Point Honda, California

By Panaggio, Leonard J. | Sea Classics, February 1999 | Go to article overview

Point Honda, California


Panaggio, Leonard J., Sea Classics


The Navy's worst peacetime disaster was recalled at a memorial service in September to recall the tragedy of the seven destroyers which piled up on the rocks off Point Arguello light in the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The ships of Destroyer Squadron 11 were cruising at about 20 knots between San Francisco and San Diego on 8 September in the fog shen shortly after nine o'clock the crashes occurred. Mistaken position was believed to have caused the tragedy.

The destroyers were in a single file formation when they struck up on the rocks from 200 to 500 yards apart, about 300 yards off shore, according to an Associated Press dispatch. By 11 September it was reported that 23 were dead, 23 listed as missing, and more than a dozen injured seamen. Seven of the dead were from the USS DELPHY (DD-261); the rest died on the USS YOUNG (DD-312). The USS CHAUNCEY (DD-296) was high on the rocks.

The naval wrecks came while the USS RENO (DD-303) a member of the squadron had left the line attracted by open boatloads of survivors from the wrecked passenger steamer CUBA. She had gone ashore off San Miguel Island off Santa Barbara County 12 hours before.

The destroyers that also met their fate that night were: USS S. …

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Point Honda, California
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