Message to a Soldier: Arnold Johansen


I usually don’t seek out postcards that go from a sender to someone in the military, but sometime around September 2014 I found multiple cards that were mailed from Arnold Johansen, an Apprentice Seaman at the time this card was mailed to him, at the U.S. Naval Training Center  in Great Lakes, Illinois. One card was to his daughter, Dottie, and the rest were to his wife, Ruth. There was also one card from Ruth to Arnold.

Then a couple months ago, the same seller I had purchased these cards from had two more listed. Only one was to Ruth, and the other was to Arnold from his son. The message reads:

“Dear Dad- How are you geting along.Im fine.Will I be glad when you come home I can just see a picture of you walking down the street with the duffle bag over your shoulder. I hope I win the race Im going run tomorrow at the University. Your son Billy”

The handwriting and spelling errors made me think like Billy was a young child, so I turned to census data. Based on 1940 census data for Ruth, Arnold and her had three children in 1940- Thelma (10), Arnold Jr. (8), and Dorothy (0). Perhaps Arnold Jr.’s middle name or nickname was Billy? I don’t think there would have been a 4th child born right after the census that would have been able to write this postcard in 1944. 😉


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