Military Monday – Bentura “Benny” G. Sanchez

Bentura "Benny" Sanchez (Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

This Military Monday I would like to post about my Uncle Benny.  My uncle was always a man who could command the attention of those around him whether at a family function, or on stage.

He was born in 1925 in Colorado and died in 1979 in Riverside, California.  He served in the Korean War.  I don’t have the details on his service yet, but I have wonderful pictures.

This portrait of my uncle in his uniform was a picture that he sent to his grandmother, my great-grandmother.  The writing states:  “(dated: 2-29-52) Con todo carino, dedico esta foto para mi abuelita = La Sra, Conception Lopez=  Sinceramente= Benny Sanchez.”  It translates as follows:  “(dated 2-29-52)  With all my affection, I dedicate this picture to my grandmother, Ms Conception Lopez = Sincerely = Benny Sanchez.” (As translated by Google Translate.)

Here are more military photos of my uncle:

(Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)
(Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)
(Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

My uncle has always been a musician.  He played different guitars.  I remember at his house, that the den/game room which had a pool table, had his instruments hung on the wall.  Whenever there was a family function at his house, all of the men would end up in the pooltable room, drinking and playing pool.  Eventually, my uncle and a few other men would take the instruments off the wall and play music.  I love that my uncle loved music.

Eventhough he was in the military, it didn’t stop him musically.  As you can see from these photos:

My uncle benny is in the center standing. (Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)
The back of the previous photo. (Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

The back of this photo is transcribed as follows:  “23 Oct 1953 – Mama, Dedico este retrato como un recuerdo de su hijo Benny, y los tres latinos, se le fue tomado cuando ______ el con curso de la Division 24th el viejito que este sentado es el Col. Alexander. (de derecha a ________)  Julio Rivera = Puerto Rico – Benny Sanchez = California – Raul Mercado = Puerto Rico – THE THREE LATINS – Sinceramente – Benny.”

There is a word or two that I was not able to transcribe but the translation is approximately as follows:  “23 Oct 1953 – Mama, I dedicate this picture as a memory of your son Benny, and the Three Latinos, when he was taken with ________  of the 24th Division that the old man is sitting Col. Alexander.  (from right to _______) Julio Rivera = Puerto Rico – Benny Sanchez = California – Raul Mercado = Puerto Rico – THE THREE LATINS – Sincerely – Benny.”  The translation was done on Google Translate.

He was even mentioned in the newspaper.  Although I don’t have the name of the newspaper or the date it was published, I have a photo of the small mention of my uncle.

Uncle Benny's mention in the newspaper. (Name of Newspaper and date of publication unknown. Photo owned by B. Sanchez and used with permission.)

The transcription reads:  “WITH THE 24TH INFANTRY DIV. IN JAPAN – Pvt. Benny G. Sanchez, whose wife, Maria, lives at 716 S. Burger Ave., Los Angeles, recently took part in a variety show put on by the 24th Infantry Division’s 21st Regiment in Japan.  The production, entitled “Trip-a-let,” drew on talent from the entire regiment and included musical comedy, dancing and exhibition of professional archery.  Sanchez, a rifleman in Company B of the 21st, arrived in Japan last November.  The son of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Sanchez, 4225 E. Folsom St., Los Angeles, he was a vocalist before entering the Army in January 1952.”

I am very proud of the service my uncle gave to our country and of his musical ability.  My uncle Benny was not just my uncle, but also my “padrino” or godfather.  I loved him and still to this day, miss him very much.  I have always felt a strong bond with my uncle, but until I learned more about him, his military service, and the Three Latins, I realized that I our bond is musical.  Although I am not a professional, I do sing and I know, that if my uncle were still alive he would be at every single performance I had.  Its not just me who was touched by my uncles talent, my cousin, my uncle’s youngest son, sings and sounds just like his dad.  I also have several other cousins who play guitars.  We all have been touched by my uncles talent and carry his spirit with us everyday.  I feel him closest when I am singing.  RIP Uncle Benny!


6 thoughts on “Military Monday – Bentura “Benny” G. Sanchez”

  1. I’m a first time visitor. Your blog was posted on the Mexico Genology Research FB wall…loved it…think I’m here to stay. BTW, I noticed your google translation of Uncle Benny’s pic, The 3 latins & the Col. was missing a couple of words. I’ve taken the liberty of translating them for you: cuando……….. (missing word: ganamos/won) and derecha a _______ (missing word: izquierda/left.)

    In spirit,
    aka gringa fresas


  2. hello, this is Bennys youngest daughter i was very surprise to read about my father when i checked on our family on face book. Looking at these picture brings very loving memories, MY father was very much loved he was very loving to his siblings. i have two boys that remind me so much of my father, however my youngest son love everything about music., when i get with my youngest brother we start sing and all those memories of witnessing my dad in jam session makes me have a smile from ear to ear. RIP daddy i love and miss you so much you would of loved your grandsons.


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