Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad Learns To Drive A Tank – August 12, 1942

Dan went into the Army in January of 1942 and Lad went in on May 15th, five months later. They are both receiving additional training beyond Basic. Dan is in North Carolina and Lad is at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland. Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, maintaining airplanes for Woodley Airways.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Aug. 12, 1942

Dear Dad: –

Got back to Aberdeen with no mishaps except that I had to walk from the station to Camp. There were so many men desiring to get into Camp that I thought it advisable to rely on me instead of taxis and I’m glad I did. Some of the fellows didn’t get back here until after 5:30, A. M.

Monday passed as usual, but yesterday, after supper, I went back to the shops and applied for extra training. So last night I learned to drive a light tank. Sometime in the future I’ll be given instruction in operating a medium tank and also, half-track vehicles, very heavy wreckers, and tractors. I will be given a license to drive whatever of these vehicles I proved to be successful in operating, which is a start in obtaining a license for the operation of all Army vehicles.

A tank is a cross between a car and a tractor in its operation. The clutch and throttle, as in a car are foot operated. In a tractor they are both hand operated as well as the steering. Steering a tank is done, as in the tractor, by hand brake levers. They ride quite well, and only on the real big holes or ditches, do they bump or rock badly. I really enjoyed it.


Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to the Truants, on Wednesday, another letter from Lad and on Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa telling the boys of the latest happenings in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

2 thoughts on “Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad Learns To Drive A Tank – August 12, 1942

  1. Pure Glory says:

    Your dad was definitely mechanically inclined. He enjoyed driving all those Army vehicles that could have lead to dangerous war zones.

    • Judy Guion says:

      Pur Glory – My Dad, Lad, was in an Ordnance Battalion, and spent his first two years as an instructor training other mechanics for the Army here in the States. Even when he went overseas to France, I do not think he ever got close to the front lines.
      Grandpa was blessed in having all five sons with skills that kept them away from actual battle. Dan was a surveyor and map maker. While he was in London and Paris, he was preparing maps for D-Day . Ced, as an airplane mechanic, was invaluable in Alaska, going into the Bush and repairing and/or retrieving downed planes. Dick spoke Portuguese and was an MP as well as the liaison between local civilian workers for the Army. Dave was trained in communication skills, including Morse Code, Signal Corps, Radio and clerical skills,. He and his 4 or 5 man team were assigned to upper management in the Army and facilitated communication between them.
      All the generations to come were blessed by their training.

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