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In 1961 shortly after Dr. Tom Dooley's death, Dr. Verne Chaney took over his medical clinics worldwide but needed volunteers to help staff them. AirIntermed was created with the help of Pan American Airways to allow airline stewardesses to volunteer at these clinics including Laos, Nepal, India, Vietnam and Cambodia which Dr. Chaney later expanded to other countries. They became affectionately known as "Dooley's Dollies." 231 stewardess volunteered from 31 different international airlines over the course of AirIntermed's early history.
"Who said war is hell?" Photograph & caption from Raven Ed Gunter collection. Dooley's Dollies
at Ban Houei Sai Laos. Ed was based at Luang Prabang, royal capital of Laos in Military Region 1.
click on 5 photo's below to enlarge
Dr. Tom Dooley documentary:
click on Tani's photo cover to view album photos
Tani was an airline stewardess for Pan American World Airways based in San Francisco, California, locaton of the original Dooley Foundation headquarters.
After serving three months volunteering at Champassak Laos, she found the country and the Lao people so enduring, she returned each year to visit until 1975 when the country fell to the communist.
2009-2021 Helen Murphy © All Rights Reserved
WHO WERE THE DOOLEY'S DOLLIES?
Preface to this story. When I started my research on the T-28's warbird history, specifically in SE Asia and getting to know the Ravens, USAF Forward Air Controllers who served in covert operations in Laos, they shared stories and photographs of their experiences, several caught my attention that had young American ladies in the photos. I was told they were "Dooley's Dollies" that volunteered at his medical clinics in Laos. I wanted to know more about these brave young ladies who left the safety of their comfortable homes in the US to come to a foreign land in the midst of a terrible war. Who were these Dooley's Dollies! So my research expanded to include their little known story. I can't say enough about my admiration for them and hope their story will inspire other young people to be adventurous