Service and Dress Uniform
- Part I
ARC Winter Uniform
The blue-gray ARC winter outdoor uniform could be worn by all qualified
volunteers and staff members qualified and paid by the American Red Cross.
||It consisted of a single-breasted jacket with matching six-gore
skirt. The jacket had big bellows type pockets on each hip and a convertible
collar that could be worn with the collar buttoned or open.
Bronze ARC insignia was pinned on each side of the collar parallel
to its edge. The Red Cross patch was sewn on the upper left sleeve an inch
below the shoulder seam. If a volunteer bar was worn, it was sewn one-half
inch below the Red Cross patch.
|Removable colored epaulets indicated the corps in which the wearer
of the uniform was serving (Overview of the various corps colors under
the ARC insignia section ). Paid staff and
unenrolled members wore plain epaulets. The epaulets were fastened with
two ARC buttons onto the jacket.
A white shirt with the round ARC enrollment pin placed at neck level
was worn underneath the jacket. Unenrolled volunteers and paid stuff wore
the Red Cross pin at the neck of the shirt. The collar had to be kept inside
Nevertheless, several wartime pictures (especially of Red Cross members
serving overseas) show the shirt's collar worn outside the uniform due
to its better working comfort and more stylish appearance. Such wearing
of the shirt was a technical breach of American Red Cross directives because
it did not use the Red Cross pin and additionally covered the collar insignia.
On some pictures one can see that this problem was solved with fastening
the Red Cross pin at one side of the shirt's collar and the ARC insignia
on the other side.
The uniform was worn with a visored cap made of the same material
as the suit or coat. The cap had a self bow in the front with a Red Cross
pin placed in the center of the bow.
Black shoes were worn at all times. Natural colored silk or cotton
stockings were prescribed as authorized hosiery. Black gloves were worn
for everyday use, and white gloves were required for dress occasions.
ARC Summer Uniform
||The summer uniform was made of a lightweight gray Palm Beach material.
During World War II, Palm Beach was a trademark fabric made in plain or
twill weave with cotton warp and mohair filling (named for Palm Beach,
Florida). The jacket was closed with three ARC buttons and had two hip
pockets with buttoned flaps. Like the winter uniform, it was worn with
removable colored epaulets.
The headgear was a matching ARC visored cap of the same design as
the winter cap.
ARC Summer Visor Cap
A matching box style topcoat could be worn
with the winter uniform.
It was single-breasted with a 4-button front,
small collar and vent back. Like the outdoor uniforms, it was worn with
removable shoulder epaulets fastened with two ARC buttons.
The coat was equipped with a button-in detachable
red flannel lining. It had a green lining and green epaulets when worn
by members of the ARC Motor Corps.
A matching summerweight coat in the same design as the winter coat
could be worn over the summer uniform.
Winter outdoor uniform and matching topcoat
ARC Winter Overcoat
||Besides the 4-button topcoat, American Red Cross members could also
wear a different styled overcoat that was closed with two ARC buttons at
the waistline. If more protection was required, the coat could be closed
high with a button under the collar. This coat had wide lapels. Removable
epaulets could be attached. The coat was equipped with a detachable red
|Some Red Cross branches like the ARC Military
Welfare Corps, the Motor Corps and the ARC Clubmobile service provided
their members additional distinctive outdoor uniforms.
American Red Cross Motor Corps
Motor Corps Winter Uniform
The winter coatdress was made of gray-blue
cavalry twill. During World War II, cavalry twill was a rugged and
strong double-twill woven fabric made of worsted wool. The single-breasted
dress was closed with six ARC buttons. The four large patch pockets had
pointed, buttoned flaps.
white shirt with a black four-in-hand-tie was worn underneath the dress.
The black leather belt was two inches wide. A black pouch was attached
to the belt on the left side.
The uniform was worn with black shoes and
beige or gray cotton or rayon hose. Black or gray gloves were used for
everyday wear, while white gloves were required for dress occasions.
|The collars had green collar tabs with center
black stripes and button fastenings at the upper ends. The ARC insignia
was pinned at the lower end of each collar tab.
The Motor Corps Volunteer Pin was worn on the
left lapel and the Motor Corps patch was sewn on the upper left sleeve
with the emergency first aid emblem (for qualified members) one-half inch
Rank insignia were worn on the epaulets.
The coatdress was worn with an overseas cap
made of the same material and trimmed with a green piping. The Red Cross
pin was worn on the left front of the cap.
Motor Corps Summer Uniform
Members of the Motors Corps wore a double-breasted
gray-blue spun rayon coatdress during the summer months. It was closed
with eight ARC buttons, had four patch pockets with buttoned flaps, sleeve
tabs and shoulder epaulets.
The distinctive ARC insignia were placed in
the same way as on the winter coatdress.
A white detachable dickey or shirt with a black
four-in-hand-tie was worn underneath the dress.
A plain overseas cap made of rayon completed
the outfit. The Red Cross pin was worn on the left front portion of the
|Motor Corps Seersucker Uniform
The blue seersucker uniform was buttoned down
the front with black ARC plastic buttons.
It was equipped with a self-material belt,
a breast patch pocket and two vertical slit hip pockets.
The ARC Motor Corps patch was sewn on the upper
left sleeve and green colored epaulets were worn on the shoulders. The
Motor Corps Volunteer pin was fastened on the left lapel. It was worn with
a matching visored seersucker service cap.
The seersucker uniform was introduced during
the war because because of its comfort and laundering ease.
Motors Corps Topcoat
The Motor Corps topcoat was made of gray-blue
cavalry twill. It had wide lapels, sleeve tabs, a single-breasted front
that closed with four ARC buttons and a belt of self-material.
The coat was worn with green epaulets and the
Motors Corps patch sewn on the upper left sleeve.
The coat was equipped with a detachable green
Arlac flannel lining. The flannel was cotton napped on one or both sides
to imitate wool, which was in wartime short supply.
[ I. Development ]..[
II. Facts about the ARC ]..[
III. Uniforms ]..[
IV. Sources ]
Motor Corps Topcoat
This Motor Corps topcoat variation was also
made of gray-blue cavalry twill. It had a double breasted front, sleeve
tabs and four large patch pockets with pointed, buttoned flaps.
The collars had green collar tabs with center
black stripes. The ARC insignia was pinned at the lower end of each collar
tab and the Motors Corps patch was sewn on the upper left sleeve.