Army Life – Lad From Texarkana – Jan., 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

As you may remember, Lad received orders to report to Taxarkana, Texas before Christmas and only one month after getting married to Marian in California.. They had a quiet and early Christmas just before he left on the 21st. This is his first letter to the Home Guard, and his father, in Trumbull.

Sun. Noon  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Everybody:-

I’m sorry, but my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian, and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance. However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense, decreased. I still think of all of you, constantly, but time has been very lacking. In fact I’ve had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week. Here is the reason, en todo:-

Lad - 1943

Lad – 1943

On December 18th I was told that I was to go to Texarkana or Flora, Miss. On the 21st I learned definitely that it was Texarkana and that I had to be there by December 25th. Some Xmas present. By noon on the 21st I was on my way via the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. As I wired, I got in on Sat., December 25 and that’s ”B.S.” in the message should have been “By”. The Texarkana W.U. (Western Union) also made a mistake in the one to Marian. Until Jan. 3rd we worked hard getting a group of men ready for basic training, which really amounted to nothing of consequence and we really didn’t need to arrive here until Jan. 2nd. That first week was just a waste of time. Then on the 3rd we started training our men in earnest. From Santa Anita 25 good men were sent here as the parent cadre for the 3019th Co. 142 Bn. We are an engine rebuild company attached to the 142 Bn. which contains two engine rebuild cos., one powertrain rebuild co., one Hq & supply co. and one base depot co. We will work as a unit, always, the five companies being in close contact at all times and performing 5th echelon or Base Ord. work. I saw one of the barracks sergeants and am responsible to see that my 23 privates passed a P.O.E. examination. If they pass we are scheduled for overseas shipment sometime in June or July, and there seems to be no kidding about that. Due to our type of work we should always be at least 300 miles from the front lines. That, at least, is one consolation. This past week, and I imagine that the next five also, has been the toughest one I’ve spent since my induction in May, 1942. I am teaching these boys (most of them have at least one child, some three or four or five) the same training I received during my first five weeks in the Army. They have all been in the Army less than one month, and all were inducted just a few days before Christmas. I’ll never understand why the Army does some of the things it does. It is very disheartening, and produces a lot of resentment, even in myself.

The weather here is terrible after Southern California. Today is the fourth day of sunshine we’ve seen in over two weeks. It is cold enough to freeze and we had snow for two days. It is impossible to keep warm and well in the cold, wet rain we’ve had here. I’ve got a very slight cold, but other than that and cold feet, I’m well.

Marian is coming out by train, I think, soon after February 1st and will come to Trumbull with me when (?) I get my furlough. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Christmas, naturally, was quite a quiet affair, and the same with New Year’s Eve, and not being able to wire anything I had to use “the best of everything” in my telegram. However, the thoughts to you all were there nonetheless.

I got your gifts, thanks, via Marian and the mail, and was extremely pleased with everything. This is my last sheet of paper until I go to the PX so I’ll quit with the very best wishes for the new year and a sincere desire that your numerous wishes come true.

Lots of love, etc.


Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the first installment of a four-page letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock across the world. The letter will continue on Wednesday and Thursday, and I’ll finish the week with a Tribute To Grandma Peabody.

On Saturday, in the next installment of the Autobiography of Alfred Duryee Guion, he’ll tell us about High School and a rather important race.

On Sunday, I’ll post the first letter Ced wrote home to Grandpa as he begons his hitchhiking quest to the mid-west in search of his Mother’s relatives.

Judy Guion


16 thoughts on “Army Life – Lad From Texarkana – Jan., 1944

  1. Gallivanta says:

    This letter makes me feel that Lad is now fully grown up and is a leader of men.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Gallivanta – He grew up pretty fast when he went to Venezuela and was working away from his brother and his uncle. At this point he is 30 years old, so he’s had time to mature also.

  2. Mrs. P says:

    As I was reading this letter and Lad was describing his duty to train these men and the seeming urgency to get it done was not missed in the translation…shipped overseas by June or July…D-Day was 6 June 1944. WOW! I am so glad that he was 300 miles from the front line.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mrs. P. – Thankfully, Lad doesn’t go “over the pond” until November and how it happens is very typical of the armed services !!! We’ll be reading about it for the next 10 months of 1944 !!!

  3. awax1217 says:

    It is funny in a way to view someone life through retrospect. Those letters are a treasure.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      awax1217 – I love that you find them interesting, but just imagine… these are letters written by my parents and my Grandfather long before I knew them. It’s like I’m meeting them for the first time !!!

      • awax1217 says:

        Memories keep them alive.

        • jaggh53163 says:

          awax1217 – That is so TRUE !!! :)

          • awax1217 says:

            If you read my blog you will see a consist theme. I am leaving my thoughts to my children and grandchildren. It is like the papers you write about. Only on computer. I am hoping that long after I am gone they will understand some of my adventures and the reasons I did what I did and things like that.

            • jaggh53163 says:

              awax1217 – You are writing for your children and grandchildren, but as I’m finding out, people all over the world find the detailed information about the times fascinating. Your blog will reach far more people than you can imagine.

              • awax1217 says:

                thanks, a good reason to keep blogging.

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  4. gpcox says:

    Another good one, Judy. Seems Western Union added to [or started] a case of Murphy’s Law here.

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