OHIO by Edward Wyatt elwyatt@onvol.net

Edward Wyatt of Malta has built five copies to date of the tanker OHIO in 1:96. No resident of Malta would find anything odd about this, nor would anyone who was familiar with this ship's gallant role in Operation Pedestal in August 1942.

OHIO was built for the Texas Company (Texaco) at the Sun Shipyards in Chester PA. Completed on June 22, 1940, 289 days after her keel was laid, she had modern features, such as a separate cabin for every crewman, but most importantly, she was built for speed, and she was built strong, with a welded hull. OHIO was not a T2, even though many T2's would follow her down the ways at Sun, and she only had seven sisters.

Her specifications:

513'-10" LOA

68'-0" Beam

28'-6" Draft

14,035 DWT

9000 SHP from geared turbines

 OHIO was sold to the War Shipping Administration in June 1942, and then transferred to the British flag on the 25th of June. At Greencock on the river Clyde in Scotland, she was painted grey and fitted with armament- 40mm Bofors, 6x 20mm Oerlikons, a 5" gun aft, and two 3 inchers on the bows.

In the summer of 1942, Malta was beseiged and close to capitulation. I can't begin to tell the complete story of Operation Pedestal here, but suffice it to say that a task force set off from Gibralter to resupply the strategic island- 3 carriers, 2 battleships, 7 cruisers, 33 destroyers, and 14 merchantmen.  At the end, only 5 merchantmen would survive, and the losses would also include the carrier HMS EAGLE, 2 cruisers, and a destroyer.

OHIO, the only tanker in the convoy, was chosen for her speed and was entrusted with a cargo of fuel for the island's defenders. Speed would be needed, for the convoy was to be under almost constant attack, with the big OHIO receiving much of the attention. She received one torpedo hit, and a bomb hit to the engine room put her dead in the water. Destoyers HMS LEDBURY, PENN, and BRAMHAM teamed up to make the difficult tow- two lashed to OHIO's flanks, one aft to provide steerage. Harbor was finally made with OHIO's decks nearly awash, and the exhausted crew was stunned to see the shores thronged with cheering Maltese, the brass band playing "Rule Britannia". Captain Dudley Mason of the OHIO took the salute on his bridge. He received the George Cross for his part in the operation.

 The surviving ships of the convoy made harbor on 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption, so in this deeply religious community the convoy is known to this day as "Il convoy ta Santa Marija"- The Convoy of Saint Mary. And even though the other four ships carried much needed food supplies, it's the OHIO and her cargo of fuel for the Spitfires that are appreciated the most.

OHIO was too damaged to be saved. After the war, she was towed out to sea and sunk by gunfire.

 "OHIO, famous, fabulous, never to be forgotten."

- Admiral of the Fleet Sir Philip Vian, K.C.B., K.B.E., D.S.O.
Edward Wyatt's Models

Edward Wyatt has built five OHIO's in 1:96. Some can be found in the Maritime and the War Museums on the island, and one was recently delivered to the Naval Museum of Monaco (the detail shots shown here). These depict the OHIO in her wartime colors. Edward also has an OHIO in her as-built Texaco colors at home.


























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