker built by Moore SB. Co., Oakland, Calif.  (10),   #166, 221700
1931 - Standard Vacuum Transportation Co., Inc., New York
1935 - Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., Inc., New York
1944 - U. S. War Shipping Administration, New York
5/1944 - ANTONA,  U. S. Navy  (IX-133)   station tanker
5/1946 - BIRKENHEAD, U. S. War Shipping Administration, New York
Broken up at Oakland, Calif., 4th quarter 1947 by Kaiser Co.

Additional information :

Mobile Floating Station Tanker:
The tanker Birkenhead, was built in 1921 at Moore Shipbuilding Co., Oakland, CA.;
Acquired by the US Navy and commissioned, USS Antona (IX-133), 4 May 1944, at Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands;
Decommissioned, 3 May 1946, at San Francisco, CA., and delivered to the War Shipping
Administration the same day for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.;
Struck from the Naval Register, 21 March 1946;
Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in 1947.
Displacement 4,343 t.(lt);
Length 438' 6";
Beam 57':
Draft 27' 4";
Speed 10.5 kts;
Complement 61;
Armament, one 4" gun mount, one 3"/50 gun mount;
Propulsion, unknown, single propeller.