Edward C. Benfold was born on 15 January 1931 in New York, NY. At the time of action he was a Hospital Corpsman Third Class. His citation reads, “For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a hospital corpsman attached to a company in the 1st Marine Division during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 5 September 1952. When his company was subjected to heavy artillery and mortar barrages,
followed by a determined assault during the hours of darkness by an enemy force estimated at battalion strength, Benfold resolutely moved from position to position in the face of intense fire, treating the wounded and lending words of encouragement. Leaving the protection of his sheltered position to treat the wounded when the platoon area in which he was working was attacked from both the front and the rear, he moved forward to an exposed ridge line where he observed two Marines in a large crater. As he approached the two men to determine their condition, an enemy soldier threw two grenades into the crater while two other enemy charged the position. Picking up a grenade in each hand, Benfold leaped out of the crater and hurled himself against the onrushing hostile soldiers, pushing the grenades against their chests and killing both of the attackers. Mortally wounded while carrying out the heroic act, Benfold, by his great personal valor and resolute spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, was directly responsible for saving the lives of his two comrades. His exceptional courage reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States naval service. He gallantly gave his life for others.”
He is buried in Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, NJ (Distinguished Service Section, Grave 12). The Benfold Naval Branch Health Clinic, in Millington, TN and the USS Benfold (DDG-65) are named in his honor.