WW II Letters home, Dec 1940 (con’t)

Well, I placed a few letters out of order, so we are still in December 1940. And I started cleaning up his grammar as best as I could. I couldn’t take it anymore and neither could auto-correct. ūüėĖ

Envelope has two post-dates. On the front, December 23, 1940, Long Beach, CA (airmail) and on the back, December 24, 1940, Omaha, NE (rec’d)

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

Mr. & Mrs. K.W. Rhoades & family
4011 North 30 St
Omaha, Nebraska

Friday [December 20]

Dear Folks,

Well, today was payday and I am again all stocked up on soap, cigarettes, stamps, and all necessities. ¬†Well, Christmas is just around the corner but it sure doesn’t seem like it out here after the kind of Christmas I am used to seeing. ¬†I guess you are really going to have a white one back there where here it is just like summer. ¬†I am sending your presents with this letter (mom‚Äôs and dad‚Äôs), (I’ve ?illegible? the rest) I couldn’t think of anything to get and a package takes so long so I am sending you back one buck. ¬†I’m sorry but it is the best I can do as much as I would like to do better. ¬†I want you both to do me a great favor and spend it on yourselves for something you want and write and tell me what you got them. ¬†I will feel better. ¬†I didn’t get any Christmas cards as I figured it is to late and I ran a little short of money after buying a bucket, lock for my locker, bracelet for Betty, and two more suits of dungarees1, I decided. You know this is one time of the year that most all of the fellows aboard ship that can’t go home are home sick and don’t care who knows it. The Port2¬†section 72-hour liberty begins tonight at 4pm until 8am Monday and the Starboard’s3¬†Monday¬†till Thursday. ¬†I’m in Starboard but don’t think I will go ashore. ¬†Dad, I got your letter yesterday and was sure happy to hear from you but sorry it was so short. So you want to hear some of that Navy slang again, well I’ll try and write you a letter over the weekend and you can translate it. ¬†Well, here is a Merry Xmas to you all and wish one to the Woods, Grecoz (sp?), Mrs. Whitlock, Mr. Sowtill (sp?) and everyone.

Dungarees worn during World War II.  Image from Kathleen Laundy Costume Designer

Envelope post dated December 28, 1940

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

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

Friday [December 27]

Dear Folk,

Well here I am again, Christmas is over and I hope you enjoyed it more than I did. I missed all of you quite a bit and it didn’t seem much like Christmas without any snow or cold weather. And then of course I had to stay aboard, here‚Äôs what I did. I slept till noon, got up, ate a tremendous dinner (am sending you the menu)4¬†after dinner I washed clothes till time for evening chow. I went to the movies and then sat around reading the magazines you sent. Well how was your Christmas? Did you all have a nice one? I got a box from Betty with a sweater she knitted, a large oil painting, pictures, candy, and cake, etc. I got cards from lots of folks and have answered most of them. I don’t know Mrs. Jensen‚Äôs address so I am sending it to you, Dad, and if you will see she gets it for me. ¬†I wrote Mrs. Whitlock a letter and am sending it at same time as this. ¬†Well, I can’t think of any more and it’s time to turn to for the afternoon. ¬†How about some mail?

Love, Kenney


  1. Dungarees, a denim, bell-bottomed working uniform with a blue over shirt existed in the Navy from 1913 to 1999. At the time, they were well suited to naval environments due to their simple and durable design.
  2. The left side of the ship, for you land lovers.
  3. The right side of the ship.
  4. I goofed.  I didn’t realize the booklet he sent home was for the menu.  I only scanned the cover and the roster.