Big Inch Pipelines of WW II

The final weld on the “Big Inch” was made in July 1943, just 350 days after construction began.


A government-industry partnership built two petroleum pipelines from Texas to the East Coast that proved vital during World War II. “Big Inch” carried oil from East Texas oilfields. “Little Big Inch” carried gasoline, heating oil, diesel oil, and kerosene.

oil pipelines Nazi U-boat in Atlantic

Prior to the pipelines, German U-boats wreaked havoc on oil tankers from the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Caribbean to the East Coast. Photo courtesy the German Historical Society of Military History.

“Without the prodigious delivery of oil from the U.S. this global war, quite frankly, could never have been won,” noted historian Keith Miller. (more…)