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Support a Congressional Gold Medal for the WWI Hello Girls!

Find your state's Hello Girls, and write to Congress. Here's how:

Hello Girls group shot

100 years ago, a brave group of women volunteered to fight for their country-even before they had the right to vote. During World War One, nearly all switchboard operators in the United States were women. Yet when the American Expeditionary Forces deployed to France, they used male personnel to staff these vital parts of the telephone network, even though many of these men had never seen a switchboard!

When General Pershing arrived, he knew things had to change. He issued a personal request for a small unit of women to serve as switchboard operators and real-time translators so that French and American officers could coordinate under fire. Over 7,600 women volunteered for the first 100 slots. Eventually, 223 women and 2 men would serve in France in the Signal Corps Telephone Operator Unit (Female) - colloquially known as the "Hello Girls." They were the first unit of women to directly contribute to combat operations in American history.

Supporting combat operations in France, the Hello Girls connected over 26 million calls, averaging a speed of just ten seconds. That was six times faster than the men they replaced. Over 30 Hello Girls received individual commendations, and two made the ultimate sacrifice for their country while in Army service. 

Yet they returned home to bad news. Despite serving under commissioned officers, wearing dog tags, rank insignia, and uniforms, swearing the Army Oath, and being subject to courts-martial, the Hello Girls were told they had served as "civilian contractors" instead of soldiers. They were ignored for decades and forgotten by history.

For almost 60 years, the surviving unit members petitioned Congress for the same veterans recognition afforded to their male colleagues and female Army nurses. Finally, in 1977, Congress passed a law paving the way for the Hello Girls, and the WASP pilots from WW2, to be recognized as full veterans of the US Armed Forces.

In 2009, the WASPs received the Congressional Gold Medal. This is the highest medal bestowed by civilians in the United States. Today, our Commission is working to honor the Hello Girls with the same award, and we need YOUR help to bring them the recognition they deserve! 

The Hello Girls
Deserve a Congressional Gold Medal

Please help by contacting your legislators!

Below, you'll find a list of Hello Girls sorted by state for you to explore. Once you're done, we hope you will take a few moments to consider contacting your state's two Senators and your Representative in Congress to support this group of pioneering women and heroic Americans. Congress only awards a handful of Congressional Gold Medals each year, and they need to hear your voice as a constituent saying that the now is the time for the 118th Congress to honor the Hello Girls. You can read the legislation submitted in the Senate (S.815 - A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the female telephone operators of the Army Signal Corps, known as the "Hello Girls",  and the House (H.R.1572 - To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the female telephone operators of the Army Signal Corps, known as the "Hello Girls".),

Emails from readers like you have already secured the commitments of 61 Senators and 138 Representatives to support the Hello Girls - your voice does make a difference

Follow these quick steps:

Senators:
  • Click on your state below.
  • Click on the links for one of the two Senators from your state.
  • Fill out each senator's contact form, then copy and paste the state-specific message in the tab into the "Message" field of the form.
  • We encourage you to customize your note before sending!  Make it a personal message from you.
  • Check "yes, I'd like a response" from your Senator.
  • Click "Send"!
  • If you receive a reply from your Senator, or would otherwise like to contact our team with information, please forward any and all correspondence to hellogirls@worldwar1centennial.org.
  • Repeat the process for your other Senator.
 House of Representatives:
  • Click on your state below.
  • Click the link for your Representative 's website from the list of Congressional Districts
  • On your Representative's web site, navigate to the "Contact form.
  • Fill out the Representative's contact form, then copy and paste the state-specific message in the tab into the "Message" field of the form.
  • We encourage you to customize your note before sending!  Make it a personal message from you.
  • Check "yes, I'd like a response" from your Representative.
  • Click "Send"!
  • If you receive a reply from your Representative, or would otherwise like to contact our team with information, please forward any and all correspondence to hellogirls@worldwar1centennial.org.

Thank you for your support!

 

The Hello Girls

The Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit (Female) deployed overseas in six "Groups" each transported in a different ship in case any were sunk on the journey.

Units 1-4 were commanded by a "Chief Operator" who was the equivalent of a Lieutenant. However, they were not commissioned to avoid giving them authority over men. Groups 5 and 6 were commanded by male officers, who also served as the commanding and executive officers of the entire unit. Group 7 did not deploy to France due to the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

"Supervisors" were women who fulfilled the roles of non-commissioned officers within each Group. Again, they bore relative ranks so that their male counterparts outranked them. Most women served as "Operators" equivalent in authority to enlisted soldiers. However, all of the women were quartered and transported in the officers' section of ships, camps, and barracks.

This list was created by staff and volunteers of the United States World War One Centennial Commission after careful examination of individual service records, departure and arrival lists from France, and a previous list compiled by the National Archives, which this list supplants. Some women are affiliated with more than one state; this reflects cases where a residential address differs from a primary address. To illustrate, some of the women were university students when they enlisted, and were studying away from their homes. These women would be counted in both states per our classification. For questions or further details, please contact us at hellogirls@worldwar1centennial.org.

The full list of 223 women and 2 men that deployed to France in Group 1-6, and Group 7 that did not deploy, is as follows:

GROUP 1:

Chief Operator Grace Banker
Supervisor Jean Lois Cunningham
Supervisor Elizabeth Gertrude Hunter
Supervisor Renee Messelin
Supervisor Minnie Rowena Richards
Melina Julia Adam
Ida Eulalie Audet
Jeanne Bouchet
Almeria Capistran
Estella Ismery Caron
Anna Josephine Davis
Cordelia Elizabeth Dupuis
Sarah Angeline Cecelia Mary Fecteau
Marie Louise Ford
Esther Valentine Fresnel
Marie Antoinette Gagnon
Charlotte M. Gyss
Winifred Hardy
Leontine Marine Lamoreux
Rose Julia Langelier
Marie Sophie Albertine Le Blanc
Louise Le Breton
Raymonde Le Breton
Minerva Gladys Nadeau
Helen Agnes Naismith
Frances Bigelow Paine
Bertha Plamondon
Suzanne Prevot
Georgette Yvonne Schaerr
Agnes Mary Theriault
Fernande Jacquelane Van Balkon
Alice Veronica Ward
Clara Whitney

GROUP 2:

Chief Operator Inez Crittenden
Supervisor Isabelle Villiers
Albertine M. Aarents
Margaret Anderson
Julie S. Barrere
Marguerite S. Bleyeres
Emma Marie Brousseau
Bertha A. Carrel
Martha L. Carrel
Edith Dodson
Louise M. Essirard
Anne C. Fox
Lydia C. Gelinas
Darnaby Henton
Martina A. Heynen
Denise Ingram
Anallen Jackson
Ethel S. Keyser
Florence F. Keyser
Anna Laborde
Marie Joanie Lemaire
Martha M. Libert
Marie A. N. Mac Intyre
Millicent Martin
Pauline Mc Dermott
Kathleen Mitchell
Helen Ruth Orb
Drucilla Skone Palmer
Laurence Helen Pechin
F. Helene Perreten
Marie Ponsolle
Katherine H. Robinson
M. Olive Shaw
Marion A. Taylor
Evelyn Thomas
Marjorie Thomas
Hildegarde Van Brunt
Ethelyn White

GROUP 3:

Chief Operator Nellie F. Snow
Supervisor Marie L. Beraud
Supervisor Elizabeth R. Roby
Marie Blanche Belanger
Suzanne M Beraud
Michele F. Blanc
Marie Louise Bousquet
Suzanne Coheleach
Lucile M de Jersey
Miriam de Jersey
Frances Des Jardine
Maria Flood
Yvonne M. Gauthier
Louisette H. Gavard
Blanche B. Grand-Maitre
Adele Louise Hoppock
Burtha Matignon Hunt
Margaret G. Hutchins
Janet R. Jones
Margaret P. Kervin
A. Maude McMullen
Marguerite H. Milner
Eugenie Racicot
Dorothy L. Sage
Bertha J. Verkler
Lillian R. Verkler
Berthe Wuilleumier

GROUP 4:

Chief Operator Geneva Mildred Marsh
Supervisor Beatrice Pauline Bourneuf
Supervisor Beatrice Josephine Francfort
Supervisor Eleanor Rowena Hoppock
Supervisor Eileen Elise Munro
Supervisor Mary Jane Elizabeth Vannier
Charlotte E. Anderson
Berthe Lina Arlaud
Louise Ludavie Armand
Irma Rameline Armanet
Madeline Felicie Antoinette Catherine Batta
Albertine Anne Marie Belhumer
Cora Louise Jane Beraud
Lucienne Nadine Bigou
Georgette Julia Boehrer
Alice Julia Borresen
Eleanore Anastasia Brown
Agnes Grace Burke
Marthe Mary Carroul
Louise Rose Madeleine Chaix
Marguerite Helen Chenot
Evelyn Mary Tilleard Cooper
Juliette Louise Courtial
Eugenie Jeannette Couture
Ruth Emma Couturier
Vivienne Blanche Marianne Hamel
Alma Helen Lorentzia Hawkins
Helen Elizabeth Hill
Kathleen Mary Hyatt
Germaine Marie Anne Lamontagne
Jane Louise Lang
Marie Alexandrine Lange
Ida Blanche Lanz
Evelyn Claire Lariviere
Marie Alexine Lassalle
Marie Edmee Le Roux
Jeanna Catherine Victoire Legallet
Celestine Angele Leguia
Aurelie Cecile Lucier
Emelia Katharine Lumpert
Louise Eugenie Maclin
Mary Marshall
Marguerite Marie Cecile Martin
Pauline Jeanne Francoise McDonnell
Marjorie Leslie McKillop
Eglantine Rose Moussu
Lalla Rookh Munoz
Lillie Marie Elizabeth Poirier Noble
Mary Catharine O'Rourke
Leonie Camille Peyron
Alice Raymond
Camille Fanny Rieder
Emma Riendeau
Marie Louise Catharine Ruffe
Doris Edith Summers
Ida Trahan
Ellen Mildred Turner
Melanie Marie Van Gastel
Stella Mary Viau
Jennie Rose Young

GROUP 5:

1st LT Eugene Du Bose Hill
Supervisor Helen Cook
Louise Barbour
Christine Vivian Bickford
Zada Freelove Black
Agnes Elizabeth Blazine
Jessie Douglas Brown
Helen Hunt Carey
Anita Lenora Chance
Merle Egan
Sarah Fairbrother
Norma Gail Finch
Irene Alice Gifford
Laura Gridley
Helen May Hayes
Martha May Henshaw
Faye Ruth Honey
Ruth Keeping
Anna Adline Kinney
Grace Bernice Knall
Mildred Lewis
Elizabeth Macauley
Marguerite Mahoney
Florence O'Brien
Ena Robb
Mary Ellen Sealey
Annie Frances Sheerin
Elizabeth Marion Shovar
Vera Sjostrom
Louise Margaret Wilcox
Nell Susan Wilkins

GROUP 6:

2nd LT William Frank Packard Jr. 
Supervisor Marion Campbell Swan
Corah Helen Bartlett
Helen Bixby
Ruth Boucher
Marion Beryl Broderick
Elizabeth Ann Browne
Anna Marie Campbell
Jane Elizbeth Conroy
Rosemary de Montauzan
Lora Ellen Disbrowe
Bernadette Genevieve Doucette
Lydia Eugenia Erickson
Mae Alice Ganley
Minnie Hermine Goldman
Louise Gordon
Helma Greenland
Celia Anna Grimmeke
Delta Eva Hagan
Hazel May Hammond
Agnes Theresa Honley
Elizabeth Horsman
Maude Edna Johnson
Oleda Ruth Joure
Frances Willard Laney
Mabel Cora Lapp
Hortense Levy
Mary Isabelle Macdonald
Abbie Elizabeth Mitchell
Margaret Genevieve Olker
Anne May Ostrander
Estella Syvilla Russell
Mary Anne Steele
Mary Caroline Story
Anna Maria Swanson
Elsie Lizzie Wolloff

GROUP 7*
*Note: Group 7 was ready to board ships for France when the Armistice came, so they did not deploy, but all had volunteered, were fully trained, and ready to serve in combat.

Supervisor Emma A. Lundell*
Aurelie C. Asten*
Nancy D. Baines*
Marguerite Blanchet*
Anita Brown*
Satie M. Brown*
Berthe Brunei*
Marguerite E. Carpentier*
Alice M. Cazasus*
Helene Champrigand*
Elizabeth M. Chesbrough*
Ruth Clarke*
Elise O. Corto*
Olive L. Creelman*
Gilda B. Coulern*
Marguerite Derlis*
Marguerite De Saulles*
Dorothy E. Dunbar*
Ethel C. Elkins*
Mathilde Ferrie*
Catherine Français*
Elsa Freeman*
Gwendolyn Greene*
Yvonne R. Haas*
Aurelie Hermitte*
Marie Hess*
Marie D. James*
Cecile Joncas*
Margaret O. Jones*
Ida P. Keen*
Alice Lambert*
Alice Langellier*
Sophie T. Lefebvre*
Marie D. Lenglet*
Enid A. Mack*
Mary E. McCredy*
Thelma Miller*
Marguerite Monnet*
Elise Montgomery*
Jeanne Poutz-Nogues*
Marie G. Rennick*
Lena Roy*
Margaret Ruddy*
Frances L. St. John*
Anne H. Spencer*
Marie Steen*
Ida Tasartez*
Helen Temime*
Eugenia Thomann*
Elizabeth F. Thorne*
Gabrielle Toby*
Helene Toby*
Mildred Wakefield*
Dorothea E. Walker*
Margaret Whalen*
Margaret S. Wilson*
Gertrude Zohrlaut*