Solo (May 1942): A WW II Letter Home Post

52 Ancestors

I’m going to put another spin on this 52 ancestors in 52 weeks thing again and integrate it into an existing theme in my blog. It’s WW II letters home time, and Kenney, who has been solo from the family, having grand adventures in the Pacific for over a year, now finds himself solo in the Atlantic, but not alone. After all, you can’t be alone when you’re a member of the U.S. Navy.

Kenney had made it to Boston, where he was assigned to the U.S.S. Massachusetts. She had been launched in September 1941, and final fittings were completed by May 1942.  She left Quincy, MA for Boston Harbor, where she was commissioned on 12 May.  The crew conducted her shakedown trials on 13 July.  In the post, U.S.S. Massachusetts in World War II, records show that Kenney had been mustered onto Big Mamie on 14 May, so that he could receive training and get her ready for the shakedown trials.

The U.S.S. Massachusetts (aka Big Mamie) on 13 July – shakedown trials. Images accessed 4 April 2020 from NavSource Online: Battleship Photo ArchiveBB-59 USS MASSACHUSETTS

Envelope post dated 19 July 1942

K.W. Rhoades
U.S.S. Mass.
9 P.M. N.Y. Divi P.

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

Saturday, July 18 6 a.m.

Dear Folks,

Well how’s everyone back there? Myself, I feel fine except for a case of sunburn and being a bit sleepy right now.  Got your letter the other day, Dad, was sure glad to hear from you.  Thought maybe you had forgotten how to write. (Ha Ha)  How do you like a Nash by now?  

Glad to hear you folks had a nice time the fourth. It was just like any other working day here except for a big chow.  Was at sea for a while sure felt good being I had been a dockside sailor since last July 10.  Over a year on the beach how about that?  Say, Mom, don’t forget to get the Trimpus (Trimpies?) address for me.  I might drop up and see them.  

Ruthie and I had a little squal but were all made up now. I stood her up and she didn’t like it.  She’s the one I told you I met that was so swell.  Works in the Sears & Roebucks offices.  Well Dick, how’s to write and give me the low down on your wreck?  How are things going down at the U.P. and so forth?  Did you have a pleasant vacation?

Mom, sorry to hear you couldn’t pick a winner at the races. How about you, babe? Are you being a good little girl?  I heard from daddy that you stick up for your big brother, is that right?  

I’m thinking of enlarging my allotment to $50 as I’m getting $93 now. Of course I might get married who knows? (Ha Ha) Well, this is about all the room so until next time.

Love to you all,

Note: his reference to earlier news indicates missing letters between his visit home in May and this July letter.