Hello Girls of the US Army Signal Corps.

When the first members of the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France in 1917 they found that the telephone lines already in operation were overloaded. To solve the problem, John J Pershing called for experienced, bilingual switchboard operators, which meant women. Hundreds would don the uniform and answer the call as “Hello Girls”, serving in the Signal Corps.
This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.
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All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.
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Script by JCG
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  • Thanking veterans for their service is the dumbest thing I ever heard of

    Travis JohnsonTravis Johnson6 өдрийн өмнө
  • Never underestimate the History Guy. Kudos.

    Richard JohnsonRichard Johnson18 өдрийн өмнө

    NavigatEricNavigatEric21 өдрийн өмнө
  • Fascinating, just fascinating. thank you.

    Frank GullaFrank Gulla24 өдрийн өмнө
  • History repeats itself. Sort of. During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, the Germans had to run telegraph lines as they advanced into France.

    Jason SchmitzJason Schmitz26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great piece as always. However, the medal awarded was the Distinguished Service Medal, awarded for non-combat service, not the Distinguished Service Cross. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinguished_Service_Medal_(U.S._Army)

    M TartM TartСарын өмнө
  • Interesting story. It reminds me of the group I feel was wronged, and neglected by the military, post war, more than any other. That was the Merchant Marine. Despite the lives lost and injuries incurred that affected their whole lives, they didn't qualify for any military medical or financial aid post war. I believe this was true of civilian merchant marine vets from both world wars.

    Canuck FundyCanuck FundyСарын өмнө
  • I’m a historical re-enactor and really want to do an impression of the hello girls eventually.

    Shannon C.Shannon C.Сарын өмнө
  • If anyone wants to know more about military field telephones check out The Field Phone Guy he's got a tiny channel but puts out great information

    Nicholas StilleyNicholas StilleyСарын өмнө
  • On March 11, 2021, Senator Jon Tester of Montana introduce Senate Bill 692 which would award a Congressional Gold Medal to the female telephone operators of the Army Signal Corps, known as the "Hello Girls".

    Dennis ChurgovichDennis ChurgovichСарын өмнө
  • Thanks.

    Michael RainsMichael RainsСарын өмнө
  • Who would possibly thumbs down this video? I know everyone's entitled to their opinion but I feel the need to pound some sense into them.

    urchin getterurchin getterСарын өмнө
  • Brought me to tears History Guy... thank you for educating me, THANK YOU HELLO GIRLS.

    Jesse MaierJesse MaierСарын өмнө
  • Proud to know about these fellow Signal Corps soldiers!

    Ken MasonKen MasonСарын өмнө
  • My Aunty worked for Signals in Australia WW2

    Robert PembrokeRobert PembrokeСарын өмнө
  • That must be why there was a rear guard action hypothesis in relation the serial killer Dr Harold Shipton GP. There must be an assumption he was related to him

    Robert PembrokeRobert PembrokeСарын өмнө
  • Signal "The Commanders Voice"

    Paul SchoenPaul SchoenСарын өмнө
  • THG, it just occurred to me after seeing several of your snippets on obscure history topics that if my history teachers had exhibited even the slightest degree of the enthusiasm that you possess I most likely would have paid more attention in my history classes.

    SxSboySxSboyСарын өмнө
  • My grandpa was one of those men stringing wire across the front lines Sometimes I hate my government especially the way it treats veterans Robert Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers "The last thing a trooper heard before being dropped was a woman's voice, telling him Good luck!

    CharlieCharlieСарын өмнө
  • the German Signal Girls were calld Nazi and the Alliyed ones Engels right?

    otto meyerotto meyerСарын өмнө
  • A fallacy in "women's liberation" is that all men assume women could never be equal to men. In reality, many men held women as Sacred, the bearers of Life. For that reason, many were reluctant to send women to the tasks that men would otherwise do. But History proves they're more than they seem. The majority of snipers in Russia's WW II assault/defense were women. They have proven time and again, they are Human. And deserving of our respect and admiration!

    Greg ReillyGreg ReillyСарын өмнө
  • I thought they were issued uniforms, and that fact made it possible for them to finally win their war pensions.

    Andy CutrightAndy CutrightСарын өмнө
  • And just like true veterans they were let down by the American government.

    W.S. Soap CompanyW.S. Soap CompanyСарын өмнө
  • They should make a movie about those women.

    C SmithC SmithСарын өмнө
  • After watching this I have to wonder what happened to women in this country.And then I think of the "men".

    Gerry SwiftGerry SwiftСарын өмнө
  • One of your best videos. Maybe even the best one to date. 👌

    Ezra SteinbergEzra SteinbergСарын өмнө
  • Thank you, History Guy. I never heard of them. My own mother served as a switchboard operator at Fort Polk, LA in WW2. But, even she never spoke to me about what she did or the conditions under which she worked. Just more of my lost family history, Sigh...

    Mr. KenMr. KenСарын өмнө
  • "they had to buy their uniforms themselves" - now Uncle Sam, that's just stingy. ... oh wait it gets worse

    steve1978gersteve1978gerСарын өмнө
  • This is another element to our history that I was only vaguely aware of. Wow! These women deserved recognition well before they actually got it. Such an essential function for the military at war, working tirelessly for an almost thankless field of work. That's just unbelievable.

    ImTheDavemanImTheDavemanСарын өмнө
  • What a wonderful story previously unheard by me.

    Sheri RobinsonSheri RobinsonСарын өмнө
  • Politicians are always quick to forget they owe something to anybody.

    Jeremy HannafordJeremy HannafordСарын өмнө
  • Wow

    Kevin ReardonKevin ReardonСарын өмнө
  • Thank you THG Team! Another great example of a story not only worth remembering and preserving, but as evidence of the continuing struggle women face in gender discriminations. The men took 60 seconds to hook up a phone call, the women 10 seconds. The held their positions under the very real threat of fire in the nearby buildings, and vacated only when ordered to withdraw. They kept enormous secrets about troop movements, enemy movements and managed the complexity of the ancient phone systems. Sounds like "Good Soldiers" to me! Well done!

    Donald DodsonDonald DodsonСарын өмнө
  • I like the passion you put into your videos. It makes them very entertaining!

    AqkuraAqkuraСарын өмнө
  • This is easily one of the best episodes you've ever done. Thank you from a Signal Corps veteran.

    Joe ErnstJoe ErnstСарын өмнө
  • Great video. Very interesting.

    Kevin ClarkKevin ClarkСарын өмнө
  • Us navy vet. I was not even aware of this. Thanks history guy!!!

    Ken SchmidtKen SchmidtСарын өмнө
  • We genuinely need to find these women's graves and families and give every single one of them a flag and medals that each and everyone deserved

    Jaime PerezJaime PerezСарын өмнө
  • I say God Bless the Hello Girls and the History Guy for telling us about them.

    Confused VoyagerConfused VoyagerСарын өмнө
  • I love this video! I was a 31N, patch panel operator, in Germany 1/1988 to 8/1990. Then a small extension node operator, 31F, during operations desert shield and desert storm. After the ceasefire I worked at the phone center north of Kuwait city. In six weeks I routed about 100000 calls to the US or Germany. Even with all those call it was hard for individual soldiers to get to make a call home through proper channels, so people would sneak to the back door of our switchboard and try to make trades with us. That's how I got my first ride in a helicopter. ;) Thank you

    Robert PyrosthenesRobert PyrosthenesСарын өмнө
  • would make a great war movie

    Christian FredricksonChristian FredricksonСарын өмнө
  • It is critical that more stories about Women at War. There are thousands of Women’s roles in WW2 that would be fabulous for THG. 🙌

    Michael PearceMichael PearceСарын өмнө
  • The second time I watched "Last of the Mohicans" I kept thinking, "If they just had cell phones, this whole story would never have happened." LOL

    John M. MaunderJohn M. MaunderСарын өмнө
  • American politicians are such a despicable lot. They have no problem voting themselves pay raises, and helpful legislation for their cronies in the 1%, but let patriotic women or veterans ask for benefits, and the politicians claim there are no funds for these heroes

    Ponchoman07Ponchoman07Сарын өмнө
  • I'm struck...and should have realized this earlier...that every--EVERY--time we hear about someone by the History Guy, that person, those people, that situation and those times, become more sympathetic. History is about warming up to people.

    SailorSailorСарын өмнө
  • Awesome video. Thank you.

    Trevor MottTrevor MottСарын өмнө
  • Great story but shameful treatment by the US.

    peter dollinspeter dollinsСарын өмнө
  • Well done and job well done ladies I have the most up respect 4 women in uniform our daughter has been in the Army for 23 years and is looking to retire soon she's starving in Afghanistan right now on her 8th deployment what did she do you ask in the military she's a combat medic so I think all the ladies for their jobs that they do I have respect for you all

    Ernest DoughertyErnest DoughertyСарын өмнө
  • As a black man, I can FEEEEEEEL this video.

    James TurnerJames TurnerСарын өмнө
  • in france we ave a word only used on the phone; it's allo. and we owe this word to these womens.

    jomo350350jomo350350Сарын өмнө
  • The army was smart enough to not list them as combatants which changed there pow status and battlefield status which protected them from some of the harshness of war ,and honored that agreement on the political stage.it wasn’t a sexist policy as you would believe.

    David JenningsDavid JenningsСарын өмнө
  • Well done! In 1918, the Army found a job only a woman could do, and do well. For my part, if you took the oath, you're a soldier, period. From any veteran I've ever known, that oath is never stood down.

    tardis2005tardis2005Сарын өмнө
  • First class Ladies being treated like second class citizens....wrong in any period of time. Thank you ladies from a prior service Marine Communications Center Chief.

    CliffCliffСарын өмнө
  • In war, communications is everything ! Men have given their lives to simply deliver an important message or directive. Let's please honor those signal corps men that set those poles and laid those cables in the midst of combat, becoming important targets for the enemy !

    UsJoeUsJoeСарын өмнө
  • "Move! Shoot! Communicate! Kill!" It may be the third most important axiom of war, but without it victory is not assured.

    KageRyuuUjiKageRyuuUjiСарын өмнө
  • Like the Doughboy n your shelf. :)

    Jennifer HortonJennifer HortonСарын өмнө
  • We honor them. Damn right!!! Thank you for bringing this to your viewership!

    LBGirl88LBGirl88Сарын өмнө
  • The obvious source of bilingual operators was Quebec: didn't the Canadians have the same comms problem? No co-operation between allies?

    WilliamOccamensisWilliamOccamensisСарын өмнө
  • Goes to show gov doesn’t care

    Saber Tooth DuckSaber Tooth DuckСарын өмнө
  • "Hello Girls" were part of Liza Mundy's well researched book "Code Girls", who were a very significant part of the US military's efforts to decode the enemy's communications. I'm angered it took so long to recognize their service as military veterans. It seems Congress (et al) prefers to embarrass themselves at every opportunity.

    gregaj7gregaj7Сарын өмнө
  • They had to buy their own uniforms?! WTF?

    V. HansenV. HansenСарын өмнө
  • Camp Little Silver, AKA: Fort Monmouth.

    David GrayDavid GrayСарын өмнө
  • Too many women for far too long have not been honored or recognized for their heroic efforts and amazing feats of grandeur. It's so sad that it takes so long to give honor when honor is due.

    Michael DelvecchioMichael DelvecchioСарын өмнө
  • One of the failings of our nation is we have never done for our veterans what we promised. These brave women unfortunately have felt that as well, not exactly the equality they wanted nor deserved. Thank you, History Guy for helping us remember their desire to serve and the sacrifices these soldier's made.

    Chris TChris TСарын өмнө
  • The veteran is always needed,used and after the war is done preferred to be not seen and not heard!

    Larry GarrettLarry GarrettСарын өмнө
  • I've never heard of the hello girls and World War one thank you so very much for bringing a very deserving group of women the recognition they deserve

    Rickie OakesRickie OakesСарын өмнө
  • Dam. Never knew. Unknown heroes

    Big AlBig AlСарын өмнө
  • After managing a call center for a Fortune 500 bank I can tell you it’s still true today.

    Troy RubertTroy RubertСарын өмнө
  • Dandy video for women's history month!

    JugheadJugheadСарын өмнө
  • Amen.

    Dave LelandDave LelandСарын өмнө
  • This episode literally brought me to tears... WONDERFULLY WRITTEN, BEAUTIFULLY TOLD TALE ABOUT DUTIFUL HEROINS.

    Nathan MetsingerNathan MetsingerСарын өмнө
  • The young men were impatient and rude. The young ladies were calm and courteous. It's the difference between the sexes in a nutshell.

    Kyle BartonKyle BartonСарын өмнө
  • damn, I thought this was going to be about prostitutes.

    RoverIACRoverIACСарын өмнө
  • Fascinating.

    Johnny CoyoteJohnny CoyoteСарын өмнө
  • feelz. thank you. i had no idea.

    Christine NeumannChristine NeumannСарын өмнө
  • You cover so many interesting subjects! Something I only recently heard about are the RAF crew Strikes / Mutiny in India at the end of the War II, by ground crews. The men were treated apaling, it would great to hear more about that. It's NEVER mentioned in history lessons. Thanks!

    John DoeJohn DoeСарын өмнө
  • Holy Crap! I never knew anything about these Ladies who served. So proud of them, but so disgusted with men who failed to recognize their patriotism. Thank you for shining the light on their service; best episode yet!

    A nonA nonСарын өмнө
  • We will remember them. Lest we forget!

    Jovan WeismillerJovan WeismillerСарын өмнө
  • Another spectacular expose on a nearly forgotten chapter in history. Thank you for reminding us all about these brave women whom were all so instrumental in fighting that war so long ago. This was undeniably one of my all time favorite episodes!

    Athelwulf GallandAthelwulf GallandСарын өмнө
  • Being a female the first Unit I signed into active duty Army" Oh #$&+ your a girl!". I looked at the NCO and said "Last time I checked I am!". All the way around not a good start. But was the best unit I was in!

    Shannon BrazilShannon BrazilСарын өмнө
  • Outstanding, as always!

    cat637dcat637dСарын өмнө
  • I have a wooden desk that looks exactly like the one at 7:20. Received it as Army Reserve surplus in 1998, thought it was from the 1940s. Wonder how old it really is? Big salute to you ladies!

    Steve PettersenSteve PettersenСарын өмнө
  • They were soldiers. There never should have been any question.

    Make Racists Afraid AgainMake Racists Afraid AgainСарын өмнө
  • Chief Operator Grace Banker received the Distinguished Service Medal not the Distinguished Service Cross.

    mcmax571mcmax571Сарын өмнө
  • I really enjoyed this one.. very good

    steve wixomsteve wixomСарын өмнө
  • Some of the most tenacious people in the war were those who weren't fighting.

    TheHylianBatmanTheHylianBatmanСарын өмнө
  • They definitely deserved better than they got................

    cartman4885cartman4885Сарын өмнө
  • hi History Guy and everyone thank you History guy I injoyed this I hate that girls didn't get a fair shake (song)(hellow operator can you help place call can't read number on match book is old faded she lives in L.A with xbest friend named Ray give the number if can find it so might place call ) :-)

    Cole WebbCole WebbСарын өмнө
  • Interestingly, the Merchant Marines, who sacrificed a higher casualty rate than ANY other service division of all the other services, did not receive "Veteran Status" until January 21, 1988. My Dad was in the Merchant Marines and served up the fuel and ammunition for MANY battles in the Pacific. He had THREE ships sink beneath his feet, and I am proof that he survived.

    Otpyrc Ralph PierreOtpyrc Ralph PierreСарын өмнө
  • pretty sure boys actually went to fight younger than 16? wasn't that unusual at the time...

    king james488king james488Сарын өмнө
  • You continuously shine a light onto those who"should be remembered". Well done HG

    David TuckerDavid TuckerСарын өмнө
  • This looks like a movie begging to be made...

    Harry SharpHarry SharpСарын өмнө
  • There is a tear in my eye.

    Bob ZBob ZСарын өмнө
  • The History Guy never disappoints :)

    greatboniwankergreatboniwankerСарын өмнө
  • Thank you. I learned a few things.

    Glen MartinGlen MartinСарын өмнө
  • "Hello Girls" is a lot better name than "Call Girls." :)

    freesk8freesk8Сарын өмнө
  • Forgotten history and brilliant tribute rolled into one. Well done as always, THG!

    James EnglandJames EnglandСарын өмнө
  • Love your stories. Can you do a story on the Zong Massacre? I thought I knew a lot of history, but only just read about this and was horrified. This is a story....that needs to be remembered!

    Chris FramptonChris FramptonСарын өмнө
  • Thank you for your recognition!

    My Menagerie !My Menagerie !Сарын өмнө
  • Ladies, I salute you.

    Jonathan LongJonathan LongСарын өмнө