The Hello Girls’ Documentary Celebrates WWI Female Telephone Operators hosted by the NJ Maritime Museum and the Lighthouse International Film Society
Filmmaker Jim Theres’ has created a one-hour documentary about the American telephone switchboard operators who served in the Army Signal Corps during World War I to shine a spotlight on a group of brave, selfless women whose story was lost and service was unrecognized. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators to help win the Great War. They were known as the “Hello Girls” — American women fluent in French and English who answered the urgent call for telephone operators who could also act as translators between American and French troops. They took oaths to join the U.S. Army Signal Corps, underwent training by AT&T before boarding ships to Europe, heading to war before most of the American doughboys arrived in France, connected 26 million calls and ultimately proved to be a significant factor in winning the war. And then they were forgotten. This is their story.