American Red Cross Clubmobile
It is important to remember that ARC clubmobiles
operated throughout the frontlines of America's war effort. They not only
served in England and other parts of Europe, ARC Clubmobiles were also
stationed far within India and Burma along the dangerous and largely forgotten
China-India-Burma front of Asia. There clubmobiles advanced with the Burma
Road, a vital battle route being built to link China with India. It was
often bombarded and always under combat conditions. The clubmobile vehicles
carried almost everything to soldiers serving in this remote region.
"Somewhere in England"
||The Clubmobile Service which was a big boost
for the morale of soldiers overseas was created as part of the Club Service.
A service club on wheels brought coffee, doughnuts as well as -for
example - magazines, books, cigarettes, life-savers, gum and even musical
entertainment through phonographs to the fighting men.
The first ARC clubmobile service initiated
by Havey D. Gibson, ARC commissioner for Europe, started their work in
England in 1942.
Along with the popular coffee and doughnuts, the
clubmobiles delivered mail, shaving cream and razors, and even pingpong
balls. These clubmobiles were operated by 2 women (not 3 as in Europe),
who also hosted morale-boosting parties at the rugged jungle sites. Each
clubmobile woman and her partner staffed their clubmobile on a 24-hour
basis under the most dangerous conditions. Some were stationed at the forward
airfields used by planes flying "over the Hump" into China itself.
The American Red Cross Clubmobile Service
had also Black women serving as Clubmobile Workers during WWII. Because
of the segregation policy of the United States, they were only allowed
to serve black soldiers.
|There were 3 ways that the Clubmobile personnel
could be called during World War II:
By official Red Cross staff
position for pay purposes (only 2 grades):
Clubmobile staff assistant ($150
per month in 1944-45)
Clubmobile senior staff assistant
($200 per month in 1944-45)
By official Red Cross job title (only 1
By reason of field purposes for army administration
Clubmobile captain. The Clubmobile
captain usually supervised 7 ARC personnel, such as supervisor of port
clubmobile operations at Southampton, England
(where divisions assembled before
shipping across the channel to France).