WW II Letters home, Dec 1940

Envelope post dated December 18, 1940

Kenney Rhoades
U.S.S. Colorado Box 14
Long Beach, Calif.

Mr. & Mrs. K.W. Rhoades & Family
4011 North 30 Street
Omaha, Nebraska

December 17

Dear Folks,
Say, you folks sure must have a real snow back there.  I saw a wire photo in the paper here showing a car parked on 17 [S. 17th Street] and Farnam [Street], there by dad’s office, completely covered with snow after a street sweeper and walk shoveler had finished their work. It’s to hot here. I slept with out any bed clothes [sheets and blankets] last night and still I sweat. [I] got mom’s letter yesterday and was glad to hear from home. Bill was over last night, he wrote home last Sat[urday]. [He] said his reason for not writing is his folks won’t write to him. He hasn’t heard from them in 3 weeks. By the way, dad, it has been a long time since I’ve heard from you. I would like a letter from you soon, if its possible. Mom said you didn’t feel very good and had a cold in your eyes. I hope by the time you get this you feel lots better and are rid of your cold. I’m glad to hear Helene hasn’t forgotten me. I thought maybe by now she wouldn’t remember who I am. I suppose she is just as ornery as ever. Thanks for getting the scrap book, now Ill have to send some things for it. I am going to buy a camera off of a kid here. I told him I would give him whatever a back shop dealer would offer and he said O.K. as he wants to buy a new one (better one). It is a sixteen buck [$16] camera and I’ll get it for  about five I think. He has had it a year and has taken swell pictures with it. It’s a candid camera. Well I can’t think of any more but am waiting patiently for letters from all of you.  Say hello to all our friends and wish them a Merry Christmas for me.

Loads of Love,

Not sure if this is the same 17th and Farnam St. referenced Kenney’s letter (image of Google Maps for Omaha, NE). Sometimes cities change street names. In earlier letters, Kenney sends mail to his dad’s office at 208 Patterson Building in Omaha, but I could find nothing about a Patterson Building in cursory internet searches. This location would make sense since Kenney’s father was in the Real Estate business and this location is near the County Court House – prime office location for quick visits to complete title searches, etc.


The image Kenny saw in a newspaper while in Washington State. The Morning World Herald, Omaha, NE, December 17, 1940. Newslibrary.com

Envelope post dated December 25, 1940

Bill Reece
U.S.S. Maryland
6th Division
Long Beach Calif

Mr K.W. Rhoads
4011 No 30th St
Omaha Nebr.

December 24, 1940
Dear Mr. Rhoades & Family,
   I received your card yesterday and Thanks a lot it sure was swell.
   I feel pretty bad I never received any mail for month[s] and I thought everybody forgot me. A couple of my Folk’s letters got lost.
   I guess My dad told you that I was a gun striker on the three in [3 inches] Battery.  The 3″ battery was just put aboard and I just found out that when we go to the [ship]yards in March the 3″ will be replaced by 1.1 guns.  They shoot a 1 pound shell and have 4 barrels so that it can shoot more shells per minute.
   I like the Navy swell and I have seen some swell scenery since I joined.
   Kenny and I aren’t on the same ship but we rate liberty on the sam nights. We see quite a bit of each other maybe some day we will be able to get on the same ship.
   I can’t think of anything more to write about so I will close.
Sincerely Yours,
Bill Reece

The USS. Maryland in 1935. From Wikipedia.com article on the USS Maryland (BB-46) The USS Maryland was also a Colorado Class Battleship from World War I. Her 3″ Batteries were also a relict of that earlier war and the 1.1 guns were implemented on all battleships still using the old 3″ guns.