Howard Hartwell James Benson – Commodore, United States Navy

Biography Courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs: June 2007

Howard Hartwell James Benson (1888-1975).

Born on October 8, 1888 in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Admiral William S. Benson. Graduated from Annapolis in 1909 and commissioned in 1911. Commanding Officer of the Submarine H-2 1913-1916 then the Guinevere, Corona, Noma and Roe 1917-1918. Commanding Officer of the Buchanan 1919-1920 then the Yarnell February-March 1920 and the Howard March-September 1920.  Instructor at Annapolis 1920-1922. Commanding Officer of the S.P. Lee June-October 1922 then the Sloat May 1927-June 1929. Graduated from the Naval War College in 1930. Instructor at Annapolis 1930-1932. Commanding Officer of the Sapelo in 1932 and Acting Commanding Officer of the battleship Tennessee in 1934. Graduated from the Army War College in 1935. Commanding Officer of the Holland June 1936-July 1938, then the Reina Mercedes 1938-1941 and the Washington April 1941-July 1942. Chief of Staff to Commandant Seventh Naval District 1942-1945. Commodore in November 1944. Chief of Staff to Commander Gulf Sea Frontier 1945-1946. Retired in November 1946. Decorations included the Navy Cross and Legion of Merit.  Died on January 28, 1975.

The son of William Shepherd Benson, he was born on October 8, 1888 and died on January 28, 1975.

He is buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery, just a few steps from his father.

Benson, Howard H.

Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy
Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Roe
Date Of Action: World War I


The Navy Cross is awarded to Lieutenant Commander Howard H. Benson, U.S. Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Corona and the U.S.S. Roe, engaged in the important, exacting, and hazardous duty of patrolling the waters infested by enemy submarines and mines, protecting vitally important convoys of troops and supplies through these waters, and in offensive and defensive action, vigorously and unremittingly prosecuted against all forms of enemy naval activity.


  • United States Navy
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 10/08/1888
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/28/1975


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