Chicago Telephone Girls Heroines “Over There” - 1918
Signal Corps Telephone Operators Miss Maria Flood and Miss Louise Beraud. Bell Telephone News, November 1918. GGA Image ID # 19a69b7e58
With the American Army Northwest of Verdun, October 30 (1 p. m.). —American telephone girls on duty here have won the admiration of the whole American army. They remained at their posts in burning wooden barracks in the Moselle region until ordered to quit.
The heroines were Miss Grace D. Banker of Passaic, N. J., chief operator and the first telephone girl to join the American Expeditionary Forces, and Misses Marie Flood, 601 Independence boulevard, Chicago; Louise Beraud of San Antonio, Texas; Adele Pappock of Seattle, Wash; Helen Hill, also of Seattle; Marie Cooper, Marion Lange, Miss Hunt and Julie Russell of the Y. M. C A., attached to the telephone girl’s dormitory.
Misses Cooper, Lang and Hunt are from San Francisco. Miss Russell is from Detroit, Mich.-—Chicago American.
Miss Flood, who is a niece of Finley Peter Dunne, author of the “Mr. Dooley*' stories, was an operator for the Chicago Telephone Company and the American Telephone and Telegraph Company for about a year before enlisting for overseas service. She lived in Mexico nine years, speaks Spanish fluently, and was well qualified for service “over there” because of her knowledge of French.
Miss Flood's mother, Mrs. Catherine Flood, stated in a recent telephone conversation that in a letter from her daughter dated October 7th, the opening of the new but ill-fated barracks was described among other interesting news. Mrs. Flood also says that her daughter is enjoying the work •‘Over There” immensely, and her letters indicate that the American telephone girls are making names for themselves in the great war.
“You ought to see the nice pink and white little ‘P. G.V (German prisoners) we have around cleaning the streets and doing odd jobs,” Miss Flood wrote to her sister recently.
“Speaking of P. G.'s and Germans in general, I never realized how much animosity I felt toward them until I laid eye on the first Boches I had ever seen. It just seems as though there’s no end to the hatred it makes you feel. Paulette calls them ‘sales Boches/ meaning ‘dirty Germans.' She also calls them pigs. She was in a town invaded by the Germans. She says they killed her little four-year-old sister by injecting some poisoned serum in her.”
Miss Flood puts in a line about a dance recently given for the girls by Mrs. John V. Farwell of Chicago, now a Red Cross canteener.
Miss Louise Beraud who is also mentioned h the newspaper dispatch, was a senior at the University of Chicago before enlisting. She was also teaching French and doing settlement work. When the call came, she volunteered and was trained by the Chicago Telepho’ne Company for service overseas.
“Chicago Telephone Girls Heroines Over There.” In Bell Telephone News, Detroit Edition, Vol. 8, No. 4, November 1918, p. 15.