I do not have any letters written in December, but I’m sure that Dave did write home during the month. This is the next letter I have in his collection.
David Peabody Guion
Jan 9, 1946
Dear Dad –
Not only do I owe you a letter – but I suppose you’re waiting for a letter from me saying something about our demonstrations here. Well – here’s the story on that.
Everything was running smoothly – boots were leaving every day packed with boys bound for Frisco. Then the Daily Pacifican (our Bible) came out one morning with an article stating a ship had left the day before with 600 empty berths. There was the usual noise from the fellows – maybe a little more vehement than usual – but nothing spectacular. The next day the Pacifican printed the story on Patterson’s statement that he didn’t know points had been stopped as of V-J Day. Some of the guys laughed, others (like me) could see nothing funny in it. To me it was as if someone had come up to me and said, “how do you adjust the pressure of the imprint on a multi-graph machine?” If I didn’t know the answer to that, I should be beaten over the head – something I wish somebody would do to Patterson. How can a man have faith in his government when the heads of the government are so ignorant of their own particular job?
Well, to go on, the third day the paper came out with the order that men had to be ELIGIBLE to go home on points. Any one of these stories would have created the usual moaning from the man – but for two days in a row they had received blows and then the War Department came out with their new ruling. They couldn’t have picked a worse time psychologically for their statement. Some of the boys talked of protest – but it was half-heartedly. They become passive in their feelings toward the government and the Army. You often hear, “what the Hell”, or “You can’t beat it!” In a way that shows they are too disgusted to even raise a finger.
Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter regarding the demonstrations.