Roughnecks of Sherwood Forest

Statue in Nottinghamshire, England.
When sending me a game turn a friend made me aware of a little known fact of WW2 history.

I had no idea that there was oil production in the U.K. during WW2. By late 1942 Britain needed around 150,000 barrels of oil daily and oil supply routes were under threat by U-boats and the Luftwaffe. While seeking solutions to the oil shortage Britain's Oil Control Board was surprised to discover that England had it's own productive oil field, in Sherwood Forest, no less.

The English oil field only produced 300 barrels a day so American help was requested to expand production. The outcome was a team of 42 volunteers, drillers and roughnecks from Texas and Oklahoma embarking for England in early 1943. All made it to England safely but of the four National 50 drilling rigs sent, one was lost to U-boat attack.

Production at the oilfield soon surpassed all expectations.

Here is a good overview from the American Oil and Gas Historical Society.  In that article there is to another article on Operation Pluto, the laying of secret petroleum pipelines across the English Channel.

The photo of the statue is from this Atlas Obscura article which also has a good summary.

A book on the subject is Guy Woodward's The Secret of Sherwood Forest.

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