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Hybridizer Clifford W. Benson(1913-2000)

Chesterfield, Missouri, USA

From The Bulletin of the American Iris Society, No. 144(January 1957): On January 1,1957, as this Bulletin was being readied for its mailing, the AIS acquired a new Secretary. He is Clifford W. Benson, of 1201 Verl Place, St. Louis, Missouri, and I want to tell you about him for he is quite a fellow. Cliff, as he is known to all his friends, was born in St. Louis October 26, 1923. He is currently a bachelor and has two brothers, Wilbur and Clarence, and lives with his mother, Mrs. Libbie Benson. He has lived in St. Louis all his life and for the last twenty years at 1201 Verl Place. He attended Lincoln grade school, Normandy High School and Washington University.

For the past ten years he has either been in the Army, the Enlisted Reserves or the Air National Guard. Cliff entered the army from St. Louis in January 1943 and was separated December 1945. During that time he attended Cryptographic School at Fort Monmouth and was assigned to the 83rd Infantry Division. He was later transferred to the Adjutant General's Section and became Enlisted Section Chief. Later he was transferred to the Commanding General's office, becoming confidential Secretary. In this position he did administrative work for General George Patton, Commanding General of the Fifth army when General Patton visited the 83rd Division. While serving in the above capacity Cliff participated in the following battles: Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe and the battle of Normandy. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service overseas.

After he was discharged from the regular army, Cliff joined the Enlisted Reserves and served through October 1946. He then joined the Missouri Air National Guard and served till October 1956. In this period he was recalled to the army during the Korean war and served as Personnel Supervisor of the 131st. Fighter-Bomber Wing until July 1952. Cliff served as a civilian employee in the National Guard, being Administrative Supervisor, a position he held until December 1955 and then went to work for the McDonald Aircraft Corp. as Administrative Engineer. As Cliff put it, "Nothing much can be told about this position since practically all of my work is Top Secret. This though I can say, I have spent the last seven months in California at the Edwards Air Force Base on Flight Test Projects-testing our F 101A Demons."

Besides the Stars and Stripes, Cliff is mighty proud of the following "Flag"; Swan Lake, CC, HC; White Sentry, CC, HC; Estate, CC; Tosca, CC, HC, HM; Bellerive, CC, HC, HM, Presidents Cup; Joan Crawford, HC, HM; Encounter, HC; Starlift, HC, HM; Flirtation, HC, HM; Elsie Werner, CC; Night Patrol, HC, HM; Norwood, CC; Marion Marlowe, HC. This last variety is to be introduced in 1957. Current plans call for Cliff to spend the first two weeks in 1957 in Nashville in order to learn the routine of the office. The next two weeks are to be spent in moving the several thousand pounds of equipment, books and records and in setting up the new office in St. Louis.

["Hybridizers Medal", A.I.S. Bulletin 204 (January 1972): 47.] The Board of Directors, at the Oklahoma City meeting, voted the Hybridizers Medal to Clifford W. Benson. Among the major awards which Benson irises have won are the President's Cup in 1952, with BELLERIVE; an AM in 1961 with HENRY SHAW, which later was the first winner of the Clara B. Rees Cup for white irises; an AM on JEAN SIBELIUS in 1962; an AM on HELEN TRAUBEL in 1965; an AM on SKYWATCH in 1967, which won the Dykes Medal in 1970; and an AM on ARCTIC FURY, which also won the Clara B. Rees Cup in 1969.


Tall Bearded: 'Agnes Moorehead' 1978, 'Air De Ballet' 1965, 'Angel's Serenade' 1973, 'Antonin Dvorak' R.1972, 'Arctic Fury' 1964, 'At Ease' R.1952, 'Bartow Lammert' 1958, 'Bellerive' 1950, 'Bunthorne' R.1949, 'Candlewyck' R.1969, 'Central Park' 1972, 'Cherished Hour' 1973, 'Colaska' R.1947, 'Concert Sparkler' R.1969, 'Concert Tour' R.1964, 'Coral Artist' 1974, 'Courtship' 1964, 'Cupid's Frolic' 1981, 'Dashing Prince' 1965, 'Deep Caress' 1970, 'Demure Miss' 1977, 'Edvard Grieg' 1981, 'Elise Werner' 1953, 'Elvis Presley' 1982, 'Embraceable' 1978, 'Encounter' 1956, 'Estate' 1949, 'Falcon's Lair' R.1973, 'Flapperette' 1965, 'Flatterer' R.1978, 'Flirtation' 1956, 'Forest Lake' R.1977, 'Golden Woods' R.1970, 'Gorgeous Hussy' 1981, 'Helen Traubel' 1960, 'Henry Shaw' 1959, 'Hesitation' R.1952, 'Ice Bound' 1970, 'Ice Cream Castle' 1981, 'Islander' 1960, 'Jean Sibelius' 1959, 'Joan Crawford' 1954, 'Jungfrau' R.1951, 'Kiss Waltz' 1982, 'Lake Placid' 1977, 'Lavish Debut' R.1977, 'Love Theme' 1974, 'Lover' R.1952, 'Maestro Puccini' 1972, 'Mariner' 1960, 'Marion Marlowe' 1957, 'Mary Pickford' 1959, 'Mascara' 1967, 'Mingled Chimes' R.1978, 'Miss Dolly Dollars' 1970, 'Miss St. Louis' 1958, 'Mlle. Modiste' 1972, 'Night Ambush' R.1965, 'Night Frost' 1972, 'Night Hawk' 1973, 'Night Patrol' 1954, 'Norwood' 1954, 'Orient Express' 1982, 'Paris Opera' 1972, 'Peter Tchaikovsky' R.1982, 'Pinup Queen' 1978, 'Playboy Prince' 1981, 'Polar Express' R.1972, 'Polar Flight' R.1977, 'Pulitzer Prize' R.1977, 'Pursuit' R.1952. 'Rare Essence' R.1976, 'Rustic Wedding' 1982, 'Silent Snow' 1970, 'Skyraider' R.1977, 'Skywatch' 1964, 'Snow Treasure' 1977, 'Spring Symphony' 1972, 'Star Stream' R.1969, 'Starlift' 1954, 'Stolen Hours' R.1978, 'Swan Lake' 1949, 'Tosca' 1949, 'Twenty Fathoms' R.1964, 'Van Cliburn' 1961, 'Venetian Vanilla' 1973, 'Victor Herbert' 1977, 'White Ritual' R.1951, 'White Sentry' 1949,

-- Main.RPries - 2012-05-18
Topic revision: r20 - 15 Mar 2018, davepote
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