Oveta Culp Hobby and the Women's Army Corps
Marker Text: Oveta Culp Hobby served as the director of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II. Her organizational skills and leadership helped make the WAC a respected part of the American military and opened new possibilities for women in U.S. postwar society.
Born in Killeen on January 19, 1905, Oveta was the second of seven children of Isaac W. and Emma Elizabeth (Hoover) Culp. A good student, she developed an interest in law and state government from her father, a state representative. She gained skills as a legislative parliamentarian and as a reporter for the Austin Statesman before moving to Houston. There she renewed a family friendship with former governor William P. Hobby, president of the Houston Post-Dispatch. They married on February 23, 1931.
In May 1942, with America at war, Oveta Culp Hobby was appointed director of the newly organized Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). Under Colonel Hobby’s leadership, the WAAC provided American women the opportunity to help in the war effort. The first WAAC officers graduated in August 1942. Less than a year later, the WAAC became part of the U.S. Army as the WAC. By the end of the war, more than 99,000 members of the WAC served with army commands in all theaters of the war. Colonel Hobby resigned in June 1945 and returned to Houston. She remained there and continued her service to the city, and from 1953 to 1955 served as the first U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare during Pres. Dwight Eisenhower’s administration. A decorated World War II officer and respected business and civic leader, Oveta Culp Hobby died in Houston on August 16, 1995. (2007)
Marker No: 13776
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 31.120882, -97.733383
Location: 101 North College Street, Killeen