[Editor’s Note: Thomas Arthur “Art” Kenney ran one of the two pharmacies in Kentland. He joined the Navy in 1942, and served as a pharmacist’s mate. He and Roscoe were good friends for many years.]
Sept. 26th 1944
Dear Doctor, Gladys & Family:-
I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself so I will pass away a few minutes dropping you a line. Well lots of things have happened since I bid you adieu over two years ago. You have seen lots I have seen some and the war has is definitely over the apex and we are all looking forward to when it will be over, which I hope & pray will be sometime next year. I received the Kentland Democrat today and see where another Kentland lad has paid the supreme price, Bruce William’s boy. I wonder how many more will be forced to give their lives before this war is over.
Francis said he has seen you a couple of times since you have gotten back to the States, but he didn’t say how you survived your tour of duty out here. I have often wondered if you picked up any of these tropical diseases. I hope you haven’t. I don’t worry too much about them but do hope I escape anything too serious.
Haven’t had it too hard out since I signed up sometimes feel a little ashamed when I read what some of the lads have gone through but guess guys my age aren’t suppose to be daredevils. I have been in Malaria Central ever since I’ve been in the Navy. I’ve done everything from hatching mosquitoes, identifying larvae & blood parasites, to bossing Natives, draining ditches and spraying oil. Out here I don’t have a lot to do guess they figure I can’t shoulder too much responsibility or maybe it’s the old Navy game of getting out of work. I do have a mighty good superior officer here. I was with him all the time I was in the States and will probably be with him all the time I’m out here. An entomologist from U. of S. Calif., taught there and really knows entomology.
I started this the other nite and the generator went off so I will finish now.
[page 2] This is Sat. a.m. and about time for inspection but don’t know whether will have one or not. If I ever get back to Kentland I’m going to have field day on Fri. and inspection on Sat. Oh yeah and eat beans for breakfast Sat. a.m. so don’t come in the store Sat. before ten o’clock. We have really had our share of rain the last week out here. If this is the dry season God help us when the rainy season hits. Had a letter from Francis & Clara yesterday and still no orders for him, he says he’s sitting there expecting them any day. Wherever he goes I hope he gets good duty. He surely has been lucky to stay in the States as long as he has. From what he says guess he has gotten some good experience.
What do you think of the war now? Do you think we’ll make it back by 1946? I hope we do, but we are up against a wall in Germany and have a long way to go out here. I guess from what we hear of the news Halsey has been having the time of his life. He surely loves a good scrap. Several unrated (Seamen) have gotten orders back to the states from here. Most of them have been out here a year, they are going back for new construction. Personally now that Mather is gone I hope they leave me out here until I’m ready to be discharged. Well there isn’t any news I can write haven’t had a chance to make Chief yet suppose when my time is up I’ll get to hope so anyway so far I don’t have a good enough vocabulary for Chief yet maybe I can acquire it. Take care of yourselves don’t work too hard and maybe will all be back in Kentland in ’46.
©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/03/14/art-kenney/
This is really a pretty fine letter. Glad it survives in the collection.
“guess guys my age aren’t suppose to be daredevils.” 🙂
“I’ve done everything from hatching mosquitoes, identifying larvae & blood parasites, to bossing Natives, draining ditches and spraying oil.” Wow.
“Oh yeah and eat beans for breakfast Sat. a.m. so don’t come in the store Sat. before ten o’clock. ” 🙂
I love these letters from the people we have been hearing about. It is great to have another perspective.