This 285-foot 1910 English-built ship sailed a crew of 38 with 12 rifles and one four-inch gun.
The actual sinking of the Benwood, which occurred in 1942, has been a subject of much controversy. One account goes as follows. The freighter was torpedoed during World War II by a German submarine off the Florida Keys. As she sailed in search of shallower waters, she was again hit, this time by a passing ship, the Robert C. Tuttle. Five shells on board exploded ending this ship's possibility for being salvaged. A second more likely account claims the two ships, the Benwood and the Tuttle, collided. Rumors of German U-boats in the area required her to travel completely blacked out. The Robert C. Tuttle, also blacked out, was traveling in the same area, bound for Texas. The two ships were on a collision course, and the bow of the Benwood collided with the port side of the Tuttle.
After she sank, her bow was destroyed to avoid navigation hazards and her hull was used for bombing practice. The remains of her bow now lie in 25 feet of water and provide a home to many fish. Depths of this dive range down to 55 feet at her stern.