Edward Luckenbach

Description

The Edward Luckenbach was built in 1916 by the Fore River Ship Building Company of Quincy, Massachusetts. With a 437-foot length and a 57-foot beam, she was a sound freighter capable of carrying a copious amount of cargo. Unlike numerous other freighters that changed ownership every few years, the Luckenbach was owned by a single company throughout her career, the Luckenbach Steamship Company of New York.

On July 2, 1942, the Edward Luckenbach was en route from Jamaica to New Orleans carrying a mixed cargo of ore, lumber, and mail. Her cargo of 10,000 tons of tungsten was valued at $1,500,000. Captain Richard Kelly soon found himself traveling amongst the same Allied minefield off Key West that claimed the freighters Bosiljka and Gunvor, as well as the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Sturtevant. An explosion rocked the ship as the freighter made contact with a mine on her port side, just forward of the engine room. A few minutes later, the Luckenbach ran into another mine, which detonated amidships on the port side. The ship quickly settled on an even keel in 60 feet of water, her superstructure and masts rising out of the sea to make the wrecks location. One crewmember died in the initial explosion while the remaining 41 crew and 12 U.S. Naval Armed Guards survived the incident.

The wreck of the Luckenbach was salvaged after the sinking in order to recover the tungsten, which was reportedly 1/6 of the worlds supply. Afterwards, the wreck was wire-dragged as a hazard to navigation. The wreck now sits in 65 feet of water and is scattered over a wide area. Infrequently dove, the wreck should provide good artifact potential.

Position

Lat: 24 57.830 N

Long: 81 53.270 W

Depth of wreck

65 feet

Size of wreck

Length: 437 feet

Beam: 57 feet

Wreck Dive Guide Tags:

  • ss edward luckenbach sinking