Elizabeth P. Hoisington
|Elizabeth Paschel Hoisington|
Hoisington as a Colonel and Director of the Women's Army Corps, circa 1967.
November 3, 1918|
|Died||August 21, 2007
|Buried at||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1942-1971|
|Commands held||Women's Army Corps|
|Battles/wars||World War II
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
|Relations||Colonel Perry M. Hoisington (grandfather)
Colonel Gregory Hoisington (father)
Major General Perry M. Hoisington II (brother)
Elizabeth Hoisington enlisted in the WAACs in November 1942 and completed her basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. At the time, women were required to serve in units before they could apply to Officer Candidate School (OCS), so Private Hoisington went to a WAAC aircraft early warning unit in Bangor, Maine.
The company commander recognized her talents and made her the first sergeant soon after her arrival.
She later said that she then sought out the most grizzled male first sergeant she could find and asked him to teach her what she needed to know. She claimed that he did such a good job that when she reached OCS she never had to open a book.
Hoisington was commissioned in May, 1943, as a WAAC third officer. When the auxiliary became the Women's Army Corps (WAC) a month later, its officers changed to standard Army ranks, and Hoisington became a second lieutenant. She deployed to Europe, serving in France after D-Day. Hoisington continued her career after World War II and advanced through the ranks to colonel as she commanded WAC units in Japan, Germany, and France and served in staff assignments in San Francisco and at the Pentagon.
She was appointed the seventh director of the Women's Army Corps on August 1, 1965, and served from 1966 to 1971. As director during the Vietnam War she visited WACs serving in Saigon and Long Binh in September, 1967. According to some sources, Hoisington discouraged sending Army women to Vietnam because she believed the controversy would deter progress in expanding the overall role of women in the Army.
Promotion to Brigadier General
On June 11, 1970, the two women were promoted. Hays and Hoisington were promoted on the same day within minutes of each other. Because they were promoted in alphabetical order, Hays was the first woman in the United States Armed Forces to wear the insignia of a brigadier general.
The Hoisington and Hays promotions resulted in positive public relations for the Army, including appearances on the Dick Cavett, David Frost and "Today" shows. Hoisington, who was noted for her quick smile and ebullient personality, also appeared as a mystery guest on the popular game show "What's My Line?"
Hoisington retired on August 1, 1971.
Her grandfather, Colonel Perry Milo Hoisington I, helped to organize the Kansas National Guard. Her father, Gregory Hoisington, was a graduate of West Point and a colonel in the Army. He was a direct descendant of Ebenezer Hoisington, a founder of the state of Vermont and a soldier in the American Revolution.
She was survived by a younger brother, Robert, and a sister, Nancy.
Death and burial
- Evelyn Monahan, Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee, A Few Good Women, 2010, page 29
- M. Michaela Hampf, Release a Man for Combat: The Women's Army Corps During World War II, 2010, page 31
- Association of the United States Army, Army magazine, Volume 24, 1974, page 22
- Association of the United States Army, Brig. Gen. Elizabeth P. Hoisington Dies, August 23, 2007
- Debbie Elliott, Pioneer Soldier: Brig. Gen. Elizabeth Hoisington, August 26, 2007
- Bettie J. Morden, Center of Military History, The Women's Army Corps, 1945-1978, 1990, page 217
- Associated Press, New WAC Head Acts Like Recruit, The Tuscaloosa News, June 26, 1966
- Kay Bailey Hutchison, Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers, 2008, page 34
- Associated Press, Nixon Nominates Women to Wear Stars, May 16, 1970
- Robert A. Dobkin, Associated Press, 2 Women Generals Win Stars, Schenectady Gazette, June 12, 1970
- Associated Press, 2 Women Become Generals, The Spokane Spokesman-Review, June 12, 1970
- Matt Schudel, Pioneering Brig. Gen. Elizabeth P. Hoisington, August 24, 2007
- on YouTube
- New York Times, 1st Woman General Hailed On Retirement From Army, August 1, 1971
- Frances Spatz Leighton, 'Work' is Motto of Army's Newest Stars, Pittsburgh Press-Gazette, July 8, 1970
- Washington Post, Obituary, Air Force Gen. Perry M. Hoisington II, May 3, 2006
- Los Angeles Times, Obituaries; Elizabeth P. Hoisington, 88; Pioneering Brigadier General Led the Women's Army Corps, September 3, 2007
- Elizabeth P. Hoisington at Find A Grave
An obituary in the Washington Post dated November 4, 2007, lists four siblings: Major General Perry M. Hoisington, USAF (Ret.), Lt Col Robert H. Hoisington, USA (Ret.), Mary Jo Maertens and Nancy H. Smith; 18 nieces and nephews, numerous great- and great-great nieces and nephews.
- "Brigadier General Anna Mae Hays: 13th Chief, Army Nurse Corps" by Mary T. Sarnecky
- History of Army Women: Significant Dates (1966 - 1975)
- Timeline Dates for Women in the Military Officially
- "The Women’s Army Corps during the Vietnam War" by Colonel Bettie J. Morden, U.S. Army Retired
- Women in the United States Military History: In Vietnam
- Washington Post obituary - source: The American Family Hoisington, by Harry Hoisington, 1934
- Museum of Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame: Col. Perry M. Hoisington (her father)
- Women in the U.S. Army
- The short film "Retirement Ceremony for Brigadier General Elizabeth P. Hoisington: Part I (1971)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- The short film "Retirement Ceremony for Brigadier General Elizabeth P. Hoisington: Part II (1971)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive