WW II letters home, March 23, 1941

I have not run out of family history, but I have run out of completed profiles and have reached a point requiring pause and re-analysis.  Letters from home will be the mainstay for a little while as I review what I have and follow-up on leads to others.

In this letter, I see where I get my penmanship from.  You see, I have the ability to write nicely, but just not consistently.  Anyone who has seen a letter from me or read a paper I wrote for school (or my diary) will see about five different penmanship styles that look like different people wrote them. Sometimes my style changes from paragraph to paragraph and sometimes from page to page.  Depending on where I am writing.  This is the first letter that Kenney wrote that has the most lovely writing on the first page – then gradually morphs into a looser and more hurried writing.  I imagine he normally wrote in his bunk or somewhere uncomfortable and that he started this particular letter at a desk or somewhere comfortable and finished it off in a less comfortable place.

Left image is this letter.  The right image is another letter.  Most of his letters look like the one on the right or worse.

Envelope post dated March 2?, 1941

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

Kenney Rhoades
U.S.S. Colorado
Pearl Harbor T.H.
Box 14

Sunday, March 23

Dear Folks,

Well here is that salty fellow again, the one you call son, and still at sea, per usual.  It seems that is all we do anymore, we go in for three to five days, and then back to sea for about two weeks.  We are going back into P.H. again this Wend.

Although, I can’t kick(?) much about the cruise this time as I have really be lucky, you see we went out last Monday and for some reason I was left off the watch list and told to turn to [go to work] in the Engine room from 8 A.M. till 11 A.M. and then again from 1 P.M. till 3:30 P.M., cleaning up.  This gives me all night in and I have only had two watches since we have been underway, pretty soft.  The chief said it was because they knew I am qualified to stand the watch and that when I am given a job I can be left alone and it gets done.  I don’t mean for this to sound like I am bragging, but it does show I;m getting along pretty good.

I’ve got a chit (application) in the log room, to be submitted for application to Aviation Machinist mate school at Pensacola, Florida.  You see, I found out they have a vacancy for 21 men and the only trouble is that they asked for men from the deck force and no engineers.  I went to our division officer anyway and told him how much I wanted that kind of work.  He told me to put in a formal chit to him and he would see what he could do.  I checked up last night through an yeoman and found out the Division Officer signed and recommended my chit and it is now up to the Chief Engineer to do the same.  If he does, I should get it, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Well how is everything back there? Just swell, I hope.  It should be getting pretty nice by now.  I guess B and I are just friends now, if even that (Ha Ha).  You know the old saying, “girls are like streetcars”, she must have heard the same about boys.

Weather reports from the Nebraska State Journal (Newspapers.com)

Yes, mother, you were right, I have been spelling Honolulu wrong, I just never paid much attention.  I guess you know my spelling anyway [I’ve been correcting his spelling and grammar for the last many posts – my co-workers bought me a mug this Christmas that says “I’m silently correcting your grammar” LOL  Hey, I’m not perfect either!].

One thing nice about this being at sea we get our cigarettes for six cents a pack, or 60¢ a carton.  I got another letter from Red Bark at [National Guard] camp.  He said he is now Piv(?) [Private] 1st Class and hopes to be a Corporal soon.  I have had kind of a bad cold the last two weeks, from seating so bad and then taking a cold shower, I guess.

U.S. Army rank 1920-1942.  Wikipedia article

Well the way the talk is we may be back in the states by the first of May, I hope. I found out that at any time if I can get a leave I can come home on a government plane, either Army or Navy, providing there is one gong back and I sign papers exempting the government from responsibility, and for no cost.

Say, I didn’t know Mrs. Whitlock was sick.  I will send her a card as soon as I can get ashore.  So Helene wishes for Kenney on her wish, boy I would sure like to fulfill that wish, but it doesn’t look very promising.  I have quite a few pictures in my album now and will send it to you just as soon as I can complete it, of course they are all from out here as I haven’t been able to go enough places to make them vary like I would like to.  Well, I can’t think of any more so guess I will close for now.

Love to all,

Please let me hear from all of you soon.  Dad do you realize I’ve been here since the 20th of January and have heard from you only once, how about breaking down again.  (Ha Ha)

1938, National Guard at Camp Ashland, Nebraska.  From the family’s private collection. Can you pick out Kenney?  Most likely Red Bark is in this picture too.


Articles of interest from 23 March 1941, Nebraska State Journal (Newspapers.com).  Because it’s the only newspaper that I don’t have to pay a premium to access on Newspaper.com for Nebraska.