Chronicling Efforts to Recognize Women's Service in WWI
In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators to help win the Great War. They swore Army oaths, wore uniforms, held rank, and were subject to military justice. By war’s end, they had connected over 26 million calls and were recognized by General John J. Pershing for their service. When they returned home, the U.S. government told them they were never soldiers. For 60 years, they fought their own government for recognition. In 1977, with the help of Sen. Barry Goldwater and Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, they won. Unfortunately, only a handful were still alive.