From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Bennet Riley '56

Date of birth: 1835

Date of death: September 28, 1854

Age: ~19


Bennet Israel Riley was lost sometime after September 28, 1854 when USS Albany (1846) went missing between Aspinwall (now Colón, Panama) and New York.

He was the son of Bennet C. Riley, who was once military governor of California.

He has a memory marker in New York.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Acting Midshipman, 27 December, 1850. Midshipman, 14 July, 1852. Lost in the Albany, 28 September, 1854.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1852

Midshipman, Frigate St. Lawrence

January 1853

Midshipman, Frigate St. Lawrence

January 1854

Midshipman, Sloop Albany

Others at this command:

January 1855

Midshipman, Sloop Albany

Others at this command:

Class of 1856

Bennett is one of 5 members of the Class of 1856 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.