This Month In County History

Volunteer group began in Harford

June 26, 2005

Harford County had the first Maryland chapter of the nationally affiliated American Women's Voluntary Services, a social service organization that provided material aid, assistance and information to American armed forces and civilians during World War II. The Harford group was active from June 27, 1941, to June 27, 1947.

Members were trained in ambulance driving, evacuation, mobile-kitchen operation, first aid and other emergency services.

The entry of the United States into the war increased the number of volunteers, and training in automobile mechanics, cryptography, switchboard operation and other skills was added to the program. Volunteers provided relief and food services to armed forces posts, disaster workers and wounded servicemen, and served as fire watchers, crop pickers, drivers and photographers.

By 1945, the organization's members totaled about 325,000.

The national group was established by Alice Throckmorton McLean, a New York native who died in Baltimore in 1968.

Bel Air Centennial Commission Commemorative Book and Encyclopedia Britannica

Baltimore Sun Articles
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