Anna Mae Hays

Anna Mae Hays
BGEN Anna Mae Hays.jpg
BornAnna Mae Violet McCabe[1]
(1920-02-16)February 16, 1920
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 7, 2018(2018-01-07) (aged 97)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Cause of deathComplications from a heart attack
Burial placeGrandview Cemetery
OccupationArmy nurse
Spouse(s)William Hays (until 1962; his death)[1]
Military career
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1942–1971
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Commands heldArmy Nurse Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War Vietnam
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Army Commendation Medal
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon (2)
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Korea Service Medal

Anna Mae Violet McCabe Hays (February 16, 1920 – January 7, 2018) was an American military officer who served as the 13th chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She was the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to a General Officer rank; in 1970, she was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.[2] Hays paved the way for equal treatment of women, countering occupational sexism, and made a number of recommendations, which were accepted into military policy.

Early life

Hays was born in 1920 in Buffalo, New York as the middle of three children in the family.[3][2] Her father's name was Daniel Joseph McCabe II (1881–1939),[4][5] who was from Ballymurphy, County Carlow, Ireland,[4] while her mother's name was Mattie Florence Humphrey (1885–1961),[4][6][7] who was of Welsh descent;[8] both her parents were members of The Salvation Army.[2] During Hays' childhood the family moved several times in the western New York and eastern Pennsylvania areas, but settled in Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in 1932.[2][9] She had an elder brother, Daniel Joseph and a younger sister, Katherine Evangeline.[4][7] Hays attended Allentown High School, now William Allen High School, graduating with honours in 1938.[10][11] Hays had a love of music, playing the piano, the organ and the French horn, and wanted to go to Juilliard School to study music but due to a lack of funds for tuition she decided to pursue nursing instead.[2]

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