New York City (JFK+50) One hundred years ago, June 25, 1917, Helen Dinsmore Huntington Astor*, wife of New York millionaire Vincent Astor**, sailed to France to serve in the nursing corps. Mrs. Astor, along with Miss Ethel M.B. Harriman, had recently completed intensive nurses training.
Mr. Astor, meanwhile, was enlisted as an ensign in the New York naval militia doing patrol work on his yacht which he had donated to the Navy for the war effort.
Another passenger on the steamship bound for France was Mr. Francis B. Sayre, the son-in-law of President Woodrow Wilson. He would work for the Army YMCA in France.
*Helen Dinsmore Huntington Astor Hull (1893-1976) was born in New York City. She was a prominent socialite, patron of the arts & political hostess. After divorcing Vincent Astor, she married Lytle Hull.
**William Vincent Astor (1891-1959) was born in New York City, the son of John Jacob Astor IV, millionaire & inventor. WVA graduated from St. George's School in Middletown, RI & attended Harvard 1911-1912.
WVA inherited his father's fortune at the age of 20. His net worth was estimated at $75 million. He divorsed Helen Dinsmore Huntington Astor in 1940.
"Helen Dinsmore Huntington Astor Hull," www.findagrave.com/
"Mrs. Astor and Miss Harriman To Be Nurses", The Chicago Daily Tribune, June 26, 1917.
Helen Dinsmore Huntington