In 1943 artist Francis V. Kughler, Hudson River Museum Director H. Armour Smith and Women’s Army Corps recruiter Joanne Coates conceived a plan to encourage women of Yonkers to enlist in the army and honor their contribution. Every Yonkers woman who joined the WACs would have her portrait made in oil or pastel by Kughler.
Elizabeth Kocis joined the Air-WAC and worked with her friend Camille Olgee at Mitchel Field in Long Island. Like some of the other WACs, she was an Air Raid Warden before enlisting.
She and her parents were recent immigrants, coming from the Czech Republic soon after 1920. She was an active member of the Slovak Circle, and was considered a linguist as she spoke Russian, Polish and Slavic.