Ranking news of the week to almost one-third of the members of the ASTP unit was the official announcement that 81 buck privates in a sweeping special order, had become men of a single stripe.
When First Sergt. Morris Isacowitz announced at retreat one night that "No buck private now walks the paths of Leverett House" and informed the bucks that "you are all first-class privates as of June 15, by grace of the War Department," many hurried to their rooms to write the tidings to wives, girl friends, mothers, brothers and old barracks mates. As the statisticians might say, a coefficient of chest exuansion was observed.
Of equal importance to the topnotch morale of the unit was the happy statement of Capt. Bernard A. Merriam, company commander, after drill and inspection on Saturday: "An officer of the inspector general's department has looked this outfit over, and given a rating of excellent. You can't expect any better word than that. A great deal of credit goes to the cadre, but I wanted you all to know the verdict."
Members of the cadre headed by Sergt. Isacowitz weren't there to take the bow they deserved. However, all the soldier students have expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the speed with which the cadre men prepared payroll lists. One payday was June 12 and another payroll has already been signed.
Tech. 5 Oscar A. Olsen has been directing the personnel work. Sgt. William M. Chesebrough, message center chief, has been boosting everybody's spirits by giving snappy service with mail and messages. Supply Sgt. Carmen J. Riccelli has learned every man's name and has replaced many a torn and tattered garment with garb more suited to students at Harvard. Tech. 4 Robert W. Leonard, Cpl. Roger H. Potter, Tech. 5 George G. Vaughan, Pfe. Harold E. Bloomberg, Tech. 5 A. A. Dickson, and Pvt. John O. Scheuermann are others who have kept the ball rolling smoothly since the students arrived.
Men of the ROTC detailed here, who helped out considerably, are Pfc. William B. Blackman, Pvt. James J. Lannon, Pfc. O. G. Clark, and Pfc. Luther H. Berry.
Stacks of books, games, bridge decks and checkerboards have made the capacious day room popular these nights--thanks to the Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy . . .
The man who keeps that well-fed look on the faces of AST men at Leverett House is Philip Hurley, assistant to Chief Steward Carl T. Tucker. Hurley juggles ration points in huge quantities and keeps a steady stream of miracles flowing from the kitchen . . .
No one in Lieut. N. B. Sherry a public speaking classes will be able to say that old bromide. "Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking . . ." Lieutenant Sherry makes a point of calling on men who haven't had experience as orators, occasionally letting the silver-tongued boys show how it's done . . .
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A fighter pilot's view of the Allied campaign in Algeria and Tunisia was given the unit Tuesday afternoon in Emerson Hall by Flight Lieut. D. H. Fox-Male, a member of the R.A.F.
The Germans were knocked out of the air both by night and by day, the 28-year-old flying officer declared. He described in vivid detail several dogfights in which his squadron participated.
Lieut. Fox-Male took part in the Battle of Britain in 1940 after having only 15 solo hours as a Spitfire pilot. Asked about his first impressions in his initial air combat, he said with an engaging grin: "Well, as it happens; I was shot down. It all happened very fast, and I didn't have time to know whether I was very excited."
He expressed the opinion that no single fighter plane could claim absolute superiority in the air, with the increasing specialization of plane design producing different planes for specific types of missions.
The flying officer was introduced by Lieut. Chester T. Corse, adjutant of the Army Training School here. He received an ovation on his introduction and when he had finished.
"No wonder the R.A.F. has such a fine reputation," one soldier said as the group left the hall.
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Men with good voices or those with just melody in their souls are being sought by Cpl. Presly Wetherell, director of the chorus, to expand the ASTU chorus into a full-sized glee club.
"Dr. G. Wallace Woodworth of the Harvard Glee Club has made available to us the entire Glee Club library," Wetherell said. "With his generous help we have the chance to develop an outstanding organization. Men who want to sing on their own time, not the army's, are the fellows I'd like to see."
A song sheet is being mimeographed for all members of the unit, and Corporal Wetherell predicts that before long people in Cambridge will be eagerly waiting to hear the ASTU voices floating on the summer air.
"Now we'll all know something besides "Yankee Doodle Dandy," Wetherell said. "That's a good song, but we want to get more variety."