DD 807 (Gearing class)
We are seeking information on the USS Benner and her crews. Files and photos may be emailed to us and we will incorporate them into this page. When enough information has been assembled we will then build the ship her own section.
My father Junior A. Maurer entered the Navy on July 26,1944 in Great Lakes Illinois, and separated from the Navy on June 8,1946 in Great Lakes Illinois. He was on the USS Benner during that time span. I have a scrap book of pictures,news paper articles,poems written by anonymous members of the crew at that time and holiday menus along with other items about the Benner you wouldn't believe.I would be glad to share what I have with you if your interested.
Subject: USS Benner DD807
I was assigned to the Benner in the later part of 1944. We went thru a precommissioning school in Norfolk,Va. From there we went to Boston, Mass. to await our ship. She went into commission in Feb.of 45
My duty was in the forward fireroom.After the shakedown we returned to the Boston Navy Yard for the installation of a Radar mast just forward of the after stack. I guess this made us into a picket ship. We then proceeded thru the canal to the Pacific. My battle station was an ammo handler on a twin 40 just behind the bridge on the starboard side. Operating off the coast of Japan with a carrier group we would assist in getting the planes Airborne in the early a.m. then with 3 other cans would head between the task force and the beach to do our picket duty. We had air cover most of the time.
On Aug 9,45 we were attacked by several Kamikazes. The first one snuck in and hit the ship next to us right behind the bridge on the port side. I never did hear how many casualties there were. The rest we were able to shoot down as they came in. Thank God the war ended a few days later.
After the war ended we spent time around Japan doing different tasks. We finally got back to the states (San Diego) in Apr.or May of 46. I left the ship and was discharged in June of 46.
If any one was aboard the Benner during this time I would enjoy hearing from you. My E mail is Leenorm422@aol.com
I do have a few pictures that I have taken pictures of and downloaded. This is one of our Skipper CDR John Munholland receiving a commendation (wether it was a promotion or meritous service I dont recall).
This is a photo of a Japanese Battle Ship after the surrender (I think that is the only one they had left). She was anchored in Tokyo Bay not far from the Benner. There were also suicide subs on the beach. They must have used small people in them because I wouldnt have been able to get through the hatch.
This is some of my shipmates in the forward fireroom. Notice the ties they were compliments of the rag locker. This must have been in the first part of 1946.
SOME OF US OLD FARTS ARE HAVING PROBLEMS FINDING OUT INFO WE SHOULD HAVE REMEMBERED ABOUT OUR OLD SHIPS I WOULD LIKE YOUR HELP.
1: WHAT WAS A COMPETE 5"38 LOAD OUT ON A 2200/2250 BEFORE FRAM. ACTUAL NUMBERS===--CAN'T FIND A SITE TO HELP US.
THANKS ALOT FOR YOUR HELP!
TIN CANS ARE GREAT
Contributed by: HARRY K. SMITH
Subject: USS Benner DD807
I was stationed aboard the Benner in 1969-70. We made a west-pac cruise and ended up in the Gulf of Tonkin on Yankee station.
We served as plane-guard for different carriers as they conducted bombing runs on North and South Vietnam. We also anchored less than one-half mile off the coast above the DMZ and gave gunfire support to troops inland. We were very accurate in our gunfire and it was easier for us than the big cruisers that were there. We also blew up some shore batteries along the coast.
One sad part about the cruise was the fact that a man from one of the carriers fell overboard and it was our job to pick him up. I was in charge of this detail. I was denied permission on 4 different occasions to launch the boat and pick him up out of the water. The officer of the deck wanted to perform a shipboard rescue.
We did cruise up to North Korea and did get the armed forces Exp. ribbon for that trip. After returning stateside we were sent up to Brimerton Washington for overhaul and decommissioning. We were in dry-dock in Nov. of 1970 when I was discharged. I don't know what happened after I left. She was supposed to be decommissioned that year.
William L Copeland
Subject: USS Benner (DDR-807) USS Myles C. Fox (DD-829) SAR March, 1951
The two destroyers named above along with the aircraft carrier Coral Sea and the destroyers USS Hawkins (DD-873) and Dennis J Buckley (DDR-808) took part in (March of 1951) a SAR in the north Atlantic re a SAC USAF C-124 Globemaster that went down with 53 SAC personnel. There were no survivors. The crews of the Benner and Fox recovered the majority of the debris from the crash. For my brothers, myself and the 53 lost souls, I'd like to thank the crew members of the Benner and Fox, in particular, and those of the rest of the division that participated, for their efforts. If any crew member of those ships wishes to pass along their recollections of that mission, I'd like to hear from them.
Subject: Benner DD 807
This photo was taken approximately 1966-67. Note the Desron 29 sign amidships. I was onboard October '67 to December '68. We made a Wespac cruise in 1968 to Viet Nam. I have a cruise book from that cruise and can scan some photos is anyone is interested. The old girl deserves to have her photo online.
I found your address in "Destroyers Online" - My father, Vernon W. Dove, was aboard the destroyer USS Benner (DD807) from 1945-47. I have been looking for info online for him about the ship, but this is the first luck I've had. If you have any info, please respond to me. I did find out about the reunion in Sept. 1997, and will give my father the info. He recalls the following people from the crew:
Thanks for any help you can give me! Would like to help my father enjoy his memories.
I served aboard the USS Benner for a short time in 1960. I was assigned as her EMO after overhaul at US Navy Shipyard Long Beach, Calif in Jan. 1960. Her Captain at that time was CDR J. B. Drachnik, Executive Officer was LCDR Drago. Unfortunately I did not get to stay aboard but about nine months when I was assigned to commission the H. B. Wilson (DDG-7) and departed the Benner in September 1960 to report to Bay City , Mich. as Pre-commissioning EMO for the Wilson. I certainly enjoyed my short tour on the Benner.
Charles E. Busenlehner LCDR, USN (ret) NavyBus@aol.com
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