Trumbull – Dear Soloist – (1) Starting At The Beginning – August 6, 1939

Daniel Beck Guion Fall of 1939)


August 6, 1939

Dear Soloist:

You are now representing the Guion family of Trumbull in the continent of South America all by yourself.  Dan returned home Tuesday as per schedule.  He looks just the same.  He is not anywhere as tanned as I expected him to be; In fact he had more of a tan when he was working on the Merritt Parkway then he has now.  But I’d better start at the beginning and tell you all about it.

CHAP. ! – PREPARATIONS FOR THE HOMECOMING: As Ced’s factory was not working Tuesday I arranged through the Bpt.(Bridgeport) City Trust Co. Travel Bureau to get passes for Ced, Dick and Dave.  As Helen Plumb and Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) also obtained passes to meet the boat, I invited the two Plumbs to go down in my car.  Dick drove.  Ced gathered a party consisting of Donald Whitney, Dick Christie, Red (Don Sirene), and Jean (Hughes) whom he drove down in the Packard.  We were unable to ascertain just when on Tuesday morning the boat would dock, but being informed that it was usually about 9 A.M. and knowing that Ted’s boat arrived between 9 and 10, we left Trumbull about 7:30.  I had written Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie about Dan’s arrival, and I thought possibly Ted and Helen(Ted and Helen (Peabody) Human. Ted had hired both Dan and Lad to work with him for Interamerica, Inc. in Venezuela) might also be on hand.

CHAP !11 – THE ARRIVAL: We reached Pier 57 a little after nine and pulling up to the entrance, I noticed trunks being wheeled out into taxis and a few inquiries revealed that the boat had docked about 8 A.M. and practically everyone had passed through the customs and had gone.  While we were deciding whether or not to go up and look for Dan, he appeared in person.  Luckily, he told us, Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie had arrived in time, but naturally he was disappointed that the rest of us had not been there to see him come in.  He got through the customs without any question although he did have some seeds, etc., which were not supposed to be admitted.  We packed Dan’s baggage into the two cars and started for Trumbull via the Merritt Parkway, arriving home about noon.

CHAP 111 – TROPHIES: Skins of five or six different varieties of snakes, one a rattler which Dan almost stepped on, a sloth pelt, small tiger and other quadrupeds, a collection of butterflies and moths, different kinds of wood, a collection of homemade canes, odd stones, a tom-tom drum and other noisemakers, a crude home-made firle apparently made from a section of gas pipe and odd pieces of tin and springs, a muzzleloader fired with percussion caps, sundry coins and about ten dollars worth of undeveloped films.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I will post the rest of this letter.  On Thursday and Friday I will be posting a letter from Dan to Lad, written after he had been home for about a week. 

Judy Guion

World War I Army Adventure (105 – 2) – More Or Less Business – Septembr 3, 1945

 – 2 –

Why I should get going like this, I don’t know.  I’ve been overseas practically no time at all comparatively.  When I tell the guys around here that I left the States early this year they laugh and start to tell me things that are history in themselves.  They tell me of experiences they’ve had right from the beginning way down in the  Carolines right up to the most recent fighting.  They’ve done more work and sweating in three years than is expected of any man in normal times during his whole life.  Now all these poor guys want to do is go home.  Some of them have never seen their babies, some would have forgotten how their wives looked if they hadn’t had pictures of them.  They won’t do anybody any good over here.  They’ve seen all they want to see.  They’re just bitter and tired man who have done more than their share and feel, honestly without any concessions, that they are now entitled to go home.  They lost all interest and would do a poor job of policing over here – they don’t have the eagerness of fresh man would have.  I could put all this much more strongly and tell you better if I could only use the G.I. terms for some of these things – but they don’t look very good on paper, and some woman mighht read this.  But it WOULD be more expressive.

Getting back to me, personally, again,; I feel that I could stay here another year without doing more than my share.  But I expect to be home for your birthday next year.  It’s childish to threaten so I won’t.  But I’ll very likely become as bitter as these guys that have been over here for some time now, if I don’t get home by next September.  I know I won’t get home by then if they stop this draft.  Have the congressmen forgotten about the votes that are overseas?  Don’t they realize that the men overseas will control the vote, for the most part, of the rest of his family?  If for no other reason, they should continue the draft for that one.  The next presidential election, and Congress with it, will be in the hands of the servicemen, I think.  We hold the cards.

This is a sade (?) off the subject, but it could be tied up very neatly to the above ideas.  My opinion is that conscription of eighteen-year-olds for one year service should by all means be kept up.  But here’s an idea I heard expressed by one of the fellows which I heartily agree with.  Train the young man for 6 months in the states and then send them overseas for 6 months.  I think most of them would jump at the chance to see some of the world and the battle-fronts, and at the same time they could do the policing which we don’t have any desire to do.  If you could write to the Congressman from Connecticut and express the views I’ve written here – not for myself so much as the guys that have spent years over here – we’d all sure appreciate it.  As you can see, we ARE pretty bitter about this “Stop the Draft” proposal in Washington. someone asked me the other day “what’s the story – now that we’ve won this damned thing for them, are they going to forget us and get on with the piece-time Draft?  Are there going to become namby-pamby and forget the work that was done over here by us just because the Japs have finally quit?  In the last war they forgot after a few months – in this war there forgetting us even before the piece is officially signed.”  It sounded bitter to me, but too true.  Congress should know what the War Department and President Truman are trying to do.  Those two know more about what’s needed than all the politicians that ever were members of Congress.

So much for all that.  I am enclosing Pyukyu Invasion money, for U.S. Troops; Japanese invasion money used in the Philippines, and one note from China, given to me by a friend of Mendendorp’s was in a B-29 crew in China and on Okie.  A Yen is valued at 10 cents; a Sen ____ a mill; a Centavo is 1/2 cent, A Peso at 50 cents.

Everything is okay here.



Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in 1939.  Dan expects to arrive back in New York City on August 1.  Lad continues to work for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (105) – More Or Less Business – September 3, 1945

Notice New Address – Better Get A New Plate.

September 3, 1945


Dear Dad –

I don’t want to spoil you with so many letters in such a short time, but this one will be more or less business, with just a little pleasure mixed in.

The point of this letter will be simply a request from me, but more from the rest of the guys out here with more points than I have, to write to the Congressmen from Connecticut concerning the draft. there is a lot of bitterness here toward the guys who sat back there and made a big stack of money in war plants.  We realize there were lots who couldn’t have stood the Army life, and there were others considered too essential.  But there were a lot of them who purposefully avoided going into the Army.  We feel that if they were too yellow to come out here while there was shooting, that they can come out here now and lead a nice quiet life “abroad” not “overseas”.  You’ve got four sons in the Army, I don’t have to go into great detail about the hardships we’ve gone through being away from our wives, friends, families, etc.  Lad and I both came overseas recently, and we’ve led very soft lives, comparatively.  Dan has been over longer, but I don’t guess he suffered too much, either.  But the point is, in the eyes of the government we’ve done our part – the question is, have these guys between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five done their part?  I’d gladly have taken a job in Bridgeport and pulled down 85 dollars a week.  Think of the money I could have sunk into Guion Advertising, or the dates I could have had with Ellie.  I could have worked on Sundays, put 20% in war bonds and said I was doing more than expected of me.  But I truthfully couldn’t have lived with myself.  I’d know inside of me that I hadn’t actually done my share.  I’ll grant you that I was drafted, but remember those last few months of unrest?  I didn’t do my work well, because I wanted to get into the Army – to do my part, as well as for the excitement of it.  Well, now I’ve had my excitement – I’ve done my part – now I want to go home.  This life in the Army has done me a world of good.  And I don’t think I’m much different from the average young boy.  I don’t find myself hating the Army as much as some of these older guys do that have families and responsibilities.  I think lots of kids would love to have the chance to come over here and see where the war WAS.  And those that don’t want to come would find that it isn’t as bad as they thought it would be.  Those kids would supply a good bulk of the Occupation Army.  And these guys that “gold bricked” can come out and see what the “men” did.  – They can say that they were in Leyte, Okie, in the Philippines, Guadalcanal – they can even have the bright ribbons if it will make them feel any better.  They can claim more than us.  They can say they worked in a plant making implements of war – and came overseas too!

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Individual Letters to Each Son (3) – Dear Dick and Dear Dave – July 15, 1945


Richard Peabody Guion (without his mustache)

Page 4   7/15/45

Dear Dick:

Of course the big excitement around here these days is Jean’s forthcoming exodus to join her mustached hubby in the wilds of Brazil. Yesterday we packed the trunk still bearing an Alaska sticker on it, and toted it down to the railroad station to get a head start on its mistress. No matter how excited you are in anticipation of her visit, you cannot exceed her feelings along the same line. Between Jean and Marian, the old sewing machine has had more man-hours of activity than all the rest of its ancient life put together. It clicks its teeth like an old man whose uppers are a bit loose and it still eats up the work. I’ve already promised both girls sewing machines for wedding presents when they are on the market for civilian use again. Of course we are all going to miss her terribly around here and I solemnly charge you now to break this letter writing deadlock and keep us posted on her doings. Don’t leave it all to her to do the writing back home. She’ll be expected to write to her folks, of course, and while you’ll of course continue to get my weekly letters, just the same, remember there will be no secondhand reports of you anymore. Besides you will now have something to write about. And by the way, what plans have YOU for the future? Are you still Alaska minded? What sort of work do you plan to get into by way of an income bringer after the Army turns you loose on this hungry world? Do you plan to make your Brazilian contacts and familiarity with Portuguese the basis of some Brazilian-U.S. connection or have you some other ideas stirring about in your mind? After the excitement of getting reacquainted with your bride quiets down a bit, sit down some day with pen and paper before you and let down your hair on what you would like to do if you could just have your own way. No more letters to quote, so I’ll now proceed to hectoring.

David Peabody Guion

Dear Dave:

Last but not least, although maybe it will be least as far as news is concerned, as I am pretty well wrote out. I did get to thinking the other day, as I often do, about you and the office. We are now in the midst of the summer quiet period. I still have enough to keep me busy, but I don’t have enough to need any outside help. Maybe that is just as well as George tells me he is going into the Navy, has passed his physical and is awaiting orders. So from then on I’ll be entirely on my own. When you get back I think the first thing you should plan to do is to make each day a double-header. Mornings dressed in your best bid and tucker and that winning smile, you go out making calls on prospects and customers, as the genial Dr. Jekyll, and afternoons you put on the old shop coat and as Mr. Hyde, get all smeared up with mimeograph ink turning out the orders you have collected in the morning. That for six months or so will be sufficient to keep you out of mischief. In between times you can repair machines, cut Addressograph plates, order paper and supplies, do bookkeeping, make out bills, answer phone calls, draw checks and occasionally sweep out the office. Course this will mean five nights a week at the office leaving one night to call on your girl  friends. The rest of the time will be your leisure hours. Isn’t that just ducky? When do we start? Guess I’d better stop here before I think of several other items. Good hunting.


On Saturday and Sunday, two more letters from Dave’s  World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Individual Letters to Each Son (2) – Dear Dan and Ced – July 15, 1945

DBG - Paulette on Bike @ 1945 in France

Paulette Van Laere 

Page 2    7/15/45

Dear Dan:

Well you fading bachelor, what’s the latest news about your double harness prospects? We are all on pins and needles over here waiting for something definite. Meantime, why don’t you feed our hungry souls with some back information about Paulette, whom we are all hungry to know better though it be by proxy. What do you suppose I took the time and effort to ask a lot of questions for in a letter now long forgotten, about Paulette and her likes and dislikes, if we didn’t want to know? One of the things we are all living for over here is the prospect of having you and Paulette with us. I even tried to get a book from the library so that I could learn to speak French and Marian gave me a French English dictionary, but I’m afraid I can’t report much progress. I also sent you a list of things I thought she might like to have, to which you paid no attention. I would like to send her something direct from time to time just to prolong as long as possible until she faces the reality, the idea that we are awfully nice people. So to one of your welcome but cryptic messages soon, add a real long letter about Paulette, etc. I found your tripod and head in your trunk and will send it along with the three-dimensional device which I ordered from Seniors. I also found in the trunk a yellow “Austin lens hood to fit series 6 filter holder”, as well as what appears to be a flash outfit with mirror. I did not include this, or rather will not, because I take it if you wanted them you would have asked for them. Hope you can get films for your camera as they are unobtainable here without a special order from the President.

This is followed by Dave’s letter comparing his trip to the one Dan reported in a previous letter. which was quoted completely  in Dave’s World War II Adventure a short time ago.

Dear Ced:

Just a note of warning. Don’t wait as long as you did last time between letters. I’m beginning now just so as to sort of keep you reminded that we enjoy hearing from our civilian brother, too. Anyway, your last letter was written June 14th, so over a month has gone by already. A while back you hinted you were “sot” (My guess would be “sort of thinking”, but I really don’t know) on making Alaska your lifelong home (by the way, I have not seen that Walt Disney picture yet). The subject intrigues me as far as you are concerned and I would like to have you develop the theme a bit. What have you in mind as to the future you would like to pursue other than coming away from Anchorage to some other part of the world via Trumbull? Is the airplane business your chosen field? Are you in this event sticking to the mechanical end or does your vision look aloft to the piloting end? Someday we might call a family Yalta meeting of our own and try to get affairs settled and as you will be the delegate from Alaska, you ought to have all your plans mapped out so that all of you can attend the conference fully prepared to settle the future of the House of Guion. You know, as I wrote last week, if I am going to chase you boys all over the world to see “how the other half lives”, I simply have got to have some idea of what you-all intend doing. All of you seem to be doing pretty well up to now in traipsing around the globe.

The latest comes from Lad whose letter to Marian I am quoting, here and now, to her courtesy. “One day toward the end of June I went into Marseilles with a couple of fellows and by previous arrangement we had reservations through the A.R.C. (American Red Cross) on “La Vanaquez”, a chartered fishing boat, for a trip to the Château d’If. (’If) If you remember much about history, you will recall that it was a medieval prison on a rock outside the port city. (It was also the scene of the Count of Monte Christo) It still stands but is much battered, since it has been used numerous times to defend the port. However, no serious damage has been done. I had my camera along and did get quite a few pictures of the Château and also of Marseille. I’m having them developed and printed now and if they are any good I’ll send them to you. We came back to Marseille about noon and went up to the transient mess for lunch. Afterwards, I went to the Times Square Club to try to buy some films (no luck), then to the U.S. Army theater Capitole where we saw “Keep Your Powder Dry” ( and it was pretty good. After that we went to a park which is built around a very elaborate memorial erected in honor of the completion of the canal which supplies the city water and terminates at this park. It is quite beautiful and we spent nearly an hour there. Then back to mess and camp. In all, a very pleasant day.”

Tomorrow, letters to Dick and Dave from Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Individual Letters to Each Son (1) Dear Lad – July 15, 1945

APG - Marian on side porch in June, 1945.

Marian Irwin Guion in Trumbull

   Trumbull, Conn., July 15, 1945

(Just for a change, I think this week I’ll write to each of you individually. I really  do this each week but it may sometimes seem in addressing you collectively that I am sort of broadcasting impersonally although the fact remains that if you, son, who is reading this letter now, were the only one away from home, I would still be writing this same letter to you and saying practically the same thing to you that I am writing to yous.)

Dear Lad: I suppose no one of you in the armed services is more fed up with the whole thing then you. I have not dwelt on the matter in any of my letters because it can do no possible good. We all except the fact as unavoidable and part of war necessity and it does no good to grouse over the fact. That does not alter the fact that there exists here at home a deep sympathy and understanding of the wretchedness of it all, if that is any comfort. I know how patient you are by nature but even you probably get disgusted at times with the whole idea. I have found that when you come to some mental obstruction that must be faced, it is useless to rant and rave at the thing. It is far better to dismiss the unpleasant aspects from your mind and replace it with some hopeful thoughts. Back home here the papers are mentioning from time to time how educational opportunities will be available to the returning soldier, not only the youngsters who have had to quit before going to high school but the older men also, who want to follow up specialized lines. It is all quite vague at present but considerable thought seems to be given the subject of educators who have by war’s demands, been jolted out of their old routine and challenged to meet this new demand by newer and up-to-date methods of adult education. So it means to me that what you wrote to me a while ago about your desire to look over the field a bit before making a definite decision is not only wise, but far more likely to be possible of ending in some practical method of fulfillment educationally than would otherwise be possible if not so many were not in the same boat and the obligation of the country were not so widely recognized in the way of responsibility to you men. The fact that you are a bit older than many of the drafted men also has its advantages. You are much more sure to know what you want than the youngster who is not so mature in his thinking. I don’t mean that things stand out crystal clear as to your future path but I do mean that it will take far less to pierce the fog to see your goal that it will be for the younger ones. It may surprise you how quickly a catalyst will clear up the whole mess, if such, it seems to you to be at the present time. As Marian has undoubtedly told you, and a wise feeling it is, too, she would rather see you in a job doing this sort of thing you like at a moderate income than grabbing the first thing that comes along with a good stipend but not work you would enjoy.

My Buick clutch is getting worse and worse and very shortly I will HAVE to do something about it. And that reminds me, you wrote me some time ago telling me what to instruct the repair man to do in making the change. I have looked back among your letters to find it but cannot locate it. Can you recall what these hints were and give them to me again? Stopped in at George Knapp’s yesterday to get some ethel. (Ethel is very scarce around here these days. Ed Dolan has not had any for three weeks, and one has to stop at 6 to 8 stations before you can find one with any and sometimes not even then. As usual, he asked about you and always wants me to give you his regards when I write.

I don’t suppose you know any more than we do here but we are hoping that you’re being shipped to the south of France does not necessarily mean that you were going direct to the Eastern theater of war via the Mediterranean instead of coming home first. Anyway, we all have our fingers crossed, hoping for the best, while mentally preparing for the other. The more time passes, with current Pacific news, the nearer the end does seem.


Tomorrow, a letter to Dan and on Friday, I will finish this week with letters to Ced, Dick and Dave.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Mon Jeune – Lad Sorry To Miss Wedding – July 9, 1945

Southern France

9 July 1945

Mon Jeune: – (My Young, Lad is only 1 1/2 years older)

I have just written to Paulette explaining that circumstances beyond my control prohibit my attendance at your wedding.  I believe you understand what is behind it, old 78-pointer.  But I’m honestly sorry.  I was really planning to make the wedding if nothing else.  I know how it is to get married among “almost strangers”.  And I had the advantage of being able to speak their language freely and fluently, too.

And you know I wish you both the best of luck, health and happiness, etc.  I really wish I could have met “Chiche” and her family and friends.  It’s a shame things and the Army and circumstances can’t get together once in a while.  Particularly Army and Circumstances.  Other than the first few days, we have done nothing since we came to southern France, but could I get a two or three day pass? You can answer that easily.  I get very much put-out, to say the least, by the inefficiency of the Army and the waste of manpower and valuable time.  Well, in any case, I won’t be at your wedding, regardless of when it could be held or where.

I’ve taken a few pictures myself and sent one of the better ones to Paulette so that I can be there in proxy, anyway.  From the way you worded your letter and invitation, you apparently have no intention of leaving E.T.O. (Eoropean Theater of Operations) at the moment anyway.  Just what is your set-up and future possibilities?  I don’t expect even to get any delay whatsoever.

I wrote to Paulette in English, so if she doesn’t fully comprehend what I feel or said, will you please tell her how you know I must feel.  And I don’t think you can over estimate my enthusiasm.

Again, Dan, thanks for the invitation and the best of everything.  Let me know (or Marian) what you want for a gift.



For the rest of the week, I will be posting individual letters Grandpa has written to each son as a change to his usual format.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear “Future Hopes” – Thoughts About World Travel – July 8, 1945



Trumbull, Conn., July 8, 1945

Dear “future hopes”:

          In a recent letter Dave mentioned that he was looking forward to the day when he could see me off on a round-the-world cruise. This gives me an excuse to let down my hair and do a little day-dreaming out loud. I suppose everyone indulges in daydreams from time to time. I can recall many occasions when you kiddies were all snuggled safe in your beds and your mother and I sat comfortably before the gleaming fire with the days cares forgotten and she would mention, when we hoped we could afford to send all of you youngsters to college, how she looked forward to the time when you would come back to the old home during holiday time and vacations, perhaps bringing some of your young friends with you. As I may have mentioned, one of my hopes was someday, when the Pan American highway was completed, to adventure with some or all of you down to Mexico and Central America in our own cars, camping along the way in true pioneer style. In later years I have often thought how nice it would be to be able to pack up when the spirit moves me and say to myself I am off to visit Marian and Lad, or Dick and Jean, or (more likely) Dan and Paulette, are drop in on Ced, wherever he might be, and stay with them as long as I could be helpful there,   always leaving before they wanted me to go. (I have a horror of being a nuisance to my children, and while sometimes their hearts would say “stay”, at the same time, circumstances beyond their control might make it inconvenient or interfere with some previously laid plans. I would never want to feel dependent but always have the background thought that my visit would be beneficial to them and welcomed, not through any sense of filial loyalty or family affection, but because of the real help or comfort or convenience I could bring in person at the present. That would be a great satisfaction and if the future careers of my children should take them far afield, that I could combine my travel urge, which Dave has spotlighted, and my visiting complex in a happy double-header. So much for the thought your suggestion, Dave, has set in motion.

However, there is another side to the question. Disregarding for the moment the financial aspect of the matter, let us consider some of the other faces. Leaving home for an extended trip presents some thought-provoking problems. For instance, with the apartment rented, there is the responsibility of the landlord to be considered. Someone has to see that the water heater is functioning properly and oil supplied and that the furnace stoker is properly cared for in winter. Phone, electricity and water service has to be maintained. That brings up the matter of occupancy of the main portion of the house. If, after the war (and plans of course are predicated on post-war developments), you come back to take over the letter shop, Dave, there will be a period of six months or a year while you are learning to stand on your own feet in the running of the business, with the old man standing by to lend a helping hand until you can stand entirely alone. During this period, where will the others be? Will Ced be in Alaska or South America or Trumbull? Will the married ones be living in Trumbull or in some other part of the U.S. where a job may be offered, or perhaps in some foreign country? In the latter event who would be “keeping house”? If none of the others except Dave are home and I am away visiting my kith and kin, it certainly would not be possible to leave Aunt Betty alone in the big house and with you out nights, she would be alone nights as well – – an impossible situation, to say nothing of the care of the house. What to do under such circumstances? That brings up another question. Do you children desire to keep the house even though most of you may be maintaining your own homes elsewhere? Would you want to sell the house or rent it? In either of these events, other living accommodations would have to be found for those remaining in this vicinity. These and other related questions do not, of course, have to be answered now and many of them may be solved quite naturally in the course of time, but it does no harm to think about the problem a bit and have some settled convictions when and if the question does call definitely for settlement. As the orator would put it: “I will leave these thoughts with you.”

Dan writes (June 11th): I have mailed you two dilatory likenesses of an old acquaintance. Perhaps you will still recognize me after all these (two) years. Nothing new on either the peace or matrimonial fronts. It seems that chronic status quo has set in. I’m still’s deepest in un-love for Holland and yearning for the day when this job is over. I have poked a tentative iron in the fire in connection with a French course in Paris. My camera has finally been repaired. I shall try to make up for any opportunities that might knock twice. I received another package but it was not in very good condition, containing a bottle of Krem1 hair tonic. Have you been able to find a stereo-tach for my camera? Will you try to send me my tripod and pan head (it might be too big for regulations). I am starting to study German, just in case. I suppose Ike would frown long and darkly if he knew. Most military phrase books (English-German) were removed from circulation last year to prevent fraternization temptations. The only trouble is that there are certain temptations more potent than phrase books which are still in circulation – – at $65 per, if you’re caught! That’s all for now. I have to dash over to Battice, Belgium, tonight to “occupy” a church steeple – – no kidding.”

We have all been wondering Dan what you wanted that $100 for. Any connection with the $65 item above-mentioned? As to the stereo-tach, Seniors sent it back to the factory and they replied that because of the construction, it would be impossible to repair it but they had a more modern model costing about $15 which they would send, allowing 50% on the old, netting you $7.50. I told Senior to go ahead and order it. Perhaps in a couple of weeks it will be delivered here and sent on to you. Well, Dan, old bachelor, this is the month. We’ll be waiting for news.

No other quotes this week and no news of any amount to record. Weather has improved and is now about normal for this season. Jean is busily preparing for her South American adventure. Marian is still helicoptering (Marian is working at the Sikorski Helicopter Plant in Stratford). Carl (Wayne) is home for the weekend and says the course is pretty stiff. Mrs. Ives has lost two more of her dogs by disappearance. Smoky (the family pet, who was with us through my childhood) is fast getting to be public enemy #1. July 4th slipped by with hardly a ripple, although I did hear distinctly about three firecrackers. Some different from my boyhood days. And that about winds us up for this evening. Will be visiting you again by letter next week. Meantime keep up the old spirit.


Tomorrow, a letter from Lad to Dan, and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, individual letters to each son from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (104) – It All Happened So Suddenly – August 26, 1945

August 26, 1945


Dear Dad –

You’re no more surprised to find I’m in the Manila that I am to be here.  It all happened so suddenly that it’s still hard to believe.  I’ll take it from the beginning and follow through.

Thursday afternoon I was told that I had been taken off the old five-man team under Mendendorp.  Friday afternoon I was told to pack my stuff and be ready to leave Okinawa by 5 A.M., Saturday morning.  I only got one hour’s sleep Friday night.  In the morning we went up to Kadena Airport, boarded a C-46 “Commando” Transport Plane and in 5 1/2 hours found myself in Manila.

It was my first real plane ride and I was scared and felt a little sickish from nervous tension.  As soon the plane started to move up the runway I lost all fear and became intent on watching the ground below fade away.  All of a sudden it just became a big thrill.  I acted like a kid on his first train ride.  I glued my nose to the window until I couldn’t see Okinawa anymore.then every once in a while, I’d look out to see if we might not pass over an island.  Then in almost no time, I began seeing the northern-most of the Philippine Islands.  I watched every one of them fade away in the distance far below.  Finally we got to Luzon.  I was sitting up forward near the Navigators position and by way of conversation, I said, “this is my first time.”  I could tell he knew it anyway because of my eagerness to see everything below.  When he finished a plot on his map, he handed it to me and asked if I’d like to follow our progress as we went along.  We were flying at about 8,500 ft. and the coast-line looked just like the map.  I could see the rivers, and inlets, and bulges along the coast-line just as they were on the map.  We passed over Lingayan Gulf where the American Navy had come in to re-take Luzon.  Then we cut inland, and finally landed at Nichols Field, about 6 miles outside Manella.  After waiting for about two hours (spent that time in a Canteen, gaping at all the comparatively beautiful Filipino women) we got on a truck and started toward Manila.

Manila City Hall

Letran College

We passed through what was once a beautiful residential district.  There were remains of large and magnificent homes.  We passed a ballpark that I had seen in the newsreels.  The movie showed American boys cleaning the Japs out of the bleachers, and an American tank pitching shells from the pictures box.  Now it was just a quiet, torn-up mess.  We passed well-to-do Filipinos living like the ignorant Okies.  When we entered Manila, we saw large public buildings, half rubble and half gutted concrete frames.  Manila seems to be about the size of Bridgeport – possibly larger.  Can you picture the Klein Auditorium strewn all over Fairfield Avenue, the stage alone standing?  Or Central High with its façade all bashed in and the rest of the school gutted – the City-Trust Building reduced to four or five stories – City Hall just a pile of red brick?  You can’t imagine how heart-breaking it is – or how lucky we were this war turned out as it did.  The City Hall here was built in 1939.  You can see it was a beautiful structure – but now it’s full of shell and bomb holes.  The people are trying to keep their businesses going – but they don’t have much to do it with.  You can see where there was once a beautiful night-club, there is now a makeshift affair with a makeshift band looking like a side-show at Coney Island.  That about explains the whole city – just a bunch of concessions on the sidewalks of a gutted Ghost-city – another Coney Island.  The only difference is that Ed Coney Island you expect to see it – in a city such as this must have been, you don’t.

I’ll tell you more next time.  This address will do for the time being until we can find out a little more.



P.S. – Will you please call Eleanor and tell her where I am and give her the change of address?

Thank you –


Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, I will be posting two long letters written by Grandpa on June 24th and July 1st. Each is filled with lots of news.

Judy Guion


World War II Army Adventure (103) – Dear Dad – We’re Tense and Anxious – August 11, 1945

David Peabody Guion

August 11, 1945


Dear Dad –

I don’t even know what I wrote in my letter to you last night.  I was so excited, that now I can’t remember.  Today things go on as usual except that we’re tense and anxious – waiting to hear that the Allies and Nippons have come to an agreement.  If they do come to an agreement – it looks to me like we should be home sometime next summer – but I won’t know ’til I’ve stepped into the kitchen and find the whole family there.

The news of Dan’s wedding was really something – but I’m afraid – in my own mind – it took a backseat last night.  It’s really wonderful that Lad could be there.

If all has gone well, Jean should be with her hubby to celebrate the victory.  I sure hope so.

There’s not much news here.  As you may have expected, rumors are flying thick and fast.  Some seem to be turning to fact.  Don’t be surprised at anything I may write in the next month.

’til the next time.


Tomorrow I will post another letter from Dave – and even HE was surprised.

Judy Guion