USS Fitzgerald Cmdr. Bryce Benson temporarily removed from position

Benson is a Wisconsin native

The commander of the guided missile destroyer that was struck by a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel last month off Japan was temporarily relieved of command for medical reasons, a U.S. 7th Fleet spokesperson said Tuesday.

Commander Bryce Benson, a Wisconsin native, was removed from his position by Captain Jeffrey Bennett, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 15 on Tuesday.

The removal is said to help Benson recuperate from injuries he sustained following the collision of USS Fitzgerald and ACX Crystal.

The spokesperson, Commander Clay Doss, stressed the several ongoing investigations into the collision and the deaths of seven sailors aboard did not factor in Benson's relief from command of the Fitzgerald.

Doss would not specify the type of injuries Benson sustained or was recovering from.

The commander was injured when his cabin was crushed and warped by the bow of the merchant ship. Benson was hanging outside the side of the destroyer before the crew rescued him by breaking down the door to his stateroom.


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