Sep 8

Honda Point Wreck: 8 September 1923

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 12:01 AM


Today is the 87th anniversary of the 1923 grounding of seven destroyers at Point Perdanales, California, also called Honda Point. Following a day of maneuvers and a high-speed run south from San Francisco Bay, the fourteen destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 11 turned east toward the Santa Barbara Channel, soon entering dense fog. However, the force was north of where they thought they were, and a few minutes after the turn the flagship USS Delphy (DD 261) ran aground at 20 knots, quickly followed by six other ships. Twenty-three sailors died, and the seven ships were left in place to be pounded apart by the surf. The site is now part of Vandenburg Air Force Base, and a memorial marks the site.

  • Jim Valle

    Interestingly the “first responders” in this disaster were the officials and personnel of the Coast Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Coordinated by the telegraph station at Surf, the railroad organized relief trains with doctors, nurses, food, medicine and tent shelters and dispatched them to the wreck site. as soon as practical they evacuated the sailors and transported them to various navy bases and hospitals. The destroyers were so tightly jammed into the rocks than nothing could be done to salvage them.

  • Joyce C. Rusch

    I am the great great granddaughter of Dutch Huebel. We don’t know what ship he was on. He survived the tragedy on September 8, 1923 of the destroyers that hit the rocks off of California. We know he helped some of the crew that were trapped in the engine room. He was a machinist. If anyone knows of him please contact my father Arthur R. Lee 106 Western Ct Santa Cruz Ca 95060. I am from a Naval family 4th generation, please contact my father. God Bless all of you heroes that have served our country.