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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

MARY HAYNSWORTH MATHEWS PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Mary Haynsworth Mathews, of Greenville, South Carolina, served in the American Red Cross from 1943 to March 1946 and had a career in theater.


COLLECTION SUMMARY

Photographs and an oral history interview document Mathews's service with the American Red Cross during World War II and her work in the theater both before and after the war. Subjects of the photographs include Mathews in Germany, serving troops from the Clubmobile, dancing with a G.I., and participating in a VE Day parade. Subjects of the 1999 oral history interview include Mathews's studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in the mid-1930s, her work with service clubs and Clubmobiles in Europe, and her interest in theater.

For a complete list of contents for this collection, visit:
http://libapps.uncg.edu/archon/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=263&q=mathews


BIOGRAPHY

Mary Haynsworth Mathews was born in 1916 and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. After graduating from Greenville High School, she attended Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, for three years and then graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1937. After participating in the first production of The Lost Colony, she went to England to study with Russian director Michael Chekov, but returned to the U.S. in late 1938 when the school was moved to Connecticut. She remained with the group, performing around the country, until they broke up in 1942. She returned home to Greenville and joined the American Red Cross in 1943.

After two weeks of training in Washington, DC, Mathews sailed to England on the RMS Queen Mary. She was assigned to a Red Cross club in Essex, England, and then promoted to a club in Norwich, England, but then transferred back to a base in Essex in the summer of 1944. Mathews later went to Paris with the 386th Bomb Group, and then was moved to Le Havre, France, in April 1945. She was next stationed in Fulda, Germany, with a clubmobile, until she left the Red Cross in March 1946.

When she returned home, she continued to work in theater. Mathews participated in a touring Broadway show where she met fellow actor George Mathews, whom she married in 1951. Following a brief stint organizing recreation on United Fruit Company cruises, Mathews moved to New York and returned to the stage working in summer theater productions and TV bit roles. In 1974 the couple moved to Greenville County, SC.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Mary Haynsworth Mathews in Germany, 1945
Item # WV0119.6.001
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
VE Day Parade in LeHavre, France, 1945
Item # WV0119.6.002
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews in the grass, circa 1945
Item # WV0119.6.003
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Red Cross clubmobile, 1945
Item # WV0119.6.004
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews in field attire, 1944
Item # WV0119.6.005
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews with shuttle service in front of an airplane, 1945
Item # WV0119.6.006
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Red Cross workers serve coffee to servicemen, circa 1944
Item # WV0119.6.007
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews inside a Red Cross clubmobile, 1945
Item # WV0119.6.008
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews serving troops from a clubmobile, 1945
Item # WV0119.6.009
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews serving two soldiers, circa 1944
Item # WV0119.6.010
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews, circa 1945.
Item # WV0119.6.011
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Mary Haynsworth Mathews dancing with a GI, 1945
Item # WV0119.6.012
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers
Oral history interview with Mary Mathews, 1999
Item # WV0119.5.001
From the Mary Haynsworth Mathews Papers