Envelope post dated October 24, 1941
Mr. K.W. Rhoades
203 Patterson Bldg.
Well, Dad, I expect you are wondering why the sudden generosity in my writing and what kind of a jam your black sheep son is into now, am I right? Well, I pulled another one of my smart assed tricks like I used to when I was home, but as usual I am learning my lesson the hard way. To make a long story shorter it was just a minor auto wreck, and to ease your mind before you read any further there was no one hurt and no serious damage to either car. The damage was done on my pocket book. I have taken the car back to the finance company so it won’t happen again.
I didn’t want to tell you of my troubles but as you have always told me you would not be a good dad if I didn’t feel I could let you in on my troubles. This all happened Monday night about 10:30, there were seven other fellows with me. The back end of my car slid into the left rear fender of a parked ‘41 Desoto doing $23.60 worth of damage (leave it to me to pick on a new car) but where I made my mistake was in not stopping. It so happened a police car saw it and soon stopped me a block further down the street. They took me to the station and booked me on (1) reckless driving (2) leaving the scene of an accident, and put me under $100 bond.
This is where a fellow finds out what real shipmates he has. My buddies didn’t want to see me in any trouble aboard ship and being the Navy patrol and officials could do nothing for me as I was held on a criminal offense by civilian authorities, they got a $100 and soon had me out. That way I was back aboard ship by the time liberty was up (0800) but I had to be back in police court by 0900, so one of my buddies a MM 1/c [machinist mate first class] and myself got special permission from the Captain to go back ashore. First, we got the fellow whose car we hit and gave him $23, which kept him from pressing charges. In court the judge (these people have no use for enlisted personnel) fined me $50 on reckless driving charge and $100 and costs ($5.20) on leaving the scene of the accident and then suspended $50 of the latter. They were really after that $100 bond money. They also took my driver’s license for one year.
Well, the ship mates who put up my bond are two fellows who need their money, so another shipmate has drawn $100 which he lent to me, for which I will pay him $20 each pay day. Some of the eight fellows are also chipping in. I want you to draw my money from the conservative (all except $5 to keep the account open) and send to me. When this is squared away I am making out (absolutely no bull shit) $30 allotment to you.
Now understand, dad, please do not worry about this. It will come out all right and don’t try to send any more than the amount I asked for. I am on my own now and will pay my own debts. I feel damn good to be independent, but don’t even think for a moment I don’t miss those swell guiding hands of my mom and dad.
Well, dad, I guess this is all the dope. I hope you are not angry and please don’t let this upset you.
All my love,
I am sending some swell photos soon.
This is the last 1941 letter in our collection until January 1942.
All newspaper clippings are from Newspapers.com and are from October 1941. The two Navy articles are from the Honolulu Star Bulletin and the Martin Plant article is from the Nebraska State Journal.