On the night of September 8, 1923, nine sleek four-stacker destroyers of the United States Navy were plowing through the fog off the California coast at an imprudent 20 knots. Under the command of Capt. Edward Watson, they were heading home to San Diego, only miles off shore. One minute all was well aboard these ships. The next, all of them had plummeted onto a group of rocks known as Honda, and seven of the nine ships immediately began sinking. The story of this tragedy---caused by a confusion between radio and dead reckoned bearings---remains to this day one of the classics of the Navy. The present authors tell it well. Beginning with the history of Honda, they describe the wreck, rescue operations, public reaction, and the following court martial, vividly and accurately. Throughout the book runs a thread of conjecture as to just how much this tragedy served to change the iron-clad traditions of ""chain of command"" in that service.