My Uncle Dave , David Peabody Guion, left high school after his 18th birthday and enlisted in the Army. This decision may have been influenced by the fact that his four older brothers were all serving Uncle Sam, in one way or another. His oldest brother Alfred, known as Lad to family and friends – and my father – was an instructor, teaching truck and Diesel engine systems and maintenance in California. His next oldest brother, Dan – Daniel Beck Guion – was a civil engineer stationed in London, with many trips to Paris, working behind the scenes preparing maps for D-Day and beyond. His next oldest brother, Ced, Cedric Duryee Guion, continued to receive exemptions for his vital work as an airplane mechanic and bush pilot at an Army Airfield in Anchorage, Alaska. Dick, Richard Peabody Guion, closest in age to Dave, was a liaison between the Army and the local peons working for the Army, stationed in Brazil. Dave’s daughter has recently given me his extensive collection of letters written by him to family and friends as well as many letters to him from members of the family and his numerous friends.
Each Saturday and Sunday, for the foreseeable future, will be devoted to posts featuring all these letters as well as pictures and copies of some of the letters. I will probably include letters from his Father, Alfred Duryee Guion – Grandpa to me. His letters, written every Sunday, to his sons who were away from home, from late 1938 until October, 1946, when Ced came home from Alaska, are the basis for this Blog.
Grandpa probably continued to write to Dan, who had married in France and was awaiting the day when his wife and new daughter were allowed to travel, but I do not have copies of these letters. Dan and his little family arrived in Trumbull on December 29, 1946.
David Peabody Guion – home for a weekend
Wed., Jan. 19, 1944.
It looks like I’ve broken the ice. Last night a call came to my barracks (which has been changed to No. 8) that I was to report to the Orderly Room this morning in my O.D.’s. I reported there this morning and was told to go over to Classification (where they decide where you are to go and what you are to do in the Army.) They have put me on a semi-permanent detail where I ask the new recruits certain questions and fill out a form on the typewriter. That’s why I’m here using a typewriter now.
It looks like I’ll be here for some time, maybe three weeks or so. Also, my chances of getting home this weekend (and also others) are pretty good. I’ll probably be home late Saturday night and be home till about 8 or 9 o’clock Sunday night (36 hour pass).
I know I’m going to like this work especially since it is called a detail making my chances of getting kp and other details pretty slim.
I’ve picked up a slight cold while here, but I hope it will be gone by the time I get home.
I got your card last night (mail call 6 p.m.) because I didn’t go over to mail call on Monday (shot in arm). I also got two letters from Eleanor. I never realized how important mail is until I left home.
Well, I’d better get ready to go to work. I may finish this letter tonight.
Here I am again. Before it was 1 o’clock; now it’s 3. I spent all morning sitting here just watching; but this afternoon I started filling out the forms – I’m slow now – but it’s really a cinch.
Army life is OK if you don’t get homesick – or did I already tell you that?
How long is Ced going to be around? I hope he will still be there when I get home.
You know, it’s a wonder to me how they get so many fellows through here in so short a time. In a period of 3 or 4 days, the men are given their clothing, quarters, written test, oral test, classification, Army law, shot in the arm, on top of being fed – and when you consider the time that is lost while you wait for various things to happen, you realize that what is done in 4 days is spectacular.
I will post the second half of this letter explaining in detail a typical day, tomorrow.
Next week I will be posting letters written in February and March 1944.