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 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