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The ill-fated oil tanker, “Bulkoil” in the Persian Gulf around 1950.

Bulkoil (II); broke in two in an Atlantic storm about 120 miles south of Nantucket on 5 November 1969, no survivors. Bow section sank on 8 November, 38-32N, 066-38W. Stern section never found. Stats are; hull number: 25, year built: 1949, GRT: 15,586, DWT: 30,006, length: 629’8", beam: 84’2", and Bulkpetrol Class. Engine made in 1943 by General Electric Co., Lynn MA, fitted 1949. Same name as a smaller tanker built by Welding Shipyards (hull #10) in 1942. Renamed Altair 1966, Pegasos 1967, Keo 1968.

The Bulkpetrol Class Ships
Built by Welding Shipyards, Inc, Norfolk, VA for National Bulk Carriers. These ships were the largest ships that could be built on the single building way in the Welding Shipyards plant. Consequently, they were the last ships built there, as Mr. Ludwig moved the whole shipbuilding division of National Bulk Carriers to Kure, Japan where he had leased the old Japanese navy yard for 10 years to build the large ships he was planning. The Bulkpetrol class ships were built between 1948 and 1950. Ludwig was known to obtain a lot of materials second hand in order to cut costs. It was rumored that this whole class of tankers was built from spare parts, but the rumors probably aren’t completely true. However, all of them are known to have had engines built several years before, which Ludwig had reconditioned and installed while the ships were constructed (1948 – 1950). The ships were of all welded construction, with huge sections being prefabricated and lifted into place for assembly. Oddly enough, all but Bulkpetrol herself came to untimely ends.

Photo taken from a canoe in the Persian Gulf near Kuwait around 1950 by Andy Andrus.

3 comments to The ill-fated oil tanker, “Bulkoil” in the Persian Gulf around 1950.

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