Captain George Martin Benson
9 August 1938
Class of '60
Lieutenant Commander Benson Kien An RVN September 1971
Lieutenant Commander Benson with RVN Navy counterpart Nha Be June 1971
Unit plaque Naval Forces Vietnam Naval Advisory Group Vietnam 1972
Martin Benson was born in Lubbock, Texas, on August 9, 1938, and grew up there. He attended Texas Tech University where he was active in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. He graduated in 1960 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He was commissioned an ensign in 1961 via the Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Sea duty followed in destroyer and amphibious type ships as a surface warfare officer. He served in Vietnam as an advisor to the Vietnamese Navy from May 1971 to April 1972, attached to Naval Forces/ Naval Advisory Group Vietnam. Duties included planning and implementing harbor defense and port security throughout Vietnam. He interfaced between the U.S. Army 18th MP Brigade at Long Binh and the Vietnamese Navy for repair and turnover of harbor defense and Patrol River Boats (PBRs) from the U.S. Army to the Vietnamese Navy. In August 1972, he returned to the Gulf of Tonkin serving as executive officer on board the USS Trippe (DE-1075) providing gunfire support in Task Unit 70.8.9 off the coast of Quang Tri Province in support of Lam Son 9-12. While serving in Vietnam, he earned the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal with Combat V, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross, Vietnamese Civic Action Medal, Vietnamese Staff Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four campaign stars, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He retired with the rank of captain in 1984. Following his naval service, he worked as a marine engineering contractor, retiring in 2004 as Director of Engineering Services for QED Systems, Inc. He is married to the former Becky Allen and has three children: Kimberly, Chris, and Jim.