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Jacket from an American Red Cross uniform, United States, 1939-1945

Made from serge, this jacket has an ARC badge pinned to each lapel as part of a volunteer’s uniform. ‘ARC’ stands for the American Red Cross. During the Second World War, and prior to America’s military involvement, the American Red Cross provided supplies to civilian victims in Europe as part of the International Red Cross war time plan. The ARC also ran clubs providing food, entertainment, barbers, laundries and overnight accommodation for soldiers both in Europe and, later, in the Pacific arena. Once America entered the war, the ARC increased its involvement – continuing to work in countries physically affected by the conflict as well as at home. By the end of the war the numbers of volunteers involved with the ARC could be counted in the millions. It is shown here with an ARC hat (1978-512/2).

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Glossary: uniform

Identifying garments or styles of dress worn by the members of a given profession, organization, or rank.