WWII Heroine. In 1942, this nurse who had worked in New York City and Akron, Ohio enlisted in the US Army eventually landing with the US Fifth Army in Morocco, North Africa. In 1943 while in route to Italy a German plane bombed the ship on which she was sailing. As the vessel sunk the 1st Lieutenant refused to leave until she helped sailors rescue two nurses trapped in a cabin. She was awarded the Italian War Cross for Military Valor for this courageous act. In February of 1944 while tending to a wounded soldier at an Anzio Beachhead Hospital a Nazi plane dropped a bomb on the tent. She was killed instantly. War correspondents reported that the nurse's death was the first US woman killed in the European Theater during WWII. She was temporarily interred in a beachhead cemetery next to her fallen patients before being moved to her hometown of Byesville, in 1948, where she was laid to rest next to her mother. Her heroic death led to many posthumous honors including being awarded the Purple Heart. In the spring of 1944 one of the first US Army Hospital Ships to be commissioned was named the "Blanche Faye Sigman" in honor of her heroic and sacrificial service.
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