The USS Benham (DD-397) was a Benham-class destroyer laid down on September 1, 1936, and launched on April 16, 1938. It was commissioned on February 2, the following year under Rear Admiral T. F. Darden’s command with the hull number DD-397 and served in the US Navy for 3 years until it was sunk at the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 15, 1942. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 251 people on board and had its main missions in Newfoundland, the Gulf of Mexico, Pearl Harbor, Midway Atoll, Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and the Solomons. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Benham (DD-397) received 5 battle stars.
The brave men who served our country in the Navy from World War II through the Vietnam War were unknowingly exposed to high levels of airborne asbestos fibers throughout ships and shipyards during their military service. Navy veterans have a higher risk of asbestosis - a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs that can result in loss of lung function, disability, and even death, than other members of the military.