I was happy to read about the return of the ship’s bell of the USS Utah to the University of Utah ("USS Utah artifact returns to U., cleaned and restored," Dec. 7).
There is an interesting bit of information on the bell, now returned to the U. from the temporary loan to the U.S. Naval Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island, where it was on view at Tomich Hall in Newport to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. As noted in the article, Chief Peter Tomich received a posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions on the Utah.
The bell is now on display inside the NROTC building, which is Mervyn Bennion Hall, named for Utah native son Capt. Mervyn Bennion, who was killed while displaying extraordinary bravery as the commanding officer of the USS West Virginia during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He also was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor. Bennion, born in Tooele County, grew up there and Jordan, Utah, was a class of 1912 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he ranked third in his class. He was killed on the bridge of the West Virginia on Dec. 7, 1941. The building housing the NROTC unit was named after Capt. Bennion shortly after construction.