USS Higgins returns to San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USS Higgins returns to San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins received a special homecoming as it returned to San Diego Thursday.

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to greet the ship Thursday morning at Naval Base San Diego.

The ship and its crew of more than 300 sailors left for the Middle East in November.

The USS Higgins is part of the 3rd Fleet, its assignment was an independent deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility covering the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

The ship is named in honor of Marine Col. William R. Higgins, who was captured in Southern Lebanon by Hezbollah militants on Feb. 17, 1988, while serving as chief of Observer Group Lebanon as part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

His captors held the 45-year-old Higgins hostage, tortured him and eventually killed him, releasing a videotape a year-and-a-half after his abduction showing him hanging by the neck. His remains were found on a Beirut Street on Dec. 23, 1991, and interred at Quantico National Cemetery seven days later.

The warship named after Higgins was christened by his widow, Robin, on Oct. 4 1997, and commissioned on April 24, 1999.


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