June 21st, 1942
Dear Dad –
Please note change of address above. I have succeeded in the first step up the ladder, but it also has its drawbacks. I cannot leave here for at least five weeks. And then, between then and the termination of my second period of training, I might be able to get home once. At most twice. This second period covers eight weeks from today.
I am now located in the Cadre School, where I will receive the training for a non-com and instructorship. If I go through with flying colors, I have a chance at Officers Training. Our Co. Commander gave us a little talk yesterday afternoon and apparently we will have little time for anything but study. Therefore, please don’t feel slighted if you don’t hear much from me in the next two months. I’ll do the best I can, but study is going to come first. Our days starts at 7:15 AM and ends at 8:30 PM. Between 6:00 and 7:15 AM we clean house and shave and eat breakfast.
I got out of the hospital yesterday morning at 8:30 and upon my arrival at Barracks 2-Bn. 1, I was told that I had to be ready to move to Co. D at 9:00. I really had to rush to make it, but I did. I helped put up tents, we live in 12’ x 12’ tents, and heard a lecture given by our C.O. Other than that, we did very little except to arrange our own stuff and clean up around our tent. Six men live in each tent, and since there is no electricity, we can’t do much after 9:00.
Today, being Sunday, we haven’t had to do very much, but it has been far more than had we still been in Bn. 1. Our Co. is made up of 4 platoons, and I’m in the second. Each day one of the four is assigned to guard duty about the area, and today is plat. 2. Then Guion being right up near the top of the list, since 2nd plat. is made up of men in G,H,I,J,K & L, I am on guard at present, on relief # 3. I have just finished the first guard, 4:00 is 6:00 P.M. I go on again at 10:00 till 12:00 and once more at 4:00 to 6:00 A.M. More on Co. D of the 8th when I get a chance.
I’m sorry I never mentioned having received the hangers, but I did (7) and I would like some more if you can find any (6). The stronger the better, and only all-steel. And there are a few other things I would like. In repairing my razor, Schick did not do such a good job and I’d like to send it back again, and therefore, send me one from home to use temporarily, Fine, if not, just say so. The Army supplied me with a safety razor which I’m using just now. Also, since we have no electricity, I would like to have you send me one of those 110 V. Batteries. The only ones I have seen so far have been made by Rem. Rand Shaver Div. Maybe you can’t get one of those either, but I’d like to have you try. I intended to go into Baltimore or Philadelphia and get one, but I can’t get out of here at all. Another thing is my watch. I left it upstairs in the attic, on the little table by the N. E. window near a book called “Semper Fidelis”. My Elgin came in this book (or box as it actually is) and you can use it for the watch. In turn I will send back my Elgin for cleaning and general checking I don’t like to ask you to do all of these things, but I was really planning to be home either this weekend or next weekend, and now I can’t make it for quite some time, and it all has to be done. However, don’t put yourself out, as there really isn’t any terrific rush. I think that is all, at present. Oh!! No –2 things more. I took with me to Camp Devens, Dick’s Gladstone bag. Did you or he ever get it back with clothes of mine in it? And also, I would like three or four rather sturdy, but small, boxes, like candy boxes (1 lb.) or the like and not too shallow. A couple of inches deep, 4” to 6” x 4” to 8”. They will be used put loose things of like materials (shoe shining equip., etc.) in my duffel bag. We do not have footlockers here.
You asked me what “Addere Flamman” means. Literally, I don’t know, but I suppose it means “Flaming Bomb”, which is the Ordnance Dep’t. Insignia.
Well, I seem to have run out of thoughts, Dad, so I guess I’ll have to call it quits. Remember me to all and sundry, and good health and luck.
This weekend, and every weekend following, I’ll begin at the beginning. Many of you were not following my Blog over three years ago when I began publishing the Guion Family Saga, or as I call it, A Slice of Life. My grandfather, Alfred Duryee Guion, wrote his Reminiscences while traveling “around the world” on a freighter. He had quite a bit of time to remember bits and pieces of his life and decided to write them down for posterity, and his grandchildren. After he is married and starts a family, I will include the childhood memories of his children, which I recorded.
I believe this will give you a chance to get to know the man I called “Grandpa” and the author of many of the letters you have been reading. I hope you enjoy the beginning of the Guion Family Saga.
Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. All the boys are serving Uncle Sam at this point. Both Lad and Dan are in France, Ced is in Alaska working at the same airbase, which has been taken over by the military, Dick is in Brazil and Dave is awaiting his ships departure for the Pacific. Grandpa will give us any news he can but letters can be sporadic when in the Army. On Friday, we’ll have a letter from Lad.