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
The Trustees of Indiana University