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Memorial for Vincent Benedict

Born on Jul. 4, 1912
Departed on Apr. 7, 2013 and resided in Bryn Mawr, PA.
Viewing: Friday, Apr. 12, 2013
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Funeral Mass: Saturday, Apr. 13, 2013
10:30 am
Cemetery: Calvary
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

  
VINCENT BENEDICT, 100, BATTLE OF THE BULGE SURVIVOR AND WWII POW SURVIVOR

Mr. Benedict was born at home in Philadelphia on July 4, 1912 and lived in the Philadelphia area virtually his entire life. He was graduated from Overbrook High School in 1930, and awarded a four-year scholarship to the Museum School of Industrial Art and Design (now the University of the Arts).

In 1932 the financial needs of his family caused by the Great Depression required him to forfeit the remaining two years of his scholarship. He took a job with the Reuben-Donnelly Corporation, planning to return to school at a later date, which he did in September 1934.

Participating in a student art exhibition at the school, Benedict's lettering and design skills caught the eye of a representative of the N.W. Ayer ad agency, then one of the nation's largest, headquartered in Philadelphia. Ayer hired Benedict in June 1935 and he remained at Ayer until April 1944, when the Army drafted him.

After completing 21 weeks of infantry training at Camp Blanding, Florida, in October 1944 he was sent to Europe on the British troop ship Aquatania, arriving at Grenoch, Scotland four days later. Then he was sent to Southampton, England where he boarded a second troop ship and crossed the English Channel to France. He landed on Omaha Beach in mid October, where three months earlier the allies invaded Europe on D-Day. He traveled by rail across France and Belgium to Luxembourg, where he was assigned to the 28th Division, 112th Infantry Regiment in the Hurztgen Forest near Mallesesmuhl. His commanding officer learned of Benedict's drawing skills and art background and put him to work doing reconnaissance for the regiment and drawing detailed maps based on his observations.

Early in the morning of December 16, 1944 the Germans launched a desperate counteroffensive that came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. On December 18, while trying to escape from Mallesmuhl, Benedict and about 100 of his fellow soldiers were taken prisoner by the Germans and sent to Stalag 3-A in Luchenwald, about 30 kilometers south of Berlin. Later, as the Germans began their retreat and the war in Europe was reaching its conclusion, Benedict and the other POWs were moved to Stalags 11-A and 12-A.

In April 1945 Benedict was freed from captivity by General Terry Allen's 101st Division, and following the end of the war in May 1945 returned to the USA by way of Newport News, Virginia, arriving in June. After several months of physical rehabilitation, he was separated from the Army and returned to civilian life.

He returned to N.W. Ayer but in October of 1945 resigned and joined Gray & Rogers ad agency where he eventually rose to the position of Vice President, Senior Art Director, and member of the board of directors. In 1974 he resigned in order to do freelance work for several small ad agencies closer to his Main Line home. He permanently retired from the advertising business in 1997 when he turned 85.
On March 27, 2012, to correct its oversight, the Army awarded Mr. Benedict his WWII POW Medal, the presentation of which was covered in a front-page story by the Inquirer on March 28, 2012. He had previously been awarded the CIB (combat infantryman's badge), awarded only to those soldiers in actual combat.

Mr. Benedict resided with his wife Carmela (Durso) in Bryn Mawr since 1961. In September 2011 they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Benedict died on New Year's Day 2012 at age 93. He is survived by his children, Vincent (Christine), Paul (Arlene), and Vicky Farber (Lee). A second daughter, Barbara (Norton), died in 1987. In addition to his three children he is survived by 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Relatives and friends are invited to his Viewing on Friday, 7-9 PM at the D'Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall, 2811 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA 19008 and to his Funeral Mass on Saturday, 10:30 AM at St. John Neumann Church, 380 Highland Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Interment Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Caring Hospice, 400 Commerce Drive, Fort Washington, PA 19034 or Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka,
Kansas 66675, would be appreciated.
  

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