State Historic Site
Trail End overlooking Sheridan, circa 1912 (Gwinn Collection, SCHS)
World War Two era books (SCHS Collection, TESHS)
A Whole-House Exhibit at the Trail End State Historic Site
March 2014 - December 2015
WHEN THE WORLD became embroiled in a second World War, the Kendricks and their relations became almost as involved as they had been during the First World War (see Keeping the Home Fires Burning for more on World War One). Just like other Sheridanites - and the rest of America, for that matter - they contributed to the war effort through charitable contributions and military involvement.
MANVILLE & DIANA
In 1940, before America joined the war, Diana Kendrick did her part for the worldwide war effort by serving as chairman of the local branch of “Bundles for Britain.” Begun in New York City, “Bundles” provided knitted goods for British soldiers and sailors. As its income grew, the group also shipped ambulances, surgical instruments, medicines, blankets, cots, field-kitchen units and operating tables, along with used clothing of all sorts.
As Diana claimed to be “hopeless” when it came to knitting, she concentrated on the fundraising aspects of the organization, including used clothing drives, knitting bag sales, and the organized card party: "We have been asked to join the Bundles Bridge Club – the one which has been meeting for dinner at some member’s house each week. I have asked to have it here."
In addition to the evening games, Diana hosted a series of afternoon bridge tournaments in the Trail End Ballroom. The ladies in attendance paid a small fee to participate, with the proceeds going toward “Bundles.” At a 1941 auction of registered cattle, Manville purchased a “Bundles for Britain” Hereford for $175 (equal to $2,690 in today’s dollars). In 1942, the efforts of the Sheridan branch of “Bundles” were applauded by Britain’s Princess Royal (the current Queen Elizabeth II).
At the outbreak of World War Two, Manville volunteered as a Civil Air Patrol instructor at the Sheridan County Airport. During the First World War, Manville had wanted to enlist as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. Though his father effectively blocked that path, he wasn't able to quash Manville's interest in flying. After his father's death, Manville became a pilot and purchased a small airplane for use on the ranches. He had a landing strip cleared, and his little yellow Piper Cub soon became a familiar site over the hills and valleys of southeastern Montana.
Like many young boys around the country, Manville's two sons were very interested in the technology of warfare and collected books on the planes, ships, tanks and submarines used to fight the war. They had several books on "plane spotting" and were ready to identify any enemy aircraft that might fly overhead.
ROSA-MAYE & HUBERT
Since their marriage in 1929, Hubert and Rosa-Maye Harmon had enjoyed the gypsy lifestyle of the career military man. Between 1929 and 1940, they bounced from one assignment to another, few lasting more than a year:
In 1941, Hubert was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and assigned to command the Gulf Coast Training Center at Kelly Field (a position previously held by his brother, Brigadier General Millard Harmon). In 1942, he received a second star, that of the Major General, and a new command: the Sixth Air Force based in the Panama Canal Zone. It was during his years in Panama that the family was separated; Rosa-Maye and her two children, Eula and Kendrick, stayed in San Antonio, Texas, for the remainder of the war years, during which Hubert was stationed in both the South Pacific and Washington. D.C.
Whether together or apart, the Harmons were a formidable couple. According to Hubert's biographer Phillip S. Meilinger, Rosa-Maye and Hubert "remained each other's best friend throughout life":
Rosa-Maye was the only woman in his life. Throughout their marriage he remained devoted to her, and those feelings were returned. His lifetime partner, she remained a combination of dreamer and realist. She set high standards for herself, her children, and even her husband. ... She was always more serious than her husband, but they seemed to fill each other's gaps. ... Their personalities were wonderfully complementary.