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Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Franklin Cantonment

Fort George G. Meade

 

—United States Army —

 
The Franklin Cantonment Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, June 7, 2008
1. The Franklin Cantonment Marker
Inscription. In the summer of 1918 the Franklin Cantonment, a Signal Corps Camp of Instruction, opened within 1 mile of the original Camp Meade. This 400-acre camp housed 11,000 men and women (19 battalions) in 599 structures. The Franklin Cantonment had its own drill hall, theater, and YWCA Hostess House, all within the area bordered by Ernie Pyle Street, Chamberlin Ave, Rock Ave and Mapes Road.

The camp served as a training site for Signal Corps telephone operators, women knows as the "Hello Girls." These were among the first women to serve as uniformed members of the Army, 24 years before the founding of the Women's Army Corps. Of 7,000 women who applied, only about 450 were selected. Minimal qualifications included being fluent in both English and French and being in excellent physical condition.

Initial training for the operators was conducted by AT&T personnel. Once finished with the AT&T program, they reported to Camp Franklin for military training under the guidance of Signal Corps instructors. On March 6, 1918, 33 operators sailed for France, the first of 233 female operators who eventually served overseas. When the war ended, the War Department refused to consider the women eligible for veteran's benefits. In 1971 an act of Congress granted the "Hello Girls" formal recognition as veterans.

This plaque erected
The Franklin Cantonment Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, June 7, 2008
2. The Franklin Cantonment Marker
in 1996 by the Fort Meade Museum.
 
Erected 1996 by Fort Meade Museum.
 
Location. 39° 5.957′ N, 76° 43.363′ W. Marker is in Fort Meade, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is at the intersection of Chamberlin Avenue and 6th Street, on the left when traveling north on Chamberlin Avenue. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort George G Meade MD 20755, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eisenhower's Quarters (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); 85th Medical Battalion Avenue (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Tank School and Tank Corps (approx. 0.3 miles away); Patton's Headquarters (approx. 0.4 miles away); School for Bakers and Cooks (approx. 0.4 miles away); Post Hospital (approx. 0.7 miles away); Hodges Hall (approx. 0.8 miles away); White Oak (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Meade.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyCivil RightsForts, CastlesMilitaryWar, World I
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 886 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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