Kristen F. Heiberg Oral History Interview

October 6, 2000
Oral History #OH0203
Reid, Phillip F.; Heiberg, Kristen F.
Physical description
0.01 Cubic Feet, 2 audiocassettes, 2 hours, 34 pages
Preferred Citation
Kristen F. Heiberg Oral History Interview (#OH0203), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Scope and arrangement

Electrician's-Mate Class Kristen F. Heiberg served on six warships during WorldWar II, including the destroyer USS Benham (DD-397). While serving on the Benham, Mr. Heiberg participated in the ferrying of planes to Wake Island just before Pearl Harbor, witnessed the immediate aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack, accompanied the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, in which Benham fired on Japanese fishing vessels engaging in clandestine scouting for the enemy, the Battle of Midway, in which Benham rescued 721 survivors from the carrier Yorktown, and later rescued survivors from the destroyer Hammann after both Yorktown and Hammann were torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-168. On the night of 15 November 1942, during the Battle of Guadalcanal, Mr. Heiberg was in a forward compartment on the Benham, when a Japanese warship blew off the destroyer's bow with a torpedo. He and the rest of the crew abandoned ship in the darkness and were recovered by the USS Gwin (DD-433), which subsequently sank the Benham with gunfire. His later war service included the shakedown cruise of the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Bell (DD-587), commissioned 1943, the seaplane tender USS Kenneth Whiting (AV-14), the gasoline tanker USS Klaskanine (AOG-63), the attack transport USS Crescent City (PA-21), in which he saw further action during the island-hopping U.S. offensive, and the attack cargo ship USS Algol (AKA-54).

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Gift of Kristen F. Heiberg

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

General note


Key terms
Personal Names
Heiberg, Kristen F.
Corporate Names
Hammann (Ship)
United States. Navy--Electrician's mates--Interviews
Yorktown (Aircraft carrier : CV-5)
Guadalcanal, Battle of, Solomon Islands, 1942-1943
Midway, Battle of, 1942
Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941
Wake Island, Battle of, Wake Island, 1941
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
Tokyo (Japan)--History--Bombardment, 1942