Shirley Ruth Smith Correspondence, 1941-1945 | Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives
Correspondence between Shirley R. Smith and her family and friends documents her service in the American Red Cross from 1943 to 1945. Letters in 1943 from Smith to her family in Wyoming, Ohio, describe her daily activities in great detail. Subjects in the spring of 1943 include her work with patients, a WAAC beauty shop, and a ceremony for Gray Ladies at her hospital in Indiana. Letters from Washington, D.C., provide detailed information about station and general hospitals and the process by which Smith was assigned to duty by the Red Cross. Other topics in 1943 include facilities and coworkers at Camp Bowie, Tex.; drill; uniforms and accessories; her voyage to England and social activities on the ship; recreation and holiday festivities at the 67th General Hospital; and her pride in being a Red Cross worker and in working with the nurses in the hospital.
Letters dating from 1944 and 1945 contain more sparse information about Smith's daily life in England. Subjects include news about family and friends; items that she needs or packages that she received; social activities, people coming and going; and how busy she is with work.
Also included are letters and V-mail from Smith's family and friends. Letters from family primarily describe news from home; those from Smith's brother Francis comment on his own wartime experiences. Several 1944 letters from former patients of Smith attest to the good work of the Red Cross and describe their recovery. A September 1944 letter from another Red Cross worker describes her return from China and her transition back to civilian life.