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USS Benson (DD-421)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Benson (DD-421)

USS Benson (DD-421) was laid down on 16 May 1938 at Quincy, Mass., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; launched on 15 November 1939; sponsored by Mrs. William S. Benson, the widow of Admiral Benson; and commissioned on 25 July 1940, Comdr. Clifford A. Fines in command.

Following fitting out at the Boston Navy Yard, the destroyer made a short cruise to Portland, Maine, before departing Boston on 22 August and heading, via Newport, R.I., and Yorktown, Va., for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and abbreviated shakedown training. USS Benson (DD-421) stood out of New York harbor on 18 November to begin the neutrality patrols that constituted her main concern well into the following spring. USS Benson (DD-421) returned to the Boston Navy Yard for a month's availability to prepare for a new mission. At the end of March 1942, she got underway to escort a convoy all the way eastward to Londonderry, Ireland, and returned to Boston early in May.

More patrol and escort duty in the Mediterranean followed until 24 August when USS Benson (DD-421) joined TF-81 in final preparations for landing on the mainland of Italy. USS Benson (DD-421) soon returned to Salerno, rejoined the antiaircraft screen, and, on the morning of September 19th, shot down an FW-190 fighter-bomber. At the end of January 1944, the destroyer departed Casablanca, Morocco, and escorted Convoy GUS-28 to New York where she entered the navy yard for an overhaul. In the months that followed, USS Benson (DD-421) continued to escort convoys and individual ships between various Mediterranean ports.

Ordered back to the United States for inactivation, USS Benson (DD-421) got underway from Yokohama on 4 November 1945 and moored at Charleston, S.C., on 6 December. She was decommissioned there on 18 March 1946, placed in reserve, and assigned to the Charleston Group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. USS Benson (DD-421)'s name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 November 1974.

For a complete history of USS Benson (DD-421) please see its DANFS page.