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Military Health System

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Benfold

Date of Award: July 16, 1953
Conflict: Korean War
Branch: U.S. Navy

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Benfold portraitHospital Corpsman Third Class Edward “Ted” Benfold was 18 when he joined the U.S. Navy on June 27, 1949. His training began at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill., where he remained until December 1949. In August 1950 he reported for a four-month course in neuropsychiatric nursing technique at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, graduating as a neuropsychiatry technician.

Benfold had ample opportunity to put his training into practice in Korea on the night of September 4, 1952. The Chinese attacked every Marine position on “Bunker Hill” without letup. In search of casualties, he found two wounded Marines lying in a large crater. Before he could administer aid, two enemy soldiers approached the shell hole and tossed two grenades into it. Benfold rushed to the crater, jumped into it and picked up both grenades. He leaped out and pushed a grenade to the chest of each soldier. The grenades exploded, killing the two Chinese and Benfold, but the lives of his two patients were saved.

Citation: “Picking up a grenade in each hand, Petty Officer Benfold leaped out of the crater and hurled himself against the onrushing hostile soldier, pushing the grenades against their chest and killing both the attackers.”

Last Updated: September 22, 2022
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