Monday, July 30, 2012

Letters from Honolulu

I've mentioned before that my dad was stationed at Pearl Harbor from February 1944 to February 1946 during World War II.  When we were cleaning out my parents' home earlier this month, I found a bundle of letters that my dad wrote to the folks back home along with more photos of his time on Oahu.

I thought it'd be interesting to visit a different beach destination during a different era today.

16 February '44  11 p.m.   I am on a draft and I will ship out overseas tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m.  I will know more when I get underway.  That's all I can say at this time. 

    My dad's the guy on the right in this photo taken on Waikiki.

24 November '44   I have been having a lot of fun on my liberties lately.  Some of us guys found a fresh water swimming hole out east of Honolulu.  It is really swell.  If I can get some film, I'll take some snaps.

16 September '45   As far as liberty goes, we're getting the best around here.  We rate one out of three days and have two out of three weekends.  Trouble is you can't find any rooms for the night.  We usually come back in around 10 p.m.  (wink wink)  When we don't go to town, a couple of us go fishing.  Can sell all we catch to the island people and they pay about 50 cents a pound.  What a racket!  With a little luck you can make $5.00 plus having fun.

Vintage Waikiki postcard found in a box.

The letters chronicle his progression of duties as a Navy corpsman stationed at Base Hospital No. 8, from ward to operating room to dispensary.

I finally got into the operating rooms.  It's really swell duty and interesting.  So far I have scrubbed in on 11 cases.  I like it a lot better than ward duty and the hours are much better -- just like a banker.  Go to work at 9:45 and get off at 4:00.

8 August '45   I am liking the duty at the dispensary fine.  It's a change from hospital work.  The way things are going, I may not have to come back after this two years of duty is up.  We heard just today that Russia is in now.  I sure hope the war comes to an end in a very short time. 

The dispensary mascot Mitsie.

Posing outside the dispensary.  Looks like he was leaning on a rake.  He also wrote in his letters about working outside doing gardening chores when they weren't busy.

On liberty in Honolulu posing for a photo with a friend.

Walking down a Honolulu street.  There was a note on the back to my grandparents.  He cropped the photo at the chest because he didn't want them to see he'd gained weight.  (He was still in excellent form by today's standards.)  Looks like he'd just come out of a uniform shop.

 Wednesday evening    The weather out here is really nice.  Sunshine all the day and the nights are nice and cool.  They say this is the perfect climate, but myself, I'd give anything to see a little snow again.  The lights will be going out in a few minutes, so I'll have to close for this time.


Ann said...

Becky, these are all priceless! I have albums full of photos from my Dad's service years, but no letters. And I have a wonderful DVD that my Mom made about 5 years ago that shows photos & her reminisces of her time in the WAVES. Glad you found this stuff & kept it!

krisla said...

Just Fabulous! (agree w/Ann--those are priceless photos & writings)
Thanks for sharing. -k

Janet said...

Becky, how interesting!! Keep them safe, my Mom has letters her great (? how many greats I'm not sure) grandfather wrote while he was fighting in the Civil War. They are amazing, they actually had to have someone "translate" them, they were written in a wonderful script and the words used a bit different. These letters from your Dad are just as priceless to generations to come!! Just great!

Life's a Beach! said...

Ann, I was amazed when I found them. I think they came from my great aunt and uncle's home. Thanks Kris and Janet. That's amazing Janet that your Mom has those letters from the Civil War. I need to look through everything thoroughly because there are old newspaper clippings from the late 1800's of relatives' births, marriages, and deaths worth preserving.