DDG 65 Benfold
"Onward with Valor"
The guided missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) joined the Pacific Fleet for duty March 30, 1996, at Broadway Pier in San Diego, California. USS Benfold is the 15th of 35 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers currently authorized by Congress.
The Benfold, along with the Constellation Battle Group, deployed to the Western Pacific in 2001, returning on September 14th 2001.
On March 5 2000 the Benfold, working with the Second Battalion, Eleventh Marines, and HMLA 267 from Camp Pendleton, Calif., Benfold scored a 106.5 in its "Firex One" exercise off the coast of San Clemente Island. To pass "Firex One," ships must demonstrate proficiency in a number of mission areas that require shore bombardment with five-inch shells. Ships must prove they can shoot at targets of opportunity, tanks and shore based batteries firing at the ship, and stationary targets.
The Benfold deployed to the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf in 1999, it returned in December 1999.
The Aegis shield, on the Coat of Arms, denotes the capability of DDG 65 to conduct operations in multi-threat environments. Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy. The lion embodies the courage and strength displayed by Hospitalman Benfold in combat. The escutcheon bears a red cross, alluding to Benfold's medical service and personal sacrifice in saving the lives of others. A background of red above blue in the manner of a Taeguk underscores his service in Korea. The black pellets symbolize the heavy artillery and mortar barrages during his heroic action.
The reversed star, on the crest, in medium blue and white, denotes the Medal of Honor, posthumously awarded to Hospitalman Benfold for his spirit of self-sacrifice and extraordinary heroism. The crossed Navy sword and Marine Mameluke signify cooperation and strength; the Mameluke signifies Benfold's service with the First Marine Division in Korea.
Edward Clyde Benfold
The ship is named to honor the life and service of Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Clyde Benfold, U.S. Navy (1931-1952), who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism in the Korean Conflict. Under heavy artillery and mortar barrages by enemy forces estimated at battalion strength, Benfold moved from position to position in the face of intense hostile fire, treating the wounded. As he approached two Marines in a large crater on an exposed ridge line, an enemy soldier threw two grenades into the crater. Picking up a grenade in each hand, Benfold leaped out and hurled himself against onrushing enemy soldiers -- killing the attackers and himself.
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