War Babes, the British organization devoted to finding the fathers of people born of World War II liaisons between American GIs and English women, is still fighting a battle with the Department of Defense over access to the last known addresses of certain retired American servicemen.
On Thursday, lawyers for the organization will go before U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to argue that the Department of Defense should release whatever addresses it has for the servicemen.
The files are in a National Archives warehouse in St. Louis.
War Babes asked for the addresses several years ago in a Freedom of Information Act request. But Defense lawyers refused the request, saying that the privacy of the ex-servicemen outweighed the right of their long-lost children to learn their whereabouts.
"All we want is an address," said Joan Meier, a Washington lawyer with Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts who is representing the British organization. "The information that these men are fathers isn't being released by the government -- it's something we already know."
As for Shirley McGlade, the Birmingham, England, housewife whose successful search for her own American father was responsible for founding War Babes, Meier said, "she's just finding fathers" for others.
Meier said that since a Washington Post story on the group appeared in December, the organization had gained "about 100" new members.