CRIPPLE SHIP - USS BENNINGTON's 1st LSO
The USS BENNINGTON's 1st LSO (Landing Signal Officer) was LT. Bruce A. Bell. He reported to her the day she was commissioned in 1944. The assistant LSO was LT. Bud Carlson. Lt. Bell left the Bennington in September of 1945, after Benningtons' stint in Tokyo Bay.
Per a communication with Mr. Bell back in 1995, he wanted me to know that the USS BENNINGTON was the 1st carrier to reach the Pacific Fleet with the "new" Mk5 arresting gear, which meant that the BENNINGTON was the only carrier that could take 30,000 lbs. at 90 knots. Because of it, he was able to recover aircraft steaming down wind. Yes, that's correct - down wind! As a result of this, BENNINGTON became known as the "CRIPPLE SHIP" of the entire fleet. If you had a crippled incoming aircraft - "send it to the circus".