Bonn

The Bonn was an oil ship built by A.G. Weser in Bremen, Germany in 1976 that was only in operation for nine short years. Its abrupt demise came about in much the same fashion as many other oil ships of that era: being struck by a missile during the war between Iraq and Iran.

Possessing a General Electric steam turbine engine, the German-flagged Bonn was launched on May 26, 1976 and had a length of 1,214 feet, a beam of 210 feet and a depth of just under 94 feet. It also had a gross weight tonnage of 188,668 tons and a dead weight tonnage of 392,607 tons.

Serving in its expected capacity for the first eight years of operation, the Bonn was sold by its original owner, German shipping firm Hapag- Lloyd, in 1984. That would be the first of two sales of the ship within that same calendar year. The first was to the Cyprian firm of Goldenarrow Marine, which renamed the ship, the Boni. Later that year, a Tunisian firm took over the ship’s operation, with the Cerrahogullari Umumi Nakliyat Vapurculuk ve Ticaret A.S. renaming it the M. Vatan.

Ownership would be brief because on July 9, 1985, the ship was hit by an Iraqi Exocet missile. The attack took place while it was traveling within Iran between the 300-mile stretch that separated the Kharg and Sirri Islands. In retrospect, the Bonn was tempting fate, considering this wartime strategy of Iraq had been in place for approximately 18 months prior to the attack.

The aftermath of the attack was that the ship was offloaded and the ship was ruled to be a constructive total loss. On May 10, 1986, it reached the Kaohsiung shipyard in Taiwan and on January 23, 1987, demolition of the ship began.