Red Cross 1941–1945


After graduating from Wellesley College in 1940, Mary Ellen Crawford Ames, like many of her classmates, wanted to follow their college president into the WAVES. Due to poor eyesight, she was not accepted and instead joined the Red Cross. Going through training similar to the soldiers was quite an experience for a recent college graduate: marching, digging trenches, bivouacs, foxholes, fatigues and helmets, and crawling under barbed wire across fields while being shot at. Mary Ellen tells of her arrival in England, being caught in air raids, and seeing the devastion of a bombing. With humor, she recalls embarking for France on the Prince of Wales, and sliding down a canvas chute to an LCT in order to land at Omaha Beach. Ames has written her memoirs, using letters home and a diary kept while in Europe.

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Red Cross building interior, 1944







A group of other nurses.
Crawford gets off the plane at Nice, France.
Drawings and photos of surgery and the hospital.