WW II letters home, April 26, 1941

I think this was with the April 20th letter as both letters are written on blue paper with two hole punches at the top and the United States Pacific Fleet, Battleships, Battle Force, U. S. S. Colorado printed at the top. Also, April 26 does fall on a Saturday in 1941.

Saturday, April 26 12.15 AM

Dear Folks,

Well, as yet, mail for the U.S. hasn’t closed so I have kept [the] last letter and am now adding this [letter] to it as I have a little more news. Mail is closing at 6 A.M. and, as I have the 12 till 4 with nothing much to do, thought I should write some more. We are getting underway in the morning for another week at sea.

Well, I just got back from a camping party yesterday noon. You see, the government has set aside a military reservation here on the island called Nanakuli Beach [Oahu] (page 4) for sailor’s recreation. The ship sends 30 men every day we are in port. We left at 8 a.m. Thur. and returned at 12 AM Friday. Out there you can do anything you wish, play all kinds of athletics, swim in the ocean, go hiking, or sleep. Beer is only a dime while it is 25¢ any place else on the island. They have movies and furnish all meals. We slept in tents, 2 men to a tent, out on the beach and boy did we sleep. Today I am so sore and stiff it isn’t funny. To much exercise, I guess.

Nanakuli Beach was near Camp Andrews on Oahu. It was set up as one of several recreational facilities in the 1940s for sailors stationed in Hawaii. Images of the general location in the 1940’s can be found on the Battleship North Carolina webpage.

It was my first dip in salt water and what a thrill it was. They have the finest beach you have ever imagined. Surf five and six feet high and, boy, what an undertow it has. It knocked me off my feet at first.

The dope comes out on my exam May 1st, I guess. I’ve heard I passed with a 3.6 mark (4.0 being perfect).

I got a letter from Bill the other day and guess they are really working him in the Navy yard.

Well how is everything at home? I guess I’m going to get caught with my pants down again on Mother’s Day, Mom. You see, I’m flat [broke] and so are all my buddies, but payday is the 5th of May and I will send something then. Although it will reach you a few days late, you know the full meaning and all my love will come with it.

Say, Dick, when do you get out of school? This June or next? January are you coming in the Navy or not and if so will you be able to make it in time for a minority cruise?

A minority cruise was a Navy program for recruits who were 17 years old.

Well I guess you’ve got all the dope now so will close. Write soon.

Love and best wishes to all,
Kenney