Hawaiian boy in the military writes home to his mom, 1921.



February 23, 1921.

To My beloved Mama:—I received your letter, and with much aloha for you and papa, I am writing this letter. I was pleased to find out that you guys received the check that I sent, that check that you sent to me and that I sent back.

Mama, I had a very happy experience here in Balboa; we had a swimming meet, competing with the swimming team of the Balboa Club. I won the 50 yard meet, and the competitor for the Balboa Club lost. Older brother Kalei was with me, he is now the captain of the Yeoman of the warship Wyoming. Kaehu won the 200 yard meet, this was a race where you swam face up. We lost the relay race [heihei paku’i], however some of us were right behind the winner. We will race once again on the 24th of this month with that same club. I believe that by the time you receive this letter, we will soon reach San Pedro in a couple of days.

I am in good health, and I hope that so too are you two and everyone as well at home. O Mama, one more thing I wanted to tell you, of which I am happy about, and that is this, I received my gold medals a few days ago, from the Mayor of New York. I will send the medals to you, when he returns to the states.

In a shooting practice amongst the Pacific and the Atlantic fleets, the Pacific won in a competition held in the sea of Panama. I will stop here, because I am returning to catch a skiff to go back on board the battleship New York, so much aloha for you and papa and all of the family.

March 15, 1921.

My dear Mama:—I am sending the two of you this dipoloma [palapala homaikai] given for crossing over the Mediterranean Sea [Kaiwaena] with a American battleship. I was going to send you this with the other things I sent you,  but I forgot because I was very rushed, so I will send you this “diploma” now, and I hope that you will get it.

Mama, I want you to frame this diploma in a big wooden frame so that it doesn’t get damaged, and I also hope that it will be something nice for the family to look at always. Both older brother Kalei and I crossed over the Mediterranean Sea. Write me if you get this diploma.

I am in good health, and so too is older brother, Kalei. I hope that there will be a swim meet between us and the club of South California this coming month; our superior is organizing a meet between the club of the warships of the Pacific and that of California.

I am stopping here and will write again to you mama. Give my aloha to papa and all the family at home. From you loving child,


(Kuokoa, 4/8/1921, p. 2)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LIX, Helu 14, Aoao 2. Aperila 8, 1921.

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