US Navy names new Arleigh Burke destroyer after pioneering nurse

The U.S. Secretary of the Navy announced that the DDG 123 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will be named Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee to honor women who served in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Higbee, the future ship’s namesake, was a pioneering United States Navy chief nurse, who served as the Superintendent of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps during World War I and was the first female recipient of the Navy Cross.

“It is a great honor to name this ship in recognition of Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee,” said Mabus. “I have no doubt that all who serve aboard her will carry on the legacy of service and commitment exemplified by this pioneer of U.S. Navy Nurse Corps.”

The former USS Higbee (DD-806), commissioned in 1945, was the first ship named in her honor and the first U.S. Navy combat ship to bear the name of a female member of the Naval service.

Mabus honored the service and sacrifice of women who served in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps during a sunset parade on United States Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial grounds.

The ship will be constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, in Mississippi and is expected to enter the Navy fleet in 2024. The ship will be 509-feet-long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.

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