b. 15/01/1931 Staten Island, New York. d. 05/09/1952 Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 05/09/1952 Bunker Hill, Korea.
Benfold was born in Staten Island, the son of Edward and Glenys Benfold. His father served as a Merchant Marine Officer (1st engineer) during World War II and was killed in action serving on the Honduran ship Castilla on June 7, 1942 when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-107 near Cuba.
Benfold grew up in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and lived in nearby Audubon, where he graduated from Audubon High School in 1949.
Benfold enlisted in the United States Navy in June 1949, and entered the service at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1950. He completed Navy recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois and was selected for "A" school training there at the Naval Hospital Corps School. On June 9, 1951, he was married to Dorothy Groff.
In July 1951, he was designated as a Medical Field Technician and was ordered to duty with the Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Ground, Pacific. After a tour of duty with a Marine unit at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Camp Pendleton, California, he was reassigned to the Fleet Marine Force in July 1952 and was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in Korea. He was killed in action while saving the lives of two wounded Marines during the battle of "Bunker Hill" (Hill 122, September 5-15, 1952), an outpost in western Korea on September 5, 1952.
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Hospital Corpsman, attached to a company in the First Marine Division during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on September 5, 1952. When his company was subjected to heavy artillery and mortar barrages, followed by a determined assault during the hours of darkness by an enemy force estimated at battalion strength, HC3c. BENFOLD resolutely moved from position to position in the face of intense hostile fire, treating the wounded and lending words of encouragement. Leaving the protection of his sheltered position to treat the wounded when the platoon area in which he was working was attacked from both the front and the rear, he moved forward to an exposed ridge line where he observed two Marines in a large crater. As he approached the two men to determine their condition, an enemy soldier threw two grenades into the crater while two other enemy charged the position. Picking up a grenade in each hand, HC3c. BENFOLD leaped out of the crater and hurled himself against the onrushing hostile soldiers, pushing the grenades against their chests and killing both the attackers. Mortally wounded while carrying out this heroic act, HC3c. BENFOLD, by his great personal valor and resolute spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, was directly responsible for saving the lives of his two comrades. His exceptional courage reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for others.
BURIAL LOCATION: BEVERLY NATIONAL CEMETERY, NEW JERSEY. Section DS, Lot 12