The Vietnam War (1962-1974)
      In 1962, the Red Cross sent its first paid field staff to Vietnam to assist the growing
           number of servicemen at various bases and hospitals. At the height of its involvement in
             Vietnam in 1968, 480 field directors, hospital personnel, and recreation assistants served
         throughout Southeast Asia. Red Cross workers, who provided 1.9 million services to
       U.S. military personnel, shared the hardships and privations of war with the soldiers.
        Five Red Cross staff members gave their lives, and many others were injured as they
           helped servicemen resolve personal problems or get home when emergency leave was
granted due to death or serious illness in the immediate family. Male nurses and
sanitarians sponsored by the Red Cross worked with Indochinese refugees in
            cooperation with the South Vietnam Red Cross and the U.S. Agency for International
  Development. When Vietnam veterans returned to the United States, Red Cross
                     volunteers and paid staff concentrated on helping them readjust to civilian life, often
assisting them with paperwork connected with their benefits.
Recreation workers boost morale of
American troops during Vietnam War

  Bound by its charter to provide welfare services to the able-bodied troops on duty, the American Red Cross
   engaged in efforts to sustain the morale of the troops in Vietnam, just as it had during the Korean War and previous
         conflicts. In response to a request by the military, the American Red Cross sent teams of young female college
        graduates to Southeast Asia to conduct audience-participation recreation programs for men stationed in isolated section  of the region.
For example, the recreation worker pictured above checks a GI's blindfold during a game
           at Fire Base Jamie, one of several front-line areas visited regularly by American Red Cross. A monthly average of
          280,500 servicemen took part in recreation programs at twenty major military commands. Officials estimate that the
clubmobile workers, who traveled by jeep, truck, and helicopter, logged over 2,125,000 miles during the program's
 seven-year history. Trained Red Cross personnel also engaged in therapeutic recreation, which was geared to
        patients' individual rehabilitation needs. In 1976, despite protests from commanding officers, the recreation programs was drastically
reduced in a cost-reduction action that removed professional recreation personnel from military hospitals.

Donut Dollies at Cu Chi, Vietnam
Spring 1967, Monsoon Season
Photo by Sharon Cummings


There were three categories of Red Cross Workers in Vietnam

SMH "Service to Military Hospitals"

These women and men worked in the hospitals directly with the
patients, doing a combination of social work and recreatio therapy.

 SMI "Service to Military Installations"
These women and men were the Red Cross social workers who
arranged compassionate emergency leaves and received and
 passed on communications from the families back home
    regarding births, deaths, and emergencies.

SRAO "Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas"

    These women were the Donut Dollies.  Their job was to provide
   "a touch of home in a combat zone."  They brought games and
    kool-aid and a respite from thinking about the war to men in the field.

Glenna (Sheeran) Terrell was a Donut Dolly in CuChi, Vietnam 66/67

Doc was there in 67/68 in CuChi with the 25th Med.Bn.
Dear Doc,
First off, I would like to thank you for your wonderful and informative
Vietnam website.  Both of my parents were in the war (they met
in-country in 1967 and were married a year later) so I really appreciate
reading about other's experiences and trials through the war.  I grew up
hearing all about my parent's experiences, so I honestly feel very close
to the Vietnam War and its veterans.  Thank you for your service.  My
reason for this letter is about your "Donut Dolly" section which
discusses the Red Cross girls' work in the war.  My mother, Glenna
(Sheeran) Terrell was a Donut Dolly from 1966-67 with the 4th ID, 25th
ID, and finally the 1st ID.  As I looked through the site, I was amazed
to find a picture of her serving coffee to some of the troops in Cu Chi,
were she was originally stationed.  She had never seen that picture and
I still can't believe I just happened to come across it online.  (I've
attached the picture from your site as well).  She is very interested in
contacting some of her old "war buddies", so any information you have on
this, we'd really appreciate. Thank you again for your site, I am as
always very appreciative of your and all of the veteran's service to our
nation, especially during such a turbulent time in our history.  I hope
that my generation is as committed to service as yours was.  Thank you again.
CDT LT Casey Terrell
Class of 2004
For Country and Corps

Sue Dixon standing by APC, north of the Imjin, September1967

Liz Drosdick And SSG Ken Parker, in front of Peace Pagoda, JSA- Panmunjom July 1967



Sunny Sanow and Betty Denney in ROK cargo plane on travel run to Kwang-ju, Winter 1968. Clubmobile
workers in Taegu had overnight travel runs to Support Command in Pusan, 2 hours south by train; to KMAG units
in Kwang-ju and Suncheon, west over the mountains by ROK cargo plane, Beaver, and once in a Birddog with a
ROK pilot who spoke no English or if no plane, 7-10 hours by jeep; and to KMAG in Kyong-Ju and Pohang,
east to the coast of the East Sea, 5 hours by Scout or Jeep. .....Submitted by B

Kathi Neal and Pat Custer in the back of a ¾ ton truck, Winter 1968 .....Submitted by Betty Denney, Red Cross Donut Dollie, Korea 1967/68

Some of our pilots at Camp Page, Spring 1968. Left to right, CWO2 Dennis Rudel, 4th Missile Command;
Mele Sturm, Donut Dollie from California; and WO1 Earle Irwin, 6th Aviation Platoon, standing in front of a
U-6 Beaver. .....Submitted by Betty Denney, Red Cross Donut Dollie, Korea 1967/68

These women were called the "Donut Dollies.
Courtesy of

They were in the "Great War" too. Donut Dollies pass out coffee and, you guessed it, doughnuts

I had the privilege on working with the Ladies at the Red Cross Center at the end of 1967.
I was assigned to them as a punishment detail but it was the most rewarding part of my tour.
I built bookcases, paneled & hung parachuts in their rooms and drove them around Camp Radcliff.
They had a Christmas diner for the children of An Khe that would break your heart. I have no idea what happened to
The Red Cross or nurses assigned to the woman compound at Camp Radcliff but I hope and pray they are all well.
Tom Whitfield

The Red Cross Recreation Center at Cam Ranh Army
Open from 10 am to 10 pm - 7 days a week!


They were in the "Great War" too. Donut Dollies pass out coffee and, you guessed it, doughnuts.

The American Red Cross - "Donut Dollies"
           The Red Cross sent the first of its personnel into
           South Vietnam in 1962. The last of them left 11
           years later in March of 1973. In that time 1,120
           civilian women volunteered for and served in
           Vietnam, fulfilling a variety of missions and rolls
           lending medical and administrative support to
           military hospitals and other installations. 627 of
           these women served in the SRAO program &151;the
           Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas
           program. They were the "Donut Dollies"

At the request of the military, the Red Cross sent
           teams of young women, college graduates all, to
           Vietnam. Their mission was to operate the Red Cross
           Recreation Centers and conduct "audience
           participation recreation programs." For the soldiers,
           the SRAO program provided them with the
           opportunity to "hang-out" with pretty girls from back
           home, play games, do crafts, and for just a moment,
           forget where they were and what they were doing. It
           was as though the Red Cross had sent these young
           women to the other side of the planet to establish a
           summer camp for soldiers. But such seemingly small
           diversions made all the difference in world to the
           men and their morale.

           Based on average figures, 285,000 servicemen took
           part in the Donut Dollies' activities. The Red Cross
           estimates that these women logged 2,125,000 miles
           in all varieties of transport. In all, 28 "Donut Dolly"
           units were in operation throughout the country during
           the war.

           The Donut Dollies shared the same hardships and
           made the same sacrifices as the military personnel
           they served and served with. They also shared in the
           danger. Three Red Cross Donut Dollies died "in
           country." A fourth was lost in 1975 in the tragic plane
           crash of a humanitarian effort to airlift Vietnamese
           orphans to safety before the fall of Saigon.

           Many of the women who served their country in
           Vietnam as Red Cross volunteers, continue their
           volunteer work to this day both for the Red Cross and
           other organizations. Many are active in the Vietnam
           Women's Memorial Project.

"The picture was taken on top of Nui Ba Den in
  December of 1968. It shows Donut Dollies singing
 Christmas carols for a bunch of us Grunts in the 25th
        Infantry Division (Alpha Co. 3/22)."
  Jim Farrell
This number of women was very unusual as Donut
Dollies usually worked in pairs when not at base  camps.

Emily Strange (Milwaukee,Wi.)
Donut Dollies Emily Strange & Sherry

Don F. Pratt Museum-101st Airborne Division (Air

An American Red Cross Donut Dollie
with the 9th Infantry Division
and Mobile Riverine Force in  VIETNAM

Emily's Donut Dolly site
Doc & Emily are good Friends
Emily has helped Doc with his Christmas With TheVets show in MIlwaukee


According to our official list - Nam and Korea:

First Name  Maiden Name  Last Name
Ann  Higgins  Kilander
Diane  Anderson  Hunt
Diane  Reddeman  Lee
Diane  Schmidt  Curly
Diane  Steinhauser  Shufelt
Emily  Strange
Jane  Happle  Drake
Mary  DeLaForest  Evans
Norma  Roska  Johnson
Susan  Filipszak  Rogge
Virginia  Close
Kay Ward is living in LaCrosse
List does not have those of us who lived and were raised in WI yet but is a start.
Jeanne Christie

Christmas Photo, Red Cross Clubmobile Unit, Camp Henry, 8th Army Depot Command, Taegu, December 1967.
(standing left) Val Gardner from Phoenix, AZ (standing right) Mary Kennon Barksdale, Danville, VA (seated left to right) Pat Custer, Wauwautosa, WI;
Betty Denney, Amarillo, TX; Cissy Nichol, Griffin, GA; Mazie Scotchmer, St. Louis, MO; Kathi Neal, Atlanta, GA. .....
Submitted by Betty Denney, Red Cross Donut Dollie, Korea 1967/68

I just happened upon your site and found my favorite
sister listed as one of the Wisconsin Donut Dollies.
Dianne Elizabeth Roshto Gustafson
had just graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi,
Hattiesburg, Mississippi when she decided to join
the American Red Cross.  She was subsequently sent to Taegu, Republic of South Korea.

Sister Dianne was about as Southern Belle as one could have been at the time and was 1st runner up
in the Miss Mississippi Beauty Pagent.  Alas, all those years wed to that Swede up in Wisconsin have just about
removed most traces of her drawl - I haven't heard a Y'all in years but lots of Ya's.  Now I realize that her time in Korea
was merely a little cold weather training and blood thickening for her upcoming life in the North Woods of Wisconsin.
This is sister Dianne in 1966.  It's about time these girls were given more recognition.  Good site Doc.Thanks!
Frank K. Roshto

Possibly Sue Lewis on the left, Betty Denney on the right-Vietnam 1967
Photo from 1/23 yearbook

Return to Vietnam: A Red Cross Donut Dolly's Trip Back

From album Donut Dollies by member 1ltken
Laurie Robeson and the 2nd Engineers, north of the Imjin, October 1968.

 An American Red Cross Donut Dollie with the 9th Infantry Division and Mobile Riverine Force in VIETNAM

Margaret Perham from Alabama, writing a new program in the Red Cross Clubmobile office at Camp Red Cloud.....
Submitted by Betty Denney, Red Cross Donut Dollie, Korea 1967/68

 A Donut Dollies Voice

Linda LaScola from New Castle, PA, working on a new program in the Red Cross Clubmobile office at Camp Red Cloud......
Submitted by Betty Denney, Red Cross Donut Dollie, Korea 1967/68

 Dollies Boost Morale

Anne Mears (left) and Cissy Nichols exit the gas tent. ...
Submitted By: Sp5 Craig Iansiti HHB I-Corps (Gp) Artillery, Camp St. Barbara, Korea 1968

 Donut Dollies

From album Donut Dollies by member 1ltken
Liz Drosdick at the overlook with the Bridge of No Return and North Korea in background, July 1967

 Vietnam -- 1 Year + 25

7Jean Chapin And Sue Dixon Red Cross Office,CampPelham,October1967
From album Donut Dollies by member 1ltken

 Genie - A Donut Dolly at Cam Ranh Bay

Betty Denney 1967 From album Donut Dollies by member 1ltken
Red Cross Clubmobile Office, Camp Pelham, October 1967.

Lt Rick Rogers, 1/15 Arty, and Joanne Printz, from Camp Pelham, in Seoul at Yongsan, October 1967

 Official Red Cross History of the Vietnam War

Photo by Phil Adams

"Donut Dolly" Cu Chi Vietnam '66'

"Now we are four.
Your 101st Airborne Red Cross Girls".
Left to right, they are Sheelagh, Kalamazoo Mich; Jiggie, Honolulu HI;
Lynn, Kellogg ID; Betsy, Knoxville TN.
Photo courtesy of former Ltc, John D. Kennedy, Battalion Commander 101st Airborne,
101st Aviation Battalion, Camp Eagle. circa, 1969

An afternoon of fun and games with the "donut dollies".
Left to right are; Lizann Malleson (unit director), Nancy and Kathy Ormond.

An unknown Dollie from 1964 by the name of Jane. This can be read on her shirt ......
Submitted by Sp4 Charles D Townsley, A Btry 2nd BN 19th Arty, 1st Cav Division.

In 1962, the Red Cross sent its first paid field staff to Vietnam
to assist the growing number of servicemen at various bases and hospitals.
At the height of its involvement in Vietnam in 1968, 480 field directors,

Red Cross Recreation Centers
An Khe Da Nang Phu Loi
Bearcat Di An Phuoc Vinh
Bien Hoa Dong Ba Thin Pleiku
Army & Air Force
Bin Luy Dong Tam Quang Tri
Camp Eagle Lai Khe Qui Nhon
Camp Enari Long Binh Saigon
Cam Ranh Bay
Army & Air Force
Long Gaio Tuy Hoa
Cu Chi Nha Trang Xuan Loc
Chu Lai Phan Rang
Army & Air Force
Black Horse Phu Bai  

Working in the Red Cross office at Camp Pelham, late summer 1967, left to right, Wendy Wendler, Anne Mears,
Judy Hopkins, Jean Chapin (behind stove)......Submitted by Betty Denney, Red Cross Donut Dollie, Korea 1967/68

Holley Watts

Red Cross Clubmobile Unit, Camp Pelham, October 1967, left to right, Claudia Fields, Judy Hopkins, Zella Michael, Helen Krebsbach,
Jean Chapin, Wendy Wendler, Anne Mears, Joanne Printz......Submitted by Betty Denney, Red Cross Donut Dollie, Korea 1967/68

Members of the 127th Signal BN have their spirits lifted by these Donut Dollies who visit them while in the field. .....
Submitted By: Sp4 Jim Towery, A Company 127th signal BN, 1966/67

 Holley McAleese & Nancy O'Neill  Aug '67

Holley November '66 Danang

Never Forget
Hannah  E.  Crews    Died in a jeep accident, Bien Hoa, October 2, 1969
Virginia  "Ginny"  Kirsch     Murdered by a U.S. soldier in Cu Chi, August 16, 1970
Lucinda  J.  Richter    Died of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Cam Ranh Bay, February 9, 1971

Doughnut Dollies Vietnam
In Remembrance

I want to credit all pictures to their respective owners. If anyone sees
a picture on this web site that is yours, and credit is not given, let me know.

Contact Doc

Muskego, Wisconsin


Sites By "Jeff Doc Dentice"