- The Washington Times - Friday, April 23, 2021

The Navy‘s newest guided-missile destroyer will be named after a pioneering nurse who became the first woman awarded the Navy Cross, military officials said Friday.

The USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) will be christened on April 24, 2021, during a ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the service said. 

She joined the Navy in 1908 as one of the “Sacred Twenty,” the first 20 women to become part of the service’s new Nurse Corps and went on to serve in World War I. In 1911, Mrs. Higbee was named the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps. She was awarded the Navy Cross, the service’s highest award, for “distinguished service in the line of her profession and unusual and conspicuous devotion to duty.”

“The future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee will serve for decades as a reminder of [her] service to our nation and her unwavering support of a strong and healthy Navy and Marine Corps team,” said acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker. “The ship honors not only her service but that of all of our Navy nurses who support the strength and well-being of our service members and their families.”

The San Diego-based ship will be the 73rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the fleet and the second Navy combat vessel named for Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee. The USS Higbee was the first combat warship honoring a female member of the U.S. Navy when it was commissioned in 1945.

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