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At the request of the military,

the chapter began offering first
aid and water safety training
for U.S. troops. All branches of
service participated.

Southern Californians feared
enemy attack because of their
location on the west coast. As
a result, the chapter increased
its first aid training and also
taught home nursing courses
meant to prepare residents to
care for civilian wounded in
case of such an attack.

A new Red Cross program,
Arts and Skills, brought artists
and craftsmen to military hospitals where they taught weaving, ceramics and painting to
patients as part of their recovery therapy programs.

The Motor Corps logged
15,000 miles a month to assist
the Blood Program, transporting volunteers to collection
sites and delivering blood to
Veteran Administration hospitals. They also continued to
drive for other chapter activities.

Public support of the chapter
during World War II was outstanding, as fund campaigns
routinely exceeded their goal.
The film industry made special
films in support of the Red
Cross, and many stars appeared at fund raising rallies
on behalf of the organization.
Individuals, workers, students,
businesses and others raised
funds through various events
and activities.

At the wars end, the chapter
began to turn its attention to
post-war activities. Nurses and
nurses aides met some 2,000
civilian internees liberated
from Japanese camps in the
Philippines and Australian war
brides and their children as
they debarked from ships in
San Pedro.

Chapter volunteers also
greeted thousands of soldiers
and Marines returning from
duty in the South Pacific with
coffee, doughnuts, candy and a
Welcome Home.

Emergency first aid stations
were established by the chapter
on the highways of Southern
California and training was
provided for those who lived or
worked at those locations.

On September 15, 1945, the
chapters Blood Program was
closed after collecting more
than one million units of blood
for the war wounded. At the
urging of the medical community, the chapter reopened the
program on February 6, 1946
to provide blood and blood
medicines for the civilian population. It was the first civilian
blood program in the American Red Cross, although the
national organization did not
immediately recognize it as

A donor center was established
at 835 S. Spring Street, and
collections began for the Los
Angeles County General Hospital. In the first year, the program collected 15,000 pints of

To help run the operation and
meet medical standards, two
doctor brothers, Eugene and
William Adashek, joined the
Blood Program on a
temporary basis. Dr. Eugene
served as medical director, Dr.
William as associate director.
They retired 30 years later.

Dr. William Adashek

Dr. Eugene Adashek

The blood donor center was
moved back to its original
home at 925 S. Western Avenue. Relationships were forged
with other organizations to
bring in donors.

Day-to-day operations of the
Blood Program required an
administrator, and Ed
Schottland joined the staff in
1948 as the first executive, retiring 28 years later.

William T. Sesnon, who as
chapter chairman had volunteered to oversee the Blood
Program throughout the war
era, was elected vice chairman
of the American Red Cross National Board of Governors, the
first person from the West
Coast to be named to the national board.

To encourage volunteering by
young people, the chapter established the Leadership Development Center, a summer
camp for junior high and high
school students. Over the
years, the camp length varied
from one to two weeks, but the
agenda remained the sameto
teach young people leadership
skills and direct them toward
the rewarding experience of
providing community service.
The center continues today.

After responding to increased
demands for first aid training
during World War II, the
chapter had many first aiders
who put their skills to use as
members of a Rescue Unit. Injured skiers were among those
they aided.

To make room for the rapidly
expanding Blood Program, the
chapter began construction of
a new Blood Center at 1130
Vermont Avenue, adjacent to
the chapter headquarters.
Construction was completed in
1951, and the Blood Program
had a new home.

With the outbreak of the Korean War in June, the chapter
launched an expanded Blood
Program because the Red
Cross had been named by the
federal government as the coordinating agency for the collection of blood for the military
forces and civilian defense.

The chapters Junior Red
Cross began to flourish with
participation of young people
from area schools and the communities. The college program
also grew, with 22 colleges and
universities represented.

In July, the chapter provided
mutual assistance for the 7.3
magnitude Tehachapi Earthquake that killed 12 people
and was the largest quake in
Southern California in decades. Disaster workers were
called to assist with sheltering,
feeding and health services in
Kern County.