What Came Before The Hess Voyager?
The Hess Voyager Tanker Ship was made famous by the 1966 Hess Tanker Toy issued as the third toy in the Hess Toy Truck series. But, did you know that there were other Hess Tanker Ships?
Now Hess Voyager was a great name for a tanker ship. However, Hess give much less creative names to their earlier ships. For example, in June 1953, Hess Oil Company purchased an old tanker ship used during WWII that had been refurbished. Their new name for the ship that was originally Christened the “Hobkirk’s Hill” in 1943, was “Hess Fuel.” Granted, not as cool or creative as “Hess Voyager,” but functional nonetheless.
If you are into maritime history you will enjoy learning more about the earlier Hess Ships. You will also probably understand the ship-shop-talk below. Special thanks to The Steamship Historical Society of America and the photo collection of E.O. Clark for the picture of this vintage Hess Tanker.
Here is an excerpt on this ship from Auke Visser’s MOBIL Tankers & Tugs Site: “Conastoga (II), ex Hobkirk’s Hill – 1943. LOA 523′ 6″, Beam 68′, Depth 39′ 3”, 16.752 DWT, 141,158 bbis. General Electric turbo-electric 2300 Vac 6000 SHP at 90 RPM 14.6 knots. Launched 21 January 1943 at Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Chester, Pennsylvania, and commissioned 19 February as “Hobkirk’s Hill”. Purchased by Socony-Vacuum 27 March 1943. As a T2 tanker, Conastoga supported the build-up for the Normandy invasion by shuttling between the US and England in transatlantic convoys. Later, she supported the Pacific Islands campaigns, supplying fuel to the great fleet of amphibious landing craft that was always in the vanguard of the island invasions. She returned to Portland, Maine, in January 1946. After reconditioning she served in the domestic Socony-Vacuum fleet until June 1953, when she was sold to Hess Tanker Company, who renamed her “Hess Fuel”. Credit: Aukevisser.nl.
Was there a Hess Voyager before the 1966 Hess Voyager?
Believe it or not, yes!
Apparently Hess Oil Company was a buyer of tanker ships used during WWII. According to the Maritime Connector, an oil products tanker built in 1943, named “Red Canyon,” was purchased by Hess and named the Hess Voyager and was in active service until 1956.
The ship was built in Mobile, AL by BAE Systems (gross tonnage 17,548). So, where is it today? Liberia is it’s last known location and is now named “Timbo.” Photo Credit: ShipSpotting.com