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DD-397 USS Benham

USS Benham was built at Kearny, New Jersey as a lead ship of 10 destroyers. In February 1939, she was commissioned and served in the Atlantic and throughout the Gulf of Mexico until early 1940. At that point, she was sent to the Pacific like many other ships during this time, doing escorts, patrols, and training missions. While Benham was at sea, the Pacific War broke out. She continued her escort services during the first 9 months, getting involved in the Doolittle raid on Japan, the Battle of Midway, and the Guadalcanal campaign during the better part of 1942.

USS Benham spent more time escorting after this period, and saw little enemy action at first. In November of 1942, she headed into Guadalcanal and attempted to help prevent a Japanese bombardment. She was hit by a torpedo, which caused a whipping effect and weakened the hull structure of the vessel. Once this happened, she started withdrawing from the combat area the next day. USS Benham’s crew was removed and placed on USS Gwin. The ship was then scuttled by gunfire, sinking into the deep waters. She was named in honor of Rear Admiral Andrew E.K. Benham, who was a U.S. Navy Admiral.

DD-397 Deployments - Major Events

Add a DD-397 Shellback Initiation Add a DD-397 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
SEP1936-Keel Date: 1 SEP 1936
at Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
APR1938-Launch Date: 16 APR 1938
FEB1939-Commissioned: 2 FEB 1939

DD-397 General Specifications

Class: Benham-class destroyer

Named for: Andrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham

Complement: 251 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 2250 tons

Length: 340 feet 9 inches

Beam: 35 feet 6 inches

Flank Speed: 38 Knots

Range: 6500 Nautical Miles

Final Disposition:Sunk in collision with Wasp (CV-18) in the North Atlantic