WW II letters home, April 14, 1941

Envelope postdated April 18, 1941

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

Kenney Rhoades
U.S.S. Colorado
Box 14

April 14, [1941]

Dear Folks,

Well here I am again, and still in Pearl Harbor. We aren’t going out until next week I guess.

Well did you all have a pleasant Easter yesterday and was the bunny good to Babe?

I spent the day with Harold Div(???g or y)[1] on the Idaho[2], we just sat around and talked about home all day and then went to the movie last night.

Saturday I went over to the Lexington[3], it just came out here, and talked to Mr. Harding and Schumely. They are both fine and feel the same as I do about Honolulu. I didn’t stay long as it was chow time and I had one of my buddies with me. We went on into town, rented a bicycle and camera and rode all over taking pictures (5 rolls of film). We don’t know how they came out yet.

Oh yeah B and I are finished. She has a new love, and the surprising thing is, it doesn’t make me feel bad at all. In fact, I felt much better. That makes just that many less letters. I have to write and you know how well I like to write letters. We are still friends, though. B said in her last letter that I was giving you folks the idea I was displeased with the Navy. That is a lot of bunk I do like it fine. It’s Honolulu I don’t like, and from the way things are going, we may be back in the States around the 6th of May, I hope. That is all I can say about that, as it is mostly scuttlebutt[4].

I got your letter and the money order last week, thanks. Well this is about all there is to write now. I am on watch and if I get caught writing a letter instead of giving all my attention to my pump it will be my neck. I took my exam for F2/c[5] last Friday and am pretty sure I passed but the rates won’t come out until May 16.

Please write soon,
Love Kenney

This telegram is undated, but since Kenney didn’t go to training at the Great Lakes until July of 1940 and he was on his way to the U.S.S. Massachusetts in Boston around Easter 1942, I am placing it in April 1941 (even though his letter says he was in Honolulu not Long Beach).  I could be wrong and he could have sent this on his way out of town in 1942!

[1]  Possibly referring to a friend from home? The last name was not clearly written.
[2]  I assume he is referring to the U.S.S. Idaho, a New Mexico-class battleship.
[3]  Possibly referring to the U.S.S. Lexington (Lady Lex), an aircraft carrier that operated in the Pacific during WW II.  It is not clear who Messers Harding and Shumely were.  Since he refers to them as “Mr.”, perhaps they are old Navy friends of Kenney’s father, Ken Sr. who was a WW I veteran.
[4]  Navy slang for rumor.
[5]  Fireman 2nd Class, it’s the Navy’s equivalent for an Army’s Private 1st Class (or something near that, the ranks change in 1944).  The “Fireman” designation referred to staff assigned to the ship’s engines and auxiliary machinery.  It originates from the British Navy’s “stoker”, those who stoked the engine fires (in the time before steam engines), hence “fireman”.  The lower the class number the higher the rank.