CT3 Alan Higgins, USN
January 27, 1948 – June 8, 1967
Alan Higgins was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, on January 27, 1948, and enlisted in the Navy on September 16, 1965. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur C. Higgins of Dover, Delaware.
On Thursday June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, one of eight merchant-type ships which had been modified to perform electronic intelligence, was 14 miles offshore from the Egyptian town of El Arish off the coast of Sinai, when she was attacked by Israeli fighter-bombers. The attack continued for seven minutes, leaving eight of the ship’s crew dead or dying, more than 100 wounded, and the ship riddled and burning. Fourteen minutes later, the Liberty was attacked by three Israeli torpedo boats which raked the ship with gunfire – killing another four men, and then launched torpedoes. One torpedo hit a communications compartment, raising the death total to 34. Within 30 minutes of the torpedo attack, two helicopters carrying armed troops appeared alongside, and two jet fighters loitered in the sky astern as if poised for strikes. As suddenly as it had started, everything stopped. Israel claimed that the 10,000 ton, 459-foot ship was mistaken for the 2,640 tons, 275 foot long, Egyptian troopship, El Quseir.
Alan is one of the 34 who were killed. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Grave #1773, Section 12.