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Esso Camden
SS Esso Camden
    On the night of June 5, 1944 a mighty armada of fighting ships and transports set out across the English Channel for operation overlord, the invasion of Normandy, which was to begin at 6:30 a.m. the next day. At home the shipyards were working at top speed to supply the urgent demands of the Allied nations for ships and more ships.
    On this same June 5 the Esso Camden, fifth of a group of eight new turbo-electric tankers to be completed and added to the Esso fleet in 1944, wasdelivered by her builders. On June 10 she began her maiden voyage when she sailed from Chester, Pennsylvania, for Galveston with Captain John B. Petterson in command and Chief Engineer Andrew E. Lar son in charge of her engineroom.

Short - But Effective - War Service
    The wartime career of the new Esso Camden lasted less than fifteen months. However, in this relatively short period the new tanker contributed a variety of important service. She was placed on the transatlantic run from the outset; her first cargo - 127,073
barrels of aviation fuel loaded at Baytown - was discharged at Dunglass, Scotland, near Bowling, on the Clyde. This was the first of ten consecutive deliveries made across the Atlantic in the vessel's first year of operation - an unusually good record of efficiency
considering the necessity for a convoy system, weather, and many other factors which delayed shipping on the North Atlantic run in wartime. Besides Dunglass, the Esso Camden visited Avonmouth, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Milford Haven in the United Kingdom; Naples and Taranto, Italy; Augusta, Sicily; Casablanca, North Africa; and Gibraltar. As a rule she carried deck cargoes of planes and other war materiel on these voyages.
    The Esso Camden left Aruba on June 19, 1945 for her only wartime voyage in the Pacific. Passing through the Panama Canal she touched first at Homonhon Island, in Leyte Gull, for orders, then  proceeded to Manila to discharge part cargo. The remainder of her cargo was pumped through the submarine hose laid off Okinawa. The Esso Camden stopped for bunkers and orders at Ulithi, whence she sailed August 27. On V-J Day, September 2, 1945, she was en route to Balboa.

    The wartime transportation record of the Esso Camden was in summary as follows:


    The SS Esso Camden was built in 1944 by the Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company at Chester, Penna. She is a sistership of the Esso Memphis, Esso New Haven, Esso Portland, Esso Roanoke, Esso Scranton, Esso Springfield, and Esso Utica.
    A single-screw vessel of 16,625 deadweight tons capacity on international .summer draft of 30 feet, 2 inches, the Esso Camden has an overall length of 523 feet, 6 inches, a length between perpendiculars of 503 feet, a moulded breadth of 68 feet, and a depthmoulded of 39 feet, 3 inches. With a cargo carrying capacity of 138,335 barrels, she has an assigned pumping rate of 7,000 barrels an hour.
    Her turbo-electric engine, supplied with steam by two water-tube boilers, develops 7,240 shaft horse power and gives her a classification certified speed of 14.6 knots.

    The masters of the Esso Camden during the war years were Captains John B. Petterson and Carden Dwyer.
    In charge of her engineroom for the same period were Chief Engineers Aubrey G. Allen and Andrew E. Larson.