Remembering the military's first female general

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The first woman to ever earn the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. military has died.

Anna May Hays (nee McCabe) passed away from complications related to a heart attack in Washington, D.C. Sunday, according to The Washington Post.

She was 97-years-old.

According to her biography on armyheritage.org, the Buffalo-native joined the army in 1942 during World War II. She was stationed in Ledo, Assam, India, where she worked as a nurse, treating wounded soldiers and helping malaria patients.

Later, she was deployed to Korea during the Korean War, where she worked with the 4th Field Hospital between September 1950 and July 1951.

Hays traveled to Vietnam three times during the Vietnam War to assess the state of nursing and help create new training programs for nurses who were deployed overseas.

In September 1967, Hays was sworn in as the thirteenth chief of the Army Nurse Corps and held the position until she retired in 1971.

In 1970, Hays was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and was the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to a general officer rank.

 

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