From Grandfather Joe Phillips' Trunk

I have found no information regarding these pictures made I would guess in the 1930's. From all indication these look like very early pictures of what became the United States primary import of oil during the war years. I would guess that they are and had something to do with my grandfather's position with the U.S. Treasury Department. I have many old files that I will have to look further into in hopes of some mention of this trip, but if I am right I doubt that I find anything as I am sure it was CONFIDENTIAL to say the least.


In 1920, oil was discovered off the Venezuelan coast which signaled a new era for Curaçao making it a global center even before globalization was a key component of the 20th Century. Curaçao's Royal Dutch Shell Refinery became the island's biggest business and employer. Immigrants from the surrounding Caribbean, South America and as far away as Asia headed to the new Caribbean Mecca.

America and its Allies back in World War II, found Curaçao and its refinery to be strategic enough, and established an American military base at Waterfort Arches, near Willemstad.
You might like to read this regarding the
The Isla Refinery

The first of the Venezuela pictures is of this man who looks amazingly like Howard R. Hughes (wink-wink) Now what would Howard R. Hughes be doing in the two locations I am sure the pictures were made. The Shell Refinery, Punta Cardon, VE and the bathing beach, Shell Co., Las Piedras, VE? I have found that the turret that the machine gun behind him was found on submarine's as early as 1935 and is on a Vicker's platform.
Three ships at Punta Cardon, VE - Shell Refinery
Shell Refinery, Las Piedras, Venezuela
Two men standing on an oil rig, no markings on back of picture.

Shark Proof Bathing Beach - Shell Co., Las Piedras, Venezuela
A close up from GOOGLE EARTH of the locations where these pictures were made.
A little further out from GOOGLE EARTH. One of the most important ports during WWII for the U.S. War effort.