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Fano Suarez Red Cross Clubmobiler Jean Hemingway Hackleman

Red Cross Clubmobiler Jean Hemingway Hackleman

Research in progress

By Fano Suarez, 2018

Introduction: The 8th Armored Division Assn was contacted by Fano Suarez while he was researching for information about Red Cross Clubmobiles, in WWII. He found a photograph on the website from Cpl Don Wolff of himself with an unidentified woman. Fano identified the woman as Jean Hemingway Hackleman.

Jean Hemingway Hackleman

Jean Hemingway Hackleman and Cpl. Don Wolff, 80-Hq

Email From Fano Suarez to Andy Waskie


My name is Rafael Fano Suarez and I was viewing your photo collection, a really great great collection indeed I have to say. Well, when I saw one of the pictures I think I can recognize the woman. If I am right she is Jean Hemingway Hackleman. She was a Clubmobiler assigned to Group A and she worked in a Clubmobile nicknamed "PRESIDENT LINCOLN" (aka Abe). I've attached a pic of her. All the best,

Fano Suarez

middle, Jean Hemingway Hackleman

Email From Andy Waskie to Fano Suarez


Very interesting story with a connection to the 8th Armored Division. Apparently, this USO style organization did provide services to the 'Thundering Herd' at some point in their service, as exemplified by the patch on the souvenir field jacket. Many of the patches come from units with which the 8th Armored served in ETO in WWII - 9th Army. Maybe we could add this story to the web site or Facebook? Regards,

Andy Waskie

Email From Fano Suarez to Andy Waskie

Hello Andy

First at all, thank you very much for your answer and for all the attached documents. As you will notice, English is not my mother language so probably you will find my writing style a little bit "peculiar". Anyway here goes.

Are you perhaps related to Ms. Hackleman? No, I am only researching about the American Red Cross (A.R.C.) Clubmobile Division in WWII. While looking for information about it, I started to check all the sites related to the U. S. Army in WWII, with the hope of founding anything. This is how I found your website.

Was Group A, perhaps Combat Command A (CCA)? No, the Clubmobile Division was created in October 1942 by Harvey Dow Gibson, American Red Cross Commissioner to Great Britain at that moment. When the U.S. Military Forces started to arrive to Great Britain many times they were stationed in isolated places, so it was difficult to them going to the Clubs and having any type of entertainment. Opening Clubs for each unit it was impossible, so Gibson thought if the boys couldn't go the Clubs, the Clubs should go to them. This is how the idea of the "Clubs on Wheels", the Clubmobiles was formed.

Pic 1

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 2

After some experiments with some small vehicles (Pic 1) the A.R.C. was allowed to transform a good number of civil British Green Line Buses in Clubmobiles. (Pic 2). They had a speaker system with a record player, a doughnut machine, a stove for making coffee, even a small lounge area with books, newspapers, magazines, games ... but the best at all, real American women. The problem with these vehicles was that they only were useful if there were "civilized" roads. Later, they created a new type of Clubmobiles using British Bedford Trucks (Pic 3), they were smaller but the mobility was clearly improved. When the Invasion of Europe was nearby the Army asked for the A.R.C create a unit able to follow closely the troops in the advance. Using British trucks would be a logistic problem, so 80 GMC CCKW 353 were transformed to Clubmobiles (Pic 4). Pic 3

Pic 3

Pic 4

Pic 4

10 groups with 8 Clubmobiles each were organized. They were identified with a letter, from A to L (not using "I" nor "J"). The organization of a Group would be as follows:

8 Clubmobiles

1 Cinemobile

4 British Hillman Utility Cars (Many times changed for Jeeps)

4 GMC CCKW 353 supply trucks, and trailers, electric generators and water tanks.

Each group was splitted in two sections. The personal for each group was:

1 Group Supervisor

2 Section Captains

24 Clubmobilers

2 Cinemobilers

4 Drivers

Excepting the Group Supervisor (and not always), all the personal was female. They were trained not only for driving the trucks, they were able to do all the maintenance operations. (Although if there was any problem, curiously, always there were a good number of volunteers for help.)

Each Clubmobile had a code and a nickname for identification. For Group A they were:

Section 1





Section 2





It was usual the Clubmobilers using an alternative nickname when referring to their trucks. The crew of "PRESIDENT LINCOLN" used "Abe". Jean Hemingway Hackleman was assigned to the Clubmobile A3/1 - "PRESIDENT LINCOLN"

Was the Clubmobile a USO type soldiers relief organization? Yeah ...more or less, but I would say in a different way. They served the traditional coffee and doughnuts, and the Cinemobile had a small stage with a piano and a screen for projecting films. But in a different scale. After reading a good amount of testimonies of the Clubmobilers, all of them agree in one thing. The most appreciated by the men in the front lines was simply talking.

Can you supply more information about Jean Hemingway Hackleman? Jean Hemingway Hackleman was born October 6, 1915 in Glens Falls, NY. She graduated from the University of California in Los Angeles in 1938. She also obtained her private pilot's license in the '30s. At war she joined to the A.R.C. and was assigned to the Clubmobile DIvision. She married Major George A. Hackleman on November 30, 1945 in Frankfurt, Germany and later they moved to Alameda, California, where she passed away on February 25, 1997. I located her relatives but they are not on the Internet, ... not up to now. So I will have to use the classical system, writing a letter and trust in the postal service. One of her crewmates wrote a book about her experiences as a Clubmobiler. I will check it and I will extract all related information about her. I also attached the pics I have of her. In (Pic 5) you can see the patch of the 8th AD in the jacket. Well, that is all I know, sorry for this long and boring message. If I find more about her and you are interested it will be a pleasure sending it to you. All the best,

Fano Suarez

Pic 5Pic 6Pic 7

Email From Vern Miller to Andy Waskie

Vern Miller 130th Armored Ordinance:

When I earlier reported that I had never heard of the Clubmobiles that Mr. Suarez asked about, I should have added that I did remember the Red Cross girls and their donut trucks. I didn't connect the two in my mind. Some years ago I reported on my experience of getting coffee and donuts from the Red Cross girls -- I believe it was while we were waiting to cross the Rhine River. For some reason or other those girls were closer to the action than our artillery. It must have been in the early 1950's -- after having finally gotten my "4-year degree" from South Dakota State College had worked at two weekly newspapers -- that I was working on a graduate degree at Missouri and lived in student housing just down the street from one of the Red Cross girls who had handed me the coffee and donuts from that truck. Just last year I located the area on an official U S Army map where we camped. I remember it clearly. It's the only place I ever had time to dig a foxhole -- but ended up claiming one prepared earlier by the combat troops. This was close to Rheinberg and as luck would have it there was no need for a foxhole where we were. -Vern Miller

Email From Richard Jenkins to Andy Waskie

Richard Jenkins 130th Armored Ordinance:

I remember those trucks that visited us in the field, sometimes in rough places. The coffee and donuts were good but the girls were the Stars! Always pleasant and friendly, angels in the flesh! When we were at the port of embarkation in New York the first week of November 1944 it was cold and we wondered what was ahead for us. They were there with the coffee and donuts and smiles. As we were leaving the harbor the next day and were on deck watching the sights and looking for the Statue Of Liberty we were forced to go below deck as we were leaving the harbor and never saw it! Needles to say were unhappy! About a a day out in the wild stormy North Atlantic we had fall out on deck in shoes and raincoats for "Short-arm Inspection", a real thrill! We didn't know why until we stopped at a doctor who told us what to! I wonder if he enjoyed his job! - Richard

If the reader has more information about this topic please contact Fano Suarez at cuchoramone@gmail.com