Like many graduates, I was drafted in the spring of 1943, not into the Fighting Army, because of my thick glasses, but assigned to a Mobil Laundry unit as a mechanic, which killed any dreams of heroism and medals. It only got worse. I learned that we were about to be shipped to India, so I had visions of being up to my elbows in mountains of soiled G.I. skivvies being washed in the dark river water of Burma. What could be done?
Thankfully, my father was a Wall Street lawyer with friends in Washington. We took lunch with a kindly Congressman in the Capitol dining room. As if by magic I was transferred to an Army Harbor Craft Company and shipped off to Southampton, England, where I was put in charge of a high-speed launch, which I ran for the next two years, blasting out into the English Channel to meet Navy ships and troop transports. That good Congressman, combined with what I must have learned at Andover about how life works, probably saved my life.