Contemporary photo by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer; historic photo courtesy of Portland Public Library Special Collections & Archives (photographer uncredited).

In this photograph from the June 13, 1944, edition of the Portland Press Herald, a group of Maine recruits to the Women’s Army Corps poses in front of Portland’s Union Station on St. John Street before departing for training at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

The accompanying news story identified the women as follows (following the convention of the time, married women are identified only by their husbands’ names):

“Seated, left to right, are Helen R. Boyington, Augusta; Hazel L. Hodgdon, Belfast; Maude C. Ricker, Freeport; Martha L. Greenleaf, Boothbay Harbor; Mary E. Stratton, Portland; Violet T. Corey, Augusta; Arlene M. Lawrence, South Portland; Arline L. Kempton, Presque Isle; Clythro V. Staples, Kennebunk; Marion L. Roach, Oakfield; Eva A. Masscott, Dexter; and Eleanor J. Pryor, Millinocket.

“In the second row are Marie V. P. Provencher, Rumford; Marjorie E. Brown, Jefferson; Hester D. Dick, Lewiston; Marie A. Labreque, Westbrook; Pauline M. Dame, Portland; Mrs. Clarence E. Holt, Portland publicity chairman MFWC [Maine Federation of Women’s Clubs]; Acting Corporal Doris E. Abbott, Madison; Mrs. C. Fred Berry, Portland, treasurer MFWC; Mrs. W. Bradford Cushman, president, Women’s Literary Union; Grace E. Philgren, Waldoboro; Anna L. Freeman, Cape Neddick; Ruth E. Gordon, Portland; Frances G. O’Leary, Norfolk, Mass., and Alberta A. Haines, Woodland.

“In the back row are Thelma C. Higgins, Millinocket; Marguerite L. Elderkin, Dexter; Ruby J. Elliott, Rockland; Phyllis M. Burbank, Hampden Highlands; Margaret M. Turner, Bangor Dabida K. Seavey, Portland; Zelma L. Stearns, Bangor; Winona F. Michaud and Sylvia A. Grava, Millinocket; Minnie R. Corson, Skowhegan; Jean M. Crandall, Oakfield; and Frances T. Stockton, Portland.”

The Portland Room of the Portland Public Library is in the process of organizing and conserving the archival collection of original Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram and Evening Express photographic negatives — a major collection that spans from 1937 to 2005. Find more photos at