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First Lieutenant John P. Benson, Jr.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:04 am
by Vaca Russ
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Italy, the Belvedere Offensive, Feb. 19, 1945, 10th Mountain Division:

At 0324, Company F was still pinned down by mortar fire, but the right platoon was flanking around on C. Florio from which heavy fire was coming. C. Florio was under friendly artillery fire by this time. It was during this flanking movement that First Lieutenant JOHN P. BENSON, JR., directing his platoon under sustained fire across a field to support the flanking unit, was shot and killed.

Lt. Benson was killed in action fighting evil Nazis.
1 1st Lt. John P. Benson Jr..jpg
Benson Hut was built in 1947-49 by friends and members of the Sierra Club as a memorial to ardent skier and Club member, John P. Benson, Jr.
Benson Hut is located under the north slope of Anderson Peak just off of the PCT.
2a Under Peak.JPG
Jacob and I were out for a day of peak bagging when we came across this historical landmark.
3 Jacob Lobby.JPG
The main room on the ground floor has a wood-burning stove, table, and kitchen area. Six fold-down bunks can be used when the main room is not too congested. Side rooms hold firewood and maintenance supplies. The upstairs sleeping loft can accommodate 12 people. A two-story outhouse is 100′ west of the hut.
4 Stove Ladder Up.JPG
The ladder next to the stove leads to a sleeping area upstairs.
5 Upstair North.JPG
6 Upstairs South.JPG
The east side of the roof appears to be in great condition.
7 Roof.JPG
There are several windows on the south side.
8 South Side.JPG
You will find a nice stack of kindling and the remnants of a snow bank on the west side.
9 West Side.JPG
First Lieutenant John P. Benson was a good man and deserves to be honored with such a great cabin!
10 John Benson.JPG
Thanks for reading my post!


Re: First Lieutenant John P. Benson, Jr.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:42 am
by bobby49
Years ago I was leading one of my first group ski trips to Benson Hut in a cold and snowy February. We almost couldn't find the way in. The snow had drifted over the peak of the roof and chimney, so we had to rely on memory as to where to dig. Eventually we dug down to the top loft window to enter.

Also, you see that small kitchen counter? There used to be a sink there with a drain that went down through the floor and foundation. In the process of cooking, we had waste water that we poured there. That worked until it would not drain. It was frozen down in the foundation. I had to set up my MSR blowtorch stove to roast the drain pipe. After two hours, it finally thawed out and drained.

Ahh, yes, those were the good old days.

Re: First Lieutenant John P. Benson, Jr.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:45 pm
by mort
Thank you for this informative post.
Please elaborate:
A two-story outhouse is 100′ west of the hut.
Do the boys pee on the girls or vice-versa?

Re: First Lieutenant John P. Benson, Jr.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:21 pm
by bobby49
The two-story outhouse is a necessity because of the snow depth. When there is little snow, you enter by the main door. When there is 8-10 feet of snow, you enter at snow level through the upper hatch and then climb down. When the wind is blowing hard up there, even that short journey seems treacherous.