My uncle Dave left high school during the Christmas break, enlisted in the Army and left on January 15th, 1944, for basic training at Ft. Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts. He was then transferred to Camp Crowder in Missouri for further training before being shipped to Okinawa. His daughter has shared the letters he wrote to his father (Grandpa) as well as the letters he received from friends back home. His letters continue until late spring in 1946. He was discharged on May 6th of that year.
Aug. 1, 1944
Dear Dave –
I am writing this against my better judgment – I know who owes who a letter – but I thought I would give you the benefit of the doubt (which of course will arise in your little innocent mind – dog!)
I had a letter from Bob (Jennings) yesterday – he likes the Navy after checking a few impulses to smash the P. O. Right in the “puss!” – what a great kid he is – I think I like him almost as much as I like you – and brother, you know what that means!
I spent the last week-and with the Guion family – lucky people – sorry you were not able to enjoy it too.
We, Jean and I, spent a gay Sat. nite – with Kit – just knitting and chatting – it was fun though.
Sun. we went over to Savin Rock ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savin_Rock_Amusement_Park ) – my parents stopped and picked us up. The place was infested with Colored people – you could count the “whites” and most of them were Servicemen!
Jean is on her vacation – for the next two weeks – that lucky girl – any time away from that “joint” is heaven – in a mild form.
Just what has been happening to you since last time I saw you? (Outside of falling asleep on the train and going by your stop!) – you are slowly losing your right to bear that title of “Guion!” –
Jimmy McClinch gets in town quite often – I have seen him up here a couple of times – all the “More Widows” are back home in Trumbull – what a gay time they have every night, talking about the expectant “heirs” – one tries to out do the other – as far as I can see, Mrs. Charles Hall (Charlie Hall and his wife, Jane (Claude-Mantle) Hall grew up in the neighborhood and were friends with Grandpa’s children – I believe Charlie Hall and Dick were about the same age and got into some mischief a few times. The baby Jane is carrying was their first child, a daughter, named Cindy, who is still a good friend of mine.), is running far ahead – and how!
I hope to see you again while you were home on furlough – I didn’t want to come down that week-and as Jean wanted to go to that family “banquet” – she wanted to see her brother – and she wouldn’t have been able to go very early if I was there.
You couldn’t fool me (not that you tried) – you had eyes for only one person – and her name was not Audrey – darn it!! you know you don’t mean that!
I have just answered Bob’s letter – he is swell – he writes within a week after he gets a letter – does not forget all about all his old friends even though he has Doris – wonder what she meant by that crack, Dave?
Well, Jr., I really must bring this to a close – much as I hate to – love to annoy you as long as possible.
Why don’t you try writing to me sometimes – I will answer – in spite of it all – honest!!
until I hear from you ———— ??
This letter is from Audrey Switzgable. I believe she and Jean may have worked together at Harvey Hubbell’s Shirt Factory ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Hubbell ) in Bridgeport.
Tomorrow, another letter from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.