Edward Clyde “Ted” Benfold was born in Staten Island, New York, on 15 January 1931. At 18, he enlisted as a hospital recruit in the U. S. Navy on 27 June 1949 at the U. S. Navy Recruiting Station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He advanced in rate to hospital apprentice in 1949 and hospital corpsman third class on 12 August 1950.

Hospital Apprentice Benfold received recruit training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. In December 1949, he attended the basic course at the Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes. In April 1950, he transferred to the Naval Hospital, Newport, Rhode Island. HA Benfold graduated as a Neuropsychiatry Technician from the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in December 1950. He transferred to the Field Medical Service School, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for training, and became a Medical Field Technician in July 1951. He then deployed for duty with the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (FMFPac).

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Benfold returned to the U.S. in June 1952 for a month’s duty at Marine Barracks, Camp Pendleton, California. He rejoined FMFPac on 21 July 1952 for duty with the 1st Marine Division in Korea.

On 5 September 1952, he was serving with Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, during the battle of “Bunker Hill.” He moved from casualty to casualty under heavy fire, administering aid. While approaching a crater where two wounded Marines lay, HM3 Benfold saw two grenades land inside. He rushed in, grabbed the grenades and thrust them into the chests of two enemy soldiers who were charging the position, killing both them and himself but saving the lives of the two wounded Marines. HM3 Benfold’s body was returned to the U.S. and laid to rest in the Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, New Jersey.

Rear Admiral John H. Brown, Jr., Commandant of the 4th Naval District, presented the Medal of Honor to HM3 Benfold’s young son on 16 July 1953. The guided missile frigate USS Benfold (DDG-65), named in his honor, was launched on 12 November 1994.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, HM3 Benfold’s awards include the Purple Heart Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.

Navy Medal of Honor recipients serving with Marine units at the time of award

Marine Corps University