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Captain Nichola Goddard sits in the back of a LAV-III on April 16, 2006 at Forward Base Robinson, near Sangin in Helmand province, Afghanistan. G (Murray Brewster/The Canadian Press)
Captain Nichola Goddard sits in the back of a LAV-III on April 16, 2006 at Forward Base Robinson, near Sangin in Helmand province, Afghanistan. G (Murray Brewster/The Canadian Press)

First woman to fall in Afghan combat earns nautical honour Add to ...

The Harper government is honouring Nichola Goddard, the first Canadian female soldier to die in combat, by naming a new Coast Guard vessel after her.

Sources say Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea and Veterans Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn announced the move Thursday in Ottawa. The government will also name other vessels after fallen Canadian soldiers.

Army Captain Goddard died in May, 2006.

As a forward observation officer, Capt. Goddard's job was to call artillery fire on enemy targets. It was a risky assignment, one of the most dangerous in the artillery, but she was known as a strong leader who inspired loyalty and courage among the soldiers of her unit.

The Harper government has commissioned new mid-shore Coast Guard patrol vessels and one of these will be named after the Calgary-based soldier.

The government has also named six other vessels after other Canadians, now deceased, who served their country, from RMCP officers to Coast Guard members.

Capt. Goddard, 26, was killed in an intense firefight with up to 200 Taliban insurgents near Panjwai, about 24 kilometres west of Kandahar city, where hundreds of Canadian soldiers were supporting Afghan security forces.

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