First Letters home, August 1940

Post card home post dated August 12, 1940
Mr. & Mrs. Rhoades & family
4011 North 30 St
Omaha, Neb.

Kenney Rhoades Co 53 1 U.S.N.T.S. Great Lakes Ill

Dear Folks, Went on Chi2 Excursion tour yesterday. Visited here from 3:20 till 4:55. Saw lots of interesting things.  Ate dinner in China town, went to Riverview Park one of the biggest amusement parks in the world.  More later.
Lots of Love

Letter post dated August 17, 1940

August 12
Dear Folks and offsprings
How are you all I got my things Friday thanks a lot.  Im in Paradise3 now but really think it was Paradise that I left, we have more liberty over here but work twice as hard.  Got moms letter today glad to here she might get glasses but as far as the dollar goes might consider it a loan as There was payday we got $13 minus $9 for canteen and Barber and Cobb[??, illegible], minus $1.25 for Chi trip leaving 2.75 out of that I bought a carton of cigs 1.10 and 50c for stationary and 50c laundry the other 65c I spend in Chi.  The way I understand it they dont pay again till Boot leave so we will have money to go home.  I had a swell time in Chi and Sunday I went swimming in Lake Mich.  Boy I don’t think Ill make a good sailor as I had a hard time getting along in those big waves as It was kind of rough three foot waves with white caps.  Passed swimming test and all other test weve had have made up my mind to try and make trade school at Pensicola Florida as aviation machinest mate what do you think of that Dad think I would be any good as a mechanic. Our hammocks are eight feet from floor4 over here but being Im a P.O. I get to sleep in a bunk. We had a gas mask test today in a gas chamber and my slipped boy that tear gas had we crying like a baby. Is the car still running Im glad to hear dick is making a little money Its about time I get another letter from Dad & Dick. Well folks I want to go to the show tonight so will close.
Loads of Love to all

1 See The Military Year Book Project.  Unfortunately, Co 53 is not represented, but there are some other 1940 era photographs to help us envision Kenney at Great Lakes, Illinois.
2 Chicago, Illinois
3 May be referring to Paradise, Ill which was a four-hour drive south of Chicago.  He may have been on another day trip with friends or there was some Naval field trip there as this is also the location for Paradise Lake.
4 See image below.

“US Sailors at Great Lakes Naval Training Station behind rolled out sea bags awaiting inspection” by Bernard Hoffman.  Note the hammocks above the sailors, with their bath towels hanging from them.
1940s Pre-WWII U.S. Navy Bluejacket Recruiting Film “The Navy Recruit” Great Lakes. Something Kenney may have seen before traveling to the Great Lakes for training.