National Women’s History Month: Lt. Annie G. Fox, First Female Purple Heart Recipient

National Women's History Month, Annie Fox

Image credit: National Archives and Records Administration

First Lt. Annie G. Fox, Army Nurse Corps, (August 4, 1893 – January 20, 1987) was the first female to receive the Purple Heart Medal for combat. She was on duty during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) as bombs rained down on the base at Hickam Field. Fox joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1918, at the end of the First World War. She saved many lives although she was not wounded. At the time the requirements for being awarded the Purple Heart did not involve injury or death. It is recorded that two years afterward when the criteria for the Purple Heart Medal was changed to those wounded or killed in action, Fox was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for her heroic act in lieu of the Purple Heart.

She’s now in the running to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill as the U.S. Treasury prepares to add a woman by 2020.


Lt. Annie Fox, National Women's History Month

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