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Gretchen H. Yoffa Red Cross Clubmobile photographs and other material

 Collection — document-box: 5
Identifier: 2018-012-s-r

Content Description

This collection contains photographs, clippings, correspondence and an identification card for American Red Cross Clubmobile Captain Gretchen Hope Yoffa (1910-2003) during and after the Second World War. The photographs include Capt. Yoffa's tours of duty in the European and Pacific theaters during and after the war that show locals and servicemen and women and the Red Cross Clubmobiles, as well as one young Belgian soldier with her that was sent with a letter home in 1944. The collection also contains clippings and correspondence home, as well as a Certificate of Identity of Noncombatant for Capt. Yoffa, at the time the equivalent of an Army Lieutenant.


  • Creation: 1943 - 1948


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Captain Gretchen Hope Yoffa, American Red Cross (7/8/1910 – 3/3/2003) was born in Brookline, Massachusetts to Pearl B. Yoffa, where she continued to live until her service in the Second World War with the American Red Cross Clubmobile in the European and Pacific theaters. Captain Yoffa was living in Dedham, Massachusetts outside of Boston when she resigned a teaching position to join the war effort in March 1943, along with most of her siblings that either fought or joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Corps. Capt. Yoffa continued to serve the Red Cross until 1948, traveling through Western Europe, Japan and Korea.

In 1942, the United States Armed Forces requested that the Red Cross provide recreation and entertainment for troops in the various theaters of the war. Service clubs and aeroclubs were set-up in London and towns near military installations. These clubs were eventually transferred to mobile units to be “clubs on wheels,” hence the name Clubmobile, and they were intended to bring recreation and enjoyment to servicemen on bases right where they worked. The Clubmobiles had a small kitchen and a donut-maker, as well as seats that could be turned to sleeping cots if need be, and a loudspeaker with the latest music records. Women of the American Red Cross would receive their assignments and drive around the military installations and serve working men with donuts and coffee, turning up the music wherever they stopped. By 1944 in Europe, preparations were made to miniaturize this operation to get ready and join the post-invasion units on mainland Europe. The one large London Green Line buses that had been used in Britain were switched out for smaller trucks that could travel Western Europe and, after D-Day had finished and the military head pressed deep into Europe, the women of the Red Cross followed, refreshing soldiers that were on rest from the front. This activity carried on through the rest of the war, with some continuing during the occupation thereafter, overall traversing France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. []


0.25 Linear feet (5 folders)

Language of Materials



This is a collection of photographs and other materials from Captain Gretchen H. Yoffa of the Red Cross Clubmobiles during the Second World War and after. The collection includes several photographs, and identification card, some correspondence, and miscellaneous items.


This collection is arranged by material type:

Series 1, Photographs Series 2, Correspondence Series 3, Clippings Series 4, Identification certificate Series 5, Miscellaneous

Condition Description

The certificate of identity is worn around the folded edges.


Finding Aid for the Gretchen H. Yoffa Red Cross Club Mobile photographs and other material
In Progress
Andrew Harman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange CA 92866 USA US