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American Red Cross Uniform
Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

American Red Cross Uniform

Catalog #: 2000.0164.01    Accession #: 2000.0164
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 45" H x 15" W x 24" D

Physical Description

Cotton dress and belt with Red Cross emblem on the front and on matching hat.

Specific History

This dress was worn by Marabeth Storrs Finn.

General History

The American Red Cross involvement in World War II preceded the entrance of the United States into the conflict. When hostilities began in Europe in 1939, the Red Cross became the chief provider of relief supplies for the civilian victims of conflict distributed by the Geneva-based International Red Cross Committee. In February 1941, the Red Cross responded to a request by the U.S. government to begin a Blood Donor Service to produce lifesaving plasma for the armed forces in anticipation of America's entry into the war. After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Red Cross quickly mobilized a volunteer and staff force to fulfill the mandates of its 1905 congressional charter requiring that the organization "furnish volunteer aid to the sick and wounded of armies in time of war" and to "act in matters of voluntary relief and in accord with the military and naval authorities as a medium of communication between the people of the United States of America and their Army and Navy."

At home, millions of volunteers provided comfort and aid to members of the armed forces and their families, served in hospitals suffering from severe shortages of medical staff, produced emergency supplies for war victims, collected scrap, ran victory gardens, and maintained training programs in home nutrition, first aid, and water safety. Overseas, Red Cross workers served as field directors providing compassionate support for the troops they accompanied, operated clubs and clubmobiles for the armed forces, and were attached to military hospitals, hospital ships, and hospital trains.

At the peak of Red Cross wartime activity in 1945, 7.5 million volunteers along with 39,000 paid staff provided service to the military. Throughout the war years, the Red Cross served 16 million military personnel, including one million combat casualties. By the time World War II ended in September 1945, the American public had contributed over $784 million in support of the American Red Cross. Nearly every family in America contained a member who had either served as a Red Cross volunteer, made contributions of money or blood, or was a recipient of Red Cross services.


Country: United States
War: World War II
Service: Support Organizations
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