Benwood 1942: Historical Significance

Norwegian Merchant Marine Freighter

Photo courtesy of the Peabody Museum, Salem, Mass.

The Benwood sank on April 9, 1942 during World War II. It was later discovered that the Benwood was impaled by another U.S. ship, the Robert C. Tuttle. The collision was partly due to the fact the ships were running without lights to keep the German U-boats from spotting them. The failure of the ships to use their lights and lack of communication caused the ships to collide, seriously damaging the Benwood and only causing minor damage to the Tuttle.In the 1950's, salvage crews removed the top half of the vessel, leaving only the bilge section.

Today, the Benwood sits between 20' and 50' of water. Her bare hull can be see from the surface and is a very popular dive site. The marine biology that has taken over the Benwood ranges from soft corals to schools of fish.

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Last updated: 22 October 2001
Comments: Underwater Science Program
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