S.S. Western Sun
S.S. Western Sun on 7/31/71: From the Collection of Dave Boone
August 11, 1986
The Misguided Missile
The Atlantic waters off the coast of Virginia would seem a safe enough sea- lane for an American tanker. But for a moment last week the crew of the 30,000-ton Western Sun must have wondered if they were in the Persian Gulf. Seemingly out of nowhere, an AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile blew a 2 1/2- ft. hole in the ship's superstructure. Fortunately, the errant missile was not armed with its customary exploding warhead and missed the ship's cargo of 26,000 bbl. of oil. The 9-ft. projectile was apparently launched during training maneuvers by an F-14 fighter from the Naval Air Station at Oceana, Va.
Sun Ship Hull #:  593 Contract Date: 1/22/1952
Keel Laid: 1/4/1954 Time on Ways (M/D):  9/12
Date Delivered: 12/16/1954 Time in Wet Basin (M/D): 2/0
Total Time Bldg.: 11/12 Promised Delivery Date:  
D.W.T.:  30200 Propulsion: STM/TURBINE
H.P.: 13500 Speed: 16.5
Sponsor: MRS. C.H. THAYER, JR. Delivery Price:  
Bbls. Capacity: 251,114 Launch Date: 10/16/1954
Previous Owner:   Previous Name:  
Date Purchased:   Date Sold:
Subsequent Owner:   Subsequent Name:  MOBILE BAY
       1990 - BILE BAY
 Length: 615'  Beam: 84'
 Depth: 45'  Class:  ABS
     GWT:  18810
IMO Number: 5388275    
Broken up: Alang  on 10/21/1990
Western Sun and Tropic Sun behind her at Sun, Marcus Hook.
Western Sun in Shipyard

US-flag tanker MOBILE BAY while in Port of New Orelans in April 1989. Built in 1954 as WESTERN SUN for Western Sun Shipping (Sun Oil), she was acquired in 1987 by Belcher Towing Co of Miami who renamed her MOBILE BAY.


Copyright 2009 by Minor W. Kates, Jr. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED