In 1943 artist Francis V. Kughler, Hudson River Museum Director H. Armour Smith and Women’s Army Corps recruiter Joanne Coates conceived a plan to encourage women of Yonkers to enlist in the army and honor their contribution. Every Yonkers woman who joined the WACs would have her portrait made in oil or pastel by Kughler.
At age 20, Helen Organ was one of the youngest local WAC enlistees, thus she needed parental permission to join. She trained as a medical technician in West Virginia and earned promotions to the rank of technician fifth grade.
Before enlisting, she was a graduate of Hastings-on-Hudson High School and employed by the Ethyl Corporation.