“Fingerprint Girl” of the Navy: Blanche Stansbury.

Some of the Navy's WWi

Some of the Navy’s WWI “fingerprint girls,” including Blanche Stansbury, second from right. James Noonan in the photo is never referred to as a “fingerprint boy.”

Featured in my new collection In Their Own Words: American Women in World War I are some of the “fingerprint girls” of the Navy. Through fingerprint records, they assisted in identifying sailors who were involved in criminal activity or who had deserted. The fingerprint girls included Yeoman (F) Blanche Stansbury of Alexandria, VA. Stansbury married James Randall Caton Jr. (a major in the 155 Depot Brigade in World War I and a partner in an Alexandria law firm with his father), was a member of the American Legion, and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.


Grave of Blanche Stansbury Caton, Arlington Cemetery. Photo by Elizabeth Foxwell.

Foxwell on neglected US women in WWI, WAMU’s “Metro Connection.”


Grave of author/war correspondent Mary Roberts Rinehart, Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, VA. Photo by Elizabeth Foxwell.

Rebecca Sheir, host of WAMU’s Metro Connection, interviewed me about the DC-area women included in my collection In Their Own Words: American Women in World War I. Two passages also can be heard from the book:
Excerpt, Mary Roberts Rinehart’s 1917 report to Secretary of War Newton D. Baker
Excerpt, 1918 account of Walter Reed librarian Gertrude Thiebaud