Florence Eastman Post 280

American Legion 

Post 280 History

Florence Eastman

Army Nurse

Florence, the only daughter of Russell B. and Ada (Atwood) Eastman, came to Mattapoisett from West Falmouth in June 1915, to live at Ned's Point, where her father had been appointed "Light House Keeper".

At the age of 17 (1911) she enrolled at Morton Hospital to train for the Nursing Profession. She later completed he post graduate courses at Massachusetts General Hospital and worked as a Night Supervisor in several New England hospitals. In January 1918, at the age of 23, she was transferred, as a Red Cross Nurse, to Capt Upton, Yaphank, Long Island.

In April of that year she was sent to Camp Mills, Mineola, Long Island where she assumed the duties of Head Army Nurse of the Isolation Hospital with 20 nurses and over 100 soldier orderlies under her supervision. Her devotion to duty, her sympathy for the sick soldiers and her consistent, cheerful disposition won the respect and esteem of all with whom she was associated.

When the terrible Influenza Epidemic came, bringing with it an unprecedented amount of sickness, she did not falter in performing her duties as nurse and friend of the victims, nor did she think of herself. Finally she became a victim of the dreaded influenza from which she died, paying the last full measure of devotion to her profession and her Country.

Just before the full outbreak of the Flu she had received her passport and was expecting soon to go overseas to the battlefields of France, a journey she was fated to never take.

Army Nurse Eastman's death came on Monday, October 14, 1918, at the early age of 24. She was buried, with full Military Honors at Pine Island Cemetery surrounded by her family and many friends who came to pay homage to a brave and devoted daughter and a true noble soul. Of the 42 brave souls from our Town of Mattapoisett, who stepped forward for their country to serve in the Great War, Florence Eastman was the only one who did not survive the call to duty.

For all the above reasons the Charter members of our American Legion Post 280, in February 1925, dedicated our post in honor of her and to her memory by forever affixing her name to all of the Post's efforts on behalf of those who have served our Great Country, the United States of America. Thank you Nurse Eastman for your example and courage, we will never forget you, or your legacy.

Michael P. Lamoureaux

Commander, Post 280