Trumbull – News About His Sons – June, 1942

 

Alfred Duryee Guion

Trumbull,Conn., June 14, 1942

Dear Sons:

The lowering clouds hanging heavy over Trumbull, literally and figuratively; the former, in that it is overcast interspersed with showers – – a gloomy and humid day, not at all a poet’s June day. The mental murkiness has its origin in the fact that, whereas this was to be a double barreled homecoming of an important section of Uncle Sam’s Army, first, one wrote that due to a weekend bivouac he would not be able to come home this weekend, and then tother fellow wired we might as well put out the candles in the window as the higher ups decided Connecticut was too far away from the base to warrant a leave of absence, which means that Dan will not be home until July 1 when he starts his ten-day furlough. As for the weekend of the 21st, we may postpone the doubleheader until June days are over. In other words, the crest on Lad’s Ordnance Training Center letterhead is very appropriate, the flaming bomb indicating the blasting of our hopes while the lamp, with its tiny flame, is a symbol of the light of hope for better things to come. By the way, what does “addere flammam” mean?

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

From Lad’s letter he is getting a pretty stiff dose of hardening medicine in the course of tough training he is undergoing. I appreciate all the more the effort it must have taken to write his usual weekly letter during the course of which he went to sleep, yet he finished the letter and even remembered to put the return address on the envelope. That shows the indomitable spirit that pushes on in spite of handicaps. Good work, boy.

In a letter received the week before last, Dan says he is now Technician 5th Grade, “which carries with it the pay and stripes of a corporal but not quite the rank of a corporal, particularly apparent when I must serve K.P. or guard duty.” According to the new scale of pay retroactive to June 1, I assume this means about $66 a month.

Dick has been transferred to day work and now works from 9 to 5 except Saturdays, when his hours are 8 to 3. He does not yet know whether his wage rate will be any higher than before.

Lad, will you please let me know as soon as you can about accepting the offer for your car. I have delayed renewing the note at the bank, pending hearing from you, on the assumption that the whole business would be paid off as soon as the deal went through, but that was when I expected to hear from you this week. Besides, the longer we wait, the more chance the prospective buyer has to change his mind or make some other arrangement.

Dan, I don’t know how you feel about my coming down to Camp just before your furlough and coming home with you. Sometimes, with new friends, social engagements and regular routine planned ahead, it is disconcerting for one of the family to arrive with the obligation of showing him around at the expense of other things you might rather do if a sense of duty were nonexistent. I can quite understand such feelings, so write me frankly how you feel about the possibility of a visit, should I find it possible to make such arrangements at the office which would permit my leaving. In the latter event, what would be the best route to take with stop off at Aberdeen either alone coming down or with you on the way home. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), I sense, is feeling a bit lonesome and neglected these days and would appreciate a little more attention in the shape of letters.

The only local news: I saw Axel Larsson the other day who told me Astrid heard I was engaged to be married to Helen Plumb (Barbara Plumb’s sister and Town Clerk). She certainly picks up some rare bits of gossip.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures. 

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Lad Wonders What the Army Has in Store For Him – June, 1942

 

Lad - 1943

June 13

Dear Dad: –

Excuse me for not writing sooner, but I have been trying to find out something definite as to my status with the U.S. Army. It looks as though I am to stay here for some time yet, and I can have a car here later, but it all depends on what the bank says as to whether I will sell it or not. In case I have to sell it, I’d accept $700 or even $675 in cash. I’ll let you more or less decide that issue. If this new bill goes through concerning the raise in pay for soldiers, I could probably pay $25/month, but not much more.

Today we finish our basic training and tomorrow at 4:00 a.m. we get up in preparation for departure at 5:15 on our bivouac. At the termination of this, our basic training will be over. Then there will be eight weeks more of technical training which will terminate my training and I will be able to bring down a car. But what comes afterward, I have not been able to determine. Possibly when we return it next Thursday or Friday and I’m transferred to another Co. for additional training, I may be able to get a slant on the future. If I’m not transferred next weekend, I’ll have a chance to come home, and in connection with this event, do you suppose you could send me $5.00? This bivouac sort of took enough cash for cigarettes, shaving equipment, etc., to bring my $9.00 pay down to is some too low to buy a round trip ticket. Boy, we all certainly put out plenty for $.07 an hour. We make, at present, $.70 per day, which is really quite small when all items necessary during the first couple of weeks are purchased, mainly on the dribble plan, a little now and a little then.. You have my permission to open any mail addressed to me, and do as you see fit. I think your judgment is reasonable.

Love,

Laddie

Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home, one in Alaska and two in the Army, updating them on the happenings of their siblings.

Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (3) – 1945

 

Judy_0003

Page 3   6/7/1942

Dear Ced:

Your letter, dated May 26th, examined by Censor, was like a drink of water to thirsty troops on the Libyan desert. That was certainly a most interesting experience you had enroute to rescue the plane and I am anxious to get the next installment. You always manage to leave off just as the hero is about to step off the precipice in the dark. I don’t know how my nerves are able to stand up under the strain. Can’t recall such excitement since that day on the Gaspé trip when you drove the car over the road that was crumbling off into the ravine.

Dick is still on night work but thinks there is a possibility of his changing to a day shift in the near future. He has at last gotten his tires but they are not much to brag about. One of them has a cut on the side wall, but he patched it up and put it on anyway.

I received a letter from Nan Osborne the other day. She says Stan is in the hospital for an operation in Albany. He has been having prostate gland trouble. She says: “Please give them all (Aunt Betty and the boys) my love, and be particular about sending it to Cedric for he was exceedingly kind to me when I saw all of you on our last visit.” She says they still have my hat and invite me to visit them at New Paltz (New York) this summer. I look back on that trip we took there together with a great deal of pleasure.

I note what you say about camera and radio and I will keep my eye open for a camera similar to Dan’s. It’s too bad you did not have a camera along on your rescue trip to go with the account just to make it doubly interesting. Thanks very much for the money order. In view of the fact that interest on mortgage and taxes on the house arrive simultaneously on July 1st, it is quite opportune. I have, as you know, been keeping up your insurance payments. There is another due next month so that too is welcome.

As to tennis balls, I went to three places. One was out of them entirely and did not expect to get anymore. Another had only a few, and at Read’s, I tried to order a dozen but they refused to sell me more than three. Cost: $.50 each. I therefore ordered them to send three to you. Later on I’ll try to pull the same stunt again.

I am enclosing a couple of newspaper clippings which may be of interest to you. How did you celebrate your birthday? I am glad you are so comfortably housed. Between two such good cooks as you and Rusty, the cuisine in your ménage must be sompin.

General Notes:

I understand Nellie is home with his bride but I haven’t seen him. Jack Philmon came home on a hasty furlough. He has been ordered to San Francisco and has been issued cold weather clothing so the inference is he might be seeing you one of these days, Ced. Charlie Hall was unable to make the flying core on account of his eyes. He will probably rate Ensign in the Navy however.

One thing I have been intending to take up with all three of you is a request for blanket permission to open any mail coming here addressed to you. I take it that action will be O.K., but just for forms sake, I am mentioning it here now my intention to do just that unless I receive specific instructions to the contrary. I can then deposit any dividend checks to your account and use my discretion about forwarding any letters to you.

Dick has moved upstairs to Lad’s room. Today Dick asked Jean over to spend the weekend – – one reason why Dick vacated the spare room for the attic. Mr. Eichner sent me some broilers for today’s dinner and with homemade ice cream, we had a regular Sunday dinner.

Lately I have been doing some advertising work for Milford Rivet, who are supplying the plane manufacturers with rivets. I went through their plant and found Dwight Brinsmaid working there.

DAD

 To follow the War and the invasion of Alaska, go to  https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com. GP Cox does  very thorough research on each post. As you follow the posts, you will learn what actually happened – a piece of our history that was overshadowed by what was happening elsewhere. Tomorrow, a letter from Lad and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Dear Dan – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (2) – June, 1942

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Page 2   6/7/1942

Dear Dan:

Barbara showed us your letter in which you said you had been made a corporal, which of course is only the first step toward the rank of general – – the proper designation for a Guion. I bet I’m prouder of this acknowledgment of your ability than you are. And, by the way, Lad writes there is a possibility that he will be able to get home next weekend and will probably take the same train that you took arriving in Bridgeport somewhere about 10:30, so as his superior officer, you will probably demand the proper salute from him as you meet quite by chance on board the train enroute to Connecticut.

I have just received notice that your income tax payment, 2nd installment, is due, which of course I shall pay when the time comes. You mentioned the heat. It must have been pretty uncomfortable down your way for Lad writes: “Although it was hotter by 10° or 15° in Venezuela, I don’t think I was ever more uncomfortable, due to high humidity. Regardless of how little energy I use, even just using my brain, I perspire. It really is HOT. Yesterday, according to custom, we all here in Aberdeen had a review. We went out on the Parade Grounds in our best uniforms, cartridge belts and rifles, at 11:30 and were there until a few minutes after 1:00. It was hot out there too and quite a number of the fellows passed out under the strain of standing at attention. However, I was not affected in the least.”

Dick says the battery in your car was shot so he bought a secondhand battery from Carl for $3, which I have paid. An interesting letter from Ced this week says he has been classified as 1-A 0, which he figures as meaning induction into the Army in the near future in non-combatant duty. He gives some other local news of people you probably know which you will probably read about when you get home next week, I hope, I hope, I hope. There will be some doubleheader of a celebration next week if both you laddies can get off together. Ced is getting to be a real sourdough. He is making his own bread. Now that is something even I have not attempted so I’ll have to resign in his favor when we can corral him in the old ranch once again.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the last section of this letter, written to Ced plus some general notes about friends and family.  To follow the War and the invasion of Alaska, go to  https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com. GP Cox does  very thorough research on each post. As you follow the posts, you will learn what actually happened – a piece of our history that was overshadowed by what was happening elsewhere. Thursday I’ll post a letter from Lad and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa,

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (1) – Possible Sale of Lad’s Car – June, 1942

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Trumbull, Conn.,   June 7, 1942

Dear Lad:

Perhaps it is superfluous to mention it, but your note was very welcome indeed and was enjoyed by family and friends. You probably received my postal card. Here is a bit more detail. Friday Steve Kascak called me at the office and said he thought he had a purchaser for your car – – a man named Dow, who lives in Trumbull and works at Bridgeport Brass. He mentioned to Steve that he was looking for a Buick and Steve evidently succeeded in selling him on how careful you were about keeping the car in condition, etc. Steve brought him up to look at it in the barn, and of course it was locked up and they could not try it out. I told Steve you are asking $750 for it. Later Steve called me again and said he knew the man, believed him reliable and as he was willing to pay cash he thought perhaps you might be willing to lower the price a bit. Later that evening Mr. Dow called. I drove the car out of the barn (at least Dick did)  and after looking over the tires carefully he said he would paying me $650 cash the next night. I told him you had authorized me to accept not less than $700 as you had paid over $900 for it and the only thing I could do under the circumstances would be to get in touch with you and transmit his offer. He said he had no doubt as to its mechanical condition as Steve had assured him on that point. He said there was no rush when I offered to wire you, so I said I would be writing you today anyway and he said that would be O.K. Did you say anything to Steve about allowing him a commission if he made a sale? If not, do you think I ought to offer Steve anything and if so, how much? Steve is not the kind of person who would demand anything. He did say he thought if you could sell the car for a reasonable sum it would be wiser to get it now rather than hold out for a higher price sometime in the indefinite future. Perhaps we could take a chance on offering him $675, but if I made that offer I would want to stick to it and mean that or no sale. However, that is up to you and I shall do just what you say. Perhaps if you come home next week and we could let it rest until then, you could close the deal yourself. Dow says he doesn’t need the car until July.

A notification from the North End Bank arrived to the effect that the note for $615 was due June 5. I called the bank to tell them you had started working for Uncle Sam and on the salary you were being paid, it would be impossible for you to continue payments at the same rate. They told me they were on the point of getting in touch with you to tell you the government had just passed a new regulation that made it necessary for you to increase your payments in order that the loan might be paid back within the year limit that the government had set, and I told him I would stop in and talk the matter over with him. Of course, they’ve got us by the short hair because they have it fixed so that they will look to me to make good if you can’t.

And while we’re on this financial subject, there is some offsetting good news that helps but does not solve the matter. Mrs. Lee has refunded the $6.50 on your insurance and will have an additional rebate for us as soon as the car is disposed of and fire and theft insurance canceled. Also, Ced, in a letter just received, remits an additional $25 to be credited to you, and there is also a dividend check from Fairbanks Morse for $5. You received a bill from Carl for some 16 odd dollars which I have paid. Your watch hadn’t been finished when I called for it but I will get it next week and have it for you when you come home. I also have the photos finished up from Howland’s and these are also awaiting your homecoming.

This is the beginning of a three-part letter to his three boys away from home, including news of a local nature. I’ll continue this letter on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday a letter from Lad and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

 

Special Picture # 284 – Thanksgiving in Trumbull – 1945

On Thanksgiving, 1945, my Dad, Lad, was still in the Army officially but would be out very soon. He and Marian were on furlough in Trumbull. Dick was in South Carolina waiting to be discharged and Jean was in Trumbull waiting for him. Ced was visiting from Alaska and would be picking up his new plane, being built in Alliance, Ohio, to fly back. I also believe Aunt Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, was there. Biss (Elizabeth), her husband Zeke and their two boys, Butch and Marty came for dinner. Aunt Betty was also there. 

l to rt – the back of Zeke’s head, Ced, Grandpa, Aunt Elsie, Lad.

l to r – Aunt Betty, Lad, Marian, Grandpa, and Jean. Notice the china.

A dinner plate.

This is a close-up of the china. I am blessed with several pieces.