|Died||August 4, 1890 (aged 44–45)|
|Place of birth||Denmark|
|Place of burial||Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett, Massachusetts|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
A native of Denmark, Benson joined the U.S. Navy from Yokohama, Japan. By June 20, 1872, he was serving as a seaman on the USS Ossipee. On that day, he jumped overboard and attempted to rescue Landsman John K. Smith from drowning. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on October 10.
Benson's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
On board the U.S.S. Ossipee, 20 June 1872. Risking his life, Benson leaped into the sea while the ship was going at a speed of 4 knots and endeavored to save John K. Smith, landsman, of the same vessel, from drowning.
Benson left the Navy while still a seaman. He died on August 4, 1890, at age 44 or 45 and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, Massachusetts.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Medal of Honor recipients - Interim Awards, 1871–1898". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/int1871-98.html. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- ↑ "James Benson". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. May 16, 2009. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37142167. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- "James Benson". Hall of Valor. Military Times. http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=1454. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
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