USS Bennion Awards

Crew Awards

The members of Bennion's crew earned many awards, decorations, medals, and commendations while serving in the Pacific. The following is a listing of the awards that crewmen were entitled to as well as information about the unit citation awarded to the crew.

Combat Action Ribbon
The Combat Action Ribbon was not actually created until 1961. is a personal military decoration of the United States Navy awarded to those who have actively participated in surface combat. In 1999, President Clinton authorized this award retroactively for combat service since 7 December 1941 making the crew of USS Bennion eligible for the award.

Presidential Unit Citation

The Navy Presidential Unit Citation is the unit equivalent of an individual Navy Cross. It was established by President Roosevelt in executive order 9050 on 6 February 1942. USS Bennion was awarded the citation with the following explanation signed by James Forrestal, the Secretary of the Navy.
The citation was awarded "for extraordinary heroism in action as a Fighter Direction ship on Radar Picket duty during the Okinawa Campaign, April 1, to June 1, 1945. A natural and frequent target of the heavy Japanese aerial attack while occupying advanced and isolated stations, the USS Bennion defeated all efforts of enemy Kamikaze and dive-bombing planes to destroy her. Constantly vigilant and ready for battle day and night, she sent out early air warnings, provided fighter direction and, with her own fierce gun fire downed thirteen hostile planes, shared the destruction of others and routed many more; and she rendered valiant service in preventing the Japanese from striking in force the Naval Forces off the Okinawa Beachhead. A valiant fighting ship, the Bennion, her officers and her men withstood the stress and perils of vital Radar Picket duty, achieving a gallant combat record which attests the teamwork, courage and skill of her entire company and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

American Campaign Medal
This is a military service decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created on 6 November 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Originally issued as the “American Theater Ribbon”, the decoration was intended to recognize those service members who had performed duty in the American Theater of Operations during World War II.

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
This medal is a service decoration which was awarded to any member of the United States military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945. he Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was first issued as a ribbon in 1941. A full medal was authorized in 1947, the first of which was presented to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Though there were 48 official Navy campaigns in the Pacific theater, the USS Bennion and her crew participated in 8 of these. These campaigns are signified by one silver and three bronze service stars on the ribbon.

World War II Victory Medal
The Victory Medal is a decoration of which was created by an act of Congress in July 1945. It commemorates military service during World War II and is awarded to any member of the United States military who served on active duty or as a reservist between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946. It was first issued as a ribbon, and was referred to simply as the “Victory Ribbon.” By 1946, a full medal had been established which was referred to as the World War II Victory Medal.

Navy Occupation Service Medal
The Navy Occupation Service Medal was issued to Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel who participated in the European and Asian occupation forces following the close of the World War II. Though it was officially authorized after the USS Bennion returned to the United States, crew members of the ship are entitled to wear it with an "Asia" service clasp.

Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
The Presidential Unit Citation of the Philippine Republic is a decoration of the Republic of the Philippines which was awarded to certain units of the United States military for actions both during and subsequent to World War II. The decoration was first created in 1946 and retroactively awarded to any unit of the United States and Philippine military which had served in the defense or liberation of the Philippine Islands.

Philippine Liberation Medal
The Philippine Liberation Medal is a military award of the Republic of the Philippines which was created on 20 December 1944. The award was presented to any service member who participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands between the dates of 17 October 1944 and 2 September 1945.The medal was intended to recognize military service in the last days of World War II. To be awarded the medal, a service member must have served in the Philippines for at least thirty days or must have participated in one of the following actions: (1) Participation in the initial landing operation of Leyte and adjoining islands, or (2) Participation in any engagement against hostile Japanese forces during the Philippine Liberation Campaign. Crew members of the USS Bennion are eligible for the award with two service stars.