The Vandenberg was sunk to become the largest artificial reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and the second largest in the world. The ship settled upright on her keel in 1 minute 44 seconds, exactly as predicted by the many model tests performed to design the sink plan. Marine life began colonizing immediately and the ship is now home to pelagic and reef fish, and many other species of marine plants and animals.
On 22 February 1943 General G. O. Squier Class Transport Laid down as a Maritime Commission type (C4-S-A1) hull, under a Maritime Commission contract, at Kaiser Co. Inc., Yard No. 3, Richmond, CA. On 15 July 1961 The Ship withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet and transferred to the US Air Force and was converted to a Missile Range Instrumentation Ship and renamed General Hoyt S. Vandenberg.
Today the Vandenberg is considered a safe, enjoyable dive for all experience levels of certified divers, those trained and experienced in light-wreck penetration are enjoying exploring the ship's many cargo holds, stair towers, elevator shafts and hallways. At 100-plus feet, holes cut along the outside of the hull purposed to sink the ship now provide swim-through opportunities for advanced and skilled technical divers.