James Beneke - Ensign

Rank: Ensign
Date Of Birth: Jan 18, 1920
Date Of Death: Mar 27, 1944
War / Conflict: World War II
Hometown: Austin, Minnesota
Gold Star Hall - Wall Location: West Wall (by Entrance Door)


Ensign James Robert Beneke was born to George Beneke and Marie Wollenberg on January 18, 1920 in Waltham, Minnesota. He grew up in Austin, Minnesota and he had a brother named Donald.

James graduated from Austin High School in 1939 and enrolled in Upper Iowa University in Fayetta, Iowa. After a year there, he transferred to Iowa State and graduated in 1943 in Animal Husbandry. He then enlisted in the Naval Reserve as V-7 and entered training at the Midshipman School at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois on June 30, 1943. He made ensign on October 28, 1943 and went to the Motor Torpedo Boat Training Center at Meville, Rhode, Island.

He went overseas on February 1, 1944. He was killed in action on March 27, 1944 while aboard a P-T boat off of New Britain Island, New Guinea. He was interred in the Gloucester Cemetery on New Britain Island.