US NAVAL DISASTER AVERTED
19-23 September 1953
The "Benny Boat", as she was known, deployed from Quonset Point, Rhode Island for "Operation Mariner" exercises off Iceland, Greenland and the United Kingdom coast.
While operating off the coast of Greenland with the aircraft carrier USS WASP (CVA-18) and the HMS MAGNIFICANT, forty-two aircraft from the carriers became enveloped in a sudden fog near the ship. Ceiling and visibility were zero. Orders were given to ditch "en masse" in the vicinity of a submarine.
At the last possible moment the BENNINGTON was sighted. All aircraft landed safely. A mass ditching would have been the greatest US Naval Aviation disaster.
BENNINGTON returned to her homeport on the 4th of October 1953.
(Submitted by: SK3 Joe Pires)