In recognition of the 100th anniversary of ExxonMobil in Baytown, The Sun hosted a contest to “write your favorite memory of anything to do with Humble, Exxon or ExxonMobil.” Winners received one share of ExxonMobil stock in their name. Here is one of those essays.

Many may not realize that in the 100 years of ExxonMobil history they in fact gave a hand up to many military veteran men and women from wartime to peacetime. Plus if you were drafted or recalled back to active duty as a reservist, the Company was in your corner to be sure your benefits stayed intact and your job secured along with being sure your family knew they were there for them. As a military veteran from Vietnam War era, I seen firsthand how ExxonMobil was motivated to be the best and they were there to guide you in your energy careers as a veteran or as a civilian. The community grew around the ExxonMobil Complex and the community knew that employees at ExxonMobil were involved in many things in the communities from being baseball coaches to supporting area schools. 

I was very fortunate to have WW II and Korean War veterans along with experienced refiners train me along with supporting me going to Lee College to get my education. ExxonMobil also has trained many to be leaders in their craft lines and in management positions. All I can say as a retiree is that working at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex was a blessing to meet so many great veterans from many eras of wartime and the civilians who also were all on the ExxonMobil TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) and you did ... it was change from military thinking to civilian but to me it offered the same challenges working in am energy business to be all you can be. 

As being a crew chief on an assault helicopter team showed me that doing your job is what keeps everyone else safe. And that’s exactly what ExxonMobil practices 24/7. 

Also so much history as my father-in-law Wayland Eastman told me about in the 1940s how Humble Oil & Refining Complex worked without modern tools. God bless him and all the men and women who worked in the days of doing jobs the hard way – manually many times with cranes or backhoes ... etc. 

So much great history right down to Army Air Corps recognizing Baytown Refinery Complex with a coin in 1944 for making high-octane fuel for planes. 

Humble refineries during World War II produced high-octane aviation gasoline, toluene for explosives, butyl rubber, and butadiene for synthetic rubber. The Baytown Ordnance Works produced nearly half of the toluene for explosives for World War II and was subsequently purchased by the company from the government. Humble continued to operate the government-owned butadiene and Butyl rubber plants at Baytown after the war.

My Dad was a bomber pilot in WW II and I think about him and others on their mission using fuel from units I worked at after I was hired in like FCCU 2 (2 Cat)… that was built during WW II along with many other units and had military security around and in plant... Which brings me to that ExxonMobil allowed me after my restored 1948 Jeep got its security sticker on that I was able to drive it into safety meetings of Mission Possible Safety program. I also drove on roadways in areas of units built during WW II and thought of earlier war jeeps that were driving around in old days. 

Thank you, Baytown Sun, for following the 100-year history of ExxonMobil Baytown. There is a lot of it and many people know of the support company has given to our community and its workers.

Warren (Ren) Fitts 

Texas Disabled Veteran

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(1) comment


Great article Mr. Fitts. I was hired by Enjay Chemical (part of Humble Oil) in 1966 after my military service and I'm sure being in the military was instrumental for being selected for employment. Great company....

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