1st female Army general, Buffalo native dies at 97

Jan 11, 2018

The New York Times is reporting the death of America's first female Army general. A native of Buffalo, Anna Mae Hays died of a heart attack at the age of 97 in Washington.

Born Anna Mae Violet McCabe in 1920, she grew up in Pennsylvania. Torn between music and nursing, she entered the Allentown Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1941. "She immediately volunteered for the American Red Cross," the newspaper reported.

Hays was Chief of the Army Nurse Corps when promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1970 and served in three wars: as a front-line nurse in the jungles of India during World War II, in Korea and in Vietnam.

"She paved a career path for other women...and widened occupational opportunities for nurses," the newspaper reported. "She was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit." Hays retired in 1971.