- LCNAF no2010089866
Major General Elbert "Frenchy" DeCoursey, M.D., was born in Ludlow, Kentucky, on April 12, 1902. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1924 and an MD degree at Johns Hopkins in 1928. He interned at Brooke Army Hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps in 1929.
A pathologist, DeCoursey held various positions in the United States Army. He was the Director of the Army Group Joint Commission for the Investigation of Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Nagasaki, Japan; consultant for the Division of Biology and Medicine for the Atomic Energy Commission; commandant of the Army Medical Service Research and Graduate School (now Walter Reed Institute of Research); Director of Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; and Chancellor of Army Medical Service School at Ft. Sam Houston (now US Army Academy of Health Sciences). DeCoursey rose through the ranks of commissioned officers, and was named a Major General in 1954.
In 1959 DeCoursey retired from military service and became the Director of Scientific Research at Trinity University. He also lectured regularly at the National Institute of Health, the University of Texas Health Science Center, and Baylor University. DeCoursey was the Director of the National Board of Medical Examiners from 1948-1955, Director of the Texas Heart Association, and a trustee of the Southeast Texas Methodist Hospital.
DeCoursey was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1945, was a Diplomat of the American Board of Pathology, and a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists. He was also awarded the Caldwell Award in pathology in 1960 and the Bronze Medal from the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists in 1962. DeCoursey was also a ruling elder of the First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. DeCoursey was married to Esther F. DeCoursey, who was involved in various San Antonio charities. Dr. DeCoursey passed away on December 4, 1994.