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Red Cross Club, Marseiles, France
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The American Red Cross won the hearts of America's fighting men during World War II (WWII) through the operation of canteens at home, and clubs and clubmobiles overseas. These facilities ranged from a few tables placed in a temporary location to former hotels in major cities. The large clubs offered soldiers overnight accommodations and amenities like barbershops and laundries. The clubs were provided by the Services to the Armed Forces (SAF), an arm of the Red Cross. At a club, a soldier or sailor could pause for a cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a bit of friendly conversation that offered him a familiar and reassuring connection with home. At its peak, the Red Cross operated nearly 2,000 such facilities abroad, staffed by 5,000 Red Cross workers and approximately 140,000 local volunteers. This is a picture of one such Red Cross Club from the WWII scrapbook of Frank R. Dahowski, Jr., born in 1910, and one of eight children of Frank and Sophie Dahowski, residents of Montague, Massachusetts.
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