M.S. Western Sun
Both pictures above are the M.S. Western Sun on 6/6/34: From the Collection of Dave Boone
This photo is from the Hagley Museum and Library’s Sun Ship Collection ca: 1930 . #74.319.0031.
Sun Ship Hull #:  123 Contract Date: 9/17/1929
Keel Laid: 12/14/1929 Time on Ways (M/D):  6/21
Date Delivered: 6/13/1930 Time in Wet Basin (M/D): 0/7
Total Time Bldg.: 6/0 Promised Delivery Date: 5/31/1930
D.W.T.:  14584 Propulsion: diesel
H.P.: 2800 Speed: 11 knots
Sponsor:  MRS R.E.LAMBERTON Delivery Price:  
Bbls. Capacity: 114365 Launch Date: 6/7/1930
Previous Owner:   Previous Name:  
Date Purchased:   Date Sold:  1950
Subsequent Owner:  J.T.Essberger Subsequent Name:  JOHN AUGUSTUS ESSBERGER
 Length:  480'  Beam: 65'9"
 Depth: 37'  Class: ABS
ON Number: 229687    
Disposal Data: Broken up Hamburg on 07/26/1959
David Kavanagh (http://www.sunship.org/) provided some research about the Western sun:

"One of the more interesting items that I ‘uncovered’ during my “Western Sun” research was a book by Arne Larsson titled “Ships and Friendships”.  I transcribed the following few paragraphs that are pertinent to the “Western Sun”. While they are not verbatim and are not meant to stand-alone without reading the book, I thought they were interesting tidbits of information and helped tell the “Western Sun” story. Note: Thanks to ‘Google Books’ for their digitizing efforts that made this possible.

Pages: 108-111
“In any event, until 1948, Germany was not allowed to own ships over 1,800 gross tons. However, Essberger had found some smaller tankers and oil barges left afloat after the war. An opportunity arose in 1949, when I found myself in the position to buy, on behalf of Bris, a T2 tanker called the “Western Sun” from the Sun Oil Company in America. The price was $585,000, a bargain, and the beauty of the deal was that it could be financed immediately by chartering the tanker back to an American oil company-with only 10% down payment by Bris.

While negotiations rumbled on, the Korean War broke out and within a matter of days, ship prices went sky-high. Suddenly, the “Western Sun” was worth $2,500,000, yet we had on the table, an agreed purchase price of $585,000. Now Sun Oil, realizing that they were about to give away a couple of million dollars, did what they could to prevent the deal so they could sell the “Western Sun” at a more favorable price. The deal finally went thru and the “Western Sun” became the “John T Essenberger” and became the foundation of the fleet.”

This photo of the “John Augustus Essberger” is from the Helder Line website http://www.helderline.nl/tanker/1799/john+augustus+essberger/
Our thanks to them also.

Updated 10/30/13

Copyright ©2013 by Minor W. Kates, Jr. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED