Benicia, California: Ghost Fleet of Retired ShipsMothballed ships, many from World War II, clustered in the Carquinez Strait. Then they started to rust and decay, polluting the water. Most ships have been hauled away for scrap; only three remained in 2015.
- Lake Herman Rd., Benicia, CA
- From east, I-80 to I-680 south; from west, I-80 to I-780, east to I-680.View from a vista spot off of I-680 at Lake Herman Rd. Exit east of Benicia.
- Visible from shore.
Visitor Tips and News About Ghost Fleet of Retired Ships
Five ships remain that have as yet to be broken down for scrap -- a sad end for these vessels.[Martin Hafer, 05/02/2016]
Ghost Fleet of Retired Ships
If you exit on the west end of Lake Herman road (and turn left onto Goodyear road), you can see the ships without the heavy traffic. There are still 8 or 10 ships left. (In a few small groups).[Sydney Harter, 07/20/2010]
Not as many ships as there used to be. Best view coming from the south over the bridge during daylight. Tough view from the highway going south from Sacramento.[bigmatt, 05/14/2010]
The old ghost fleet is being broken up, apparently -- individual ships are towed away for scrap and salvage. This won't be an attraction much longer!
Called the "ghost fleet" or "mothball fleet," a large flotilla of retired WWII and Vietnam-era ships reside in the Suisun Bay just east of the Benicia Bridge. Although the original intent was to have them capable of becoming battle-ready within a month, thus the official name of "reserve fleet," most of the ships have been quietly rusting away for years and are beyond repair. Scrapping of the fleet has been discussed for years. At one time the famous Glomar Explorer resided with the fleet, it's claim to fame having grabbed a Cold War sub off the ocean floor with a giant claw. In 1997 it was converted to a deep-water drilling ship, still in service today. The fleet has been used in a couple of movies, including "Down Periscope."[Sheldon Carpenter, 12/13/2002]