Black Hawk 16-18 m
The Black Hawk was an American Liberty Ship built in New Orleans in 1944 in just ten days from prefabricated parts. She made two successful Atlantic crossings and had almost completed a third when, in the evening of 29th December 1944, off Portland, she took a torpedo in the aft hold. The ensuing explosion blew her stern section clean off, killing one member of the crew. This part now rests off Portland in 48 metres. The forward three quarters of the ship was taken in tow with the intention of docking her in Poole or beaching at Studland. However a gale blew up, the tow broke and the damaged Black Hawk finally sank in 20 metres of water in the middle of Worbarrow Bay, about 1½ miles east of Lulworth Cove.
Subsequently the wreck was declared a hazard to shipping so her superstructure was wire drawn. Finally the remains were blown up again to clear a path for the cooling water outlet for the atomic reactor at Winfrith