1855 – Born at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, September 25th. American naval officer.
1877 – Graduated from the United States Naval Academy.
1881 – He was advanced to Ensign and to Lieutenant.
1890 – His assignments ashore included various posts at the Naval Academy, including instructor; and Commandant of Midshipmen; and command of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
1898-1899 – He subsequently served aboard the Old Constitution, and the USS Yantic during the Arctic Expedition of Army Lieutenant Adolphus Washington Greely, aboard the USS Dolphin, and the USS Chicago.
1900-1909 – He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, to Commander and to Captain.
– He was Chief of Staff of the Pacific Fleet, at the same time commanding the USS Albany.
1911 – Commanded the Great Utah, the largest warship then in the world.
1915 – Appointed to the newly created post of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), with the task of creating, within the limits set by the civilian administration (Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, Assistant Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt) a central staff, akin to the Army’s General Staff, for coordinating Naval training, supply and planning.
– He was promoted to Rear Admiral in May and to full Admiral the following year.
1918 – Was the a Navy Representative in the Allied war planning councils.
1919 – Was the Naval adviser to the U.S. delegation at the Versailles Peace Treaty Conference.
– He retired with the rank of Rear Admiral on reaching the statuary age of 64 on September.
1920 – He served as Chairman of the U.S. Shipping Board.
– He was trustee of the Emergency Fleet Corporation.
1921 – He was the first President of the National Council of Catholic Men.
1923 – He published The Merchant Marine.
1932 – He died in Washington, D.C. on May 20th and was buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery, where he rests among other family members.
– USS Benson (DD-421) and USS Admiral W. S. Benson (AP-120) were named in his honor.