MARCH 26, 1943
NEW YORK, Thursday—After a short trip from New Haven Tuesday night, Miss Thompson and I were met by Captain Underwood, who commands the school for WAVES at Northampton, Massachusetts. Both Captain and Mrs. Underwood were extremely kind and made two weary people quickly feel at home. Soon, much too soon, it was morning and we were starting out on another day!
Wednesday was a most interesting day. It began with the assembly of Smith College students, and then followed through the various Navy training classes, many of which are already being taught by women who graduated only a few weeks ago themselves. Commander Mildred McAfee joined us about 10:00 o'clock and left soon after we did.
We saw the cadets drill extremely well in the armory, and watched some very strenuous setting-up exercises for awhile. I decided that they were getting plenty of physical as well as mental stimulus in this course. These girls are being trained as officers.
As I looked down at them all assembled before lunch, I could not help thinking how smart and keenly alive a large group of women all dressed alike look. The same thing impressed me about the WAACS. It must be that putting everything you have into your work brings about that look of alertness and vigor. They sang some songs at their assembly which have been written by different members of the corps. All seemed to enjoy it and gave us much pleasure.
We lunched in the old inn, which I remember staying in. It is used as a dormitory and mess hall. We watched the cadets going through, cafeteria style, and then went into the officers' dining room, where we were told we had the same meal as everybody else. If so, they are particularly fortunate in this training center.
After lunch, we drove over to Mount Holyoke and saw several hundred more cadets. President and Mrs. Ham were with us and told us how well the association of students in the college and students in the armed services is working out. Here, after a general inspection, which included watching some 75 newly arrived women Marines getting their first drill training, I spoke to a joint assembly which included the Mount Holyoke students.
On our return to Northampton, Captain and Mrs. Underwood had a very pleasant, small tea party. We drove to the train, which reached New York City a little after 10:00 p.m.
Here we found, as usual, plenty of mail awaiting us. However, it is restful to be among one's own belongings, and today is not a very busy one. I have telephoned the President, have already had a guest for breakfast, and now must start out on a few personal errands.