Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Benham (DD-49)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Benham (DD-49)

USS Benham (Destroyer No. 49) was laid down on 14 March 1912 at Philadelphia by William Cramp & Sons; launched on 22 March 1913; sponsored by Miss Edith Wallace Benham; and commissioned on 20 January 1914, Lt. Comdr. Charles R. Train in command.

During February and March 1914, USS Benham (DD-49) conducted a shakedown cruise to the West Indies and, in April, began operations out of Hampton Roads, Va. In July, the destroyer went into reserve at the New York Navy Yard. After the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917, USS Benham (DD-49) was one of the first group of destroyers chosen for antisubmarine duty in European waters.

Her first encounter with U-boats came on 13 July when she was apparently attacked by two submarines. They launched a total of three torpedoes at USS Benham (DD-49), but she and her convoy evaded them. The destroyer then drove them away with a depth charge attack. The destroyer continued her patrols out of Queenstown until June of 1918 when she moved to Brest, France, her base of operations through the end of World War I.

On 21 December 1918, USS Benham (DD-49) put to sea from Brest for the last time and began the voyage back to the United States. Rejoining the Atlantic Fleet at the beginning of 1919, the warship participated in the annual fleet maneuvers held in Cuban waters and then made a cruise to the Azores in May. Upon her return that summer, she was placed in ordinary at Norfolk on 28 June. Active again in 1921, USS Benham (DD-49) cruised the eastern seaboard until assigned duty as plane guard and tender to the Atlantic Fleet Air Squadrons. That duty terminated in May 1922, and she stood into Philadelphia on the 12th to prepare for inactivation.

USS Benham (DD-49) was placed out of commission there on 7 July 1922. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 8 March 1935; and, after she had been scrapped by the Philadelphia Navy Yard, her materials were sold on 23 April 1935.

For a complete history of USS Benham (DD-49) please see its DANFS page.