George Joseph Hayes – Major General, United States Army

From a contemporary press report

George Joseph Hayes, 84, an Army physician and neurosurgeon who retired in 1974 as a Major General, died of kidney failure November 4, 2002, at Suburban Hospital.

After retiring from military service, General Hayes served until 1986 as Medical Director for Amtrak. He also was a clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University's medical  school.

General Hayes, a resident of Gaithersburg, was born in Washington. He graduated from McKinley Tech High School and Catholic University and received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University Medical School. In 1943, he entered the Army Medical Corps.

In the 1950s and 1960s, he was chief of neurosurgery at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. During the Korean War, he commanded a mobile Army surgical hospital in Korea. In the late 1960s, he was commanding general of the Army Medical Command in Japan. His final military job was as Defense Department principal deputy assistant secretary for health and environment.

General Hayes helped develop the prototype of the helmet that is now standard issue for U.S. combat forces. This version is lighter and offers better protection than the “steel pot” worn by GIs during World War II. He also offered recommendations for the design of military evacuation helicopters.

He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria and St. Raphaels Catholic Church in  Rockville.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Catherine Conger Hayes of Gaithersburg; nine children, Kate Losman of Potomac, Monica Slater-Hayes and Stephen Hayes of Portland, Ore., Timothy Hayes of Bruington, Va., Patrick Hayes of Rockville, Joseph Hayes of North Potomac, Christopher Hayes of Denver, Martin Hayes of Sacramento and Brendan Hayes of Richmond; and 13 grandchildren.


On Monday, November 4, 2002 at Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD. He was the dear husband of Catherine Conger Hayes; beloved father and grandfather.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Raphael's Catholic Church, Falls and Dunster Rds., Rockville, MD on Friday, November 8 at 11 a.m. A graveside service with Full Military Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, December 9, at 11 a.m. Everyone attending, please meet at the cemetery administration building at 10:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Dr. George and Catherine Hayes Scholarship Fund at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Please send contributions to the Office of the Vice-President, JHU, 3400 N. Charles St., Rm. 220, Baltimore, MD 21218-2691. The fund provides financial help to deserving medical students.

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