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USS BENHAM (DD-397)

CLASS - BENHAM As Built.
Displacement 2250 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 340' 9" (oa) x 35' 6" x 12' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 5"/38AA, 4 x 0.5" MG 16 x 21" tt.(4x4).
Machinery, 50,000 SHP; Westinghouse Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 38.5 Knots, Range 6500 NM@ 12 Knots, Crew 184.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Federal Shipbuilding, Kearny NJ. September 1 1936.
Launched April 16 1938 and commissioned February 2 1939.
Fate Sunk by Japanese Warships off Guadalcanal November 15 1942.

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Benham 100kAndrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham was born on 10 April 1832 on Staten Island, N.Y. He was appointed a midshipman on 24 November 1847 and served in the East Indies Squadron on board the sloop of war Plymouth in 1847 and 1848 and on board the brig Dolphin in 1849 and 1850. In the latter warship, he participated in the capture of a pirate Chinese junk near Macao, China. During this action, he received a pike wound in the thigh. After another tour of duty in Plymouth followed by one in the frigate Saranac, Benham attended the Naval Academy in 1852 and early 1853. On 10 June 1853, he was promoted to passed midshipman. From mid 1853 to early 1857, he served in the sloop of war St. Mary's on the Pacific Station. On 16 September 1855, while still in St. Mary's, Benham was commissioned a lieutenant. He next served a tour of duty with the Coast Survey late in 1857 and early in 1858. Later that year, he was transferred to the steamer Western Port assigned to the expedition sent to Paraguay to extract an apology for shooting at the gunboat Water Witch. In 1860, he moved to the steamer Crusader in the Home Squadron. After the Civil War broke out, Lt. Benham served on board the steamer Bienville in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and, in her, took part in the capture of Port Royal, S.C., on 7 November 1861. On the date that rank was established, 16 July 1862, Benham was promoted to lieutenant commander. Following brief service in Sacramento in 1863, he assumed command of the gunboat Penobscot and served in her through the end of the Civil War, patrolling the Texas coast as part of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Upon the return of peace, he served at the New York Navy Yard from 1866 to 1870, but for a stint of duty in Susquehanna in 1867. Following duty as a lighthouse inspector in 1870 and 1871, Benham commanded first Canonicus and then Saugus, both on the North Atlantic Station and returned to lighthouse inspecting in 1874. After commanding Richmond on the Asiatic Station between 1878 and 1881, he went to the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard. The years 1885 and 1886 brought him his third tour of duty as lighthouse inspector. Following a tour of duty at League Island, Pa., in 1888, he became commandant of the Mare Island Navy Yard in 1889. While there he became Rear Admiral Benham in February 1890 and continued at that post until June of 1891. At the end of a year waiting for orders, he assumed command of the South Atlantic Station in June 1892. However, Rear Admiral Benham was soon transferred to command the North Atlantic Station, flying his flag in San Francisco (Cruiser No. 1). When Admiral Custodio de Mello launched his naval revolt in Rio de Janeiro in late 1893, Rear Admiral Benham commanded the American naval units sent there to protect American citizens and interests. Retired from the Navy on 10 April 1894, Rear Admiral Benham died on 11 August 1905 at Lake Mahopac, N.Y.Tony Cowart/Robert M. Cieri/Bill Gonyo
Benham 97kUndated, location unknown.-
Benham 58kUndated, location unknown.-
Benham 68kUndated, location unknown.Robert M. Cieri
Benham 86kUndated, location unknown.Roel Bakels
Benham 66kUndated, location unknown.Roel Bakels
Benham 113kUndated, location unknown.Roel Bakels
Benham 209kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Benham 171kUndated, location unknown.Ed Zajkowski
Benham 100kUSS Benham (DD-397) being launched on April 16 1938. Photograph #19-LCM-20304 from the U.S. National Archives.Bill Gonyo
Benham 44kUSS Benham (DD-397) underway in New York Harbor, with the anchor detail assembled on her forecastle and the port anchor partially down, 1939. Donation of Lieutenant Gustave J. Freret, USN (Retired), 1972. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Benham 53kUSS Benham (DD-397) anchored in New York Harbor, during a naval review in 1939. Donation of Lieutenant Gustave J. Freret, USN (Retired), 1972. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Benham 56kUSS Benham (DD-397) anchored in New York Harbor, during a naval review in 1939. Note motion picture screen on her fantail. Donation of Lieutenant Gustave J. Freret, USN (Retired), 1972. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Benham 116kUSS Benham (DD-397) off Kearny, New Jersey, 4 January 1939. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo #: NH 97822.Jesse P Mannix/Robert Hurst
Benham 75kUSS Benham (DD-397) anchored off New York City, 30 April 1939. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969 (USN Photo No NH 67537).Robert Hurst
Benham 145kUSS Benham DD-397 alongside the carrier Enterprise conducting an underway fuel replenishment in December 1941. An Official Photo of the U.S. Navy.Bill Gonyo
Benham 111kThe heavy cruiser Vincennes (in dapple camouflage) with two other heavies in the background, the Salt Lake City and the Louisville or Chester. The Benham is the destroyer in the foreground. The photograph was taken in the Coral Sea from the Enterprise on 13 May 1942.Robert Hurst
Benham 88kOff the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 February 1942. Courtesy of Rear Admiral Joseph M. Worthington, USN (Retired), 1980. U.S. Naval Historical Center PhotographFred Weiss
Benham 78kPhoto #: 80-G-21694. Battle of Midway, Destroyers stand by to pick up survivors as USS Yorktown (CV-5) is abandoned during the afternoon of 4 June 1942, following Japanese torpedo plane attacks. Destroyers at left are (left to right): Benham (DD-397), Russell (DD-414), and Balch (DD-363). Destroyer at right is Anderson (DD-411). Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.Fabio Peņa
Benham 92kBattle of Midway, June 1942. USS Benham (DD-397), with 720 survivors of USS Yorktown on board, closes USS Portland (CA-33) at about 1900 hrs, 4 June 1942. A report of unidentified aircraft caused Benham to break away before transferring any of the survivors to the cruiser and they remained on board her until the following morning. Note Benham's oil-stained sides. The abandoned Yorktown is in the right distance. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Fred Weiss
Benham 131kPhoto #: 80-G-312064. Survivors of USS Hammann (DD-412) are brought ashore at Pearl Harbor from USS Benham (DD-397), a few days after their ship was sunk on 6 June 1942. Note Navy ambulance in left foreground, many onlookers, depth charge racks on Benham's stern and open sights on her after 5"/38 gun mount. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.Bill Gonyo

USS BENHAM DD-397 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The hazegray Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves

LCDR Thomas Francis Darden Jr.    Feb 2 1939 - Mar 10 1941
LCDR Joseph Muse Worthington    Mar 10 1941 - Apr 27 1942 (Later RADM)
CDR John Barrett Taylor    Apr 27 1942 - Nov 15 1942

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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