eagle oil

jim brindley
9th May 2007, 10:40
ages ago was a.b on tanker san ciprieno spelt it wrong .but near enough for any body who knws . she was eagle oil ship . and we went to venezuela .wonder if the company still excists .old sinner jim in oz

9th May 2007, 13:06
Eagle Oil merged with Shell Tankers in 1959.
San Cipriano built in 1937 by Blythswood Shipbuilding Co. (Yard No, 45), Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland for the Eagle Oil Company, London. She was scrapped 16/12/1954, Briton Ferry, Glamorgan, Wales.
Official Number 165480, 7966 Gross Tons.
Single screw, 3,300 H.p., 8 Cylinder diesel engine by J. G. Kincaid & Co Ltd., Greenock.

Photo of her on Helderline site

jim brindley
10th May 2007, 02:48
thanks stevecz for info, jim

17th May 2007, 20:35
ages ago was a.b on tanker san ciprieno spelt it wrong .but near enough for any body who knws . she was eagle oil ship . and we went to venezuela .wonder if the company still excists .old sinner jim in oz

When I was with ( JOE ) Shell 1967 - 1976 I sailed on a few ex. Eagle boats,
I got the Electricians cabin as 3rd Engineer as Shell did not carry Electricians!

Alanengineer (==D)

stan mayes
1st June 2007, 01:17
SAN ROBERTO - On her last legs !!I
I made the final voyage in this old tanker..It was to be a 6 weeks trip - Trinidad and home,but it seems that Eagle Oil Co had other plans,get as much as possible from her then dump her in the scrap yard..
I joined at Purfleet on 20th December 1948 and paid off at the breakers yard in Blyth on 15th November 1949...Captain Wigham - Ch.Officer Guy ..
Preparing to sail after we joined,an engine problem caused us to be delayed for repairs..As the days passed a strong rumour circulated that the engineers had fixed it so we would have Christmas alongside ...
This rumour was dispelled at midday on Christmas Eve when we were told to standby fore and aft,we are sailing...
We went to Curacaoand loaded fuel oil,and that was the first of 27 cargoes that SAN ROBERTO loaded during the next eleven months.
To Las Palmas - Dakar -New York and Cape Verde Isles then to Caribbean ports of Kingston - San Juan -Ponce -Port au Prince -Cristobal -Havana -Limon.. 3 and some 4 times ...Also took four cargoes of crude on mosquito run - Maracaibo lake to Aruba...
SAN ROBERTO was 28 years old and showed it..We left a trail of oil all over the ocean from leaking rivets and our first job when berthed in a port was over the side and caulking rivets...
When sailing from Las Palmas we dropped both anchors in an emergency to avoid a collision with a Swedish ship CALIFORNIA... The gipsies on the windlass disintegrated with the shock and we remained there for ten days awaiting spare parts from the UK...
We were at St Vincent Cape Verde Isles 13th to 18th March 1949 and after sailing we found two young stowaways and they remained with the ship more than six months.One worked on deck and the other in engine room..We paid them to do our dhobi .The Chief Steward gave them a mattress and blankets and they slept in the stewards alleyway aft..The accomodation for seamen and firemen was for'ard and our washing facilities was a galvanised bucket...
The stowaways enjoyed shore leave with us and finally left the ship in Aruba at the request of Captain Wigham when he told them that they would cause problems for him if he took them to the UK...
We discharged our final cargo at Ghent - laid there a few days while prospective buyers inspected her,but she was beyond commercial use so we sailed her accross the North Sea for the last time,arriving at Blyth on 15th November 1949...

stan mayes
1st June 2007, 12:33
SAN ROBERTO Built 1922 by Armstrong Whitworth at Walker on Tyne..
This tanker had an eventful war record..for much of that time she was commanded by Captain C.Allison OBE and was employed on East Coast carrying petrol from Grangemouth to Purfleet and delivered one million tons...
She suffered damage on two occasions during air attacks on the East Coast.
On 10th May 1941 a bomb struck the topmast and exploded in the air,the tailfin of the bomb was left embedded in the mast..two other bombs struck the side of the ship which was in ballast -fortunately there were no casualties..
On 20 July 1941 again attacked by aircraft-- four near misses but the fifth bomb penetrated the Chief Engineers cabin without exploding and passed through a bulkhead coming to rest on the deck..
On New Years Day 1945 SAN ROBERTO was at anchor in River Scheldt awaiting a berth in Antwerp.. Many German aircraft attacked the ships and one of them an ME 109 was hit by Oerlikon shells from SAN ROBERTO and crashed onto the riverbank...I was witness to this incident from the tanker EMPIRE UNITY as we passed her..
I am now in correspondence with the 3rd Officer of SAN ROBERTO at that time...
During WW2 the Eagle Oil Co lost 16 ships to enemy action with 7 seriously damaged...

1st June 2007, 13:41
Amazing stories Stan, keep them coming.
Would the "Ohio" count as No, 17 ship lost as I believe she was manned by an Eagle Oil Crew?

stan mayes
1st June 2007, 17:25
Thankyou Stevecz,
The losses are company owned ships and do not include managed or chartered ships..
The losses were SAN - -ALBERTO -ALVARO -ARCADIO -CALISTO -CASIMIRO - CONRADO - DELFINO - DEMETRIO survived the JERVIS BAY convoy attack on 5th November 1940 but sunk later by a U Boat on 17th March 1942 --EMILIANO - ERNESTO - FABIAN - FERNANDO - FLORENTINO - GERARDO - TIBERCIO - VICTORIO on maiden voyage was sunk by U 155.on 17th June 1942 ,a DEMS gunner was the only survivor from crew of 52... The same U 155 sank SAN EMILIANO on 9th August 1942,only 7 survivors from crew of 51.
Eight of my pals and shipmates died in this tragic incident...

1st June 2007, 18:59
Stan your comments are a pleasure to read and factual as well. Have followed all your threads with extreme interest. No doubt we shall see more in the future. Regards.

1st June 2007, 21:47
I have been reading the input regards The Eagle Oil Co and in particular Stans account of the “San Roberto”

Although there is no official documentation, or recognition of any loss of life aboard the vessel as a consequence of enemy action. During the May1941 attack

My research on family members all of which were “Eagle Oil” men.(4) Shows that Herbert Clark 3rd Engineer aboard the “San Roberto” died of Angina pectoris a few weeks (5th July 1941) after the bombing on the 10th May 1941 brought about as a result of the ordeal. Cyril Allison Master and several others certified and signed the log that he hadn’t suffered from any problems previously.

I believe that the carpenter received a wound to the leg as well but nothing serious

All the documentation has been submitted to CWGC, but unable to get the CWGC to recognise that he was a war casualty and will not erect a memorial stone in South Shields Harton Cemetery or maintain his grave

Attached are copies of the log


mac 1
7th November 2013, 00:13
Hi all.
Some of the old posts on this company make compelling reading.I read an article about a little tanker launched for them in Warrenpoint N Ireland in 1946 named either "Petionave" or "Petronave".
Seaman Thomas Raymond Kelly from Newry apparently joined her for a trip to Brazil and apparently she was to be based in South America.Seaman Kelly was later lost from SS Empire Plover and awarded the George Cross and Lloyds medal for Meritorious Service.He drowned in the Bay Of Biscay in March 1947 rescuing passengers and crew of the stricken SS Famagusta.
Can anyone shed any light on the little tanker?Also whilst the award of Seaman Kellys GC is well documented I haven't seen any information on his Lloyds award although I have seen both medals.As always I look forward to hearing from you all.

stan mayes
7th November 2013, 12:45
Hi Mac,
I have the fortunate experience of NOT having sailed in the Famagusta...
Early 1947 I was on suspension from Tilbury shipping office for refusing to sail in the small tanker Atheltarn....I was told that a coaster at Chatham wanted a crew so I went there arriving midday.The Master told me the ship would be signing on at 2pm so I went to a local pub to pass the time.
I met an old shipmate and we went to another pub and I got back to the Famagusta at 3pm...The Master told me he had sent for a replacement and did not want me...it was Fate!
Famagusta had just been converted to cargo carrying from a WW2 landing craft - LCT 430.. She traded on the coast for a while then early March went to Dagenham and loaded 8 lorries and 2 vans and sailed 14th March 1947 for Cyprus....Loaded draft 4 feet forward and 6 feet aft..
On 19th March she was in distress in Bay of Biscay and sent an SOS which was received by the old London Greek tramp Empire Plover which changed course toward the Famagusta..
Through constant pitching into head seas water had entered a forward compartment and disabled the bilge pump and ballast pump..
A lifeboat was launched but capsized and the five occupants were drowned.
Empire Plover rescued five crew but the 2nd Engineer was crushed when the ships came together.
AB Kelly dived into the sea and rescued two crew and was then drowned when attempting to rescue another...the wife of the Master.
Famagusta sank.....
The Famagusta had grounded three times during her short spell on the East Coast but the incidents were not recorded.
An official report -
Thomas Raymond Kelly was born in Newry Co Down in 1928.
On 18th March 1947 he was an AB on ss Empire Plover in Bay of Biscay.
During a storm the ship Famagusta began to sink and sent an SOS and Empire Plover answered the call and went to her aid.
Famagusta launched a lifeboat to carry crew to the Empire Plover but the boat capsized and threw its ten occupants into the sea.
The crew of Empire Plover lowered ropes,nets and ladders over the ship's sides...Three of the crew jumped into the sea and two remained near the nets as Kelly swam with a line to the lifeboat and brought to safety an officer who was badly injured..He then swam back and rescued another.
The third time he went to the assistance of a woman and succeeded in reaching her but both were overwhelmed by a wave and disappeared.
Five of the ten who had been in the lifeboat were drowned.
Able Seaman Thomas Kelly was awarded the George Cross - Posthumously.
There is no mention of a Lloyd's Medal.

7th November 2013, 20:29

I presume your are Stephen J. Czerwionka who gave me great assistance in composing an article on Shell for the Nautical Magazine.

My new book, SHIPPING COMPANY LOSSES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, published by the History Press, gives details of all ships of the SHELL GROUP
(Including ANGLO-SAXON, EAGLE OIL and the subsidiary company INVER TANKERS LTD., operated as separate companies, but owned by Shell.) Managed ships are included.

Under Author's Note at the beginning of the book it reads:

'Thanks go to Stephen J. Czerwionka (Shell Group); Fred Waddington (Strick Line); A.D. Frost (Furness, Withy).

Best wishes


mac 1
7th November 2013, 20:36
Hello Stan and thank you for your very insightful response.Raymond Kelly has a brother and sister still alive and living locally.The family always make his GC and Lloyds Medal available to us for events and school visits.
Newry is unique as we have 2 GC holders,the other being Michael Blaney RE,killed attempting to defuse a bomb in North London during the Blitz in December 1940.
On 7th December 2 prestigious Blue Circle Plaques are being erected in their memory and it will be very nice to see them get such recognition in their hometown.
Hopefully someone will be able to help with information on this small tanker launched in Warrenpoint.Thanks again Stan and it is lovely to hear from you.
Cheers Mac

Hugh MacLean
7th November 2013, 21:23
Also whilst the award of Seaman Kellys GC is well documented I haven't seen any information on his Lloyds award although I have seen both medals.As always I look forward to hearing from you all.

Hello Mac,

You won't find information easily on Lloyd's medals after WW2. I have all citations for the war period but I don't have those after WW2. You need a copy of "Lloyd's Medals, 1836 - 1989 : a history of medals awarded by The Corporation of Lloyd's" by Jim Gawlor. May be available in large libraries.

Also Lloyd's medals were not gazetted making them harder to track down.


mac 1
7th November 2013, 22:51
Thanks Hugh.As you say information on the Lloyds medals is hard to come by after WW2.I will look for that book in the library and get them to source it elsewhere if not available.
Any thoughts on this little tanker from Warrenpoint?
Cheers Mac

27th January 2014, 20:58

I am hoping someone can help me.

My dad Richard Beck worked for Eagle Oil all his life and then was with Shell when it was taken over.
He joined Eagle Oil as a 14 year old cabin boy and eventually ended up as Chief Steward. I believe he was on ships that were torpedoed in the Atlantic during the war.
I know this is a long shot but is there anyone around who remembers him. He may have been called Dick or Dicky.
Would love to hear from anyone with tales.