A. Piatt Andrew, Jr.
Piatt Andrew, born in Indiana, was sent “back East” to be educated. From the Lawrenceville School, he went to Princeton and then to Harvard. His specialty was economics.
“Doc” lectured at Harvard on financial matters— an expertise which led him to be called in as an advisor to the Senate’s Aldrich Committee, architects of the Federal Reserve System.
In 1909, President Taft named him Undersecretary of the Treasury. In 1914 he ran unsuccessfully for Congress— as Europe burst into flames. He then appealed for work to Robert Bacon, a colleague from the Taft Administration, and now head of the American Ambulance of Paris and was assigned to a detached unit of the hospital’s transportation service in the north of France. Bacon then appointed him “Inspector of Ambulances.”
Andrew had the vision and political knowhow to better organize the ambulance service. He persuaded the French Army High Command to allow American “sanitary sections” to serve their combat units – thus marking the beginning of the American Ambulance’s “Field Service.”
For the next two years, Andrew directed the work with the French Army, the practical details managed by his adjutant, Steve Galatti.
In late 1917 when AFS was absorbed by the much-larger Unites States Army Ambulance Service, the other volunteer services melted away while “Doc” maintained AFS’s identity within the USAAS through the publication of an AFS Bulletin, the transformation of “21” into a social center and the preparation of other publications. AFS would therefore survive the war: In body, through an AFS Association, and in spirit through the adoption and promotion of the French Fellowships.
After the war, “Doc” was elected to Congress, thus beginning a new career in public service which was to last until his death in 1936.
His last service to AFS was no small one: he revived the “two-way” dimension of the AFS French Fellowships, bringing a second Frenchman to the US.