USS Higbee History
USS Higbee DD 806 a Gearing- class destroyer was built by Bath Iron Works, Bath Maine She was commissioned January 27, 1945 and entered the shipyards in Boston to be converted to a radar picket ship The USS Higbee was the first American warship named in honor of a woman. Mrs Lenah S. Higbee was superintendent of the Navy Nursing Corps during the First World War, and for "distinguished service in the line of her profession and conspicuous devotion to duty" she was awarded the Navy's highest decoration, the Navy Cross. Upon completion of her shakedown cruise, Higbee sailed for the Pacific War Zone, where she joined Carrier Task Force 38 in July, 1945. Six days later a suicide plane narrowly missed striking her number one gun mount. During that enemy engagement the Higbee shot down six enemy planes, four within a period of 22 minutes. After the war Higbee continued in service with the Pacific Fleet and made many cruises to the Far East. When hostilities erupted in Korea, Higbee rendezvoused with Carrier Task Force 77 in August 1950 and participated in the launching of air strikes against North Korea. after an overhaul in the states, Higbee returned to the Korean War Zone and served as a gunfire support ship in the landings at Po Hong Dong and at Inchon. Following the Korean War, Higbee resumed her varied peacetime duties in the Eastern and Western Pacific. In May 1960, Higbee deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, from which she operated for 27 months as a permanent part of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Higbee entered the U.S. Naval Shipyard, San Francisco in April 1963 to undergo FRAM Mark 1 conversion to an anti-submarine warfare specialist. In the waters off Vietnam, Higbee pioneered work as the Task Group Commander for the original "Market Time" patrol and in the midst of the Pueblo crisis in 1968 she spent many days patrolling the seas off the Korean coast. Higbee was among the first ships to bombard the coast of North Vietnam in Operation Freedom Train in April 1972. She is credited with the sinking of a North Vietnamese patrol boat in her first week of action off North Vietnam. On April 19, 1972 Higbee became a bombing victim of the Vietnam conflict in the first air-surface action of the war. A direct hit by MiG-17s destroyed the after gun mount. Although no Higbee personnel were either killed or seriously injured, necessary repairs were extensive. Upon termination of the Vietnam conflict Higbee returned to peacetime duties as a member of Destroyer Squadron 27 homeported in Long Beach, California. Higbee was transferred to the Reserve Fleet in May 1975 to replace the destroyer USS Theodore E. Chandler DD 717 homeported in Seattle, Washington . The USS Higbee was decommissioned in 1979 at Pier 91 Seattle,Wa. ending her 33 years of service. Stricken July 15 1979. Higbee was Sunk as a target ship in the Pacific April 24, 1986.
Oct 26 2000 03:21:45:000PM