Four of us were sworn in at the recruiting station in downtown Boston. I was the youngest at 17 years and two weeks (but looked about 14 years old), weighing 115 pounds. At 5 feet, 3 inches, I just passed the minimum height requirement. Of my three friends, one was a few months older than I, the second was 18 years old, and the third, the “old man” of the group, was 22 or 23 and already had served a hitch in the Army. He was put in charge of us by the recruiting officer and given tickets for our train trip to Newport, Rhode Island. We also were to have received chits for a meal on the pullman, but the yeoman “forgot” to give them to us.
We walked from the train depot to the Rhode Island Naval Station because they also forgot to give us our bus fare. As we approached the guard shack (aka the duty officer’s building, although the duty officer was up in the administration building), we were greeted by comments from some of the “old salts” already there. “You may like it, but you’ll never love it!” They knew, having been there all of two months.