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Edward Clyde Benfold
Edward C. Benfold.jpg
Hospitalman Edward Benfold
Born (1931-01-15)January 15, 1931
Died September 5, 1952(1952-09-05) (aged 21)
Place of birth Staten Island, New York
Place of death KIA in Korea
Place of burial Beverly National Cemetery
New Jersey
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1949 - 1952
Rank Hospital Corpsman Third Class
Unit 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division
Battles/wars Korean War
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation

Edward Clyde Benfold (January 15, 1931 – September 5, 1952) was a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman Third Class who was killed in action while assigned to the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award for valor, for his heroic action on September 5, 1952.

Early lifeEdit

Benfold was born in Staten Island. He grew up in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and lived in nearby Audubon, where he graduated from Audubon High School.[1]

United States NavyEdit

He entered the United States Navy at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in June 1949. After completion of Navy recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois, he was selected for "A" school training there at the Naval Hospital Corps School.[2]

Korean WarEdit

Fleet Marine Force

In July 1951, he was designated as a Medical Field Technician and was ordered to duty with the Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Ground, Pacific. After a tour of duty with a Marine unit, he was reassigned to the Fleet Marine Force and was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in Korea and was killed in action while saving the lives of two wounded Marines during the battle of "Bunker Hill" (Hill 122) (Aug. 12-16-Sept. 5-15), an outpost in western Korea on September 5, 1952.[3]

Medal of HonorEdit

He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. The medal was presented to his one-year old son (NOK; wife remarried) on July 16, 1953.


He is buried in Beverly National Cemetery, New Jersey. His grave can be found in the distinguished service section, Grave 12.

Military decorations & awardsEdit

Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart Medal
Combat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Navy Unit Commendation
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal
Bronze star
Korean Service Medal with FMF Combat Operations Insignia and bronze service star
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg Republic of Korea Presidential unit Citation
United Nations Service Medal Korea.png United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal ribbon.png Korean War Service Medal

Medal of Honor citationEdit

He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously:


For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Hospital Corpsman, attached to a company in the First Marine Division during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on September 5, 1952. When his company was subjected to heavy artillery and mortar barrages, followed by a determined assault during the hours of darkness by an enemy force estimated at battalion strength, BENFOLD resolutely moved from position to position in the face of intense hostile fire, treating the wounded and lending words of encouragement. Leaving the protection of his sheltered position to treat the wounded when the platoon area in which he was working was attacked from both the front and the rear, he moved forward to an exposed ridge line where he observed two Marines in a large crater. As he approached the two men to determine their condition, an enemy soldier threw two grenades into the crater while two other enemies charged the position. Picking up a grenade in each hand, BENFOLD leaped out of the crater and hurled himself against the onrushing hostile soldiers, pushing the grenades against their chests and killing both the attackers. Mortally wounded while carrying out this heroic act, BENFOLD, by his great personal valor and resolute spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, was directly responsible for saving the lives of his two comrades. His exceptional courage reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for others.


The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG-65) was named after Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward C. Benfold and commissioned on March 30, 1996 at Broadway Pier in San Diego.[4][5][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. Braun, Martin Z. "A New Book Chronicles Audubon's Ties To Ship The Uss Benfold, Named For A Korean War Hero From Town, Enjoys A Special Relationship With Borough Residents.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 19, 1999. Accessed May 29, 2013.
  2. US. Naval Institute, Naval History & Heritage Command, "Naval History Blog, HM3 Edward C. Benfold", September 5, 2011 [1]
  3. U.S. Navy Institute, Naval History & Heritage Command, "Naval History Blog, HM3 Edward C. Benfold, September 5, 2011 [2]
  4. USS Benfold commissioning invitation for March 13, 1996; changed to March 30 [3]
  5. USS Benfold poster, "Onward With Valor"
  6. USS Benfold photo
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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