Donut Dollies delivered comforts to front lines

They were a look at a little-known volunteer group from the American Red Cross which played a vital role in supporting U.S. troops during wartime.

It was made up exclusively of women and their job was to boost morale and bring a feeling of home to the men fighting so far away.

The program was officially called Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas. The soldiers knew them by their nickname: The Donut Dollies.

The Dollies first came to Europe in World War II. Young college graduates volunteered to literally drive to the edges of the battlefields to make donuts and coffee for the war weary soldiers.

Years later, the Dollies followed the troops to Korea.

From base rec centers to remote mountain lookouts, the Dollies would visit as many troops as they could throughout the day. And for that brief hour, they would take the warriors away from the war through conversation and games.

Lucie Davidson was 25 years old in 1960 and a professional ice skater from Chicago. She gave up her blades for fatigues and a club mobile.

In Vietnam, 627 Dollies answered the call. Among them was Judi Wright, 23, of Hyde Park.

WGN’s Jackie Bange talked with Davidson and Wright as well as some veterans about their days with the Donut Dollies.

And you can learn more about them too at