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USS Benfold


Named for: The first Benfold was named after Hospitalman 3d class Edward Clyde Benfold, USN. Born in Staten Island, New York on January 15, 1931, Petty Officer Benfold graduated from Audubon High School in Audubon, New Jersey. Petty Officer Benfold entered the service at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1950. After completion of recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois, he was selected for "A" school training as a Hospitalman. In July 1951 he was designated as a Medical Field Technician and was ordered to duty with the Fleet Marine Force, Ground, Pacific. He was killed in action while serving with the First Marine Division in Korea. "For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Hospital Corpsman, attached to a Company in the First Marine Division during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 5 September 1952..." he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The citation continues: "When his company was subjected to heavy artillery and mortar barrages, followed by a determined assault during the hours of darkness by an enemy force estimated at battalion strength, Benfold resolutely moved from position to position in the face of intense hostile fire, treating the wounded and lending words of encouragement. Leaving the protection of his sheltered position to treat the wounded when the platoon area in which he was working was attacked from both the front and the rear, he moved forward to an exposed ridge line where he observed two Marines in a large crater. As he approached the two men to determine their condition, an enemy soldier threw two grenades into the crater while two other enemies charged the position. Picking up a grenade in each hand, Benfold leaped out of the crater and hurled himself against the onrushing hostile soldiers, pushing the grenades against their chests and killing both the attackers. Mortally wounded while carrying out this heroic act, Benfold, by his great personal valor and resolute spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, was directly responsible for saving the lives of his two comrades. His exceptional courage reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for others."

Specifications: (DDG-65: displacement 8,300; 1ength 505'; beam (extreme) 66'; draft (navigation) 31'; speed 30+ knots; complement 351; armament: one 5-inch/54 gun, two Vertical Launch Systems (Tomahawk); two quadruple missile canisters (Harpoon); two CIWS (Phalanx); two triple torpedo tubes (Mk 50/46 torpedoes); AN/SPY-1D search/track AEGIS radar system; AN/SQS-53/19 sonar systems; LAMPS III; class Arleigh Burke)

Built by: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Keel laid: 27 September 1993.

Launched: 12 November 1994.

Sponsored [Christened] by: Mrs. Dorothy A. Waida, former wife of HM3 Edward C. Benfold, 12 November 1994.

Commissioned: 30 March 1996 in San Diego

Redesignated: (n/a)

Decommissioned: (n/a)

Recommissioning date: (n/a)

Strike Date: (n/a)

Final Disposition: (n/a)

Ship Insignia:

The Aegis shield denotes DDG 65’s capabilities. The lion and shield with cross embodies HM3 Benfold’s courage and medical service. The red above blue background denotes the sailors service in Korea. The reversed star denotes the Medal of Honor, the crosses Navy and Marine swords signify cooperation and strength, the Mameluke signifying Benfold’s service with the First Marine Division. The halberds signify vigilance, resolve and battle preparedness.

Chronology and Significant Events:

30 Sep 1996-10 Jan 1997: Post-shakedown availability/drydock period, San Diego.

14 Aug 1997: After a year of systems trials and combat readiness inspections, Benfold departed for her first overseas deployment.

Oct-Dec 1997: Boarded and searched 19 ships in support of MIO duties. (explain MIO)

29 Apr-1 Jul 1998: Selected Restricted Availability (SRA), San Diego.

Aug-Nov 1999: MIO duties Arabian Gulf.

19 Feb-28 Apr 2001: SRA, Continental Marine, San Diego. (explain SRA)

Mar 2001: Deployed with Constellation Battle Group; served as Theater Ballistic Missile Defense Commander while in CentCom AOR.

May-Jul 2001: Boarded and searched 28 ships, including 3 non-compliant, and conducted six SAR ops; MIO duties in the Arabian Gulf.

2001: Participated in ex-John Paul Jones SinkEx.

Aug 2001: Operated as Air Defense Commander for Battle Group during two-day exercise off China.

3-22 Dec 2001: Served as Pacific Northwest Air Defense Picket Ship (Operation NOBLE EAGLE).

16 Apr-22 May 2002: Readiness Availability, Continental Marine, San Diego.

3 Apr-1 May 2003: Paired with Higgins (DDG-76) for Commander, Naval Surface Forces Sea Swap experiment. Benfold crew flew to Higgins while in SRA at Singapore in Apr 2003; Higgins crew took over Benfold on 1 May 2003.

20 Jun-27 Aug 2003: SRA, Continental Marine, San Diego.

Home Port Assignments


San Diego 30 Mar 96 – present
Squadron Assignments Date
Destroyer Squadron Twenty-One 30 Mar 96 – c.2000
Destroyer Squadron Seven c.2000 - present
Commanding Officers Date Assumed Command
CDR Mark E. Ferguson III 30 Mar 96
CDR D. Michael Abrashoff 20 Jun 97
CDR Thomas H. Copeman 21 Jan 00
CDR Adam S. Levitt 21 Aug 01
CDR Charles R. Hill 15 Mar 02
CDR Michael M. Gilday 24 Apr 03 (Sea Swap)
CDR Donald G. Hornbeck 29 Aug 03

Changes in armament and major systems (Weapons and radar/sonar equipment):

Upgraded combat systems in 2001; TDSS, new LAN, NTCSS.

Major Overseas Deployments (or deployments away from home port for more than 2 months)

Date of Departure Return Date Detachments On Board Area of Operation
14 Aug 97 19 Feb 98 n/a Arabian Gulf
18 Jun 99 17 Dec 99 n/a Pacific/Arabian Gulf
13 Mar 01 15 Sep 01 n/a Arabian Gulf

Unit Awards Received

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 01 Oct 97 – 07 Jan 98
26 Aug 99 – 30 Sep 99
01 Jul 01 – 06 Aug 01
Navy Unit Commendation 01 Oct 97 – 30 Apr 98
Navy “E” Ribbon 01 Jan – 31 Dec 97
01 Jan – 31 Dec 99

Command Histories Submitted


2 May 2005