Life in Alaska – Dear Ced – One More Request – April 27, 1944

 

Judy_0003

Cedric Duryee Guion

Nome, Alaska
April 27, 1944

Dear Ced,
Here we come to the unpleasant matter of Lloyd E Jensen and C Heurlin. What can I say about it? What can I do about it? I ordered them before Xmas and he has just gotten around to making them for me. Pictures this size will be my best sales for the next year over this way and I got six frames in only too insignificant a number with which to carry on, however, invaluable for showing pictures and if I can see them without the frames.
On leaving Anchorage I went out with a clean slate but for a balance of $25 to George Rengard and what I.O.U. I spent $300 in getting straightened out. Sure wish I could have taken care of bill to you but felt I could leave it to the more graceful going away if I squared up with merchants in Anchorage. If you still have faith in this old bum and are able to do something about getting frames for me – send Jensen a money order right away and in it a note to have him ship frames to you. Better use typewriter for that stubborn dumbkoff –

“Kindly ship Mr. Heurlin’s frames to me as soon as possible. He is in the Arctic and has left many pictures with me to frame. I cannot dispose of these paintings for him until they are framed so will greatly appreciate receiving them from you on next boat north.
Sincerely yours
Cedric Guion
Anchorage, Alaska”

I have given you a lot of headaches in the past – this to do and that to do and you never have asked a thing of me. Well, hope you don’t sigh too heavily over this. I have to make close to $1000 in a short time before I go up north. But once there with a year’s grubstake with me, I will start going ahead and with plenty of speed to clear up any debts with you. I have hated like hell to ask another favor of you, but boy! If you could possibly take care of it I will make sure of one thing in the days to come and that will be to see that you come out on top for this last big favor.
I will make arrangements with Gordon McKenzie to pick up these frames from you and get them to me with his careful handling.
Now to take care of one last piece of business and then to hit the sleeping bag.

Rusty

Tomorrow and Sunday, more letters from Dave, a young recruit, working hard to get through his training before being shipped overseas.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (60) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Random Memories (3)

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

 

CED – About 1940-41, things were getting red-hot.  Major Marston was up there in charge of the Alaskan Defense Command.  He was based in Anchorage.  Rusty made friends with him – he made friends with everyone he talked to.  He met the Governor of Alaska (Ernest Gruening) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Gruening) through Major Marston.  Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re going to do?  Major Marston says that the Governor wants to go around the whole perimeter of Alaska and try to develop a reasonable defense system for Alaska.  I guess it was Major Marston’s idea.  Major Marston said, “None of us know anything about Alaska, the Eskimos, the Indians.  We should go around and meet these native people.  They know the land and if any problems develop with the days coming, we would be lost.  We would not know what to do.”  He said, “We want to get an Alaska Defense going with native people.”  Governor Goering says, “Well, you know what? I don’t know any either.  I’m the Governor of this territory and I’d like to go around with you and meet these people that I’m supposed to be Governor of.”  So, Rusty sat and listened to all this talk and he said, “You wouldn’t want to take me along, would you?  I have had this in the back of my mind for years.  I would like to do a series of pictures on the discovery of Alaska.”  His whole goal, idea and the love of his life was Alaska.  He said, “I would like to have a chance to go around to all these places and make sketches.”  “OK, come on along,” they said.  That’s where he got this series of eighteen paintings, starting with the fellow who came from Russia, sailed to Alaska and took it for the Russians.  That was the first painting. He did the Gold Rush and sixteen others.  This was after he moved to Fairbanks.

 

YUKON TRAIL

Painting by Capt. Hurlin (Huerlin), formerly of the Alaska Territorial Guard at Barrow.

It depicts Major Muktuk Marston in 1942 on one of his many trips by

dog team through the Arctic northland enlisting te Eskimos, Indians, and

Aleuts in the Alaskan Territorial Guard, the forerunner of today’s famed

Alaska National Guard Scouts.

Pub. by Ward Wells Photographer, Anchorage, Alaska

Rusty moved to Fairbanks and got married.  He was probably in his 60’s, and he married a girl from the Fairbanks News.  At this point he decided that he would teach Art so he got a job teaching Art at the University.  He did that for quite a while.  After he got these pictures done, the University said to him, “Why don’t we set up a building for you and fix it with a huge rotating platform and you could put these eighteen paintings all the way around the building.”  They talked it over and they got the Poet Laureate of Alaska to narrate the story.  He did a beautiful job and that’s up there.  If you ever get to Alaska, you should see it in Fairbanks. (I believe this park is called “Alaskaland” .

Alaska is different than any other state.  This place is out of town about ten miles or so.  It’s a park sort of thing.  They have a huge boat there that they have on display, probably like the boats they used up there.  This one building is all Rusty’s paintings.  They also have a museum and other historic stuff.

Rusty was an amazing person.  He did posters during the war with “uncle Sam Needs You” on them.  When my wife, Fannie, my sister, Biss and I went to the University of Alaska, we told them what we were after, and they took us down to the basement and showed us some of his work.

Ced had been in contact with Rusty and they were going to visit during this trip but Colcord Magnus “Rusty” Heurlin passed away on March 10, 1986, in his 90th year, four months before Ced’s trip to Alaska. It would have been one fantastic reunion.

Tomorrow, more Random Memories, most from Dave.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced – No Food and Battleship – September 6, 1944

 

Barrow, Alaska

Sept. 6th 7th or 8th

Dear Ced,

Tomorrow is Sunday – nobody works or hunts – most all go to church but I.  Everybody here in sad mood but don’t show it.  Captains of freighters could have come here in past 3 days.  Turned about at Wainwright for Seattle with wire “Cannot make Barrow this year – Sorry”.  Whole village will feel the food shortage – Second time it has happened in history of Barrow.  This is only food ship to Barrow with food for season – a years supply for everybody.  Hospital has food to last for 2 weeks.  Medical supplies also on board this freighter the WIPPIO. (https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/sh-civil/civsh-w/w-elcajn.htm )

All joined sending telegrams to Governor Gruening (Ernest Gruening, 7th Govenor of the Alaskan Territory) yesterday to bring what pressure he can for boats return to Barrow.  It is ___  _____ the Seattle having arrived at PT Hope.  Last year it unloaded here on Sept. 15th.  Because of the old fraidy-cats impatience to wait a week, 500 people will go very hungry for one year.  Food may be flown in but not enough.  A chance still that Captain may be forced to return – if not news of his incompetence and thoughtlessness will be flashed all over America.  He had one month to unload here, all the while he loitered at Kotzebue last.  This will be felt from here to Damnation Point but what the hell does Steamship Company or Captain care.  I am just too mad to think.  Minister said Damn! yesterday which gave me opening to call Captain a selfish Son of a Bitch.

Played Battleship with Minister tonight.  Have been beating him at game since he started.  He laughed and giggled all over when I missed.  When I got close, too close, he got deathly quiet and rigid as iceberg.  Would start peppering around spot when he got in such a state and sink his boats and have 7 shots left.  Then he wondered why to which I told him I had a system.  I let 2 men watching our game in on it and they have been keeping it mum and have enjoyed watching him squirm when salvos got close.  But then he developed a system – a real good system – stayed awake last night thinking it out.  It was not bad and I watched him play one game against his wife tonight when he beat her with it.  He laid out his first shots in this pattern.

But next game he had was with me and by the time he worked inside of his triangle of shots he was cut down in ships and I had still 7 shots left when he had one shot left.  Knowing he would work same system on me I laid out my ships this way.  He triangled each ship and only got one hit.  After rushing over to see where in hell I had them laid out his ___ ____ ____ _____ and I then received the first complement a minister ever gave me.  He said, “You are as slippery as an eel in slime”.  But it was fair, said his wife, then to him, “Old smarty, you crowed to quick that time.”

People are really swell here Ced – happiest village I have ever lived in.  Took natives out today for third time to cite in ATG  rifles.  They are getting along fine but need lots of practice with rifle unfamiliar to them.

Be sure to examine the container I am sending you.  It has ivory inside it so do not throw it out the window.  That may be your first impulse after receiving it – a unique little container, apparently of no intrinsic value.  Allow me the few opportunities I have these days to play a prank now and then.  So, as I delve in skulduggery at long range be on the lookout for said surprise package from out here.  Be of good cheer my lad and go with God as it comes with or to you with the devil may care. — Rusty

Tomorrow and Friday, two  notes from Marian.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty and the Walrus Hunt – September 2, 1944

 

This envelope contained three letters, the first written in August, 1944, and the second on September 2nd and the third on September 6th, 7th or 8th.  This is the second letter.

Sept. 2, 1944

Dear Ced,

Winter came yesterday with strong N.W. wind and snow. Ice, which had left, formed up to shore again. USN fighter Spica with part of ship’s company at oil base is at PT Lay. Most unusual summer here since  ___________ in time to duck crushing ice. First fighter of season which everyone is waiting for left Nome two weeks after we did. It comes from Seattle with years supply of grub and fuel (1400 tons) for Barrow. Got as far as Wainwright and had to go back to PT Lay. Most unusual summer here since  Charly Barrow ever remember.

Last Sat boys got three walrus and one 12 foot polar bear. By Sunday they went out and got seven more walruses. Sorry I missed both hunts. If ice drifts north they will go out soon for whale. Have been promised two hunts and to fire whole gun. Natives will have plenty to eat, if whale is brought in, for the winter.

Sending you some ivory buttons for woman’s coat – one knife and necklaces with bracelet. Paid sick boy at Nome $15 to carve latter for me. It is not very good work. Got it to help poor kid out. He was in bad way and don’t think he will pull through.

Morry Danford said he was not much of a salesman. Sent him a few things to sell as a tryout. Said he would turn them over to you if he could not dispose of them. Bought them when they were salable through Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was this work of natives I was going to get for you, however, when you sent money I went back only to find they had shut down on selling them – all went to Juneau after that for prices to be upped down there. Get them from Morry first chance you have and keep them for yourself or do what you wish with them. The two seals should be kept together, old man that made them would not sell them unless they were kept together ________ ________________.

Am picking up a basket or two for you soon – whalebone baskets, only place where they are made is here.

How did bracelet turnout or have you not received it yet? Asked to have walrus head joining piece made solid without head out away from ivory as Alec Melik has been making. Let’s hear when you receive it.

Did you also receive your pictures – Kodachrome? Your letter in mail first chance I get.

Bye now or cheerio!

One more thing:

As the “Rawshian” men of the mighty Soviet Union have taken Romanian airfields there is no necessity for drive through Dardanelles – hence turning point of war has already come, however, not as I expected. Should have figured on Russian ability to get there first, for not doing so I lose the bet.

Yours till Moscow falls, and best to everyone.

Rusty

Here’s a different link to learn more about Rusty Heurlin, a family friend for all of his adult years.

http://www.alaskannature.com/Rusty_Heurlin.htm

Here’s another link to see some of his work.

http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/search/collection/cdmg3/searchterm/Rusty/field/all/mode/any/conn/and/cosuppress/

 

Tomorrow, the third letter from Rusty to Ced from Barrow, Alaska.  Thursday and Friday, notes from Marian to Grandpa.

Judy Guion 

Friends – Rusty and the PBY – August ? – From Barrow, Alaska

This envelope contained three letters, the first written in August, 1944, and the second on September 2nd and the third on September 6th, 7th or 8th.  This is the first letter. 

 

Rusty - Letter to Ced - PBY adventure - Aug, 1944

 

Close-up of sketch at the top of the letter

Barrow, Alaska

August   ?

Dear Ced,

How is the old junk dealer. Sure thought about you yesterday and you would have been in your 7th heaven had you been in my gang yesterday.

Barrow as you know is some 12 miles from sand spit known as Pt. Barrow. The point is low, about 2 feet above water and runs out to a shape like                so man’s feet can stand in marks as described, but then the sand is running into the water.

A visual and the history of the PBY – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMJw8845P1o

About 2 miles east of said point a narrow spit ends and a lagoon begins. It was in this lagoon where PBY flyers anchored said plane at western edge and went for a walk to oil drilling quarters (tents) between Pt. B and Barrow. Next day they returned to find plane wrecked by storm and on eastern tip of spit inside lagoon. It was wrecked beyond repair, $25,000 shot to hell.

With permission to get some wire from it for picture hangings a bunch of boys found me offering transportation to the plane. We took with us wrecking bars, hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches (Stilson etc.) two axes and three hacksaws. It was a fine day for pirating and the sea smooth as glass. It was close to shore on way to point. We shot at ______ sitting on bow of boat – seals and ducks. Going eastward around the point we soon could see our prize beached about in center of spit. On landing each man took tool from boat he was best trained at using. I got a heavy but badly nicked axe and a hacksaw, jumped to shore with 10 Eskimos and the schoolteacher (tried to get minister to join us at Barrow but he gracefully backed out of mission). We attacked plane from all sides, then within, and then the fun began. I cut several holes in sides of fuselage to throw our booty out of. Two small boys were delighted to stay outside and pile up the stuff as it came out of these compartment holes. After working diligently for eight hours which was a constant banging and squeaking of hammers, axes and wrecking bars, well the old PBY looked as if it had several bombs go off inside of it or that it had come down after going through much concentrated flack. We removed chairs, sinker boards, magnetos, batteries, 50 unknown gadgets, some 35 coils of wire, nuts, bolts, very light bombs, floating bombs, ______ this and that and two boys hack sawed the two ______ of pear-shaped shutters to machine gun nests out of which they will make a kayak. The pontoons will soon be turned into kayaks also. The wing had all kinds of gadgets. I got my wire and the _______________.  We returned loaded to the gunwales, as nice a picnic as you ever went on. You sure would have liked the pickings knowing this booty,

I could not read the last bit of this letter, written in tiny letters all around the edge of the page. Rusty’s handwriting is difficult to read. For more information on Rusty, check out these links:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Colcord_Heurlin     and see some of his art work at    https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=A211US679&p=Rusty+Heurlin 

Tomorrow, another letter from Rusty to Ced.  On Wednesday, I’ll be posting a letter from Marian to Grandpa. Thursday, a letter from Grandpa to all five sons and on Friday, a letter from Biss to Ced, the only brother not at home.

Next week, I’ll be posting more letters from Dan while he was in Alaska. I have just gotten these from his daughter, Arla.

Honoring All Servicemen and Women – Especially My Dad and Uncles – 1942-1946

This post first appeared on my Blog February 12, 2013. It was part of a series of Guest Posts written by gpcox  concerning areas of interest during the War. 

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I’m pleased to present this Guest Post from gpcox addressing how the Technical and Ground Forces all worked together to create success in their endeavors, which ultimately won the war. Without cooperation between all seven departments, nothing could have been accomplished.

As readers of my blog, pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com are aware, my father, Everett “Smitty” Smith was a sharpshooter trained as a paratrooper and gliderman with the 11th Airborne Division in WWII, this put him in the Ground Force.  But, neither he nor the rest of the soldiers would have gotten very far without the Technical services as each department of the Army worked to support the other.  Should one fail in the chain, a devastating domino effect might hinder or stop the rest.

The Technical Services of the Army Service Force during WWII was comprised of seven departments: The Corps of Engineers, The Signal Corps, Ordnance Dept., Quartermaster Corps, Chemical Corps, Medical Corps and as of 1942 the Transportation Corps.  These operated either behind the scenes or in unison with the 91 divisions of Ground Forces that were designated as: infantry, armored mountain, cavalry and airborne.  In this article I hope to explain how the Guion brothers you have come to know on this site aided soldiers like my father.

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Alfred (Lad) Guion was a sergeant, Chief of Section, with the Ordnance Department.  He was an instructor in California and Texas and then on assignment in France.  The technicians, both automotive mechanics and small arms experts worked diligently to solve the problems which had not been foreseen in Aberdeen or Flora.  Equipment was fiercely battered and the need for repairs was imperative; supply problems alone kept these men busy.  Ernie Pyle once wrote, “This is not a war of ammunition, tanks, guns and trucks alone.  It is a war of replenishing spare parts to keep them in combat…”  The smallest nut or bolt missing could keep a G.I. from accomplishing his task.  In the Third Army alone, maintenance crews put back into action more guns and vehicles than were lost by four entire armies in one month.  According to Lt. Gen. Levin Campbell, Jr., “Collectively they [Ordnance Crews] turned out a mechanical and technical superiority for American troops which no other Army in the history of the world has ever equaled.”  Therefore, as you can see, I have not exaggerated my praise of their contributions.

Daniel Beck Guion (Dan)

 

Army Map Service

Daniel Guion was a Field Surveyor and as such would be required to record field data, prepare sketches, determine angles for targets and/or develop accurate maps.  Without these men, the soldiers would be unable to acquaint themselves with the terrain the enemy was in and ammunition would be wasted while attempting to target enemy fortifications.  Engineers used the surveyor’s knowledge to construct roads and airfields.  Although photogrammetry was being used for aerial maps, accuracy still required points on the ground and creating grids.

Richard (Dick) Guion was a linguist and acted as a liaison with Brazil.  Many are unaware of that country’s involvement, but Dick’s fluency in Portuguese and Spanish was very useful to the U.S. government.  Brazil originally dealt with both the Axis and Allied powers, but declared war against the Axis on 22 August 1942.  The United States built air bases to support aerial runs over North Africa as well as the China-Burma-India Theater.  The Brazilians also sent 25,000 men to fight fascism under the command of the Fifth Army and their air force flew American P-47 Thunderbolts.  One of the main reasons that Brazil entered the war was the diplomatic actions of the American liaisons.  The country was an important strategic point for the Allies and was considered “The Springboard for Victory” for the fighting troops in North Africa.  This was one more service working behind the scenes and whose efforts saved countless lives.

 

Radioman - WWII

Dave Guion was in the Signal Corps and very adept in Morse Code, radar and trained as a radioman.  His primary mission would be to provide communication for the scattered elements of an operation and headquarters.  To keep everyone coordinated as to the on-going events as they unfolded.  There would be equipment with a command company, field operations and headquarters.  Whether it was a stationary complex or mobile radio, each unit found contact essential.  The maintenance of this equipment was their responsibility.  When you read in my blog of smoke and wig-wag signals, it was these men indicating the proper target for a jump or bomb; whatever was needed.  By 1942, signal communications had expanded into large networks of telephone, teletype, radio and messenger services that produced results 24/7 wherever the battles raged or lines formed.  They dug holes, laid wire, planted poles and repaired damaged areas of wire.  It would not have fared well for the fighting units to be without these men.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

 

Airplane Mechanic - WWII

Cedric Guion was an airplane mechanic in Alaska.  As a bush pilot, he was capable of locating downed planes and bringing them in for repairs.  As of 22 May 1942, Intelligence knew Japan was about to attack Midway and the Aleutian Islands.  Within ten days, Kiska and Attu were occupied by the enemy.  Ced’s position was crucial.  The air war increasingly grew well into 1943.  After consistent air and naval bombardment, the U.S. and Canadian troops finally found the Aleutians deserted by Japan.  Although he remained a civilian employee, he operated on a military airfield.  His technical expertise kept the American pilots in the air which was their essential mission.

There was also the Medical Corps, the 221st operated with the 11th Airborne Division and other positions of the technical branch, but perhaps we will discussed them at a future date.  For right now, I sincerely hope you enjoy both this blog  and mine.  Thank you for taking the time to read.

References and photos:

U.S. Army, “The Pacific War” by John Davison, National WWII Museum, HyperWar Federal Records, fold3.com and numerous Technical Service Associations

I am continually surprised by the detail and research that gpcox does before posting on pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com and guest posting on my blog. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of this post and previous posts by gpcox.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting another week of the early childhood memories of Grandma and Grandpa Guion’s children in a series I call “The Beginning”. 

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Ced From Rusty – Citation – May 24, 1944

Nome, Alaska

May 24, 1944

Dear Ced,

Sure wish to thank you for taking care of frames for me. Will someday show appreciation for lifts you’ve given me. But plans have taken a change with me on these frames being sent here. May have you deliver them later on to someone in Anchorage who may take care of selling my work, as then would only need 2 frames — one gold and one silver to show paintings in — judge type of frame best for pictures I sent to this person in Anchorage — send picture without frame and tell him which kind to use. This is a more practical arrangement. So hold onto them until you hear from me on this score.

Cashed your money order and sent to B_____ of Indian Affairs Office to pick you up some ivory. In same mail came a check from Harry Olson of Anchorage for whom I was going to do some work. But came to find out that they are sending all their ivory ____  to office in Juneau. Next best thing I can do is to pick up stuff direct from natives on trips to Pt. Barrow. Will stop at D_______ where Indian Affairs got ivory was in hopes of getting ____ so I will get the jump on them here over there. But what may be of greater value are whale bone baskets made farther north as the art is slowly passing away and most all this work is real art.

Ice is still reflecting into sky blinding light. Looks like you were going to lose but Army in turning point of war with regard to invasion. We had invasion pool here – month by month — but will not take any chance until month of July. For some reason or other I peg July 5th but who cares what I think anyway. I could be wrong on this psychological analysis. That means — look it up in the dictionary!

You wouldn’t like it here — grapefruit $0.90 apiece — lemons $0.20 apiece. Why should I eat them just because they are not to be had during winter time up here? Never went in for them much before says I to greedy storekeepers so can wait till I get back on the farm someday where fruit will be a carrot (for the eyes) then pounds of tomatoes for the gut.

Was over to the flying preacher’s house at a little gathering tonight and we all turned to pages this and that and sung hymns. Find it rather difficult at times to sing with T___ in the cheek. But soon he is taking me on a trip to ___________  in the Piper Cub. Went down to Solomon with him few weeks ago and attended church with him there. Getting to be quite religious these days and seeing as much of Seward Peninsula as I can. Attended Catholic services at Nulato (?) On way over and was invited to dinner at rectory where I had a delightful repast with Father Band and interesting evening with the 3 sisters. It is nice or good to see how the different men of the different clergy live.

How goes the flying? And how is your Daffy boss treating you these days? Nothing new here — marking time only for the breakup. Old Hankus Morgenthau put his hand and seal to distinguished service citation in behalf of War Finance Program where — upon beautifully centered and over pale blue lithograph of Minute Man is this number, name, with “Rusty” written between C. H. It is a neat little tidbit of parchment but I did so want to get a Purple Heart. Feel wounded as it is so I think that I should – Enuff Stuffy Stuff so’ll be writing you anon – when I have something interesting to tell you.

Best to all friends in Anchorage as ever and thanks again for taking care of the frames.

Rusty

I’ll finish the week with more letters from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Judy Guion