5-25bu USS Bennett DD473 History
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USS BENNETT DD473
HISTORY


USS BENNETT DD473 BATTLE RECORD
Bennett earned 7 Battle Stars
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Thanks to George E. Roberts, Jr. for the Battle Record photo and following information.

USS BENNETT DD473
NAVY DAY OCTOBER 27, 1945

FOREWORD

The U.S.S. Bennett is one of the fighting little "tin cans" which have met and destroyed the enemy at the invasion beaches, on the sea, under the sea, and in the air.

Her main battery consists of five 5-inch guns, designed to destroy both aerial and surface targets. Special anti-aircraft weapons include fourteen forty mm guns and twelve twenty mm guns.

The U.S.S, Bennett carries equipment and men capable of directing fighter planes in the interception of enemy air raids. Her five torpedo tubes can hurl the deadly "tin fish" into the vitals of ships many times her size.

She carries depth charges and underwater equipment to destroy submarines without actually seeing them. And her men are trained to do the vital job of rescuing downed airmen and shipwrecked sailors.

Powerful radar equipment enables her to see the enemy long before he is within gun range and to aim the guns for his destruction.

The engineering plant is steam turbine, and her Foster-Wheeler boilers are capable of building up a speed of 37 knots. Generators supply enough electricity to light a city of 1000 people.

But what makes a fighting ship is the fighting spirit of her men, and the USS Bennett's crew have plenty of that. Under the command of of three able skippers, Commander Jasper N. McDonald, USN, being at present in commands the veteran Bennett has fought her way from Bougainville to Okinawa. Commander Edmund B. Tavlor, USN, first commanding officer, fitted out the Bennett at the Boston Navy Yard, In July 1943, Commander Taylor was relieved by Lieutenant-Commander Philip F. Hauck, USN. Commander McDonald assumed command in November 1944.


USS BENNETT DD473
OFFICERS ROSTER
Navy Day
October 27, 1945
Commander J. N. McDonald, USN - Commanding Officer
LtCommander R. R, Carter, USN - Executive Officer
LT R. G, Barth, USNR - Gunnery Officer
LT E. E, Sechrist Jr, USNR - First Lieutenant
LT D. P. Sheridan, USNR - Engineering Officer
LT(JG) W. E. Ford, USNR - Communications Officer
LT(JG) G. W. Haugen, USNR - Medical Officer
Ensign D. B. Seiler, USNR - Supply Officer

THE HISTORY OF THE USS BENNETT DD473

Thanks to George E. Roberts, Jr. for the following information.
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The USS BENNETT (DD 473) is a veteran of seven major combat operations in twentY-eight months as a unit of the fleet.

These include: The Treasury-Bougainville Operations, Consolidation of the Northern Solomons., the Bismark Archipelago Operation, Invasion of the Marianas, Invasion of the Western Carolines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

Since her first action, November 1, 1943,the U.S.S. BENNETT has shot down eleven Japanese aircraft, fired as many shore bombardments.

She has returned to the Continental United States twice in twenty­eight months. The first time was for a periodic overhaul at Hunters Point, San Francisco. The second time she limped back to Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, after taking a Kamikaze hit while on station between Okinawa and Japan which might have sent her to the bottom but for the courage and resourcefulness of her crew.

The U.S.S. BENNETT was commissioned, February 9, 1943, at the Boston Navy Yard, and following a shakedown and training period at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, she became a unit of Destroyer Division 89 and Destroyer Squadron 45.

FIRST ACTION AT BOUGAINVILLE
After two months of operations with carriers at Pearl Harbor, the BENNETT's first encounter with the enemy occurred on November 1, 1943, while screening transports during initial landings on Bougainville Island.

Several waves.of enemy planes attacked the invading forces, and the BENNETTS guns blazed into action for one probable kill and two assists.

The first definite kill was on the evening of December 3, when the BENNETT "splashed" two enemy bombers which were snooping about her ward of transports.

Still in the vicinity of Bougainville, the BENNETT damaged another plane on December 18. That day she fired her first bombardment of enemy shore installations.

Real excitement came one day in May, 1944, when the BENNETT and a squadron mate, the USS HALFORD, duelled six shore guns on Jap-held Pomporang Island. Both "tin cans" were neatly straddled but retired undamaged.

OPERATED WITH FAST BATTLESHIPS
Invasion of the Marianas drew the BENNETT north of the Equator and from June 2 until August 10, 1944, she was busy chasing the Japs from Guam, Saipan, and Tinian.

For these operations she protected larger ships from underwater attack, fired shore bombardments, and directed fighter plane interceptions. As the fleet deployed to meet Nippon's all out forces in the First Battle of the Philippine Seas, the BENNETT went out to screen the fast battleships of Task Force 38, largest and most powerful ships in the world.

The BENNETT assisted the battleship South Dakota in shooting down a Jap who got past the umbrella of protecting carrier planes.

Later, during the assault on Guam, the BENNETT's gunners drew praise from Marine spotters ashore for their part in the repulsing of a counter attack south of Agat Town on July 22.

A singular tribute to the efficiency of the ship's maintenance men was the fact that the BENNETT was continuously underway for seventy days during the Marianas operations - this, after twelve months of constant campaigning. Yet the ship met her every schedule.

CLEANING OUT JAPS AND MINES IN THE PALAUS
Although deserving a rest, the now seasoned "tin can" next moved to the Western Carolines for the landings in the Palaus. As in the Marianas, she screened transports and larger warships, directed fighter interception and conducted shore bombardments.

After the beachheads were secured, the BENNETT set about the touchy business of helping mine sweepers to clear the waters of mines. Twenty-one of the floating booby traps were destroyed by her guns.

Now, at last, the "Battling B" got her orders to the West Coast, USA, for overhaul and leave for all hands.

Refreshed by an extended period away from the firing line, the BENNETT next joined U.S. forces which were converging from all over the Pacific for the blow at Japan's fierce little citadel at her doorstep, Iwo Jima.

KAMIKAZE FORAYS AT IWO AND OKINAWA
No sooner did the BENNETT arrive at Iwo Jima as part of the transport screen than things started popping right around her. She narrowly missed being crashed by a Jap twin-engined Betty, which her guns brought down just short of the ship. A small hole found in the bow afterward testified that the bomber had dropped his missive, which pierced the ship's hull without exploding.

The same day the silenced a Jap shore battery whose shells were endangering a transport. Iwo's bloody fighting was mostly ashore, and the BENNETT ended the campaign unscathed.

After a brief rest at Leyte Gulf, she was once again in the battle line, bound this time for Okinawa, just 350 miles from the homeland of Japan. Here again, a Japanese Betty quickly singled out the BENNETT for an attack.. launching two aerial torpedoes. They missed, narrowly.

HIT BY KAMIKAZE BUT STILL FLOATING
D-Day at Okinawa was April 1, 1945. When the BENNETT got her orders to proceed to picket station number 1, on a direct line from Okinawa to Japan at twilight, April 6, she knew that the hardest battle for her life lay just ahead.

"Bogies" (enemy planes) were everywhere. Fighter planes assigned to the BENNETT shot down seven on the 6th, and the ship's guns got one. As the 7th dawned, the ship shot down another attacking "Bogey". Her CAP of fighters accounted for two.

At 8:40 A.M. one more of the macabre Kamimazes was left in the air streaking toward the BENNETT. Over the radio one of the CAP announced. "Just splashed the last one" as a plume of smoke trailed out from the attacking plane. But he still came in.

Unable to fire her guns for fear of damaging her protecting plane the BENNETT took the suicider on her starboard side. But the Nip plane hit a glancing blow, sliding off into the water, and only its bomb tore through the thin akin of the ship. This exploded in the forward fire­room, killing seven men and wounding fourteen, including the chief engineering officer.

The BENNETT's damage control parties worked like demons to save the ship, and she returned under her own power to Puget Sound Navy Yard.

In September, 1945, the BENNETT sailed on her first peacetime mission to Petropavlovsk, Siberia, in connection with the establishment of a Navy weather station there. Returning to U.S. territory early in October, she has since operated with the forces under the command of Commander., Northern Pacific Forces.


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