The Donut Dollies

“They had the guts to brave incoming mortars, sniper and ground- to-air fire, and other wartime hardships and dangers to visit the firebases earned them the unarguable respect and admiration of the troops!”

During World War II numerous teams of three female Red Cross volunteers operated clubmobiles equipped with a kitchen area with a stove for heating water for coffee and a built-in donut-making machine. These clubmobiles traveled with the rear echelon units, but each day their teams ventured out to different operating areas to visit Soldiers, play Victrola records, pass out sundry items, and serve hot coffee and fresh-made donuts to the troops.

Female Red Cross workers answered the call to duty again during the Korean War. In its early stages, they earned the endearing nickname, “Donut Dollies,” turning out up to 20,000 donuts a day for American Soldiers disembarking troop ships in Pusan.

The Donut Dollies were most visible to troops serving in Vietnam. Between February 1962 and March 1973, they logged over 2,000,000 miles by jeep, deuce-and-a-half, and helicopter, visiting combat troops at remote fire bases from An Khe to Yen Giang (there’s no “Z” in Vietnamese). And they didn’t pass out a single donut during this war.

Instead, usually traveling at least in pairs and dressed in their signature pale blue outfits, this time they brought smiles, songs, games, and a touch of back home to the guys who were in the bush counting the days down from 365.

Over 600 Donut Dollies responded to the somewhat opaque Red Cross’s ads seeking “qualified young women who were willing to serve one year overseas.” They had to be at least 21, have a college education, and have that “girl next door” look. Among the understated requirements: “the job requires a capacity for hard work under less-than-ideal conditions.” After only two weeks of training in Washington, D.C. as Red Cross recreation workers, the women packed off for Vietnam where they set up recreation centers before the USO and Special Services arrived and wrote up and conducted recreation programs in the field for troops who couldn’t visit the centers.


They also visited hospitals to hand out activity books and spent time in evac hospitals with the wounded. As one Donut Dolly put it, “Our job was to smile and be bubbly for an entire year— no matter what the situation.”

No one appreciated the presence of the Donut Dollies more than the troops on the remote firebases. Minutes spent talking about home or sports or music or wives and girlfriends with a fresh-faced American girl with a ponytail wearing a tinge of lipstick and a splash of perfume was a terrific morale boost.

The fact that these young women had the guts to brave incoming mortars, sniper and ground- to-air fire, and other wartime hardships and dangers to visit the firebases earned them the unarguable respect and admiration of the troops. And that’s exactly how Vietnam veterans remember the Red Cross Donut Dollies nearly forty years later— with unarguable appreciation, respect, and admiration.

Where is Lester Eubanks?


Lester Eubanks confessed to murdering Mary Ellen and was sentenced to Death.

In 1972, the Supreme Court abolished the Death Penalty and Eubank’s sentence was commuted to life without parole. He was moved into the general prison population where he ingratiated himself to inmates and guards alike. He was soon labeled a “Model Prisoner”. As such he was allowed supervised trips outside of the prison walls. Picking up roadside litter, driving a truck with supplies to another prison and errands into town were some examples.

On December 7th, 1973, Eubanks was selected with a group of fellow inmates to go into town to Christmas shop for their families and friends. Each of the prisoners were dressed in civilian clothes, given cash and told to meet again at 2pm for the ride back to prison. Two o’clock came and went with no sign of Eubanks. He had escaped by simply walking away. A search of the town and nearby area produced no results. In the weeks prior, Eubanks had an increase of visitors to the prison. Officials felt he had been helped in the escape. Everyone on the visitor was questioned including his Mother and Father. Detectives felt sure that his Dad knew where Eubanks was but refused to talk about Lester. A third party later revealed that his Dad had taken a phone call from Lester. By the time that detectives got a warrant for Eubanks Sr.’s phone records, Lester had fled the house painting business where he was employed.

Lester had obtained an Ohio hunting license to use as ID because it did not require a fingerprint. Local and Federal warrants were then issued for his arrest.

Since 1973

  • A clerical error voided the warrants for his arrest.
  • He has lived in Michigan, Florida, Texas, Alabama, California, and Washington.
  • Aliases: Victor Young, Pete Eubanks, Lester William Eubanks
  • He has been placed on the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted List.
  • His case has been on Unsolved Mysteries in 2020.

Lester Edward Eubanks

Lester Eubanks’s actual age is 77 years old, as of 2021.

He was born in 1943, and he celebrates his birthday on the 31st of October every year.

Lester stands at 5 feet and 11 inches tall in height. He weighs 175 pounds.

He has a large scar/burn on his upper right arm.

He is a talented artist/painter.

Authorities have increased his reward for information leading to his arrest from $25,000 to $50,000 to capture him.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office or the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102.