|HOME OF RECORD
Route 1, Cotati, CA
|NEXT OF KIN
Parents, Gioconda (George) & Pia Benedetti
|DATE OF BIRTH
November 27, 1915
June 3, 1942
|DATE OF LOSS
October 15, 1942
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
last seen departing
Missing In Action
Declared Dead February 19, 1945
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Second Lieutenant Dante “Dan” Benedetti was a pilot assigned to VMSB-141, a Marine dive-bombing squadron stationed on Guadalcanal.
The 15th October 1942 was a day of frantic activity at Henderson Field. The Cactus Air Force staged repeated strikes on Japanese ground troops and convoys, and weathered dogfights and bombing raids in return. Lieutenant Benedetti and his radioman/gunner, Staff Sergeant Paul Rivers, were in the thick of the action, but failed to return to base following a search mission. No trace of either Marine, or of their aircraft, was ever found.
Dan Benedetti was officially declared dead on 19 February 1945.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Missing in action
Manila American Cemetery
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It killed my mom. She expected him to come home. He was reported missing, because they never found the body. So she kept saying her prayers and expecting him to come home anytime. When I came back from the service, when I came back from overseas, it was about two years, three years that he’d been missing.
Mom had high expectations that he was going to come home. By that time, all prisoners were freed. Japan was just being invaded, not invaded but occupied, so there weren’t any more prisoners. So when I got back from overseas, I went to Washington, to the marine corps, to find out what the situation was. They said, “Well, we’re still reporting him as missing because we have no proof that he’s otherwise.” And I said, “Well, I’ll appreciate it if you’d send a letter to tell my family he’s dead. I’m going to be home on such-and-such a date.” So they did. And that was a real blow. But it had to be. There was nothing that could be done.
Gene Benedetti, interview conducted in 2001.
Articles and Records:
Note: another Dante Benedetti attended USF with the class of 1940. After serving in the Navy during WWII, he became a well-known baseball coach at the university.