Affidavit of Gertrude Hoppock - 1977

In 1917-1918 My Two Sisters, Adele, and Eleanor Were Students at the University of Washington and Fluent in French and English. They Became Telephone Operators in the Signal Corps. Adele Served in the Third Unit and Eleanor in the Fourth Unit.

Third Unit of Telephone Operators to Go to France

Third Unit of Telephone Operators to Go to France to Serve with General Pershing behind the Allied Lines and Help Carry on the Business of War. The Telephone Review, May 1918. Adele Hoppock was Part of the Third Unit (Not Identified in this Photograph). GGA Image ID # 19225056a1

Left Section of the Fourth Unit of Telephone Operators for General Pershing's Army, Trained by the Bell System and Ready for Overseas Service.

Left Section of the Fourth Unit of Telephone Operators for General Pershing's Army, Trained by the Bell System and Ready for Overseas Service. Photographed on Roof of 195 Broadway, New York, June 13, 1918. They are (left to right): Top Row — Miss Kathleen M. Hyatt, Miss Albertine M. Belhumeur, Miss Evelyn C. La Riviere, Miss Alma H. Hawkins, Miss Mary Marshall, Miss Eugene J. Couture, Miss Emma Riendeau, Miss Lillie H. Noble, Miss Louise Maclin, Miss Vivienne Hamel, Miss Louise L. Armand, Middle Row — Miss Edmee LeRoux, Miss Melanie Van Gastel, Miss Aurelie C. Lucier, Miss Stella M. Viau, Miss Berthe Arlaud, Miss Helen E. Hill, Miss E. Tilleard, Miss Juliette Courtail, Miss Eleanor Hoppock, Mrs. Eileen Munro, Miss Beatrice Francfort, Front Row —Miss Lucienne Bigou, Miss Camille Rieder, Miss Agnes G. Burge, Miss Ruth Couturier, Miss Louise Chaix, Miss Mathilde Ferrie, Miss Leonie Peyron, Miss Georgette Boehrer, Miss Mary Story. The Telephone Review, July 1918. GGA Image ID # 19283d8c2d

Affidavit of Gertrude Hoppock
State of Washington,
County of King, 88 :

Gertrude Hoppock, being first duly sworn upon oath deposes and states as follows :

1. I presently reside at 1 West Highland Drive, Seattle, Washington 98119.

2. In 1917-1918 my two sisters, Adele and Eleanor were students at the University of Washington and fluent in French as well as English.

When they saw the announcement that the Army was enlisting women fluent in French to be trained as telephone operators in the Signal Corps, both volunteered and were accepted. Adele served in the Third Unit and Eleanor in the Fourth Unit.

Adele Hoppock died in 1967.

Eleanor Hoppock died in 1968.

The attached documents and clippings came from my sisters’ flies.

Gertrude Hoppock.

Subscribed and Sworn to before me this 20th day of May, 1977.
Notary Public in and for the
State of Washington residing at Seattle.

Exhibits attached hereto: Exhibits A through Z.

[Exhibit A]: Information Relative to Telephone Operators for Duty in France

[Exhibit B]: Application for Membership in Telephone Unit in France - 1918

[Exhibit C]: Memo from Capt. E. J. Wesson, US Army - 1918

[Exhibit D]: Memo from Capt. E. J. Wesson, U.S. Army - 1918

[Exhibit E]: Telegram]: Miss Adele Louis Hoppock from Squire - 1918

[Exhibit F]: Telegram]: Adele Louise Hoppock from Squier - 1918

[Exhibit G]: Telegram - Eleanor Hoppock from Squier - 1918

[Exhibit H]: Commendation of Signal Corps Operators from Pershing - 1918

[Exhibit I]: Photo Plates - Signal Corps Telephone Operating Unit - 1919

[Exhibit J]: Extract from Army Commander’s Report of First Army Operations - 1919

[Exhibit K]: Extract from Special Orders No. 2241 - 1919

[Exhibit L]: Extract from Special Orders No. 231 - 1919

[Exhibit M]: Termination of Services - Adele Louis Hoppock - 1919

[Exhibit N]: Letter from "Hello Girl" Miss Adele Hoppock - 1918

[Exhibit O]: Personal Glimpses: "Hello Girls" Are Going "Over There" To Help Link Up the Army's Nerve Fibers (Literary Digest, 6 April 1918)

[Exhibit P]: Adele Hoppock and En Route to France, [From the University of Washington Daily, 15 February 1918]

[Exhibit Q]: First Washington Girl Arrives in French Territory [Several brief newspaper clippings from the Univiersity of Washing Daily and Seatle Times]

[Exhibit R]: Wears Uniform of U.S. Signal Corps - 1918

[Exhibit S]: "Switchboard Soldiers" Are Picked for Their Ability - 1918

[Exhibit T]: Special Bulletin from the American Legion Post in Seattle - 1920

[Exhibit U]: American Legion Membership Card for Adele Louise (Hoppock) Mills - 1920

[Exhibit V]: Signal Corps Veterans Association Membership Card - 1919

[Exhibit W]: Signal Corps Telephone Operator Request Solders Bonus by State of Washington - 1920

[Exhibit X]: Letter from Major Roy H. Coles to Adele L. Hoppock - 1921

[Exhibit Y]: Letter from Major Coles to Washington State Bonus Board - 1921

[Exhibit Z]: Letter from Adele Hoppock Mills to Senator Vandenburg - 1935

[Exhibit AA (Part 1)]: Seventh Unit of Telephone Operators Demobilizes - 1918

[Exhibit AA (Part 2)]: Telephone Operators Welcomed to Paris - 1918

A Good Record

Enlistment for the Signal Corps Telephone Operators’ Unit closed on April 15, 1918. In the five months during which applications were taken, 227 appointments were made throughout the country. Of this number, sixty-nine, or more than 30 per cent, were from the Pacific Coast and were selected and trained for the service by our Company. In the number of appointments by states, New York ranked first with California and Massachusetts tied for second place.

Some idea of the amount of work involved in selecting and training these operators will be obtained from the following figures :

Bell System and the Pacific Company, Table of Number of Applicants Interviewed, etc.

Bell System and the Pacific Company, Table of Number of Applicants Interviewed, Applicants Accepted, Persons Conducting Interviews, Applications Examined for French, Chief Operators and Instructors Engaged in Training, and Number of Week Training. Recognition of VA Benefits, 1977. GGA Image ID # 19a7d4ee43

The operators selected by this Company have been trained in five groups of eight, thirteen, fourteen, twenty, and fourteen, respectively. All of the groups have been sent East and with the exception of the last, are now in France, operating the telephone lines of the American Expeditionary Forces. Photographs of the first three groups of Pacific Company operators have already been published in earlier issues of this Magazine. The frontispiece in this number is a photograph of the fourth group of Pacific Company operators.

"Appendix B: Affidavit of Gertrude Hoppock, [Sister of Adele and Eleanor Hoppock (Both Deceased)]" in Recognition for Purposes of VA Benefits, Hearing before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Unted States Senate, Ninety-Fifth Congress, First Session on S. 247, S. 1414, S. 129, and Related Bills. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 25 May 1977. pp. 361-380

Return to Top of Page

World War I
Hello Girls in the Great War
GG Archives

Telephone Operators in the Great War




World War 1 Collection

Primary Military Collections