1942 bathing beauties for Mr. J. Matthews from his son Jack, on one of those “check off your responses” type of card. Sometimes they were straight-forward, sometimes wacky, depending both on the card choices and the sender. In this case, Jack indicated:
“Calif., Nov. 3. Dear Dad, This place is beautiful. The weather is warm and dry. The people are friendly. I’m feeling fine and happy. I spend my time sightseeing. I need sleep. Give my love to all the folks. Yours sincerely.” On the back he wrote:
“Dear Dad, How are you I am fine. It is nice country here but I prefer the East. Write to me you have my address. Jack.” Addressed to:
“Mr. J. Matthews, 291 Orange St., Albany, N.Y.”
Underneath the postmark is Jack’s address:
“J.V. Matthews. S. 36 [?] US Navy, Batt 27 HDQ Co A-B, Port Hueneme, Calif.”
“We Build, We Fight.”
From a little research online, and of the course, the year of the postcard indicating WWII, it looks like Jack was a part of the “Seabees.” This term is from the initials “C.B.” which stands for Construction Battalion, and their motto is, “We Build, We Fight.” Both the 27th and 37th Battalion at Port Hueneme (pronouced “Why-nee-mee”) were part of the Seabees, (so even if it’s 37 rather than 27 in his address on the card, the branch of service still fits.) Below is the Seabee’s emblem (courtesy Wikipedia.)
Which Matthews family did Jack belong to?
The 1943 Albany, NY city directory shows the 291 Orange St. address as the residence of John V. Matthews, machinist, and his wife, Adeline R. Matthews. A couple of entries above lists John Matthews, USA, residence 291 Orange. “USA” in this directory is the abbreviation for United States Army (an error since Jack was in the Navy in ’42?) A quick further search in city directories shows Jack and Adeline at this address at least as early as 1938.
City directory findings led to various census records. The 1900 for Philadelphia shows two-month-old John V. Matthews, with parents, James and Isabella, both born in Ireland, and William Matthews, brother to James, also born in Ireland. And finally a 1961 death record for Jack (always hate to mention these, sentimentally having become fond of the person who, in this case, sent this nice postcard to his dad) but that shows Jack was born in Philadelphia in 1900, lists wife Adeline, and parents’ names, James Matthews and Isabelle (Devlin) Matthews, thus confirming his parentage.
Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked November 3, 1942. “U.S. Navy.” Publisher: Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass. “Tichnor Quality Views” Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. “Busy Person’s Correspondence Cards – 10 Designs.” Series or number 65157.
Sources: Seabees in World War II. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabees_in_World_War_II (accessed July 18, 2015).
R. L. Polk & Co.’s Albany City Directory, Vol. CXXX. p. 266. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.
Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1479; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0975; FHL microfilm: 1241479
Ancestry.com. Menands, New York, Albany Rural Cemetery Burial Cards, 1791-2011