Overseas Tankships Line


It has not been possible to get clear, unambiguous information from Internet and other sources on the history of Overseas Tankship. What is known is that several Overseas Tankship companies were established by Caltex.

Caltex began in 1936 as a joint venture between the Texas Company (Texaco) and Standard Oil of California (now Chevron Corporation), under the name of the California Texas Oil Company to market oil from newly gained concessions in Saudi Arabia. Although it was generally known as Caltex, it was only renamed Caltex Petroleum Corporation in 1968. After the merger of the two parent companies in 2001 (known as ChevronTexaco until 2005, when it was renamed Chevron), Caltex remains one of its major international brand names, especially in Australia and New Zealand.

The ships in this collection have mostly been identified as Type T2 tankers, built in the US during WW2. They are all carrying their original US War Shipping Administration names. What can be seen from the photographs is that most of the ships have the Caltex five-pointed star logo in a white circle on the funnel and also have the letters O T C in the white circle. Based on information contained on the Miramar Ship Index, it seems likely that the photographs were taken after the ships had been bought (without name change) by the Caltex, US based, Overseas Tankship Corporation and registered in Panama. The exception is Kettle Creek, which seems to have been owned by Standard Oil of California and not Overseas Tankship.

In the early 1950s the Caltex fleet was divided amongst the following companies: -

  • Overseas Tankship Corporation – Panama Flag
  • Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd – British Flag
  • Nederlandsche Pacific Tankvaart Maats NC – Dutch Flag
  • Outremer de Nav. Petroliere Soc. Anon Francaise – French Flag

The ships were all renamed with a Caltex prefix.

In 1967 Texaco took over the European responsibilities and assets of Caltex including Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd when they renamed the company Texaco Overseas Tankship Limited. Also in that year Regent Petroleum was absorbed into the Texaco organisation including their fleet of tankers.

With the worldwide downturn in the demand for oil to be transported over long distances by sea, came a reduction in the number of vessels operated by Texaco. In 1994 Texaco decided to completely withdraw from shipowning and sold its remaining tankers in 1995.

In the absence of further information the ships have been left exactly as classified by the collectors and the data reproduced as they recorded it. The flag shown on this page is Caltex. As we do not know when the photos were taken or their exact history this may be incorrect but this is our best shot.


Vessel Type Launched/Completed Tonnage DWT Builder
Amiens No Info
Boonesborough No Info
Camp Union No Info
Carlsbad No Info
Casa Grande No Info
Castles Woods No Info
Cedar Breaks No Info
Drapers Meadow No Info
Fort Stanwix No Info
Kettle Creek No Info
Pawnee Rock Cargo 675,009 G. 1945 Gross: 10648 Net: 6233 16632 Alabama D.D. & SB Co.
Pilot Butte No Info
Pine Bluff No Info
Pipe Spring Cargo 774,676 G. Aug 1944. Gross: 10448 Net: 6301 16492 Kaiser Co, Swan River, Portland, Oregon.
Quaker Hill No Info
Rum River Cargo 774,676 G. Dec 1944. Yard No: 402 Gross: 10759 Net: 6192 16450 Sun Shipbuilders & Drydock Ltd. Chester, Pennsilvania
Seneca Castle No Info
Tonto No Info
Victory Loan No Info
Wagon Mound No Info
Warrior Point Cargo 792,544 G. Oct 1944. Yard No: 95 Gross: 10448 Net: 6301 76519 Kaiser Co, Inc. Portland. Maine
Yellow Tavern Cargo 774,676 G. Nov 1944. Yard No: 425 Gross: 10712 Net: 6261 16445 Sun Shipbuilders & Drydock Ltd. Chester, Pennsilvania

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