Re: william d phelps, ss esso pittsburgh
Posted by Ron Carlson on October 15, 2020, 4:12 pm, in reply to "william d phelps, ss esso pittsburgh"
I can’t help you with shipmates but I can provide information about the ship and its whereabouts at certain times.
ESSO PITTSBURGH was constructed by the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (“Sun Ship”) in Chester, PA, downstream from Philadelphia, in 212 days between July 1942 and February 1943. She survived the war and was scrapped in 1961 in Split, Yugoslavia (now Croatia). See http://shipbuildinghistory.com/shipyards/large/sun.htm and scroll to hull number 220. Also see http://www.aukevisser.nl/inter-2/id194.htm for additional detail plus several photographs.
To find the whereabouts of the ship, see the excellent ConvoyWeb website (http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/hague/index.html) and perform a "SHIP SEARCH" for ESSO PITTSBURGH. I did so and found the ship in nine convoys, mostly in 1943, plus two each in 1944 and 1945. But those convoys leave a considerable amount of time unaccounted for. So at the bottom of the list of convoys in which the ship operated there is another link, "To continue the search for OTHER voyages of ESSO PITTSBURGH, click here." Following that link will provide a chronological list of the ship's whereabouts throughout its wartime career, including times that the ship sailed independently, i.e., not in convoy and without escort. That list should be more or less comprehensive. Match up when your father served in the ship with that list and you will know where he was during that period.
ConvoyWeb will show the originating and destination ports of a given voyage, inclusive dates, the convoy number if a convoy was involved, and on rare occasion what cargo the ship carried or other notes of interest. There will be no information about the crew.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website