Frank Bennett was a 19-year-old sailor when his ship, the U.S.S. Little, was attacked and sunk by the Japanese at Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. Bennett was stranded in the water for 11 hours before he was rescued.
Today, Bennett, an 89-year-old Ledyard resident, will receive the Purple Heart for his injuries 70 years ago. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal will make the presentation Thursday morning at Bennett’s home.
On the Little, 62 members of the 200-man crew died. Bennett, along with 26 others, suffered shrapnel wounds and burns when his clothing caught fire in the engine room of the sinking. After a one-month recovery. Bennett returend to active duty aboard the U.S.S. Frankfort. He retired from the Navy in 1960.