(Transcribed by Karen Meishenheimer From The Oil City Derrick, June 6, 1946)

Liberty Ships Named For Oil Pioneers Eluded Axis Submarines

The Drake, Taylor, Emery And Boyle Made Many Voyages Across Seven Seas; Had Fine War Records


The four Liberty ships named for oil pioneers, SS EDWIN L. DRAKE, SS ORVILLE P. TAYLOR, SS LEWIS EMERY, JR, and SS PATRICK C. BOYLE, made many voyages across the seven seas during the war and all escaped sinking by Axis submarines and bombings.

            The record of the war service of these ships, as furnished by the United States Maritime Commission, will be of interest to residents of the Pennsylvania and New York oil fields.

            It will be remembered that Col. Edwin L. Drake drilled the historic drake well at Titusville in 1859; the Orville P. Taylor, after several failures, drilled the first commercial oil well in Allegany County in 1879; that Lewis Emery, Jr., was a pioneer oil producer, refiner and able Pennsylvania legislator, and Patrick C. Boyle one of the most brilliant and best known pioneer oil editors and publishers.

            The SS EDWIN L. DRAKE was delivered from the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in September 1943, and sailed successively to the following ports: Norfolk, Alexandria (Egypt), Port Said, Gibraltar, New York, U. K., Clyde, Loch Ewe, Molotovsk, Kola, U. K. Barry, Avonmouth, Omaha Beach (France), Spithead, New York, Solent, Le Havre, Swansea, Milford Haven, Cariiff, New York, Clyde, Molotocsk, Kola, U. K., New York, Cape Henry, Baltimore, Norfolk, Gibraltar, Naples, Salerno, Naples , Gibraltar, San Juan Cristobal, to the Pacific, Buckner Bay, Okinawa, Tokyo, Balboa, Cristobal, New York, Philadelphia, Downs, Antwerp, Falmouth, Halifax, Kirkwall, Danzig, lately carrying cargo for UNRRA.  She is operated for the War Shipping Administration by the International Freighting Corp., Inc., New York, and three captains have commanded the vessel.

            The SS ORVILLE P. TAYLOR, delivered by Bethlehem-Fairfield in September 1943, was lend-leased to Great Britain, which renamed her SAMOTHRACE.  Operated by the British Ministry of War Transport, she was sailed to the following ports:  Norfolk, Alexandria, Port Said, New York, Augusta, Naples, Taranto, New York, Norfolk, Suez, Karachi, Bombay, Colombo, Calcutta, Aden, U.K., Port Said, Aden, Capetown, Rosario, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Casablanca, U.K., Gibraltar, Naples, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Madras, Vizagapatam, Rangoon, Port Swettenham, Padang, Belawan, Colombo, Singapore, Batavia.  She was last reported at Calcutta under repair.  As the ship was operated by the British, the names and number of her masters are not available.

            Following delivery from the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, in October 1943, the SS LEWIS EMERY, JR., proceeded to New York to begin carrying military cargo.  Successively, she sailed to the United Kingdom, Kola Bay, Back to Belfast, New York, Philadelphia, Cape Henry, Gibraltar, Suez, Aden, Bandar Shapur, Bahrein, Port Sudan, back to New York, U.K., Murmansk, Baltimore, U.K., Molotovsk, Kola, Belfast, Le Havre, Rouen, Solent, Flushing, Ghent, London, New York, Galveston, Gibraltar, Marseille, Cristobal, Panama Canal to the Pacific, Lingayen Gulf, Manila, Cebu, Pearl Harbor, San Francisco, San Pedro.  She is now in the Temporary Reserve Fleet moored in Suisun Bay, Calif.  She was operated for the War Shipping Administration by the Merchants and Miners Transportation Co, Baltimore, and commanded by three different masters.

            The SS PATRICK C. BOYLE was delivered from the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, in September 1943, for operation by Boland & Cornelius of New York for the War Shipping Administration, and on her first voyage, carried Lend-Lease and commercial cargo, to the Persian Gulf.  Ports visited, Bahrein, Karramshar, Abadan and Port Suden.  Among ports visited on later voyages were Marseille, Oran, Naples, Algiers, Loch Ewe, Toulon, Antwerp, Le Havre, Ghent, Manila and Eniwetok.  The Captain, Peter L. Hickey, reported that on several occasions, particularly while at anchor in Egypt, and while discharging cargo at Antwerp, the ship was under enemy attack.  The vessel is still in the service of the army at Yokohama.