Question of the Week
Who was the director of the American Red Cross Allied Prisoners of War Food Packing Service which delivered over one million food packages overseas during World War II?
Answer: Mrs. Stacy B. (Eleanor Morris) Lloyd.
The American Red Cross became involved in World War II before the United States even entered the conflict. Beginning in 1939, the Red Cross provided relief supplies to civilian victims through the International Red Cross in Geneva. As early as February 1941, the U.S. government requested that the Red Cross initiate blood drives to collect plasma for the armed forces in anticipation of American troops entering the war. During WWII, the Red Cross organized millions of volunteers to support and aid members of the armed forces and their families at home by working in hospitals, providing emergency medical supplies, and managing victory gardens.
Many Philadelphians joined this effort, including Mrs. Stacy B. (Eleanor Morris) Lloyd. Lloyd, a descendant of Philadelphia’s second mayor, Anthony Morris, was the director of the nation’s first American Red Cross Allied Prisoners of War Food Packing Service, which opened at 30th Street and Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia on February 1, 1943. Lloyd supervised hundreds of mostly women volunteers, many of whom were wives or mothers of men in the armed forces, as they created care packages for prisoners in war camps in Europe and Japan. Working two shifts a day for six days a week, the volunteers created thousands of care packages a day to be shipped to camps that held soldiers from many different countries. By the end of the war, the packing service had sent over a million prisoner of war food packages. In recognition of her dedication to the cause, Mrs. Lloyd received the Gimbel Award for “America’s Outstanding Woman” in 1944.
HSP’s collection of the Mrs. Stacy B. Lloyd papers on the American Red Cross’s Allied prisoners of War Food Packing Service (#3467) is newly processed and open to researchers. The collection contains clippings, correspondence, photographs, and other documents related to Mrs. Lloyd’s work with the service between 1943 and 1945.
About the Author
Look for these history stories every Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The stories, called Memory Stream, are published in the Currents section of the newspaper.