I exchanged an email with Ellen J. Henry who is the curator of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. She is author of a book entitled The Lighthouse Service and the Great War that's for sale at the museum shop/online. The Lighthouse Service came under control of the Navy during wartime. Navy personnel (usually signalmen and electricians) were stationed at most lighthouses (usually 3 to 6 personnel). They were responsible for their own food in many cases, and received a dollar a day for that purpose. She was not aware of arrangements involving enlisted female cooks - her research was typically more at the policy level than personnel related so she could not respond to my specific question.
I was wondering about the name of some of the duty stations these cooks are noted as serving at - specifically the use of the term "lookout" as in Boon Island Lookout. It avoids the use of the term lighthouse. Does that imply a post (in the sense of just a single building perhaps) was set on the mainland to communicate to the navy personnel on the island where the lighthouse was situated? Part of the book referenced earlier is about Navy efforts to set up radio and telephone communications with many of these lighthouses (communications which did not exist prior to the war). If so, another body of sailors that needed mess support, and another rationale for female cooks SC 4c.
I am enjoying the conversation about women and the coast guard. I am learning a lot so everybody keep talking.
I read the regulation MastersMate sent a link to. It is an Oct 1 1918 dated regulation. At that point, it mentions women only in terms of Nurses or Yeomen in the Naval Reserve. For general purposes, it lists those ratings that can be assigned upon first enrollment into one of the different categories of Naval Reserve and one is Ships Cook 4c (which would appear to apply only to men at this point in Oct 1 1918). I doubt that an earlier rev of the regulation would clear things up - the Navy was making stuff up as they went along with regard to women in the service in my opinion, which in my mind certainly makes it possible if not probable that a few ladies were enrolled as ships cook for specific limited cases revealed in the Maine Roster. A few other states rosters are online - I may dig into one of them to see if I can find a comparable situation. Florida springs to mind - lots of lighthouses there and not so many records as to make it impossible to search in any depth.