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Rita Lenihan; Headed Women's Branch of Navy

November 30, 1989

Retired Navy Capt. Rita Lenihan, 75, who headed the women's branch of the Navy from 1966 to 1971. She joined the Navy in 1943, shortly after the service inaugurated the WAVES (Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service). A Latin major in college, Lenihan wrote the motto for the coat of arms for WAVES officers: "Honoris Est Nobis Navare Navales' ' ("It is an honor for us to serve the fleet.") Her military decorations include the Legion of Merit. At the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Nov. 23 of cancer.

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