USS Murphy Identification

October 8, 2002

I sent the following announcement about the identification of the Benson-Livermore class destroyer, USS Murphy (DD-603), to the Association of Underwater Explorers (AUE) UWEX list on Thursday, September 12, 2002:


Hi Everyone,

I'd like to announce that Richie Kohler and myself have identified a sunken

destroyer over 70 miles southeast of Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey, and

approximately 100 miles from Ambrose Light, New York, in 260 feet of water, as

the USS Murphy, DD-603 (Benson Class). This wreck is not a complete

destroyer, but rather the forward half of one. The wreck was first found and

dived by divers from the dive vessel SEEKER out of Brielle, New Jersey, two

years ago, and dived again one month ago.

The USS Murphy was escorting a convoy to Europe on 21 October 1943 when the

tanker Bulkoil struck her port side, slicing the Murphy in two just aft of the

forward superstructure. While the stern remained afloat, the bow sank taking

38 men with it. The stern was towed back to New York where a new bow was

attached, and she was sent back out to the war, participating in the Normandy

invasion on D-Day in 1944.

Thus she is not listed as "sunk" in WWII, but only as "damaged". The repaired

ship was sold for scrap in 1970.

We initially thought that this wreck was probably one of many destroyers that

were used as target ships, but thought it very strange that the stern didn't

seem to be anywhere around the area.

I will be posting some more information and pictures from our last trip out

there on my website within the next few weeks (I am way behind with site

updates because I've been so busy both diving and other activities).


Christina Young


I expect to post additional pictures of the Murphy from our last trip out there on my site soon.  Pictures from the SEEKER trip two years ago in which the wreck was first dived can be found here.

Stay tuned...

Christina Young

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