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Bennion (DD-662)

(DD-662: dp. 2050; l. 376'5"; b. 39'7"; dr. 17'9"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 329; a. 5 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Fletcher)

Born in Vernon, Utah, 5 May 1887, Mervyn Sharp Bennion graduated form the Academy in 1910. An ordnance specialist, Captain Bennion was killed in action at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, while in command of West Virginia (BB-48). Captain Bennion was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Bennion (DD-662) was launched 4 July 1943 by Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. M. S. Bennion, Captain Bennion's widow; and commissioned 14 December 1943, Commander J. W. Cooper in command.

Bennion departed Philadelphia 3 March 1944 escorting Bataan (CVL-29) to the Pacific. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 22 March, she trained and patrolled in Hawaiian waters until 29 May 1944. Moving westward she served as a fighter director and radar picket ship during the Saipan seizure (15 June-24 July 1944); Tinian occupation (24 July-2 August); Palaus occupation (2-29 September); Leyte invasion (18 October-18 November) during which she was slightly damaged by a shore battery; Mindoro landings (13-17 December); Lingayen Gulf landings (7-20 January 1945); Iwo Jima invasion (18 February-12 March); Okinawa seizure (26 March-8 June); during which the near miss of a suicide plane caused slight damage; and the 3rd Fleet raids against Japan (18-29 July). She returned to Puget Sound Navy Yard 27 October 1945 and went out of commission in reserve at Long Beach, Calif., 20 June 1946.

Bennion received the Presidential Unit Citation for her actions off Okinawa (1 April-1 June 1945) and eight battle stars.

8 February 2006

Published: Wed Jun 10 10:53:02 EDT 2015