FORCE RECON Benoit, Ronald Rene

John Robertson

Staff member
Ronald Rene
  • UNIT
1 Recon Bn (1 MarDiv) (D Company)
  • RANK
Second Lieutenant
Navy Cross
South Vietnam 1967
from Brunswick, Maine
born 9.3.1930, Brunswick, Maine, USA
father Arthur Charles Benoit (1900-1980)
mother Rosa (nee Caron) Benoit (1903-1982)
1954 married Barbara Ann (nee Mitchell) Benoit (1934-2015)
died 17.06.2016 Aged 86 Colchester, Vermont, USA
Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Randolph Center, Vermont, USA. Section B, 236A
Ronald "Ron" R. Benoit, passed away on December 17th 2016 at the McClure Miller VNA Respite House in Colchester, Vt.

He was born on March 9th 1930 in Brunswick, Maine, the son of the late Arthur and Rosa Benoit.

Ron joined the Navy from 1947-1952 and the Marine Corps from 1953-1969 serving in both Korea and Vietnam.

He came up through the ranks from enlisted to drill sergeant, and was selected as one of the original members of Force Recon in 1957.

Ron then had the privilege of teaching NROTC at Brown University from 1962-1965 where he helped shape the lives of future Marine officers.

He received his own commission upon deployment to Vietnam where he served from 1966-1967.

Ron led a recon platoon where he received our nation's second highest honor, the Navy Cross.

He also received the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry among other combat honors.

Ron retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of Captain in 1969.

Ron worked for the Vermont Department of Employment and Training in Newport until 1987 and was then appointed as the Vermont State Director, Veterans Employment and Training (VETS) - US Department of Labor until his retirement in 1997.

While Director, in 1996, he led the effort to recognize Vermont veterans with the authorization of the license plate for Purple Heart Medal recipients.

On June 12th 1954 he married the love of his life, Barbara, who predeceased him in 2015. They were inseparable. Together they raised two sons.

Ron enjoyed reading, golf, vacationing with Barbara, his beloved Patriots and Bruins but mostly attending his children's and grandchildren's athletic events. He never missed a game.

Ron was active in the community coaching Little League baseball and youth football, the NCUHS boosters, and was the Newport area coordinator for Vermont's first Green Up Day in 1970.

He was predeceased by his two sisters, Loraine and Priscilla.

Ron influenced many along the way, from his family, his service to the State of Vermont, his mentorship at Brown, and his love for his fellow Marines. Semper Fi!

Arrangements by the Ready Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc. on 261 Shelburne Road in Burlington Vt.

A full military honors burial will take place in the spring at the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, Vt.


Navy Cross : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Second Lieutenant Ronald R. Benoit (MCSN: 0-96153), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Reconnaissance Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 25 February 1967. Second Lieutenant Benoit and his platoon were inserted by helicopter deep into hostile territory on a reconnaissance mission. He and half of his platoon were in the first helicopter which landed in a heavily booby trapped and mined area, and immediately came under intense enemy small arms and .60 caliber machine gun fire. Quickly assessing the situation he exposed himself to the withering small arms fire to wave off the second helicopter. With extreme composure under fire, he immediately called for and directed artillery fire on the Viet Cong emplacements. Constantly exposed to enemy fire, he secured medical attention for his wounded, guided the second helicopter in and directed the evacuation of his wounded. While deploying the remainder of the platoon, a booby trap was detonated, killing one Marine, wounding others and rupturing Second Lieutenant Benoit's eardrums. At the same time his unit was hit again by intense enemy fire and although in extreme pain and almost totally deaf, he courageously and skillfully directed effective air strikes on the enemy. With the enemy fire suppressed, enabling the helicopters to land again, he expertly supervised the loading of the wounded and only after his entire platoon had been embarked aboard the aircraft did he allow his own retraction. By his extraordinary initiative, uncommon courage and complete disregard for his own safety, he undoubtedly saved numerous Marine lives, reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


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