Trumbull – 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.

Tororrow, 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.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be posting more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (1) – 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.

Thursday and Friday, I’ll be posting the sections of the letter written to Dan and Ced.

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

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

 Judy Guion

Army Life – Review And Possible Weekend Pass – May, 1942

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

May 31st, 1942

Dear Dad: –

Although it was hotter by 10° or 15° in Venezuela, I don’t think that 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 H O T.

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 one. 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. (I just refilled my pen.)

As luck would have it, our quarantine was called off early, and 1/2 of our Co. was allowed to leave camp. I was one of those given a pass but I had a detail, night, at that, good old K.P. and could not use it. The next time passes are issued I’ll have a preference because I turned mine over to one of the other fellows. But it will not be this coming week since Co. B is apparently going onto guard duty, and there will be no passes issued. The weekend of the 14th, if we do not go out on bivouac, I’ll have a chance to come home, and will arrive in Bridgeport at the same time Dan did, since it will be the same train he took, I think, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10:30 PM. However, I cannot know definitely until 4:30 in the afternoon of the day I come home, so I cannot give you any further definite information. If I call you at Trumbull, you will know I made it. If I don’t, you can be sure I didn’t make the pass. That’s rather a cruel way of putting it, but it’s the best I can do. We have been asked to write home frequently by the !st Corps Area, but then they put so many restrictions on what we can say about interesting things that I have very little I can write about.

As long as information is only general it is okay to mention it. For example – I can tell you the Camp  Rodman here is rather a nice place and is nicely situated as far as terrain is concerned, but I cannot give any definite information like the number of men here or the size of the camp or how many rounds of ammunition we use for rifle practice or the number of rounds we carry on guard duty – etc.

But anyhow, I’ll answer, to the best of my ability, any questions you care to ask.

Well, Dad, if luck holds out, I may see you on the second weekend in June. If not then – “quien sabe.”

Lad

For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting a letter Grandpa wrote to all three boys.

 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.

Saturday and Sunday will be more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Occasional Report of the Guion Family – May, 1942

Occasional Report of the Guion Family

as of May 31, 1942.

LAD:            Address – Pvt. Alfred P. Guion

Co. “B”, 1st Bat’n, O.R.T.C.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD

Left the middle of May for Camp Ayer, Mass, thence to above address. He writes: From things that have been                         said at various places and by various people who should know, Ordnance work and the Ordnance Dept. of the                        U.S. Army rates second to none – – not even the engineering corps. Apparently eight men out of 1000 get far                          enough to make the necessary qualifications for this dept., and then, to make it even better, of those picked                            men, 2 out of 1000 get a chance to qualify for the Instructors Rating and the Officers Training Course. I am                            among the latter few and that really makes me feel good. I just hope that I can live up to the honor when my                            chance comes. I believe that if things go for me as they have been planned at present, I will be stationed here at                      Aberdeen Proving Grounds for six months or even for the duration. In any event, Ordnance men are not trained                    to fight except as a means of self-protection, and the main idea, roughly, is to supply the men on the lines with                        ammunition and equipment for fighting. We are the men behind the men on the front. Apparently I have been                      picked to act as an instructor in automotive repair and maintenance.

DAN:         Address – Pvt. Daniel B. Guion

Co. “F”, 30th Engineers, U.S. Army,

Roanoke Rapids, No. Car.

Has just been granted a Specialist Rating in surveying. Application is pending for admission to Officers Cadet                         School. He writes: Aside from the inanity of Army ritual and customs, I am disgracefully happy here – – that                         southern hospitality stuff is truer then your northern imagination could possibly conceive – – I still don’t believe                   it myself, even when it happens.

CED:        Address: Cedric D. Guion

P.O. Box 822

Anchorage, Alaska

When last heard from (April 15th) was still a civilian employed as an airplane mechanic at Woodley Airways,                          Anchorage.

DICK:     Recently rated Class “A” by local Draft Board, subject to call at any time after passing his physical. Sleeps home                     days and works nights at Producto Machine Co. (100% war work) Bridgeport.

DAVE:    Still enduring “Life with Father”, relieved by occasional activities at my office, high school and Trumbull social                        affairs.

BISS:      (and two sons) busy at work as housewife and mother – – both boys husky and growing. Address: 142 Cornwall                     St., Stratford, Conn.

AUNT BETTY and DAD – still carrying on at same old stand. Can be reached at P. O. Box 7, Trumbull, Conn., telephone –                  Bridgeport, 4 – 3928, or better still, by a personal visit from…. Y O U.

 

Trumbull – Lad’s Letter, A Tornado And Barbara’s Visit (2) – May 31, 1942

Barbara (Plumb) spent last weekend with Dan, staying at a little hotel at Roanoke Rapids, and enjoyed herself very much. She said Dan looks fine and seems quite contented. He has been experimenting with third dimensional photos in color, and eight slides he has sent home are startlingly realistic. Various views of Dave, Dick Bissie, Butch, etc., taken at Trumbull almost speak to you. Dan makes a suggestion I am seriously thinking of following if things break right. He says: “If Barbara has done right by “little Nell” Guion, she has given you a vivid, perhaps lurid, description of the raptures of Roanoke Rapids. I hope that she has succeeded so well that nothing will do but that you-all will make a pilgrimage to the shrine of old St. Dan “Mephistopheles” Guion, perhaps pausing enroute at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds (long enough to be convinced of whatever they are trying to prove). I suggest the possibility of coming on the first of July, at which time I am hoping to get a furlough. I could go back no’th with you for a couple of weeks visit.”

I wish I had time to quote Lad’s 11-page letter, all of which is interesting, but the hour is drawing late.. I wish I could complete this letter with a report of what Ced has been up to for the last month but for some reason no mail from Alaska has been received since Ced wrote on April 15th.

Dan and Lad will be interested to know that I spent yesterday afternoon collecting all their woolen civies, including Lad’s long blue overcoat, and subjecting them all to a demothing treatment. The smell that still lingers in my room as a result is not half so unpleasant is that pervading the rooms downstairs due to what must be a leaky sewer pipe in the cellar. I have sent for a man to come tomorrow to remedy the matter but I am looking forward to getting upstairs where I can close the door and open the window and get some clean fresh air.

ADG - Alfred Beck Guion @ 1885

Alfred Beck Guion

ADG - Ella Duryee Guion @ 1885

Ella Duryee Guion

ADG - Alfred Duryee Guion at about 1 yr old in 1885

Alfred Duryee Guion

          After all these years I am learning something about myself. I had occasion to send to New York City recently for a copy of my birth certificate to comply with a possible government requirement, and learned that one week after my birth (at the time the certificate was filed) no name had been decided for the new child. Place of birth was given as 1159 5th Ave. (corner of 78th St.) I’ll bet it looks quite different now. My father’s age was given as 31 at the time.

And that’s all from Trumbull at this time.

Many happy returns, old son, and may your next birthday find you in the best of health and contentment celebrating the event in a world at peace, in Trumbull, Conn., surrounded by those who love and miss you, and particularly, your old

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I’ll have more Special Pictures for you.

 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.

I’ll be continuing this story line for the next few weeks while GP is writing about the Invasion of Alaska.  The contrasts may surprise you. 

Judy Guion