"Wow, a good looking, round-eyed, real American woman! - and that was
the attitude of many
lonely, young soldiers who had been at war for many months. Donut Dollies were Red Cross
female volunteer, usually young (& usually pretty). They came in three versions: SMH-service to
military hospitals; SMI-service to military installations; SRAO-supplemental recreational activities
overseas. They only stayed for a few hours at the LZs and other semi-secure areas, but their short
visits were a welcomed diversion. As one described it "A touch of home in a combat zone; A smiling
face at a bleak firebase; The illusion of calm in Vietnam." For additional infomation about the
wonderful job done by Donut Dollies, visit their links here (many photos), here (answers to frequently
asked questions about SRAO-Donut Dollies), and here (photos, stories, and many good links).
The Donut Dollies always brought smiles and touch of home to the troops.
Their tasks were not
always easy - one Donut Dollie visiting soldiers from the 1st Bn 6th Inf during early 1971 found the
OH-6 LOH helicopter she was riding in diverted for an emergency medivac of a seriously wounded
soldier who was to be extracted from hot PZ. By the time the aircraft arrived at the 91st Evac
Hospital pad at Chu Lai, the young (and unprepared non-combant, not a nurse) Donut Dollie found
her uniform was covered with blood from the wounded soldier riding next to her. It brought home
the reality of war in a far away place.
1LT Henry Schutz (3/B/1-6) with Donut Dollie at LZ Dottie, in the fall of 1970. The large maintenance
tent behind them was the mess hall at the fire base. Above two photos from Ray Tyndall.
Donut Dollie visiting soldiers from 59th Engineer Company (Land Clearing) who are decorating
their Christmas Tree at Hill 76 (BS 683 834) on Christmas Day 1970. A "truce" was in effect at
that time, so combat operations were suspended for a time. Soldiers from the 1st Bn 6th Inf
frequently provided local and ambush patrol security to the land clearing unit. Photo from Jack
Pounds (59th Engr Co (LC) 70-71)
Select additional photos from the index at left, or link to the 1st
Battalion 6th Infantry Home