Affidavit of Marjorie L. McKillop - 1977
Marjorie Leslie McKillop served in Unit 4 of the Signal Corps Telephone Operators. She was ordered with six other operators to Le Havre, where she was stationed until the Armistice.
Affidavit of Marjorie L. McKillop, Recognition of VA Benefitis, 1977. GGA Image ID # 19aa258f5e
Affidavit of Marjorie L. McKillop
State of Washington,
County of King, as:
Marjorie L. McKillop, being first duly sworn upon oath, deposes and states as follows :
1. I presently reside at 1000 East Boston Street, Apartment 33, Seattle, Washington 98102. [From] 1917-1918, I was a student at the University of Washington. I was a senior majoring in French.
Sometime in February 1918, I became aware that the United States Army was recruiting French-speaking telephone operators for service in the United States Army Signal Corps in France. There had probably been notices in the French department at the University, but I became aware also from a close friend of mine, Adele Hoppock.
Adele had volunteered and been accepted and enlisted as a member of the Third Unit of telephone operators. I have attached a copy of the University of Washington Daily with the announcement in it that Adele had been accepted for enlistment as a telephone operator.
2. As a child, I had lived in Quebec, Canada, and I had always taken French in school, so I had a very fluent knowledge of the French language.
3. I had an interview with Major Newell, an Army Reserve officer who was working at Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company in Seattle.
After the interview, I was asked to take a physical examination which I did, and I was ultimately accepted for service with four other girls from the University of Washington. We took the oath of allegiance and were sworn in by Major Newell in February 1918. I have attached another copy of the front page of the University of Washington Daily newspaper which indicates this.
4. I had left Seattle in February as a member of the Fourth Unit of telephone operators. We were ordered to report to Pacific Telephone & Telegraph headquarters in San Francisco, California, for training.
We were assigned to duty in suburban exchanges, it being thought that such telephone experience would approximate that which we would find in France.
In San Francisco, we were boarded out with French-speaking families to improve our French. I, with my schoolgirl French, insulted my hostess.
After about two months of training in San Francisco, we were ordered to report to the American Telephone & Telegraph headquarters in New York City for further training.
Here we were measured and outfitted for our Army uniforms. They were navy blue in color with regulation Army buttons, officers' metal collar insignia, and hats with the orange and white hat cord of the Signal Corps and metal Signal Corps officers' insignia.
After some training, we were ordered to proceed to Hoboken for transport to France. We sailed via Southampton, England, and eventually disembarked at Le Havre in July 1918.
5. We were sent to Tours for assignment. I was ordered with six other operators to Le Havre, where I was stationed until the Armistice. While there, housing was provided in a private house under the auspices of two sisters, YWCA workers from New York City.
6. After the Armistice in November 1918, I was transferred to Paris for service at the peace conference, and I was later transferred to Brest. I was returned to the United States in [the] late summer, 1919.
7. From the time of my enlistment in Seattle in February 1918. until my discharge from the service in 1919, I believed that I was a soldier in the United States Army Signal Corps. I was treated as such by everyone with whom I came into contact, and every other operator, to my knowledge, felt the same way I did.
8. I've always been proud of my service in the United States Army and have always felt that we were entitled to recognition of our service, which we have never received. I still feel this way today.
Majorie L. McKillop.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th day of May, 1977.
March M. Hugh,
'Notary Public in and for the
State of Washington residing at Seattle.
"Appendix B: Affidavit of Majorie L. McKillop," 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. p. 357