A native of Yazoo City, Mississippi, Fred G. Bennett attended high school there, prior to entering the US Naval Academy. Graduated with the Class of 1936, he reported on board the battleship Maryland and was on board her at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked the Naval Base there on December 7, 1941. From 1942 to 1944 he had postgraduate instruction in Ordnance Engineering (Fire Control) at the Naval Postgraduate School and later the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he received the degree of Master of Science. He next served as Gunnery Officer of the newly constructed cruiser Topeka and as such participated in combat operations at Okinawa Gunto and in the THIRD Fleet operations against Japan. In 1946 he joined the Staff of Commander Air Force, US Pacific Fleet and in 1949 was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
His first command was the destroyer escort Harwood, 1951-1952, which was attached to the US Atlantic Fleet with one deployment in 1952 with the SIXTH Fleet. He served as Assistant Readiness and Training Officer on the Staff of Commander Destroyer Force, US Atlantic Fleet until 1953, after which he completed the Naval Warfare Course at the Naval War College. Ordered to sea, he was Commander Destroyer Division EIGHTY-TWO during 1955 and 1956, then was assigned as Engineering Officer at the Naval Gun Factory.
Successive command of the destroyer tender Grand Canyon and the cruiser Newport News, preceded an assignment as Assistant Director of Budget and Reports in the Office of the Comptroller of the Navy. On August 9, 1963 he reported, in the rank of Rear Admiral, as Director of Budget and Reports and for “exceptionally meritorious service in that capacity was awarded the Legion of Merit.
In August 1965 he assumed command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla EIGHT and the next year was detached for duty as Director of the General Planning and Programming Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. On January 17, 1968, the President of the United States announced his appointment as Vice Admiral and to the new position as Director of Navy Program Planning and Scientific Officer for the Center of Naval Analyses in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal “for exceptionally meritorious service…” in that assignment.
On August 1, 1969, in his permanent rank of Rear Admiral, he became Chief of Staff to the President of the Naval War College. In January 1971, in the rank of Vice Admiral, he reported as Commander Antisubmarine Warfare Force, US Atlantic Fleet and as additional duty also served as Commander Ocean Sub Area, Western Atlantic Area. For “…his most capable direction of several sensitive operations (which) resulted in the acquisition of information of vital interest to the national defense…” he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the Second Legion of Merit. On February 1, 1973 he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy.