Bennion, Mervyn Sharp, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
00X-Unknown NOC/Designator
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1941-1941, USS West Virginia (BB-48)
Service Years
1910 - 1941

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Felix Cervantes, III (Admiral Ese), BM2 to remember Bennion, Mervyn Sharp (MOH), CAPT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Vernon, UT

Casualty Date
Dec 07, 1941
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
World War II
Location of Interment
Salt Lake City Cemetery - Salt Lake City, Utah
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Pearl Harbor FallenWorld War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
WWII Memorial National RegistryMedal of Honor Recipients
  1941, Pearl Harbor Fallen
  1941, World War II Fallen
  1941, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  1941, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  1941, WWII Memorial National Registry
  1941, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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  1941-1941, USS West Virginia (BB-48)


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USS West Virginia (BB-48) Unit Page


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 USS West Virginia (BB-48) Details

USS West Virginia (BB-48)
Original photo pre-Pearl Harbor

The fourth and final ship of the 
Colorado Class Battleship, USS West Virginia (BB-48) was laid down at Newport News Shipbuilding on April 12, 1920.  Construction moved forward and on November 19, 1921, it slid down the ways with Alice W. Mann, daughter of West Virginia coal magnate Isaac T. Mann, serving as sponsor.  After another two years of work, West Virginia was completed and entered commission on December 1, 1923, with Captain Thomas J. Senn in command. 

: Displacement 32,600 Tons, Dimensions, 624' (oa) x 97' 4" x 31' 4" (Max). Armament 8 x 16"/45 14 x 5"/51, 4 x 3"/50AA 2 x 21" tt.Armor, 13 1/2" Belt, 18" Turrets, 3 1/2" + 1 1/2" Decks, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,900 SHP; Turbines with Electric Drive, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1080. Operational and Building Data: Laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA, April 12, 1920.
Launched November 19, 1921. Commissioned December 1, 1923. Decommissioned January 9, 1947. Stricken March 1, 1959. Fate: Sold August 2, 1959 and broken up for scrap.

USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Pearl Harbor:

On the morning of December 7, 1941, West Virginia was moored along Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row, outboard of USS Tennessee (BB-43), when the Japanese attacked and pulled the United States into World War II.  In a vulnerable position with its port side exposed, West Virginia sustained seven torpedo hits (six exploded) from Japanese aircraft.  Only rapid counter-flooding by the battleship's crew prevented it from capsizing.  The damage from the torpedoes was exacerbated by two armor-piercing bomb hits as well as a massive oil fire started following the explosion of USS Arizona(BB-39) which was moored aft.  Severely damaged, West Virginia sank upright with little more than its superstructure above the water.  In the course of that attack, the battleship's commander, Captain Mervyn S. Bennion, was mortally wounded.  He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his defense of the ship.  

USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Rebirth:

In the weeks after the attack, efforts to salvage West Virginia commenced.  After patching the massive holes in the hull, the battleship was refloated on May 17, 1942 and later moved to Drydock Number One.  As work commenced 66 bodies were found trapped in the hull.  Three located in a storeroom appear to have survived until at least December 23.

  After extensive repairs to the hull, West Virginia departed for Puget Sound Navy Yard on May 7, 1943.  Arriving, it underwent a modernization program that dramatically altered the battleship's appearance.  This saw the construction of a new superstructure which included trunking the two funnels into one, a greatly enhanced anti-aircraft armament, and elimination of the old cage masts.  In addition, the hull was widened to 114 feet which precluded it from passing through the Panama Canal. When complete, West Virginia looked more similar to the modernized Tennessee-class battleships than those from its own Colorado-class.

Rebuilt view 1944.


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Last Updated: Jul 23, 2007
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135 Members Also There at Same Time
USS West Virginia (BB-48)

Hillenkoetter, Roscoe H., VADM, (1919-1957) Commander
Duncan, George, CAPT, (1935-1968) Ensign
McClelland, Thomas, ENS, (1924-1941) Ensign
Parry, Paul, CPO, (1938-1945) Chief Petty Officer
Miller, Doris (Dorie), PO3, (1939-1943) Petty Officer Second Class
Allen, Woodrow Hugh, PO1, (1939-1943) Seaman First Class
Blackstock, William, PO1, (1939-1971) Seaman First Class
Horton, William, SN Seaman
Johnson, Carl, SN Seaman
Kleist, Chester, SN Seaman
Lemire, Joseph, SN Seaman
Mann, Charles, SN Seaman
Nermoe, Earl, SN Seaman
Newton, Paul, SN Seaman
Owsley, Arnold, SN Seaman
Pitcher, Jack, SN Seaman
Schuon Jr., Richard, SN Seaman
Wagner, Thomas, SN Seaman
Zobeck, Lester, SN Seaman
Harris, Hugh, HN Hospitalman
Halvorsen, Harry, FN Fireman
Heavin, Hadley, FN, (1938-1941) Fireman
Hodges, Howard, FN Fireman
Hood, Joseph, FN Fireman
Knight Jr., Milton, FN Fireman
Luker, Royle, FN Fireman
Lynch, Donald, F1c, (1939-1941) Fireman
Olds, Clifford, FN Fireman
VanderGoore, Albert, FN Fireman
Walters, Bethel, FN Fireman
Paciga, Walter, SA Seaman Apprentice
Paolucci, James, SA Seaman Apprentice
Kubinec, William, FA Fireman Apprentice
Renner, Albert, FA Fireman Apprentice
Hudson, Ira Duane, FR, (1940-1941) Fireman Recruit
Sahl, Glenn, FR Fireman Recruit
Bergner, Allen Alfred, RADM, (1940-1972) OFF 116X Ensign
Delano, Victor, CAPT, (1937-1969) OFF 00X Ensign
Rives, Gus, S1c, (1941-1945) AS Other Service Rank
KRONBERGER, Sam, CWO2, (1907-1947) GM GF-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Tibbs, Ernie, CPO MM MM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Durkee, Edward Norman, CPO, (1925-1941) MM MM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Sabbatini, Anthony J, CPO, (1939-1953) GM Chief Boatswain's Mate
Branham, George O'Hara, PO1, (1934-1941) ML ML-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Foth, Jack, PO1, (1936-1941) EM EM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Hilt, Fred, PO1 MM MM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Kronberger, Robert Samuel, LCDR, (1935-1970) WT WT-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Lish, Eugene, PO1 MU MU-0000 Petty Officer First Class
O'Conner, Maurice, PO1 MM MM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Pierce, Edward, CPO, (1922-1951) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Reid, George, PO1 SF SF-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Richter, Leonard Claiver, PO1, (1938-1941) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Rose, Ernest, PO1 SC SC-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Tipsword, Keith, PO1 MM MM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Christian, William Garnet, PO2, (1936-1941) SC SC-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Cromwell, Howard Don, PO2, (1938-1941) CM CM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
De Lapp, Marvin Verle, CPO, (1938-1944) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Ehm, Robert, LCDR, (1936-1956) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
England, Richard Boyd, PO2, (1938-1941) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class

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