The United States Senate has unanimously passed a Resolution recognizing thousands of American women who volunteered with the American Red Cross during World War II to help feed and entertain U.S. troops near overseas airfields and bases.
Chosen through a rigorous interview process, these women served near the front lines, providing coffee and doughnuts to troops from converted busses that also contained built-in lounges in which service members could rest, listen to music, or read.
The buses quickly became known as "Clubmobiles," and the women who staffed them risked their lives to bring the comforts of home to brave troops who risked their lives on behalf of our country.
The Clubmobiles were first deployed in Normandy. Shortly after the D-Day Invasion, 80 Clubmobiles with 320 American Red Cross volunteers were at the front. Later, Clubmobiles spread across the European theater and then to the Far East. Fifty-two women of the American Red Cross, some of whom served in the Clubmobiles, were killed during the war as a result of their service.
The Resolution adopted today by the Senate recognizes their sacrifice, and the service of all these patriotic women, and calls upon World War II historians to help keep their stories alive.
The bipartisan Resolution is sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joe Lieberman (I/D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), James Inhofe (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
"Our resolution commends the exemplary and courageous service and sacrifice of those women who served in the American Red Cross Clubmobiles," said Senator Collins. "Seventy years have passed since the Clubmobiles were founded and only a few women remain to share their stories. That's why it's so important not only to recognize the efforts of these amazing women today, but to continue telling their stories so this important piece of U.S. history is never lost."
"Thousands of young American women, from every state in the country, volunteered to serve in the Clubmobiles and I commend them for their exemplary and courageous service and sacrifice," Senator Shaheen said. "I am particularly grateful to New Hampshire's own Margo Harrington who, at the age of 95, is one of the few surviving women who served our country in the Clubmobiles."
"We are forever indebted to the courageous women who served as part of the American Red Cross Clubmobiles, valiantly providing crucial support to our heroic troops during World War II," Senator Snowe said. "I could not be more pleased to join my Senate colleagues in recognizing these women who are an unending inspiration to us all."
"The greatest generation serving our country on the front lines in World War II was not limited to one gender. The women of the American Red Cross Clubmobiles demonstrated courage, service and dedication to our country by providing critical support to our soldiers in uniform," Senator Mikulski said. "Their contributions often went unrecognized and their personal service and self-sacrifice were too often unrewarded. I'm proud to distinguish their commitment to our country and to the cause of freedom."
"Service to members of the military and their families is a proud and core part of the Red Cross history and of our mission today, and we appreciate this recognition of the tremendous work of these Red Cross volunteers during World War II," said Sherri Brown, SVP, Service to the Armed Forces, American Red Cross.