Commodore Bennett, U.S. Coast Guard, the Commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District at Long Beach, California, was born June 16, 1886, at Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bennett. He attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Wilmer's Preparatory School at Annapolis, Maryland, and on May 11, 1906, was appointed a cadet for training at the School of Instruction, U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, Curtis Bay, Maryland. Upon his graduation with the commission of Ensign on May 24, 1909, he was assigned to the Mohawk.
Appointed a Lieutenant (junior grade) on October 5, 1910, he was transferred to the Tuscarora on duty at the Great Lakes in April 1911. When winter closed the navigating season there, he was assigned to the Yamacraw, but returned tot he Tuscarora in the Spring of 1912. At the end of that season, he was transferred to the Miami and served in that vessel during her participation in the first International Ice Patrol conducted by the Coast Guard in the season of 1913. At the conclusion of that patrol he was assigned to the Winona. He was awarded the marksman's medal in 1914, and in April 1915, was assigned to anchorage duty at Chicago, Illinois. In connection with this assignment, he cruised the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, enforcing navigation law.
During World War I, Commodore Bennett served in command of the USS Zara, a converted yacht, and as navigator of the USS Columbia and of the USS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. He was promoted to Lieutenant and to Lieutenant Commander in September 1918. At the end of the war he was transferred to the Bothwell, and Eagle Boat, after a short tour of duty in the Apache.
While serving in the Bothwell on Bering Sea Patrol, he was appointed a deputy marshal in Alaska in April 1920. He served in Pacific waters in the Haida until February, 1922, when he was assigned tot he Mojave. Having previously reverted to his permanent rank of Lieutenant (junior grade), after World War I, he was advanced in rank to Lieutenant on April 23, 1921 and again to Lieutenant Commander on January 12, 1912.
He assumed temporary command of the Cahokia in the summer of 1923, and was named Captain of the Port and Assistant Inspector at Chicago, Illinois, in October 1923. He was assigned tot he destroyer Jouett in July 1924 and later commanded the Burrows and then the Fanning, both destroyers. Appointed a Commander on July 1, 1929, he was assigned to duty as Commander of the Puget sound Patrol until October 1930, when he became Commanding Officer of the Mojave on duty in the Atlantic. After serving at the Coast Guard Base, Cape May, New Jersey, for six months, he assumed command of the Gresham in October, 1931. A year later he was made Commanding Officer of the Saranac.
He left the Saranac in February, 1935, for an assignment in the War Plans Division of the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. For his "excellent service" in this assignment, he was commended by Admiral W.H. Standley, U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, who said, "Because of his mature judgement, long sea-going experience, and pleasing personality, Commander Bennett has been of great assistance, not only in matters involving liaison with the Coast guard, but also in the solution of problems confronting this Department."
He returned to command the Saranac from September, 1936, until April, 1939, when he was appointed Commander, Southern California Section of the San Francisco Division, and Captain of the Port of San Pedro, enforcing port rules and regulations. During this tour of duty he established the present Eleventh Coast Guard District and was the first Commander of that District. He was commissioned a Captain on October 1, 1940.
In May of 1942, he was assigned to Groton, Connecticut, in connection with the building, equipping, and manning of the Coast Guard Training Station, of which he was made Commanding Officer. On December 19, 1945, he was promoted to his present grade of Commodore. For his performance of duty at Groton he was commended by the Secretary of the Navy and wears the Commendation Ribbon. On May 31, 1946 he again assumed command of the Eleventh Coast Guard District.