USS Benfold leaves for Japan

Posted at 4:19 PM, Oct 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-02 19:19:40-04

SAN DIEGO - The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold left San Diego Friday for its new home base in Japan.

In the last couple of years, the Navy has stationed its most up-to-date warships in Japan, where they can be ready for missions required in Asian waters. The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, based in San Diego for 11 years, left for Japan nearly one month ago and arrived Thursday.

"We are proud to join the forward-deployed forces family in Japan," said Cmdr. Michele Day, commanding officer of the 505-foot-long Benfold.

"After a demanding shipyard period and training cycle, our sailors are anxious to have an opportunity to prove their abilities among some of the most capable ships in our Navy," Day said. "We look forward to the waterfront camaraderie and sense of community in Yokosuka."

The vessel is named for Hospital Corpsman Edward Clyde Benfold, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for valor during the Korean War.

During a battle in September 1952, Benfold was checking on the condition of a pair of Marines in a crater when two grenades fell in the hole and a couple of enemy soldiers charged. According to his citation, he picked up a grenade in each hand and hurled himself at the attackers, who were killed along with Benfold in the resulting explosions.