We arrived--One hundred thirty-five little ensigns fresh off the gangplank of the good ship Northampton with our sailing papers tucked under our arms. This was back on April 7, 1943, when the glow of graduation had not yet been dimmed out. We remember that date; the first job confronting us as officers aboard our new ship was dating and signing the multitudinous papers which enrollment in the Navy Supply Corps School--Radcliffe Branch--entails.
Baffled by quantities of ensigns running around giving and taking orders, we found friends who had taken to heart advice from the home port and arrived before the birds and got stuck with the inevitable worm--instructing all the uninitiated in the fine art of reporting for duty. Miss Gaertner has been tying up the loose ends ever since, and by now we hope we are all squared away.
The most poignant memory of our first day at Radcliffe concerns the ladders of Briggs Hall. On the first trip up to the fourth deck we labored with a load of luggage. The second jaunt was a struggle to keep a toehold under a four-foot stack of publications. Last cargo hauled by this Naval Transportation Service was fifteen pounds of bedding.
What a strange mixture of surprise and satisfaction we felt on seeing the words "OFFICERS TYPE" boldly printed on the paper wrappings the blankets came in. "That's right," we said, "we ARE officers now, aren't we?" and were grateful for that token of recognition.
Eagerly we tore off the wrappings and shook out the beautiful white folds. A shower of moth cristals filled the air and settled down gently like the first snow-fall. Now after several days of spring sunshine, the last of these white drifts are disappearing.
The new class is rapidly catching on to the traditions of the NSCS. We learned (the hard way) that the coke-and-cloak room in Briggs is a W-V (S) rendezvous ONLY when no member of the USN is in the building. We guessed we were table conversation after that inauspicious morning of the first lecture when Mr. Ashler started us off with a reprimand and that dark brown look. But now after a little priming and further acquaintance with Longfellow we promise to be a good class and GIVE.