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Andrew E. K. Benham
[[Image:300px|center|200px|border]]Andrew E. K. Benham
Personal Information
Born: April 10, 1832(1832-04-10)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: August 11, 1905 (aged 73)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Navy
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Rear Admiral
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: Various commands
Commands: {{{commands}}}
Battles: Paraguay Expedition
American Civil War
Brazil Expedition (1893)
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Andrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham (April 10, 1832 – August 11, 1905) was an American admiral. He was born in Staten Island, New York.

Early service with the United States Navy[]

Benham was appointed a midshipman on November 24, 1847 and served in the East Indies Squadron on board the sloop-of-war Plymouth in 1847 and 1848 and on board the brig Dolphin in 1849 and 1850. In the latter warship, he participated in the capture of a pirate Chinese junk near Macau, China. During this action, he received a pike wound in the thigh. After another tour of duty in Plymouth followed by one in the frigate Saranac, Benham attended the U.S. Naval Academy in 1852 and early 1853.

Participated in the Paraguay Expedition[]

On June 10, 1853, he was promoted to passed midshipman. From mid 1853 to early 1857, he served in the sloop of war St. Mary’s with the Pacific Squadron. On September 16, 1855, while still in St. Mary's, Benham was commissioned a lieutenant. He next served a tour of duty with the U.S. Coast Survey late in 1857 and early in 1858. Later that year, he was transferred to the steamer Western Port (renamed Wyandotte) assigned to the expedition sent to Paraguay to extract an apology for shooting at the gunboat Water Witch. In 1860, he moved to the steamer Crusader in the Home Squadron.

Service during the American Civil War[]

After the Civil War broke out, Lt. Benham served on board the steamer Bienville in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and, in her, took part in the capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, on November 7, 1861. On the date that rank was established, July 16, 1862, Benham was promoted to lieutenant commander. Following brief service in Sacramento, California, in 1863, he assumed command of the gunboat Penobscot and served in her through the end of the Civil War, patrolling the Texas coast as part of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron.

Post-Civil War assignments and responsibilities[]

Upon the return of peace, he served at the New York Navy Yard from 1866 to 1870, but for a stint of duty in Susquehanna in 1867. Following duty as a lighthouse inspector in 1870 and 1871, Benham commanded first Canonicus and then Saugus, both on the North Atlantic Station and returned to lighthouse inspecting in 1874. After commanding Richmond on the Asiatic Station between 1878 and 1881, he went to the Portsmouth Navy Yard. The years 1885 and 1886 brought him his third tour of duty as lighthouse inspector. Following a tour of duty at League Island, Pennsylvania, in 1888, he became commandant of the Mare Island Navy Yard in 1889.


While there he became Rear Admiral Benham in February 1890 and continued at that post until June 1891. At the end of a year waiting for orders, he assumed command of the South Atlantic Station in June 1892. However, Rear Admiral Benham was soon transferred to command the North Atlantic Station, flying his flag in San Francisco (Cruiser No. 1).

Protecting American interests during the Rio de Janeiro revolt in 1893[]

When Admiral Custodio de Mello launched his naval revolt in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in late 1893, Rear Admiral Benham commanded the American naval units sent there to protect American citizens and interests.

Retirement from the U.S. Navy after long service[]

Retired from the Navy on April 10, 1894, Rear Admiral Benham died on August 11, 1905 at Lake Mahopac, New York.


Three U.S. Navy ships have subsequently been named in his honor:

  • Benham (DD-49), an Aylwin-class destroyer.
  • Benham (DD-397), the lead destroyer of the Benham-class, which sank in battle during 1942.
  • Benham (DD-796), a Fletcher-class destroyer which operated during World War II.

See also[]

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32x28px United States Navy portal
  • Paraguay Expedition


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[]