ERNIE

Named in Honor of 

Ernest Louis Benfante

(17 Apr 1932  – 12 Nov 2010)

Ernest.jpg

 

Ernest was the oldest out of four children. Born to immigrant parents from Italy that became US citizens, and resided in Brooklyn, NY, he was discharged from the Air Force Reserves on April 20, 1952. He then enlisted in the Marines and did his basic training at MCRD Parris Island, SC. A photo lists his Post Honor Platoon 385, Eight Recruit Battalion, June 26, 1952. His MOS was code 0331, Machine Gunner. His time with the Marines was 1 year, 7 months, and 1 day. He spent 6 months and 2 days in Korea. He was honorably discharged from the Marines on November 21, 1953.

In September 2010, Ernie was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He had a poor prognosis, as the tumor was attached to a major artery, closing off where the stomach met the small intestine. He survived a bypass surgery so he could eat again. He had succumbed to his illness November 12, 2010.