I came to Andover by train from Canada—one of the smallest and youngest members of the class, resplendent in my blue blazer and knickers! In my years there I was not a class leader or athlete in any sense of the word, but interaction with faculty and my peers prepared me for success with the Navy V-12 program where one is cast in with students from all over the country, all walks of life and many coming for officer training from fleet combat units. I then progressed to Naval ROTC at Harvard, graduated, and commissioned as a 20-year-old Ensign, shipped pretty quickly via Amphib Training at Coronado, California, to Pearl Harbor, and then on to Japan, where I took part in decommissioning LST-626 in Yokohama. I was then volunteered to proceed to Tsingtao in northern China, where I was part of a small Navy group first involved with planning to move the Pacific Fleet Headquarters from Shanghai to Tsingtao. When the threats from the Communist armies increased, this plan was scrapped, and I became a member of the Chinese Advisory Group to the Chinese Nationalist Navy, where my duties were of a semi-diplomatic, political nature.
After close to six months, many of us were replaced by young Naval Academy graduates, and I returned to Boston for release from active duty.
Looking back, Andover prepared me for Harvard and Navy, which in turn—particularly the China experience—prepared me for life!
If only more of us could have the experience of living abroad with other cultures we would become more tolerant of other ways of doing things and would stay away from useless wars.