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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

JEAN M. BRIGHT PAPERS

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BIOABSTRACT

Jean M. Bright (b. 1915) served with the American Red Cross in New Guinea and Japan from 1944 to 1946.


COLLECTION SUMMARY

Papers, photographs, an oral history interview, and artifacts and textiles document Jean M. Bright's Red Cross service in New Guinea, Japan, and the Philippines during World War II. Papers include five postcards from New Guinea; a postcard of the S.S. Lurline, the passenger troop ship that Bright sailed on; a 1945 Christmas card from the Philippines; and a 1944 immunization register. Postcards contain brief messages about an all-African American church in New Guinea and about the cabin Bright shared with five other African American Red Cross workers on the Lurline. Photographs depict a Red Cross club building; Bright in her Red Cross uniform; the city of Manila and locals in the Philippines; Tokyo in late 1945 and after the war; and the Kamakura Buddha in Japan. Artifacts and textiles include Bright's Red Cross overseas cap and skirt as well as souvenirs from her service in Japan and the Philippines, including Japanese and Filipino shoes and a Filipino salacot. Collection also includes photocopies, clippings, letters and other materials about Bright's non-military life.

For a complete list of contents for this collection, visit:
http://libapps.uncg.edu/archon/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=464&q=bright


BIOGRAPHY

Jean Marie Bright was born on 25 September 1915, the daughter of farmers John and Lollie Bright of Rutherford County, North Carolina. She graduated from the Allen Home High School in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1933, and then attended North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, from which she graduated in 1939.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s Bright moved between various cities in North Carolina and New York for teaching various jobs. In summer 1942 she moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a clerk-typist in the adjutant general's office at the Pentagon. The following year she returned to Greensboro and served as director of recreation for the Windsor Community Center in Greensboro.

Bright joined the American Red Cross in September 1944. After training in Washington, and at Camp Pickett, Virginia, she was sent to Camp Pendleton in California for embarkation to the Pacific in December 1944. Bright worked in recreational clubs in Finchaven, New Guinea, for almost a year, and then in Tokyo, Japan, until May 1946.

Following her discharge, Bright worked at several jobs, including as a clerical worker at Macy's in Washington, at the Harvard Coop in Massachusetts, and as a substitute teacher in Louisburg, North Carolina. She received a master�s degree in English from Columbia University in 1953 and returned to Greensboro, where she taught at North Carolina A&T State University until 1978. In 1979, she set up a summer camp for low-income children in Rutherford County, North Carolina.


CONTENTS AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Item
Portrait of Jean Marie Bright, 1944
Item # WV0295.6.001
From the Jean M. Bright Papers
Portrait of Jean M. Bright, circa 1945
Item # WV0295.6.002
From the Jean M. Bright Papers
Red Cross club, Finchaven, New Guinea, circa 1945
Item # WV0295.6.003
From the Jean M. Bright Papers
Oral history interview with Jean Bright
Item # WV0295.5.001
From the Jean M. Bright Papers