Doughnut Dollies: American Red Cross Girls During World War II : a Novel
American service men in England during World War II called American Red Cross girls "Doughnut Dollies." It was a warm and affectionate term designed to show the soldiers' appreciation for the morale-building efforts of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross girls operated "clubmobiles" which were driven to air bases where the girls served fresh doughnuts, hot coffee, and broadcast Big Band music over loud-speakers to welcome airmen as they returned from missions overseas. Red Cross girls also helped establish and operate recreation clubs wherever American service men were stationed. In London, fourteen American Red Cross clubs furnished entertainment, meals, snacks and maintained dormitories for soldiers on leave. This novel is the story of two Red Cross Aero Club directors stationed on air fields where they were instructed to establish recreation clubs. It is a story of their accomplishments, frustrations, romances, and the tragedies they witnessed and experienced.
Helen Airy was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern California. After graduation from the University of California at Berkeley, she was employed for several years as a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner. At the outbreak of World War II, her restless ways led her to join the American Red Cross personnel in war-time England. Airy served in England in various capacities where she gained an understanding of the tragedy of war. She saw courageous young men lose their lives and witnessed the grief their loss left behind. She came to admire and appreciate the stiff upper-lip courage and the generosity of the English people who opened their doors and their hearts, and shared their meagre provisions with the American and other forces that flooded their country. Airy has always been proud to be called a "Doughnut Dolly."