Military Wiki

The Italian Red Cross (Italian language: Croce Rossa Italiana ) is the Italian national Red Cross society that has its origin in the Comitato dell'Associazione Italiana per il soccorso ai feriti ed ai malati in guerra that was formed in Florence in 1863, and in Milan on June 15, 1864.[1] Other committees were formed later. The Italian Red Cross was one of the original founding members of the International Red Cross in 1919.[2]

History of the Italian Red Cross

South Korean Stamp commemorating the role of the Italian Red Cross in providing medical care during the Korean War (It's interesting to note how the Korean designer of the stamp used the Kingdom of Italy flag, while Italy had been a republic, with a different flag, since 1946) 1950-1953

Early History

The American Red Cross has long been active in Italy, working in cooperation with the Italian Red Cross.[3] Ernest Hemingway worked for the American Red Cross in Italy in 1918.[4] The American Red Cross continues to have an office in Naples, Italy.[5]

Red Cross Hospital 68 and the Korean War

During the Korean War, the Italian Red Cross Field Hospital 68 (Ospedale da campo CRI n. 68) was despatched to Korea to aid the humanitarian disaster there, even though Italy was not a member of the United Nations at the time.[6] The Hospital arrived in Korea in November 1951 and provided medical services to wounded civilians and soldiers of all sides. It finally left Korea in January 1955.

Current Operations

Presently, the Italian Red Cross has the status of a sovra-national charitable organization, under the high patronage of the President of the Italian Republic. The Italian Red Cross is currently a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Doctor Massimo Barra was elected President of the Italian Red Cross on December 11, 2005 and served until October 30, 2008, when the Italian Government appointed Extraordinary Commissioner Francesco Rocca.[7]

Italian Red Cross vehicles bear special license plates.[8]


The Italian Red Cross has the following components:

  • Corpo militare - Military corps
  • Corpo delle Infermiere Volontarie - Voluntary nurses
  • Volontari del Soccorso - Voluntary of First Aid
  • Comitato Femminile - Women's Committee
  • Pionieri - Red Cross Youth
  • Donatori del Sangue - Blood Donors


  1. ITALY'S RED CROSS WORKS EFFICIENTLY, The New York Times, Page 53, Jan 6, 1918.
  2. IFRC: Who We Are: History.
  3. The Story of the American Red Cross in Italy, Charles Montague Bakewell, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1920.
  4. World War I, Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, PBS
  5. American Red Cross Naples Italy official website
  7. Francesco Rocca is the Extraordinary Commissioner for the Italian Red Cross, from the IRC officiale web site.
  8. Italian Red Cross

External links

Symbole-it.png Official Italian Red Cross website (in Italian)

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).