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Ensign Newman K. Perry
and the USS Bennington Disaster

by Margaret G. Riddle

Merriam Press Military History

eBook not available

Paperback - ISBN 978-1467990912 - $17.95

Hardcover not available

Only twenty-four years old, and married less than two years to his sweetheart, the author's great uncle Ensign Newman K. Perry, of Columbia, South Carolina, was the only officer killed, when sixty-five sailors lost their lives in the 1905 explosion of the gunboat Bennington in San Diego harbor.

This book uses the author's narrative, unique family photos and memorabilia, actual newspaper articles and postcards, and documents to tell of Perry's naval career, of the love story of Perry and his beloved young wife, Vipont, and of the horrific and tragic peacetime ship explosion. There are also several special eyewitness accounts of the event. Details are included about both turn-of-the-century San Diego and Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Vipont's hometown.

Through the descriptions of the injuries and death of Perry, and of the suffering and loss of life of the other men, one can comprehend the magnitude of this disaster. It caused the US Navy and other government officials to make important changes in navy standards and procedures that led to greater safety for future sailors. Perry was regarded as a gallant and brilliant young officer, who was expected to have a fine naval career, thus, his untimely death, which he faced with great courage, was met with deep sorrow by his friends and family.


Newman Kershaw Perry
Perry Serves at Sea...
... While Vipont Waits at Stockbridge
Formal Engagement and Wedding Invitation
Military Wedding
St. Paul's Church
Merwin House
Marriage and Move to California
USS Bennington
Fatal Boiler Explosion on Gunboat Bennington
Lt. Newman K. Perry Died a Hero's Death
Mrs. Perry Prostrated
President Roosevelt Shocked by Bennington Disaster
Burial of Forty-Seven Dead
Eyewitness Account
The Funeral of Ensign Perry
Perry's Widow Thanks San Diego and Departs for Stockbridge
Perry is Buried in Stockbridge
Mrs. Newman K. Perry
Mare Island Naval Shipyard
USS Bennington Monument
USS Newman K. Perry DD 883
What Happened to the Bennington?

80 full color 8.5x11-inch pages, 133 photos, illustrations, documents

Ensign Newman K. Perry
and the USS Bennington Disaster

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