USS ESTES AGC-12
Richard S. Benson Lieut 1944-1946 - - Submitted 1/22/11
Lieut. Richard S Benson 1943-1946 Died today 1/22/2011 He was 88. His
family is very proud of his service in WW2, and will miss him.
Richard S. Benson Lieut 1944-1946 - - Submitted 4/23/11
My sister, Diane, submitted notice of our Dad's death but his years aboard are in error. I see from the ship's history that the Estes was not acquired by the Navy until 1944. Though Dad enlisted in 1942 and was involved with the Estes prior to her commissioning, he was not involved until after her delivery from North Carolina to Brooklyn. Thus, his service with the Estes began in 1944, not 1943. I have confirmed this with my Mom. Sorry for the confusion.
Dad spoke much of the Reserve Officer's school in Brooklyn and outfitting. That included bringing the ship to Bayonne for which the mast had to be taken down to clear the bridge. Dad was instrumental in installation of the Estes' radar, for which he had been trained at MIT/Harvard by the Navy. He also spoke of transiting the Panama Canal.
Of events in the Pacific Dad spoke little. One memorable anecdote was about taking soundings in a Korean harbor, after the Japanese surrender. It was Christmas time, Dad was out in a small skiff, and through some snafu, with hardly any clothes! He said there were still Marines battling ashore. Was there some notion that an invasion might still be necessary?
This is a part of the war about which the public knows little.
The attachments are a yearbook page from the Midshipman's School in Brooklyn (pdf) and a picture of a young Ensign Benson shortly after enlisting.
At his final hours we were given some inkling of why Dad didn't speak about most of his service: He had a flash-back while my Mom and brother were in his hospital room. It was terrifying, with incoming. This is what the brave men of the Estes endured for our freedom, and Dad remembered Her to the end.
Ens. Richard Benson
Page from Midshipman's School in Brooklyn
Thane E. Benson
162A Waverly Road
North Andover, MA 01845
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