Trumbull – Dear Children – War Speculation – May 21, 1944


The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   May 21, 1944

Dear Children:

Your pop has been working like all get-out today – – out in the sunshine being a dirt farmer in an effort to make the place look halfway presentable to the homecoming bride and groom. Yes Sir, they really are coming and may even be here this time next week. Lad writes: ”The 1st. Sgt. told me my furlough would start May 24th. If possible I will get the U.P. (Union Pacific) Challenger leaving LA Tuesday at 6:45 PM. We intend to spend one week in Trumbull and one week with Marian’s folks in Orinda”. I would like to quote the letter in full, but the hour is late and I am very much in need of a hot bath before I hit the hay and any hoo, there is a letter from Dan, two from Dave, a six page single-spacer from Ced, and I’d watched the sun come up “over China ‘cross the Bay” if I ever tried to quote them all in toto, so you’ll just get a wee sample from each this trip. Take Dan, for instance. His letter is dated April 1st, but the envelope was postmarked May 12th. In it he says: “I must inform you that I can receive no more packages until further notice and may even have to return some that you have already sent – “existing regulation”. Now that looks to us in Trumbull like one more bit of evidence that the long awaited invasion is getting closer. Dave is out of the hospital, with one mump behind him. He omitted any reference to feeling “swell”. He expects to be transferred again but if this has occurred he has not yet signaled the message home. He asks what is the latest dope on how long the war will last, adding “you’d be surprised how little we know of this war after we get into the Army.” I have consulted my crystal ball and have this to report: When will be invasion start? Only a few of the top men know. Possibly no exact date has been set depending on how progress in Italy, bombing results in Germany and the invasion coast for softening up process. How long after invasion starts will it take to get “firm”? Probably weeks, rather than days. Heavy casualties? Yes. Secret weapons? Probably some on both sides. Will paratroops be landed behind the lines? Yes. Will there also be a new Russian push? Yes. When will the war be over in Europe? Best informed opinion believes this year. Dave, in view of your inquiry and interest in the war, I am graduating you from the funnies, which was all right for your boyhood with its childhood diseases like MUMPS, to News Week, such as a real he-man like your father reads.

Ced writes a long interesting letter. It is worthy of quoting at greater length than I have time to do tonight, but I will get the high spots. He is going to night school in Anchorage, a 10-week course, five nights a week, two hour sessions, preparing for CAA examination for commercial pilots license. He is supposed to take his pre-induction physical on the 17th, but has hopes of being deferred as men of his age working on the airlines commercially outside the Continental US are subject to deferment. Mail will reach Rusty at Nome, Alaska.

Your birthday, Ced, kind of snook up on me without much warning. Next week, however, I expect to get some kind of a box off to you with a few trinkets to let you know we still remember your visit here a long time ago. All this week I have been wrestling with a lot of government red tape to get those auto parts off to you. The exhaust pipe cost $2.50 and the floor mat $6.50. I had to go to the customs inspector for a number, had to have the paper notarized, had to get a receipted bill from Buick, and the express cost $4.18. I also asked Mr. Whitney to ship you a filter and send me the bill.

If Lad and Marian are home next week I may be too excited to write, so if you don’t hear from me for two weeks blame it on married life. Meantime, don’t stop writing on that account to your


Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – News From Lad and Marian (2) – May 14, 1944


This is the second half of a letter written by Lad to Grandpa on May 14, 1944. The first half, posted yesterday, explains Lad and Marian’s plans for their furlough and a trip to Trumbull as well as Orinda, California, where each will have time to meet the others family.

Lad and Marian’s Wedding Day with Marian’s parents, Mowry Addison Irwin and Edith (Rider) Irwin, November 14, 1943

apg - letter to Grandpa before furlough, june, 1944

I can’t very well wish you the same sentiments on this May day, the 14th, as I could Mother, but I still wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Today has a triple meaning for us. Besides Mother’s Day, it is our six months anniversary and the second anniversary of my entrance into the armed forces, which has brought me so much happiness as well as disappointments. And, of course, my sentiments also go to Aunt Betty (Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Mother’s sister) who has done so much for us in her unselfish and pleasant manner. I can hardly wait for the weekend of the 27th. Time seems to be nearly standing still. For once in my life I am really excited and sort of jumpy inside when I think of coming home with Marian. It will be one of the biggest moments of my life I think. I really love her very sincerely and deeply. She is wonderful. I can’t do enough for her, and I hope she understands how I feel. I think she does.

To go back a little, it seems to me that I promised to send you an account of our trip to our present habitat, but I have never gotten around to doing it, so here goes.

After leaving Ced (Ced was on his return trip to Anchorage, Alaska, after spending a few weeks in Trumbull. He arranged it so that he would arrive in Texarkana, Texas, with the hope of seeing Lad and Marian while there. He almost missed them. They were supposed to leave on their trip back to Pomona, California, the afternoon before he would arrive but had a problem with the clutch and had to stay an extra day while the car was repaired.) at the station we went to the movies and then went around to the garage and picked up the car where we had left it to have the clutch replaced. The clutch job was very poor and even now, 5000 miles later, it is still not right, but getting better little by little. Then we took the car to a gas station and had it filled up with gas and oil and had it lubricated while we went out and had supper. Returning we got into the car and started on our way west, the first trip of any distance we had taken together, but far from the most pleasant we ever hope to take. That first night we drove about 100 miles and stopped in a place called Paris, Texas, and ran into our first difficulty in finding a place to stay. We ended up by staying in a very large room that had 7 foot partitions erected in order to make separate rooms. Nothing however could keep out the noise of the other people sleeping, and the night was punctuated now and then by extra loud snores as well as the climaxing episode which turned out to be an epileptic suffering one of its attacks. We came to the conclusion that the accent was on the wrong end of the word Texas and that it should be Texas, the hole of the United States. Breakfast the following morning was procured after quite a tour of the town on the lookout for any place that looked as though it might be open. That day and all of the following days including Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, were the same. Nothing of any consequence, except steady driving at about 40 or 50 MPH. On Wednesday night however, we did find a nice place to sleep and it was one of the nicest overnight cabins I have ever seen. It was a nice clean three-room place with a nice bathroom to boot. It would’ve been perfect to take along with us to put down here in Pomona. We got into Pomona on Saturday about 11 AM and asking at a gas station, found out that the Chamber of Commerce ran a War Housing Department and we were lucky enough to find the first place we had that afternoon. That was at 601 Burdick Dr. That weekend we went on to South Pasadena and came back here for only a place to sleep. Then about four weeks ago we heard about this place in Ontario where we are at present. That about winds up our present doings. Any other questions you have just write down somewhere where you can find them easily and we will do our best to answer them upon our arrival in TRUMBULL.

Well, Dad, Aunt Betty and Smokey, our best until we show up in person at the latest two weeks from today.


P.S. If you see Arnold please tell him I’d like to see him if he can wait until we get there.


Dear Dad, Aunt Betty, Jean – and anyone else who happens to be there –

We are still keeping our fingers crossed and are hoping to see you soon. Just think! Two weeks from today!! I’m really excited. We are practically packed already – have decided what clothes I’m taking (Lad doesn’t have to wonder about that!) and have them hanging in a special place ready to go – We’ll see you soon – (we hope),



Tomorrow I will post a letter from Grandpa to his sons, wherever they are. On Saturday and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dad – New From Lad and Marian (1) – May 14, 1944


Lad and Marian - 1943

                Lad and Marian – 1943

Alfred P. Guion

Box 491

Pomona, California

May 14, 1944

Dear Dad:-

Your letter with the good news arrived O.K. and was really welcome. And then yesterday we received another from you written last Sunday. I have no comments on the first mentioned, except that you sort of surprised me. I, as usual, was expecting the worst, and you sort of knocked “me pins out from under”. As to the last, the details as I know them today are as follows. Yesterday the 1st. Sgt. called me into the Orderly Room and told me that, barring unforeseen circumstances, my furlough will start May 24th, which is a week and three days from today or one week from this Wednesday. If possible, I will get off early Tuesday afternoon and try to get the Union Pacific Challenger leaving LA at 6:45 PM. If I can’t do that I shall possibly try to make the same train from LA on Wednesday at 7:15 AM or if the worst comes I’ll make the one at 6:45 Wednesday night. In any case, I’ll be on the train with Marian by Wednesday night. As to the exact arrival day, we’ll cable you whether it will be Saturday or Sunday. We plan to spend about one week in Trumbull and then come back to California and spent another week at Orinda (California, where Marian’s parents live) where I shall go through the same process as Marian will in Trumbull. Actually, I only was in Orinda for about 36 hours during which time I was married and attended a reception which lasted about six hours and I never did get to know Mom or Dad Irwin very well and vice versa. What we will do during the time we are in Trumbull, we don’t know, except that I would like Marian to meet some of the people who have been so kind and nice to me, including the Pages and the Stanleys in New Haven. And of course I’d like to go into New York and have her meet the Peabody Clan and anybody else of the same sort. I think in that connection I’ll write to No. 5 Minetta (in Mount Vernon, New York, the address of Grandma Peabody and her daughter, Dorothy Peabody, one of my Grandma’s younger sisters)and tell Dorothy to write to me at Trumbull as to the best date for an entrance into the Clan. One question you asked I don’t understand unless you meant will I be ready for overseas service when I return, and if that is the case, I believe I can strongly state NO to that. The rumors are still flying around here but until an official notice is released I refuse to believe any of them. None of them even hint at O.S. (overseas) and I really don’t think that the 3019th (Lad’s Battalion) is ready for active duty anyway. If you have anything in mind that you think we would like to do, other than just going to a show or play or something like that, just keep it in mind and mention it when we arrive. I’m not the nighthawk I used to be. I have reasons aplenty now to desire to stay home evenings. Maybe Marian would like to do some night gallivanting but she has never said anything about it and she seems to be happy as long as I am where she is, or the other way around. This trip will be sort of a preliminary to our honeymoon after this is all over. And that being the case, I’m not trying to make plans to far ahead. We seem to be able to have a good time without planning everything ahead of time.

That’s about enough for one paragraph isn’t it? And this about finishes what I have to say in the second so here comes a third.

I’ll post the rest of this letter tomorrow. On Friday, a letter from Grandpa to all his (male) children.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From a Trumbull Farm (2) – May 14, 1944


page 2    5/14/44

Now for a report on what local happenings may be of interest.

Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend in Trumbull) has decided to give up work here and go to Hawaii. He is just recovering from an attack of jaundice which has delayed his plans somewhat but he talks of going sometime later this month. I don’t know whether he is going to take the trailer or not.

Art Mantle came over to see me last evening as I was sitting out on the back lawn looking over the evening paper and pitting my wits against the crossword puzzle man. He looks more mature, as might be expected. Altogether he has been away six years. He was wounded with some shrapnel in the arm and leg but has entirely recovered now. It was while he was on a cruiser fight with some warships in a night battle at fairly close range. They sunk the Japs. He asked about each of you individually and asked me when I wrote to give you his best.

Zeke (Raymond Zabel, husband of Elizabeth (Bissie), Grandpa’s only daughter) has been laid up all week with a cold or something, celebrating his birthday in bed. Elizabeth has been repainting her dining room and has fixed up the yard. We are all invited over there next Thursday.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Lilac blooms

Lilacs are out in full now. I have been a rising an hour or so earlier these fine spring mornings and trying to do the Dan-est (a reference to the fact that Daniel, son # 2, loved to garden and keep up on work in the yard) in fixing the yard, flowerbeds, etc. This morning I alternated between getting dinner and taking down storm windows and putting up screens. As a one-man act it’s kind of slow work but I managed to get through without any serious consequences in trying to balance a storm window on a rickety ladder. This afternoon I had to go to Bridgeport in my disguise as Justice of the Peace and hitched two middle-aged people who aspired to the matrimonial state.

Paul (Warden, the husband and father of the family renting the little apartment in the Trumbull House) was home for the weekend but left an hour or so ago to go back to Sampson ( A U. S. Naval Training Center in Sampson, NY. See yesterday’s post of a letter from Dave’s friend, Bob Jennings, who is also at Sampson).

No further word from Lad and Marian. Jean says there was another rumor, Dick reports as to the possibility of a 21-days furlough for the Brazil”nuts”, permitting him to get home for a visit before being transferred elsewhere. He will ask to be transferred to Alaska if given the opportunity to choose. I’m a bit concerned about not having heard from Ced for so long. I try not to let the war tension get on my nerves but I wish you youngsters would not put my fortitude to the test too far. You see I have a five-fold Sword of Damocles hanging over my head and too long an interval in hearing from any one of you puts a bad strain on my optimism. So have a little pity, please.

And that about closes up the bulletin for this time. Cheerio.


Tomorrow and Thursday, a long letter from Lad and Marian. still in Pomona, California, and on Friday, a letter from Grandpa to all five sons.

Judy Guion, 

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From a Trumbull Farm (1) – May 14, 1944

This week, we move to May of 1944. All five of Grandpa’s sons are serving Uncle Sam in one way or another. Lad (with his wife Marian) is in California training vehicle mechanics for the Army, Dan is in London and Paris, probably helping to draw maps for D-Day, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, rescuing and repairing airplanes at the airfield that has been commandeered by the Army, Dick is an MP, in Brazil, acting as a liaison between the Army and the local workers and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri receiving further training before being sent overseas.

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Trumbull, Conn., May 14, 1944

Dear Fugitives from a Trumbull Farm:

This is Mother’s Day, which fact was delightfully brought home to our consciences by Aunt Betty’s receipt yesterday of a lovely box of flowers from Lad and Marian. After a moment of embarrassment on her part trying to explain the “mother” angle, she at last broke down and confessed all, although how Lad and Marian got wind of the affair way out in California made me realize that Lad should be in the Intelligence Department, instead of the Ordinance. All joking aside, it certainly made a very deep and heartwarming impression and I and was asked here and now to say how grateful she is and how chagrined she felt at never having yet acknowledged the Easter remembrance. She has difficulty in writing as you know but is saving it all up for a personal thank you when you arrive.

It is interesting to look back and see what the state of things was a year ago today. Grandma had recently arrived at Trumbull. Dorothy and Anne were visiting us to partake of one of Grandma’s toothsome pot roasts. Dan had been expected home and had telegraphed his regrets at his inability to obtain leave from Lancaster (PA). Lad had just recently arrived at Santa Anita and had not even mentioned the existence of anyone named Marian. Dick and Jean were at Miami, Ced reported he had missed out by several days on his guess as to the date of the break in the ice jam, Art Woodley was visiting Washington to see about getting the new plane and Rusty was on tour in northern Alaska with the Governor. Dave was still in the “bosom of his family”.

And right here it might be well for the latter to speak for himself:

David Peabody Guion

“Boy, have you got a surprise coming! I woke up yesterday morning with a slight sore throat. By last night it was getting kind of swollen so I went over to the infirmary to see what could be done. The diagnosis was MUMPS and I’m in the post hospital. I spent last night in the ward but this morning they gave me a room. It’s just a little place but I feel quite exclusive. Between this room and the next when there is a bathroom, tub and all, which I share with the guy next door. I wasn’t doing so well in radio school. There were seven of us that they were going to drop Saturday if we didn’t improve. Now I won’t have the chance. Maybe I can get into clerk school – – that would be perfect. And I know code now which is a pretty good thing to know. The thing that really hurts, though, is the fact that I had planned to get home by the end of June for graduation, but now as I see it, it will be impossible. All the news in this letter is not too good, but nevertheless, my morale is high in spite of it all. To say you are in a hospital always sounds bad but in the Army you can’t stay in your barracks, especially if you have something catching like MUMPS. I don’t feel bad and the life we leave here is swell – – movies today, for instance. (Next Day) my private room life is finished. I’ve been transferred to a windowed-in porch which I share with two other “mumpees”. I feel even better today than I did yesterday. I hope I keep improving – – at any rate, don’t any of you worry.”

Earlier in the week Mrs. Guion  (Jean, Mrs. Richard)  received a package from Brazil and she has been walking around on air ever since. A pair of alligator shoes, several pairs of fine silk stockings, and the biggest hit of all, a beautiful genuine alligator skin handbag that is the envy of all the girls at Harvey Hubble (A shirt factory in Bridgeport, CT, where Jean works) . Boy, but that made a big hit and puts Dick right up in the top class as husbands go.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the second half of this letter filled with local news of interest to all of Grandpa’s sons, scattered around the world. 

If you’re enjoying these stories and memories from the 1940’s, why not share them with as friend?

Judy Guion



World War II Army Adventure (42) – Dear Dave – A Letter From Bob Jennings – July 17, 1944

Bob Jennings is a friend from Bassick High School, I believe. I don’t think he grew up in Trumbull. He was not part of the 8th grade graduating class with Dave. At least he is not listed in the Program for the play, “The History Of Trumbull”, put on by the Graduating Class of 1939 at Trumbull Center School. Dave was listed as the Narrator and General Director.

U. S. Naval Training Station

Sampson, New York

Monday   17 July 44

Dear Dave.-

I just got your letter about three hours ago.  Was sure glad to hear from you.  I don’t need anyone to help me settle my score but seeing you have one, I’ll let you help me a little bit (ha-ha).  I’m not so sure about the time we are going to break now, I think it may be we’ill go the whole twelve weeks now.  Don’t say anything to Doris about it tho’.  I don’t want to let her know until I’m sure.  Then I’ll hold it off as long as possible.  If I do have to stay twelve weeks, I won’t tell her until about three days before she goes to college so in that way it won’t bear in her mind, if it does anyway.  I know if we ever get together again, Dave, we’ll sure celebrate on the high spots.  Maybe we could sneak off for a Tom Collins, eh?

She sent me a few pictures of her taken at the class day exercises.  Boy, she is as pretty as ever, even prettier, I think.  She can’t be much prettier as she is beautiful in my mind right now.  Wait until I tell you, Dave.  When we just started writing she used to sign off with Doris or Your Best Friend, something to that extent all the time.  Now she signs with All My Love.  Pretty good, eh? I wish we could be more close together.  The night I left she said to me, I wish I could be what you want me to be but I’ve got four years of college ahead of me and you never can tell what might happen.  Boy, did that make me feel good.  At least she must like me a little.

Boy, did we march today, three hours steady, my feet are killing me.  My face is like  a beet.  You can see the difference in color of my face where my hat is squared over my eye.  I’m getting some pictures tomorrow – hope they come out good.  I wrote to Doris and told her that one of the kids in Trumbull wrote and told me I was being accused of being a crook.  I got the ans.  back saying she hadn’t heard anything about it, and if she did, she would not believe it as she knows I wouldn’t do anything like that.  So I guess you don’t have to worry about when she finds out any more.  She is really a swell girl, Dave.  In fact, the both of us are lucky.  We both love swell girls, girls we can be proud of to take anywhere.  At least we hope we have, right? (The girl Bob is writing about, Doris, might be Eleanor’s best friend, Doris Erenchrona, who actually invited Eleanor to come to the Trumbull house one Sunday evening when the local young people were gathering around the player piano. This is where Dave met Eleanor Kintop, a girl who lived in Bridgeport, but probably went to the same high school, Bassick in Bridgeport. Up until 1962, Trumbull had about five Grade Schools and students attended through the 8th grade. Then they were bussed into Bridgeport for high school. Trumbull built the first Jr. High (which I started at the first year it was finished. For the next two years, Trumbull built a high school and my class was the first class to attend all four years at the Trumbull High School.) 

Last time I seen home was June 1st at 6:30 in the morning, it seems like a year tho’.  Well Dave, there’s not much more to say unless I tell you what we are doing.  But you would not want to be reminded of the things you have to do all the time.  So until I hear from you.

As Ever,


I hope we meet soon.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in May of 1944. All five of Grandpa’s sons are serving Uncle Sam in one way or another. Lad (with his wife Marian) is in California training vehicle mechanics for the Army, Dan is in London and Paris, probably helping to draw maps for D-Day, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, rescuing and repairing airplanes at the airfield that has been commandeered by the Army, Dick is an MP, in Brazil, acting as a liaison between the Army and the local workers and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri receiving further training before being sent overseas.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (41) Dear Dad (1) – Special (Fake) Announcement – July 19, 1944

19 July 1944

Dear Dad —

I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting to write as much as I used to do – but I told right from the beginning that I wouldn’t keep up my pace.

My new company is absolutely A-1, except for the chow.  The food isn’t too good – but I understand that it has been pretty poor recently all throughout the post.  The fellows I’m with, on the whole, are a much nicer bunch than any gang I’ve been with yet.  Of course I had my friends in other groups that I’ve been with – “Rusty” Pierce, Ray Pearlstine, Jack Feldman and George Arend – and others, but these guys in my present company seem to be pretty good all around.  You’ll probably hear me speak of Tim Frazier, Jack Killian, and John Aboya.  Tonight I tell you about Aboya.  He’s probably the wittiest guy I’ve ever met.  He used to be with UP (United Press) as a writer of some sort.   He can get off the funniest remarks- with expressions added – that keep the whole bunch of us in stitches.  I can think now of only two of his remarks which in all likelihood aren’t his best – but they’re the ones that come to mind now.  Both of them happened last weekend in town: Tim Frazier told me about them.  One was when the two of them came across a small fire hydrant – Aboya immediately piped up that it must have been made especially for a peekanese dog. At another time during the weekend they saw a lizard on the side of the road.. Aboya’s exclamation was, “Look, there’s a snake with a half-track.”  I don’t guess in writing – but they were pretty good when Tim told us about them. Aboya looks to me something like Dick – but I’ve no doubt if Jean could see him she would kick me around the block for saying it – not that Aboya is so bad looking – but she probably wouldn’t see the resemblance that I see.

Aboya’s prize, in my opinion, is a little thing he wrote in the Teletype Class today – when he should have been working on regular exercises.  I’ll quote it to you leaving out or changing the parts that wouldn’t look good in print – but first I want to say that after he prepared this little thing (which is of course strictly a thing of his imagination) he skipped his last period class and got caught.  Tomorrow will tell us the story of what will happen to him.  Anyway – here’s his fictitious newspaper report.

“Announcement of a new Signal Training Course in connection with Signal Center Communications was made today by R. Lethley Pace (Quoter’s note – Pace is one of Aboya’s buddies in Teletype School – and the following title is non-existent in the Army), Adjutant Sergeant, who said that a Special Duty School, similar in scope to O.C.S. was being organized at Camp Crowder, the resort spot of the Ozarks.”

“Requisites for entrance into the new school were stringent’, Pace said.  Prospective enrollees were to be selected from among the higher class Hookey-Players in attendance at the Boy Scout Camp (You see, Dad, I’m not the only one who thinks the Signal Corps would do better in the Boy Scout then in the Army) which lies in southeastern Missouri, in the Picturesque Ozark Range.

”The men we choose will have to have made a practice of the art of being somewhere else at the time that work was imminent’, Pace asserted. ‘Anyone who has an IQ of more than seventy-five will of necessity be barred from the program, for the nucleus of the group will have to be a rugged, ignorant group that has been just stupid enough to get out of enough work to qualify them, and smart enough to have evaded any possible means of getting caught.’ (Here, Dad, I’d like to mention that my good friend John Aboya, and also his buddy, R. Lethley Pace – who in this article is spoken of as being an official of the program – gods themselves disqualified from there OWN school program by getting caught just a few hours after their school was brought to the attention of the public).

“‘Among the qualifications,’ Pace went on to say, ‘will be treachery, ability to answer someone else’s name at roll call – in hopes that said absentee will do the same at the next formation – ability to look always at ease at the Service Club no matter what the time of day, and the general quality of indifference so essential in the Hookey-players line.'”

“Headquarters for the new school will be in the Third Floor of Service Club No. 3 (Here I have the note that there is no third floor of the Service Club).  Here the men will be trained to sip sodas with one eye on the door in anticipation of an approaching officer; one eye on the soda; and the other on the contours of the charming waitress, for each trainee will have been a Map Reading Student prior to his acceptance into the school.”  (Another note – Everyone in the Signal Corps gets many hours on Map reading because of the possibility of his being used as a Messenger.  We get so darned much of the same old stuff – review – review – and then more of it.  Here, Aboya implies that a fellow might easily be qualified for his school expressly because he has had Map Reading and successfully missed a few classes – because if there was ever a class from which you would like to get away – it is one of the innumerable Map Reading classes.)

“Other courses will include – When To Volunteer For A Detail; Where To Be When The Sergeant Needs Men To Mow The Lawn; and How To Spend An Early Saturday Evening in Joplin.  More courses will include the proper way to sleep in class so that attention is not attracted, the proper manner in which to appear very busy when an officer happens to look your way, and the method of speedy exit for hasty departure from the classroom when the break signal sounds.” – The End.

I perhaps shouldn’t have put in so many of my own notes, but I thought they might clarify some things.  Other things that might be noted are that the Service Clubs are the favorite hangouts for those boys that skip classes.  You realize of course, that even though the school is fictitious, the fact that there are boys that have devised their own systems for doing the very things that are mentioned in the article, is far from being fictitious.  A man that has complete mastery over all the above mentioned courses could go a long way in “This man’s Army”.  If you will recall – Aboya quotes Pace as saying that the man must ‘have the ability to answer someone else’s name at Roll Call’ – I don’t wonder that they put that course in.  You see, the reason they were caught away from class is that when the Role was taken, no one answered to either the name of Aboya or Pace.

Sunday I sprained my wrist and I don’t know how I did it.  I’ve got it wrapped now – and it is as good an excuse as any for the poor job I’m doing tonight on this typewriter.

We took a long hike last night – the first I’ve taken since the week I left for home.  We walked some 12 or 14 miles with light field pack, gas mask, and rifle.  I don’t mind telling you that I was Pretty tired when I got back – Did I go right to bed then?  No – now that it’s summer down here we have to be mighty careful of chiggers and ticks.  When we’ve been out in the field now – we come in and strip – take a shower and while in the shower room we go over each other – like you see the monkeys doing in the zoo – and take off any chiggers or ticks that might be feeding on our blood. – Some fun!

I guess there isn’t much more to say – as is so usual, I haven’t said much – but at least I’ve taken up some room with Aboya’s wit.

All the boys in my barracks seem to love to sing – so we do quite a bit of it.  We also seem to have an equal number of Rebels and Yankees so we go over that problem every so often.  The other night the lights were out and we were supposed to be sleeping and the boys got to discussing the age old problem of who won the war.  I was trying to go to sleep so I got up and started to say that actually no one had won the war because the Negro was still a problem in this country – but just as soon as I got up, Aboya accused me of trying to settle the matter by saying that the East had won it – just to be different.  You see, he and Killian are both from Milwaukee.  By the way, Killian is no relation to Father Killian – but he’s a nice enough kid to be a very close relation.

Well – here’s the bottom of the page – I quit.


In searching for John Aboya at United Press International, I came across this announcement.  The date seems probable and this John Aboya is Bureau manager of the United press there.  It comes from the University of Wisconsin collection, “With the alumni”, Volume 50, Number two (Nov., 1948)

The University of Wisconsin Collection

Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 50, Number 2 (Nov. 1948)

With the alumni,   pp. 23-27

Lois HAGEN and John Aboya were married last July. -31 in Milwaukee, where they are now living on N. 15th St. She is home furnishings editor for the Milwaukee Jonrnal and he is bureau manager of the United Press there. In doing research online,

In doing research online, I was able to find the wedding announcement of John Aboya in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In other research I discovered that he had passed away in two thousand and two at the age of eight to, but was unable to find any relatives.

Tomorrow I will be posting a letter from Dave’s friend, Bob Jennings, who is at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Sampson, New York. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (en masse) (2) – Notes to Each Son – April 12, 1939


Daniel Beck Guion

Page 3 of R-16

Dear Dan:

This will acknowledge yours of March 17th, written from Totouche and received here on April 4th, the day after I mailed my last letter to you..

It looks to me as if I know more of what is happening down there than you do, mainly because Lad is so dependable and regular about keeping us posted by airmail, 3 or 4  days after writing we know what is doing.  Probably by the time you get this note you will know that Lad is now working for the Socony-Vacuum people and expects to be sent to their camp at Pariaguan.  He himself does not yet know where it is or what kind of mechanical work he is expected to do, nor does he mention the salary he is to receive.  His last letter states he also has not yet been paid by I A.  Ted has sailed for home and expects to arrive in New York next Monday via Grace Line.

I also have your two letters enclosing the engineering reports which of course I shall keep for you.  These both arrived on February 1st. The report of the New York office being closed was not true.

I was very much interested to read of your finally finding the thing you wanted to do and that you intend to come back in the fall to study geology.  Would you like to have me get any information for you as to colleges, courses of study, etc.  Just say the word and I’ll perform.  It would be nice if you could get all that is coming to you from I A and starting May 1st, work for this other firm in Venezuela until say, September, so that you would have earned enough to carry you right through college without worrying anymore about paying for it.

Helen Plumb showed me your letter and the photo of the Phantom snake.  If you have any more films developed, why not send the prints along to file in the scrapbook.  It would be livened up considerably with a few illustrations scattered here and there through the text matter.

I am glad the way things are going is not getting you down.  Your philosophy is right: get all you can out of the thing while you can.  You are doing your job, or at least are there to do whatever you may be asked to do, and if they don’t ask you to do anything, you can’t be blamed for that.  I’m glad you are sticking at the Camp, because if those higher up were looking for some excuse to fire employees or refuse to pay them, the fact that you quitted the camp without leave might furnish the required pretext.  Therefore, if this other job pans out at all I should grab it quick, not only because Inter-America will probably fold up anyway, but because you will be getting presumably a higher rate, and will be paid promptly, but will be building up your educational reserve fund, and most of all, will be giving you some additional experience which will be valuable both from the standpoint of increasing your knowledge and experience, but will, in the eyes of your future employers, be an advantage.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Thursday P?M?

Dear Lad:

Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, with her two children, Don and Gwen) has been up and gone.  She has purchased a new Plymouth which she has had Carl (Wayne, a friend of Lad’s) Simonize for her.

I received on April 11th your letter written April 5th, containing some very interesting news regarding the Diesel installations and the new job.  I had hoped another letter would arrive today giving the details, but maybe it will be in tomorrow.  You did not say how much they are paying you, nor did you tell us one item of news which both Aunt Helen ((Peabody) Human, sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, my Grandma) and myself were hoping you would mention and that was whether Max (Mr. Maxidian, President of Inter-America, the company that brought Lad and Dan to Venezuela in the first place) actually sailed on Monday as he was expected to do.  We wondered if it were so hot for him down there with your vivid picture of jail life before us, that he had decided even Tom Dewey’s treatment would be preferable and had skipped.  But we don’t KNOW.

You don’t need to hesitate about cashing the draft because Monday the checks from the State came through, which I endorsed with your name and deposited to my account in the bank, so that makes us all straight on that transaction.  I have also taken care of your insurance premium — paid it today as a matter of fact.  Doctor Clark has just written asking for payment, which of course I have been unable to take care of.  With this, the loan, the amount owing at Reads and Meigs (two Department stores in Bridgeport) and certain other incidentals, I am afraid the total bill will amount to about $300, plus or minus.  I am hoping that back salaries will be forthcoming before May 15th when taxes are due.

Ted (Human, the uncle that was hired by Inter-America to over-see the construction of a road from Caracas to Maracaibo, and brought his nephews along) has written he will have to go to the hospital when he gets back as his liver is very wrong yet.  Aunt Helen is trying to decide whether to call for him at the boat with an ambulance or whether to take him to a hospital in New York, New Rochelle or Bridgeport.

Am much pleased to know you are settled in a new job and hope it will be the kind of work you like and one in which you can show what sort of specimens we produce in little old Conn., USA.

Auf wiedersehn.


Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting more letters from the World War II Army Adventures of my Uncle Dave, Grandpa’s youngest son (18 years old). 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (en masse) (1) – News For Both Lad and Dan – April 12, 1939

Grandpa continues to keep his oldest sons apprised of the happenings of friends and family at home in Trumbull.

Alfred Duryee Guion – (Grandpa) – in the Alcove                               where he typed his letters


April 12, 1939.

Dear Boys (en masse):

As you may have noticed I usually find time of a Sunday to sit down at this rickety old typewriter and spend a couple of hours chatting with my expert sons, but last Sunday (Easter) we were all invited down to Larry and Marion’s (Larry and Marion Peabody) for dinner.  We left about 10:30 with seven in the little old Willys (Grandma, Helen, Elizabeth, Ced, Dick, Dave and the writer).  On arrival we found Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) had already arrived and Ced then left for Mt. Vernon where he picked up Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) and Elsie (Duryee, Grandpa’s sister).  During the course of the day, Anne (Peabody) Stanley),sister of my Grandma), Arla Mary Peabody) Burton (Arla’s brother) , Don and Gwen (Stanley, Anne’s children), Kemper and Ethel (Peabody), Frank and Lynn (possibly Frank Peabody, Arla’s uncle and his wife) also came in so there were quite a houseful.  Marion , as might be expected, served a wonderful dinner.  Allen is at the cute age and amused us all. BUT, I didn’t get my letter written.  Now it came to pass that Monday and Tuesday maketh the selectman to be diligent about his work, so that this is the first opportunity I have had to write, and I don’t feel so much like doing it tonight either, because this afternoon Don and Gwen and Aunt Anne arrived in their new Plymouth she had just bought and the five kids are playing chopsticks and whatnot on the piano, the telephone is persistently ringing for someone who doesn’t answer, the Stanley’s little black dog is running around sniffing everything and I have a miserable cold, but aside from that there is nothing to distract my attention from this English composition classic.

Biss and Zeke finally moved in the apartment after having spent most of the week taking off old wallpaper and painting the walls and in general cleaning up.  They bought a few pieces of furniture, which, with what was already in there, will be enough for them to get by on until they can get more of their own.  They bought a secondhand electric refrigerator which came today, is too large to fit anywhere in the apartment, so is installed in the laundry.  Elizabeth was given a surprise shower last week at Helen Smith’s and got quite a quantity of useful things.  They are paying a rent of $20 a month, but I am paying for the paint they bought to refinish the walls. Reyom has been fired from the Park City Engraving Co. and is now with the Park City School of Beauty Culture, if you please.  Alice is working in Kreesge’s  5 and 10. Smithson is over here re-papering Grandma’s room at Helen’s request so that Ted, when he arrives, will have a nice fresh clean room to stay in.  I thought in view of the fact that he had done so much for you boys (in intention, at least) the fair thing for me to do was to offer to have Ted stay here until he knows what he is going to do, and I suppose that was one reason Helen had the idea of fixing up the room.  She has repainted the bathroom at the head of the stairs white.

Page 2 of R-16

Ced has been laid up in his room for a couple of days with a cold.  The weather here is raw and Marchy.  We have only had one or two spring days, but birds and buds are heralding the arrival of something other than war in Europe.

I seem to have had a lot of trouble with the Briggs ever since it was installed.  Three times now the pipeline leading from or into it has broken, draining out all the oil in the first intimation I have had that something was wrong was when the motor began to knock.  On two occasions this all happened several miles from where I could get any oil, which is not done the motor any good.  Myron Whitney took the car today and put flexible hose at both inlet and outlet ends, so I’m hoping further damage from this cause will be prevented, but alas it will not remedy the harm that has already occurred.

There is a new building development being started over Beach’s Corner way which they are calling Parkway Village.  It is being financed by the Bridgeport City Trust Co. and apparently they intend to push it hard.  Their goal is six hundred lots, but if they erect fifty houses the first year they will be doing a good job.

Babe Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) has had a smashup in her Ford.  It happened just opposite Bill Park’s gas station on Noble Avenue.  She will probably write you full details, Lad, so I will not attempt to tell the story here.  Her car was damaged, but she escaped unharmed, I believe.

Enclosed you will find copy of a letter written to Shuster & Feuille, in answer to a suggestion Lad made to me in the letter received just after I had mailed the other letters off to the Venezuelan officials.  I hope they all do some good and result in you and the other men being paid in full.  I am much interested in seeing what my letters bring forth and what the result of it all is.

Aunt Betty keeps exceptionally well, as also does Elsie.  I took down the scrapbook with all your letters in it and Elsie spent most of Sunday afternoon reading these.  She has had to move out of the Tudor as they were raising prices on account of the Fair.  She is now down near East 20th St.

Well, so much for general news.

Tomorrow, I will post individual letters to Dan and Lad, all part of R-16. 

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure (22) – Note From Uncle Ted Human (1) – April 5, 1939

Today I’m posting a few quick items that transpired in the beginning of April, 1939.  The first two are notes to lad from his Uncle Ted Human regarding the job offer from Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. the second is the final accounting of what is owed to lad and the third is a quick note from lad “Guion’s All” giving them a little information about Pariaguan, Venezuela, the location he is being sent to by his new employer.

Apr 5

Dear Lad: — Am worried about you as you wire to telegraph — Am leaving a letter for you with Mr. Exner.  It’s important S.O. (Hartman) have job for you — please relieve my mind and send me a wireless (charge it to me) saying Theodore Human, Steamboat Santa Paula Okay — Lad —



April 5

Dear Lad

Please wireless me Okay S.S. Santa Paula as I’m terribly worried about you. Pierce got a bad deal from Company.

It may be well for you to put your affairs in hands of Manuel Matienzo, Meyer’s lawyer after seeing Am. Consul.

Socony has job for you – see Hartman immediately — He rooms at Hotel Royal. —  Ted



Amount Due Alfred P.  Guion

                                                                   Dec. 30, 3, ‘ 38                       @ $5.00                          $  10.00

                                                                   Jan, Feb, Mar. 1939            @ 150.00                             450.00

                                                                   April 1-10                                @ 5.00                                50.00

Expense Account Rendered (Bs 132.60)                          42.29


$ 552.29

Hotel Bill – Tools

Fare to N.Y. waived on payment in full, as listed above.

Payable in U.S. Currency or Bridgeport, Conn.  Draft.

Manuel Matienzo

Res. 29975





April 11, 1939

Rec’d. 6/17/39

Dear Guion’s All: –

Just a short note since time gallops on and I am to leave for the Soc. – Vac.  Camp tomorrow at A.  M.  I have succeeded in locating Pariaguan on the map, after an extensive, exhausting search.  It is about 500 miles south-east of Caracas, way inland, and fairly close to the Orinoco River. ( The town of any importance nearest the camp is Ciudad Bolivar, and this is about 160 miles further south-east and on the River.  Now, if you can find the camp location in less than half an hour you are better than I, and I had an8′ x 16′ map, too.

My new address is this time is c/o Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., Apt. 224, Caracas.  When I reached camp I may find a different address, but I truly doubt it.

That’s about all the news I have at present except that since I am leaving Caracas, I cashed the draft.  I’ll write at the first moment I can.

Love to all,


P.S. Please give everyone the new address.  Thanks.

Tomorrow and Friday I will be posting a rather long letter with two pages to both boys and then separate letters to each son. 

Judy Guion