WW II letters home, August 17, 1941

Envelope postdated 17 August 1941

Mr. and Mrs. K.W. Rhoades
4011 North 30 Street
Omaha, NE

Sunday, August 17

Dear Folks,

Got your letter Friday and was as glad to hear from home as you must have been to hear from me.  I was beginning to think maybe something had happened back there or else I had left an awful impression as no one cared to write. (HaHa)  I haven’t had much time to write and won’t be able to write much while we are in the yards [Puget Sound]. 

I’m all messed up again but nothing serious.  It’s really kind of a joke, they checked up on liberty cards and found 40 of them that had the birth dates changed (mine being one of them) so that we would be 21 years old.  I’ve heard of fellows gaining a year but never losing one.  As a punishment they restricted us for ten days giving us a mid-watch each night and fined us all 1/3 of a month’s pay $18 for me.  Kind of tough but I guess I’ll learn.  Don’t let it worry you, it wasn’t considered serious this time but it hadn’t better happen again.  It wasn’t even entered in our service record. 

Am still mess cooking and will be until 1st of Oct. 

There is a Limey ship in here now, H.M.S. Warspite.  It is pretty well beat up with two shell holes, one is a torpedo hole.  Boy the Limeys sure rate around here.  They have a lot of sea stories to tell and are fun to listen to them talk.  The crew that is on her are all refugees from ships that have been sunk.  They sure like it here. 

H.M.S. Warspite at Puget Sound in December 1941. In May 1941, British battleship H.M.S. Warspite was damaged off Crete by German dive bombers.  The H.M.S. Greyhound and H.M.S. Fiji were sunk in this excursion.  She was then sent to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington for repairs and re-gunning between August and December 1941.  Warspite was still there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Since I was home, I have a hard time getting used to things around here.  I sure wish I could be back there again.  Oh well, what’s a measly 4 years and 10 ½ months anyway in my young life (HaHa). 

Well, I guess this is all for now, it’s almost time to set up my mess.

Love to all and let me hear from all of you soon,


Arial footage of the U.S.S. Colorado at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 25 July 1941. Photos accessed from the World War II Database. I think the ship I identified is the Colorado based on comparing it to other images, it is the only ship in the photo’s with matching forward and aft batteries.