World War II Memorial Bisbee, Arizona
Posted by: Phydux
N 31° 26.135 W 109° 54.030
12R E 604487 N 3478400
Quick Description: A Monument to 77 Men from Bisbee, Arizona. "This memorial is dedicated to Art Benko and the other Seventy-Six partiots from the Bisbee area who lost their lives in World War II."
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 1/10/2009 5:42:35 PM
Waymark Code: WM5HTQ
This recently dedicated monument is dedicated to Arthur J. Benko and 76 other Patriots who gave their lives in service to their country during World War II. It is a black marble memorial placed on a concrete monument next to a flag pole in the Lavender Pit Mine Overlook parking area. The upper part of the monument has a drawing (in white) of a B-24D Bomber, two pictures of Art Benko, the one on the left has the caption "Art Benko seated next to his gun turret on top of 'The Goon.' The flags painted below him depict the 16 enemy fighters he shot down." The one on the right has the caption "Art Benko, center, giving the 'V' for victory sign after a successful mission." Below the pictures is the text "T/SGT Arthur J. 'Art' Benko was born on April 19, 1911. and graduated from Bisbee High School in 1928. He was an outstanding athlete and Arizona State Rifle Champion in 1937-1939. Art worked for the Phelps-Dodge Mining Company in Bisbee until he volunteered for the Army Air Corps in April 1942 and was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson. He was assigned as the top turret gunner on a B-24D bomber named 'The Goon' and went into combat in the China Burma India Theater in March 1943. In only eight months of combat, Art Benko downed sixteen confirmed hostile fighters, making him one of the war's leading gunner aces. In a single mission on October 1, 1943, over Haiphong, Indochina, nineteen enemy aircraft concentrated their attack on Art's gun position. In the forty-minute, very bitter aerial battle that followed, a machine gun round ripped through Art's turret wounding him in the neck and the hand, and his guns jammed twice. He disregarded his wounds, calmly cleared his guns, and continued to fire at the enemy until he had shot down seven confirmed Japanese Zeros. Art's heroism materially contributed to the safety of his crew and other friendly bombers, and to the success of the mission. On November 15, 1943, during a raid on Hong Kong, 'The Goon' developed engine trouble and most of the crew had to bail out. Art and two other crew members landed in the middle of a very wide, fast flowing river. Art was not seen after that, and it was presumed that he had drowned. Art Benko received the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Air Medals, and two Purple Hearts. His seven aerial victories over Haiphong later ranked him as one of only two known Army Air Force gunners, along with two fighter pilots, to hold such a record during all of World War II.
"THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO ART BENKO AND THE OTHER SEVENTY-SIX PATRIOTS FROM THE BISBEE AREA WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN WORLD WAR II
"T/SGT Arthur J. 'Art' Benko 'Top Turret Gunner, U.S. Army Air Corps' World War II"
On the lower part of the monument are the following four columns of names:
Manuel Abasta Jr., Frank L. Adams, John Aira Jr., Robert Bell, Arthur Benko, Josiah Bond, Theodore R. Bozarth, French L. Brandon, France M. Branson, Marcus Brown, Blanche L. Busey, Charles L. Callahan, Felix M. Chavez, Chales T. Cleveland, Robert L. Cox, Henry E. Crist, Harold V. Cummins, Jack L. Davis, Billy L. Decker, Dale E. Decker
Howard Dennison, Martin Dodge, George F. Donahue, Jack J. Doughtey, Jack S. Dymock, Antonio P. Esalante, Rafael L. Esquer, Gilbert Estrada, Maurice L. Forrey, Marvin Gale, Gus J. Gaxiola, George A. Glasson, Al B. Goodall, Robert B. Graham, William A. Graham, Horace M. Hill, George H. Holland, Felipe V. Hirales, Ralph V. Hirales
Harvey J. Hughes, Roy E. Hughes, Peter K. Ivanovitch, John M. Lindholm, Tom C. Medigovich, Paul Merrill, William S. Metzler, David M. Mikels, Albert Mitchell Jr., John A. Moore, Alfonso Morales, James J. Murphy, Allen Q. Nations, Earl E. Nichols, Anthony J. Nicholson Jr., Joyce A. Ralph, Bernard J. Roth, Ray S. Ruiz, Robert R. Schmid
Karl Schandelmerier, James C. Sessions, Andrew E. Sheek, William F. Shields, Charles L. Sotelo, Fred C. Standish, Clarence W. Stemen Jr., James W. Stevenson, Alfred C. Stoddard, Dewitt S. Terry, Edward E. Thomas Jr., Dominick G. Troglia, Felisandro M. Valenzuela, Paul D. Warner, Earl E. Watts, William H. Webb, Henry N. Wolcott Jr., Earl B. Wood, George C. Wylie
Date of Dedication: 12/08/2008
Property Permission: Public
Access instructions: While traveling South on Highway 80 out of historic Bisbee, pull into the Lavender Pit Overlook on the Right.
Location of waymark:
Bisbee, Az United States of America
Commemoration: Art Benko and the other 76 Patriots who gave their lives serving their country in World War II.
Access times: Not listed
Website for Waymark: Not listed
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