- USS Benham (DD-397)
Career (US) Namesake: Andrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham Builder: Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company Laid down: 1 September 1936 Launched: 16 April 1938 Commissioned: 2 February 1939 Fate: Sunk Battle of Guadalcanal, 15 November 1942 General characteristics Class and type: Benham-class destroyer Displacement: 2,250 tons (full) Length: 340 ft 9 in (103.9 m) Beam: 35 ft 6 in (10.8 m) Draft: 12 ft 10 in (3.9 m) Propulsion: 50,000 shp,
Westinghouse Geared Turbines,
Speed: 38.5 knots (71.3 km/h) Range: 6500 nmi. (12,000 km)
@ 12 kt (22.2 km/h)
Complement: 251 officers and enlisted Armament: 4 × 5 in./38 guns (127 mm),
4 .50 cal guns,
4 × 4 21 in. torpedo tubes,
2 depth charge tracks
Benham was laid down 1 September 1936 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Kearny New Jersey; launched on 16 April 1938 and sponsored by Mrs. A. I. Dorr, grandniece of Rear Admiral Benham; and commissioned 2 February 1939, with Rear Admiral T. F. Darden in command.
Assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Benham patrolled off Newfoundland during most of 1939 and then shifted to the Gulf of Mexico. Ordered to the Pacific, she arrived at Pearl Harbor 14 April 1940. After alternating between Californian and Hawaiian waters, the destroyer served as an escort for Enterprise during the delivery of Marine planes to Midway Atoll on 28 November to 8 December 1941, thus missing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Benham served with Enterprise and Saratoga task forces off Hawaii and with Task Force 16 during the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, 8 to 25 April 1942. She continued operating with TF 16 through the Battle of Midway, 3 to 6 June, during which she rescued 720 survivors from Yorktown and 188 from Hammann; landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, 7 to 9 August, and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, 23 to 25 August.
Benham joined Task Force 64 on 15 October as a part of the naval covering force off Guadalcanal. During 14–15 November, she took part in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, and at 0038 on 15 November she took a single torpedo in her bow which severed everything forward of her bridge. Benham stayed afloat, making slow headway towards Guadalcanal during the 15th but, by 1637, further progress was impossible and her crew abandoned ship. Gwin picked up the survivors, and sank the hulk at 1938 by shell-fire.
Benham received five battle stars for her service in World War II.
- ^ Brown p. 74
List of destroyers of the United States Navy · List of destroyer classes of the United States Navy
- Brown, David. Warship Losses of World War Two. Arms and Armour, London, Great Britain, 1990. ISBN 0-85368-802-8.
- This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
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