Seaman 1st Class Bennie Bienko was killed in action on Nov. 13, 1942 while serving aboard the USS Monssen. Bienko died and the ship was lost in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Bienko was killed at approximately 2 a.m. and is now considered Clark’s first casualty of World War II.
His death came just hours before that of fellow Clark native John L. Ruddy, who served aboard the USS Juneau.
Bienko lived on Lincoln Boulevard in Clark before leaving for service in the Navy.
Clark's Fallen Heroes profiles those 21 soldiers from Clark who died in service to their country. Author William Duffy’s research into Clark’s fallen heroes included such primary sources as United States military records kept at the National Archive, articles and reports from “The Elizabeth Daily Journal,” photographs, letters and, when possible, interviews with family members and friends of the deceased.
Find out more about William Duffy: One Man’s Quest to Keep Alive the Memory of Clark’s War Dead
The series runs daily through Memorial Day, 2017. Click for an index of stories.
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