Service Number: 317984
Birth and Early Life:
George Benson was born around the year 1924; he was raised in Dunelin, New Jersey by his parents Peter and Elizabeth.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Benson joined up on August 4, 1941. When he finished his training at Parris Island, he was chosen to attend radio operator’s school at Quantico, Virginia; having mastered the complicated communication device, he was promoted to Private First Class and sent to the headquarters of the First Pioneer Battalion at New River, North Carolina.
Benson served with the Pioneers in training at North Carolina and New Zealand; he made the landing on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942 and probably spent several days near the beach as the Pioneers were assigned to help shore parties unload supplies and transport them to dumps inland.
Date Of Loss:
The American beachhead was still a precarious position nearly two weeks after the landings. With the Navy gone, the task of patrolling the waters off Guadalcanal fell to little yard patrol craft and repurposed landing ships. One such boat, an LCP, needed two extra men to operate a TBX radio aboard. Benson and Private Ralph Petersen volunteered, and sailed off for Lunga Point in the gathering darkness of August 19, 1942. (1)
The Marines never made a single report from their patrol; the craft and its entire crew disappeared and was never seen again. George Benson was officially declared dead on January 7, 1946.
Next Of Kin:
Parents, Peter & Elizabeth Benson
Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
(1) Jersey, Stanley Coleman. Hell’s Islands: The Untold Story of Guadalcanal, pg 189. Jersey notes this incident as occurring “on the evening of D+1” which would have been August 8.