To date, there have been 43 U.S. Navy ships named after Navy medical personnel--i.e., dentists, hospital corpsmen, nurses, and physicians. Of these ships, 20 are named after hospital corpsmen, 18 after physicians (including three World War II ambulance ships), 4 dentists, and 1 destroyer is named after a Navy nurse, Superintendent Lenah Higbee. For your interest, we have listed these ships below and included a very brief overview of the respective namesake.
Ships named after Navy medical personnel.
USS Benfold (DDG-65)
Commissioned 30 March 1996. Named after Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Edward C. Benfold, USN, KIA Korea, 5 September 1952. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Blackwood (DE-219)
Commissioned in December 1943. Named after CDR James D. Blackwood, MC who was KIA while serving in USS Vincennes during the battle of Savo Island, 9 August 1942.
USS Boone (FFG-28)
Commissioned 15 May 1982. Named after Vice Admiral Joel T. Boone, White House physician and pioneer in Navy medicine. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Bronstein (DE-189)
Commissioned 13 September 1943. Named after LTJG Ben R. Bronstein, MC, who was KIA while serving aboard the USS Jacob Jones which was sunk by German submarine U-578 off the New Jersey coast, 28 February 1942. There were less than 30 survivors. In 1952, USS Bronstein was transferred to the Republic of Uruguay and renamed the Artigas (DE-2)
USS Caron (DD-970)
Commissioned 1 October 1977. Named after Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Wayne M. Caron, USN, KIA Quang Nam, South Vietnam, 28 July 1968. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Crowley (DE-303)
Commissioned 25 March 1944. Named after LCDR Thomas Crowley, DC, who was KIA while serving aboard USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
USS Dewert (FFG-45)
Commissioned 19 November 1983. Named after Hospitalman Richard Dewert, USNR, KIA Woju, Korea, 5 April 1951. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Durant (DE-389)
Commissioned 16 November 1943. Named for Pharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class Kenneth Durant.
USS Frament (DE-677/APD-77)
Commissioned 15 August 1943. Name after Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Paul Stanley Frament, USNR, KIA Guadalcanal, 19 November 1942.
USS Grayson (DD-435)
Commissioned 7 August 1940. Named after RADM Cary Travers Grayson physician to President Woodrow Wilson.
USS Gendreau (DE-639)
Commissioned 17 March 1944. Named after CAPT Elphege A. M. Genreau, MC, who was KIA while aboard the LST-343 when it was hit by a Japanese dive-bomber, 21 July 1943.
USS Hammond (DE-1067)
Commissioned 25 July 1970. Named after Hospitalman Francis C. Hammond, USN, KIA Sanee-Dong, Korea, 26 March 1953. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Halyburton (FFG-40)
Commissioned 7 January 1984. Named after Pharmacist’s Mate William D. Halyburton, Jr, USNR, KIA Okinawa, 10 May 1945. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Heerman (DD-532)
Commissioned 6 July 1943. Named after Surgeon’s Mate Lewis Heermann who was put in command of the ketch Intrepid during the hospitalities with the Barbary States in 1804. Help to authorize the establishment of Navy hospitals.
USS Higbee (DD-806)
Commissioned 13 November 1944. Named after the second Navy nurse superintendent and first woman to receive the Navy Cross while still living.
USS Jobb (DE-707)
Commissioned 4 July 1944. Named after Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Richard P. Jobb who was KIA on Guadalcanal, 26 January 1943.
USS Joy (DE-585)
Commissioned 28 April 1944. Named after Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel Joy, USNR, KIA Guadalcanal, 5 October 1942.
USS Kane (DD-235)
Commissioned 11 June 1920. Named after Elisha Kent Kane, the naval officer, physician and explorer who pioneered the American route to the North Pole.
Recommissioned 25 September 1939.
USNS Kane (AGS-27. Redesignated APD-18)
Commissioned 20 November 1965. Named after Elisha Kent Kane, the naval officer, physician and explorer who pioneered the American route to the North Pole.
USS Lester (DE-1022)
Commissioned 14 June 1957. Named after Hospital Apprentice Fred F. Lester, USN, KIA Okinawa 8 June 1945. (Medal of Honor Recipient)
USS Litchfield (DD-336)
Commissioned 12 May 1920. Named after Pharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class John R. Litchfield, USN, KIA France, 15 September 1918.
USS Liddle (DE-206)
Ship was laid down and named Liddle, but never commissioned in the U.S. Navy. She was launched 31 May 1943 and transferred to the United Kingdom as HMS Bligh (K-467). Ship was to be named after Hospital Apprentice First Class W.A. Liddle, Jr., KIA in Guadalcanal, 19 August 1942.
USS Longshaw (DD-559)
Commissioned 4 December 1943. Named after William Longshaw, Jr., a 25-year-old Assistant Surgeon who was killed in action during the Civil War while administering to the wounded in an attack on Fort Fisher, NC, 15 January 1865.
USS Miles (DE-183)
Commissioned 4 November 1943. Named after LTJG Samuel S. Miles, MC, KIA on Tulagi, Soloman Islands, 7 August 1942.
USS O’Reilly (DE-330)
Commissioned 28 December 1943. Named after Edward J. O’Reilly, DC, who was KIA while serving aboard USS Astoria, off Guadalcanal, 26 August 1942.
USS Osborne (DD-295)
Commissioned 17 May 1920. Named after LTJG Weedon Osborne DC, who was KIA in the Chateau Thierry area, France while attending to the wounded, 8 May 1917. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Parker (DE-369)
Commissioned 25 October 1944. Named after Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Thaddeus Parker, USN, KIA New Georgia, 20 July 1943.
USS Pinkney (APH-2)
Commissioned November 1942. Named after Medical Director Ninian Pinkney, who is best known for his service as Fleet Surgeon in the Mississippi River Squadron, during the Civil War (1861-1865). In September 1946, Pinkney was transferred to U.S. Army Transportation Service and renamed Private Elden H. Johnson.
USS Rall (DE-304)
Commissioned 8 April 1944. Named after LTJG Richard R. Rall, MC, who was KIA while serving aboard the USS Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
USS Ray (DD-971)
Commissioned 19 November 1977. Named after Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David R. Ray, USN, KIA An Hoa, Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, 28 July 1968. (Medal of Honor recipient)
USS Ringness (DE-590. Redesignated APD-100)
Commissioned 25 October 1944. Named after LT Henry R. Ringness, MC, KIA Guadalcanal, 17 October 1942.
USS Rixey (APH-3)
Commissioned February 1943. Named after former Navy Surgeon General, and medical inspector, RADM Presley M. Rixey. In March 1946, Rixey was transferred to U.S. Army Transportation Service and renamed Private William H. Thomas.
USS Tatum (APD-81)
Commissioned on 22 November 1943. Named after LCDR Laurice Aldridge Tatum, DC, USNR who died aboard the USS Wasp (CV-7) after the ship was hit by an enemy torpedo on 29 May 1942.
USS Tucker (DD-875)
Commissioned on 12 March 1945. Named for Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Henry W. Tucker (1919–1942) who was killed in action during the battle of the Coral Sea on 7 May 1942 and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
USS Tryon (APH-1)
Commissioned 30 September 1942. Named after COMMO James R. Tryon, MC, who served as Navy Surgeon General 1893 to 1897. In 17 July 1947, Tryon was transferred to U.S. Army Transportation Service and renamed Charles E. Mower.
USS Valdez (DE-1096)
Commissioned 27 July 1974. Named after Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Phil I. Valdez, USN, KIA Danang, South Vietnam, 29 January 1967.
USS Walter Wann (DE-412)
Commissioned 2 May 1944. Named after Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Walter C. Wann, USN, KIA, Guadalcanal, 7 August 1942.
USS Jack Williams (FFG-24)
Commissioned 19 September 1981. Named for Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Jack Williams, USNR, KIA Iwo Jima, 3 March 1945. (Medal of Honor Recipient)
USS John Willis (DE-1027)
Commissioned 21 February 1957. Named for Pharmacist’s Mate 1st Class John Harlan Willis, USN, KIA Iwo Jima, 28 February 1945. (Medal of Honor Recipient)
USS Wood (DE-287)
Construction of this vessel was cancelled before completion. Ship was to be named after COMMO William M. Wood, the first Chief of the Medical Corps to hold the title of Surgeon General (1871).
USS Wood (DD-317)
Commissioned 28 January 1920. Named after COMMO William M. Wood, the first Chief of the Medical Corps to hold the title of Surgeon General (1871).
USS Wood (DD-715)
Commissioned 24 November 1945. Named after COMMO William M. Wood, the first Chief of the Medical Corps to hold the title of Surgeon General (1871).
USS Woods (DE-721. Redesignated APD-118)
Commissioned 28 May 1945. Named after Hospital Apprentice 1st Class Don O. Woods, KIA in Gavutu, Solomon Islands, 8 August 1942.