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Hull Number: DD-796

Launch Date: 08/30/1943

Commissioned Date: 12/20/1943

Call Sign: NHLD

Voice Call Sign: Spark Plug, Ermine, Ladybug (WWII), Old Smokey (58-60)



Data for USS Fletcher (DD-445) as of 1945

Length Overall: 376’ 5"

Beam: 39’ 7"

Draft: 13’ 9"

Standard Displacement: 2,050 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,940 tons

Fuel capacity: 3,250 barrels


Five 5″/38 caliber guns
Five 40mm twin anti-aircraft mounts
Two 21″ quintuple torpedo tubes


20 Officers
309 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 General Electric Turbines: 60,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 35.2 knots



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1959)

Born on Staten Island, NY, 10 April 1832, Andrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham was appointed a Midshipman in 1847. He took part in the Paraguay Expedition (1854-55) and served with both the South Atlantic and West Gulf Blockading Squadrons during the Civil War. He commanded the North Atlantic Station, 1892-93, and retired the following year. Rear Admiral Benham died at Lake Mahopac, NY, 11 August 1905.


Transferred to Peru, as loan, on 12/15/1960 as VILLAR (DD-71). Returned to USN 01/15/1974. Stricken 1/15/1974. Retransferred to Peru, as sale, on the same date. Stricken and broken up for scrap in 1980.

USS BENHAM DD-796 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Published 1959)

The third Benham (DD-796) was launched 30 August 1943 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, NY; sponsored by Mrs. H. Benham, wife of a grandson of Rear Admiral Benham; and commissioned 20 December 1943, Commander E. V. Dennet in command.

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, Benham arrived at Pearl Harbor 27 March 1944. Upon completion of training exercises near the Hawaiian Islands, she provided important screening services to CVE’s during the landings and occupation of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam (14 June-10 August 1944); fleet carriers during the operations in the southern Palaus (6 September-14 October); Philippine Islands raids (9-24 September); Okinawa raid (10 October); northern Luzon and Formosa raids (13-14 October); Luzon and Visayas raids (15, 17-19, and 21 October, 13-14 and 19-25 November, and 14-16 December); Formosa and Luzon raids (3-4, 6-7, 9, 15, and 21 January 1945); China coast raids (12 and 16 January); Nansei Shoto raid (22 January); invasion and occupation of Iwo Jima (15 February-1 March); Honshu and Nansei Shoto raids (15-16 and 25 February and 1 March); 3rd and 5th Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa campaign (17 March-11 June); and 3d Fleet raids on the Japanese home islands (22 July-15 August). Following the Japanese surrender, Benham remained on occupation duty in Japanese waters until departing for the United States 31 October 1945. She remained on the west coast until going out of commission into reserve at San Diego, Calif., 18 October 1946.

Benham was recommissioned 24 March 1951 and joined the Atlantic Fleet. In addition to normal operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean, the destroyer has made one cruise to northern Europe, two to the Mediterranean, and one to the Far East (1 June-18 December 1954) during which she circled the globe.

Benham received eight battle stars during World War II.