27° 24.331' N
80° 00.337' W
January 21, 1989
RECOMMENDED MINIMUM TRAINING
Launched: May 13, 1944, by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry dock Company at Kearny, New Jersey.
Commissioned into the US. Navy: October 23, 1944
During World War II, the ”Mighty Mule" notably supported the invasion of Okinawa and participated in the landings at Iwo Jima, where she lost 11 of her landing craft.
Following the war, the Muliphen was assigned to the Naval Transportation Service for a four-year service in the South Pacific, as well as into the cold waters off Alaska.
1950: transferred to Norfolk to join the Atlantic Amphibious Force
Decommissioned: August 28, 1970, after an almost 26 year career, which at the time, included the longest continuous active-duty period of any vessel in the US. Navy
U.S.S. Muliphen (AKA‐61) (1944)
U.S.S. Muliphen (LKA‐61) (1969)
On November 2, 1988, the U.S.S. Muliphen was towed to Fort Pierce for preparations prior to her deployment as an artificial reef. The vessel was cleaned, towed 16 nautical miles offshore almost equidistant between the Fort Pierce and St. Lucie Inlets, and scuttled on January 20, 1989.
The wreck of the U.S.S. Muliphen is simply massive. While the vessel is largely upright and intact, the 2004 Hurricane Season fractured the hull of the vessel in two, which has resulted in the extreme bow and stern settling almost 20 feet deeper, and collapsed one of the cargo boom support towers, which used to rise to within 90 feet of the surface. Due to a starboard list, the main deck of the 460‐foot long wreck is now encountered at a depth of 145 feet on her port side and about 160 feet on the starboard side. Divers will find a maximum depth of approximately 170 feet around the seafloor around the hull, though depths exceeding 200 feet can be reached in the considerable trench formed when the massive ship collapsed the limestone bottom upon its sinking. The vessel is oriented with her bow pointing eastward, which makes for an easy target for divers to drift into with the generally northward‐ moving current. Abundant gag grouper swarm about the wreck, as well as healthy populations of sheepshead, snapper, and spadefish. Numerous cargo holds allow exploration into the interior, and her superstructure produces extensive penetration potential. The wreck of the Muliphen is definitely an impressive and enjoyable dive when conditions are favorable.