the m.v.James J. Maquire

mined in the Thames Estuary 18th November 1940

Bob, then 2nd Mate, wrote:

"Cargo carrying capacity 15,000 tons aviation spirit. Owned by Standard Oil of New Jersey. Registered Hong Kong. Commandeered at outbreak of the war and placed under Esso, England.

Mined in 1940 in the Thames Estuary. Did not sink and was escorted to Tilbury docks for repairs. I immediately  transferred to another Esso tanker, the m.v.Voco, for the voyage back across the Atlantic to load cargo at the New Jersey refinery."


Bob thought he had a scoop with his pictures and had hoped to sell this and other photographs to a newspaper but was prevented doing so by the wartime secrecy restrictions. It's said that: "there was a lot of trouble over it and he almost had them confiscated".

Thankfully that didn't happen which is why, 70 years later, we have this record of the incident.