USS John Penn

Japanese forces had long been evacuated off Guadalcanal but air raids were still conducted on a regular basis. On the 13thAugust 1943 three “Kate” torpedo bombers arrived at Lunga Point just on dusk and, cunningly, turned on their navigation lights and joined a returning American formation lining up to land.

At the last minute they peeled off and attacked the John Penn. Three torpedos hit the engine room spaces severing the stern from the main body of the ship - she sank quickly from the stern but not before taking one of her attackers with her.

The "Penn" lies on her starboard side, 35 metres to the upper hull and 58 metres on the bottom. Current is often present at this site which attracts lots of pelagic fish (barracuda, tuna, kingfish, trevally and sharks). It is due to the fish attracted to the wreck that makes it very popular with the local fishermen, resulting in it being festooned in fishing line - keep your line cutter close at hand. Though a popular site, there is still a lot of artefacts on the wreck and a very photogenic two tonne truck on the sand aft of the funnel area.


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