Benton J. Hill

NAME
Benton John Hill
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
357751
UNIT
VMSB-233
Radioman / Gunner
HOME OF RECORD
Hopkins, MN
wartime address North San Diego, CA
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Pearl C. Hill
DATE OF BIRTH
November 26, 1917
ENTERED SERVICE
January 26, 1942
DATE OF LOSS
January 23, 1943
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
New Georgia
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing In Action
Declared Dead January 24, 1944
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
PFC Benton Hill was an aviation radioman/gunner who served with VMSB-233 during the campaign for the Solomon Islands. On 23 January 1943, he was part of a strike force assembled to search out a pair of Japanese ships spotted in “The Slot” near New Georgia.

The pilot, TSgt. Ralph P. Ackerman, sighted in on the freighter Toa Maru 2 and pushed Dauntless #33 into a dive, twisting through a hail of 20mm anti-aircraft fire. Hits were observed on his aircraft, but Ackerman “rode it on down” for 7,000 feet before pulling the lever to release his bomb. The plane lurched immediately after the drop; onlookers surmised that Ackerman had been hit and killed, for the bomber plummeted into the sea.

The squadron’s War Diary commented that “The courage displayed by Ackerman and his gunner is of a type that demands commendation.” Hope was held out for their safe return until 24 January 1944, when both Marines were declared dead.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Air Medal, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private First Class
STATUS OF REMAINS
Missing in action.
MEMORIALS
Pleasant Hills Cemetery, Eden Prairie, MN
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.


Articles & Records:

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