Trumbull – Dear Boys – News About Everyone Except Ced – May, 1942

 

 

APG - Postcard post mark from Ayers, MA the day of induction, May, 1942

APG - Postcard to Dad the day he was inducted - May, 1942Trumbull, Conn., May 24, 1942

Dear Boys:

A postal card from Lad reveals that he is, and expects for the next six or eight weeks, to be at Ordnance Replacement Center,
??????????????????????????Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, Co. B, 1st Ordnance Training Battalion. I am awaiting further details to learn whether this was his choice, based possibly on the fact that his experience with moving heavy equipment with Socony-Vacuum or possibly the use of diesels in transporting big guns, or whether he was just sent there willy-nilly. I asked Harry Robinson one day how he became deaf and he told me that during the first World War, they sent him to Aberdeen and the concussion from the firing of the big guns was what destroyed his hearing.

No news from Dan, merely a request to have Barbara bring down with her his Alaskan slides which he had promised to show to several interested parties in Roanoke Rapids. Barbara left Thursday night and expected to arrive Friday morning, returning to Bridgeport

Daniel Beck Guion - (Dan)

Daniel Beck Guion – (Dan)

in time for work Tuesday morning. I hope to receive, even though it be secondhand, more detailed information from this tantalizing individual who merely writes he now has a specialists rating carrying with it a boost of $20 in his pay, but what the rating is for, how obtained, etc, is left to the imagination. He also refers to the possibility of making application to Officer’s Candidate School, but beyond that bare fact no more information is vouchsafed. He does mention that he has applied for a furlough early in July, which he will not know definitely can be granted for some time, and announces he has definitely decided not to use his car down there.

Dick has just received card notification from Draft Board that he is in Class 1. He informed me today he has decided to see what can

Dick Guion

Dick Guion

be done about transferring him to a day shift again. He is losing weight due to lack of sleep, which is harder to get in summer day times, and the reflection of artificial light from the pieces he works on affects his eyes. He still spends most of his spare time at Stratford (where Jean Mortensen lives) in spite of the gas rationing restrictions.

Dave, for some time, has been hopeful of making the grade as President of his sophomore class, but finally lost out. DPG - with Zeke holding ButchHe took his defeat in the sporting spirit. Lately he has been seeing a great deal of Natalie Slawson, at whose house he calls, whenever the parental discipline is a little off guard.

Aunt Betty manages to put in a pretty full day divided up between caring for her flowerbeds, darning socks, washing dishes, cleaning house, etc. She says she is not over doing things but I would rather she took it a little easier.

 

Biss and Butch, 1940

Biss and Butch

Elizabeth, due to gas rationing restrictions, won’t be able to use the car as much as formerly, so probably will not visit us as frequently.

The sewer drain, under the cellar stairs, sprung a leak and backed up in the cellar and I spent as much time as I could spare from dinner chores this morning and after dinner this afternoon, in digging up the ground to find  where the break occurred and trying to fix it, with only partial success.

DAD

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Trumbull – Dear Tripartite (2) – Bits and Pieces of Trumbull News – May, 1942

page 2     5/17/42

ADG - Gas Rationing Card - 1945

 Sample Gas Rationing Card

Well, gas rationing days are over here. Dick, (Paul) Warden and I each obtained a ?-? card but Zeke could only get an A-3, so Elizabeth will not be visiting Trumbull so frequently as of yore.

Red came home this weekend and informs me he was turned down by the Naval Reserves and the Marines, so he, too, will be in the Army. Charley Hall however, he says, made the grade, due presumably to his engineering training. Red’s roommate received some notice asking if you would like to work in Alaska, and immediately Red sent to the same source for a similar application.

"The Good Times" - 1939 Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl Wayne The Red Horse Station

“The Good Times” – 1939
Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl                                         Wayne
                 The Red Horse Station

The Ives and Carl and Ethel (Wayne), are intending to take a trip up to the Adirondacks and get in some fishing. Carl has not decided whether he will try to keep the station going under all the new handicaps, or not.

No words of cheer to the old base last week from either of the three absent sons, so I am much in the position of the radio announcer who keeps on broadcasting without knowing whether his message is getting across to his audience or even whether he has an audience.

My business continues in the doldrums, some weeks the expense of doing business exceeding the income and some just enough over to make me feel it might be worthwhile to hang on until things take a turn for the better. I’ve just got enough tenacity of purpose in my makeup so I don’t easily give up, I guess.

Cora Beach died last week. Mrs. Burr Beach is now running the library. Jimmy Smith has been ill in the hospital but I understand is home again and better. Lad went down to see the New Rochelle relatives just before he left and reports all well.

Enclosed with this note, Ced, old dear, is a birthday card from Aunt Betty, which she asked me to address and send for her. Dick is over getting Dan’s car filled up with gas in the hope and expectation he might come back with Barbara who goes to visit him on the 22nd. Dick just finished and sent in his questionnaire last week and has now received a card to fill in as sort of an occupational guide to enable the Army authorities, I suppose, to fit him in where his experience and training would seem to promise best results. He spends about half his time in Stratford these days, although from now on, the gas rationing may possibly cramp his style a bit.

Lilac Bush

Lilac Bush

This will probably be the last week for the lilacs but the iris are coming along nicely, and is also the grass, particularly after last night’s rain.

The news stream got down to a trickle in the last paragraph with a few drops left for this one and has now ceased entirely as I shall also, with the usual greetings (I shall forbear saying anything about writing soon, as being entirely superfluous). So with best wishes from the home folks, I shall sign off, as usual, from

DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday, Lad’s first letter to Grandpa, telling him of his experiences since saying good-bye to his Dad at the Derby Railroad Station. I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa to the three boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Dear Tripartite (1) – Grandpa’s Rendition of Lad’s Induction into the Army – May, 1942

 

 

Alfred Duryee Guion
(Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn., May 17, 1942

Dear Tripartite:

Spring Bulletin No. 1 – Saw mosquito, sank same.

Yesterday afternoon, my entire remaining army of sappers and Miners (accent on the sap), being awol, I had the alternative of cutting grass or cleaning oil stove burner in the kitchen, and, as it seemed to be threatening rain, I selected the latter job which I finished and then lit the fire. About 10 o’clock it really started to rain, not a little sissy sprinkle but a steady business-like downpour, distinctly audible from where I sat in the kitchen listening to Raymond Grame Swing. The drumming beat of the raindrops continued, accompanied by gurglings as it rushed down the leaders, and to its obligato, I went off to dreamland, being rudely awakened at ten minutes to three by the sound of the Trumbull fire siren, accompanied, a few minutes later, by the arrival of the apparatus itself right in front of our house. Beams of light stabbed the rain and darkness, car after car arrived, smoke drifted in through the window, men shouted outside. My oil burner flashed into mind. Was this history repeating itself? A light appeared under Dave’s door. Light blasted out from Warden’s apartment. A crowd seemed gathering in front of the house all the way from Laufer’s to Pack’s. Dave and I peered out of the windows. There was a light also in the cottage, but Dave finally discerned a ladder up against Pack’s house, which solved the mystery. Apparently they got whatever fire there was under control quickly, and about half an hour later the neighborhood returned to its wonted quiet.

??????????????????????????

Wednesday last, Lad woke me up a little before 5 A. M. and after a hasty breakfast we started off in my car for the w.k. rail road station in Derby, from which I saw my engineer son off to the army camp. This time, however, there was much more of a crowd, the station yard being pretty well crowded with cars. I learned later there were about 80 men in all in the group. A voice said: “May I have your attention for a minute, please”, and then went on to announce that he was the leader of the local draft board, gave them a brief talk, introduced the mayor of Derby, an ex-service man himself, who also gave them a little pep talk. It was then announced that booklets will be distributed to each trainee, and to expedite delivery the two leaders who had been appointed were asked to assist. Mr. so-and-so and Mr. Gwo-yon were asked to step forward. I looked at Lad but he said it was not intended for him as he was not a leader. However, when the booklet was passed out with his name on it, the same pronunciation was given, and when later, Lad went into the station to get his ticket, the girl informed him he had been appointed a leader. His duties were to see that the men were properly entrained, etc. The only way I could figure it out was that probably, in going over Lad’s questionnaire, they noted that he had been in charge of a group of men in Venezuela and had also taken the police training course, both of which would qualify him for the job. As this seemed to indicate he would probably be busy and the absence of a father would relieve him of one additional burden, I said good-by as the train pulled into the station. I have not heard from him since, but the plan was for the boys to go to Hartford for their final physical exam, thence to Camp Devens and parts unknown. Lad did not sell his car. The Buick people would not give him even six hundred dollars for it so it now reposes in the barn awaiting more favorable days.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll finish this letter from Grandpa to Ced, Dan and Lad, all away from home now. Wednesday and Thursday, a letter from Lad to Grandpa with his version of his first week in the Army. I’ll finish the week with another letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (2) – Lad is in the Army

page 2     5/10/42

It’s too bad you boys can’t claim exemption on account of paralysis of your writing fingers. As far as I know secondhand, Dan is too busy planting flowers to write, no word having come from him this week. This could be born with more fortitude if the phone had run last night and a voice said, “this is your son, Dan, at the Bridgeport railroad station”. I must say he is impartial in his neglect as Barbara is considerably burned up about her inability to get letters also.

I did get a postal from a Mrs. Beckwith of Roanoke Rapids, who very kindly wrote what she calls a “keeping -in-touch” card to me telling me she had met Dan, was inviting him to supper and had a son of her own about his age in the Army.

Ced @ 1945          And I seem to have lost my pulling power with you, too, Ced, for in spite of my splendid example of invariably writing to you backsliders once a week, come hell or high water, I can’t seem to get either of you on a weekly schedule. I hope Lad will do better because it will be pretty tough having three boys away and not hearing from any of them regularly. I know it’s tough to have so exacting a father, but that also you can blame on the war. Maybe I’ll stop writing for a month or so and wait for you to ask some questions. It’s too easy having home news sent to you without any effort once a week. Maybe you wouldn’t mind it so much at that, and then where would I be?

And speaking of asking questions, Dick was asking today if Ced wouldn’t write him what the labor situation was at present at the airbase, if they still needed men and was still paying the same salaries. From a few remarks he has dropped I surmise jobs and salaries here do not compare favorably with his Alaskan experience. In your next (?) letter home, Ced, tell us a bit about how you are getting along with your flying, which you haven’t mentioned for months. Was your boss successful in getting a deferment for you? Have you filled out your questionnaire yet?

This week I managed to get three packages off to you which I hope will arrive in time for your birthday. Two of them are from Read’s — not much but just to let you know you are not forgotten. I also sent direct a box of miscellaneous junk. A couple of small items will gladden Rusty’s heart when he is confronted with an overdone batch of apricots cooking on the stove all night. Be sure to let me know when they arrive so I can put in claims for them if they are lost in transit.

Among news briefs are these: A new gray line bus now runs to Trumbull, up Reservoir Avenue, as far as Ray King’s place just beyond the Merritt Parkway. Wardens have a washing machine, his present to her for Mother’s Day. Next month she has to go to the hospital for a minor operation.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Speaking of Mother’s Day (today) Aunt Betty thoughtfully arranged a bunch of lilacs (which are now in bloom) on the dinner table today in memory of your mother. Yesterday at the Town Hall I united a couple in matrimony. Lad is trying to sell his car. He is trying to get $750 for it. He paid $900. On account of tire and gas rationing the market is none too good. If he can’t get $700 for it he will store it for the duration.

The following letter from Grandma: “I have been on the half and half sick list since February 16th. The first two weeks Dorothy had to stay out of school to care for me. It made it pretty hard for her because she wanted to keep up with her studies along with doing the housework. I am feeling much better. My heart was quite bad for a while. You may be surprised to know we are both staying at Kemper’s, who have moved into this lovely large house which they are renting. They are renting their own house. Last Sunday Kemper and Ethel left for Vermont to be gone until next Tuesday. I would like very much to make you a visit and enjoy the lilacs but it may be some time yet before I can and by then the lilacs will be gone. What an experience Ced is having.”

Tomorrow, The Induction Booklet presented to Lad at the Shelton Railroad Station on May 14th, 1942. 

Special Pictures on Saturday and Sunday.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Boys (1) – Lad is in the Army – May, 1942

Trumbull, Conn., May 10, 1942

Dear boys:

Lad is in the Army.

At least that is what he announced after coming back from a trip to New York in which he applied successively but unsuccessfully for enlistment in the Naval Reserves, the Marines and the Coast Guard, failing in each to meet eyesight minimum requirements, so Wednesday he is off for Derby to see what happens.

Well naturally I am sorry for Lad’s sake that he did not get into the branch of the service he felt would interest him most. As I think the whole thing over, I believe I would rather have it the way it is. Speaking from the viewpoint of a parent whose uppermost thought these days is the welfare of his sons, it would seem as though the Army is the best bet.

I reach this conclusion along the following line of thought. As the basic premise, this country is all out to win the war. We must put into this effort everything we have – – both men and materials. However at the present time, the outstanding need and our foremost contribution is, and for some time must be, not so much man as materials – – planes, ships, guns, tanks, ammunition for all the allies, and secondarily men to use such proportion of these war materials as we reserved for ourselves.

But of all the manpower fighting on the side of the Allies I should surmise that the U. S. proportionately would expect to have the least number of men engaged in actual fighting.

The main objectives for victory, in order of their importance, seem to me to be the destruction (1) of Hitler’s Army, (2) the Jap Navy and (3) the Jap Army.

To accomplish the first would seem primarily the job of the Russians, aided by the British flyers, Navy and perhaps later their Army.

Number two seems to be our meat, the brunt of losses falling on our naval and flying forces.

Number three just naturally falls to the lot of the Chinese.

If and when the invasion of the continent is decided upon, and in Australia, Africa and China, our Army will undoubtedly have a part, but on account of geographical location, shortage of shipping and less shortage of manpower among our allies near the scene of conflict, and then of materials, it seems as though demands of our army would be far less than that of our other services such as navel and flying personnel, with consequently smaller losses.

That is the way things look today, and unless the character of the war changes considerably (and I suppose we must expect surprising changes with the world at war), I would expect our losses in manpower to be in the following order: Navy, flying service (both Army and Navy) and Army ground forces. Theoretically, then, the best chance of survival would seem to be with those in the US Army. You can understand therefore why the selfish part of me is glad to have my boys serving in the Army rather than in the Navy or flying forces.

Did you boys listen to Churchill’s inspiring talk this afternoon? As an oratory I think he has our own chief executive beaten to a frazzle.

Tomorrow, page 2 of this letter. I’ll be posting other news and letters about his induction into Uncle Sam’s Best. On Friday, the Induction Booklet, “FALL IN”, given to Lad by the American Legion on the day of his induction, May 14th, 1942 at the Shelton Railroad Station.

Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Far-offs (2) – Local Bits and Pieces – May, 1942

Ced @ 1945

page 2 of 5/3/42

The mail from Alaska this week revealed the fact that Ced, inspired by war customs, has been building up a reserve of letters and launched quite a heavy barrage all at once. Rusty added an epic of humor which caused great grins but had to be suppressed from general perusal by feminine eyes. It was sort of a “low–down” on Ced’s activities and it was quite far down, at that. It will make good reading when Dan next shows up in these here parts. Ced’s letter, containing an interesting installment number two on his rescue expedition, a birthday letter to Lad, and news that these two ex—New Englanders have again moved, forsaking their cabin for more prosaic quarters in town. We were all much relieved to hear from Ced and to know he is O. K. and has nothing new to report armywise, a message to Carl, which has been dutifully delivered, and a comment on improved radio programs complete a very brief summary of his letter. Shoot em’ along as you write ‘em, old scout, and don’t hold out on us for so long a period, please.

Yesterday Lad got notice from his draft board to appear for another physical examination this coming Tuesday and in another envelope, a formal notice to report for duty in the US Army at Derby, Conn., R. R. station on May 15th. If his company succeeds in getting a further deferment for him, as they will probably try to do, it may alter his plans, which are to go to New York soon and find out what he can do about enlisting in the Naval Reserves.

Barbara, I hear, received a letter from Dan, in which he states that if posterity inquires what he was doing to help win the war, they should be told he was planting flowers in front of the Roanoke Rapids Armory.

Mr. Burnham writes he is back in New York again with his old advertising agency. He does not say where he is living or whether the family came back also, but I heard a rumor that he had bought back his old Larchmont Gardens house again.

Among minor items of interest is the fact that Monday, I registered, along with other oldsters, at Center School, the apple blossoms are in full bloom and the lilacs are within a day or two of coming out. Next week I suppose I will have to apply for sugar rationing cards and the week following, gasoline rationing starts. Dick has not got his retreaded tires yet but hopes to do so this week.

Aunt Betty is enclosing a violet,  which she picked herself for you from the cement Terrace flower bed, and with this gentle little thought, I will bring this May Day letter to a close.

DAD

The rest of this week will be devoted to Lad’s entrance into Uncle Sam’s Army.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Far-offs (1) – Homely Facts For Posterity – May, 1942

Camp Trumbull, Conn.

May 3, 1942

Dear Far-offs:

This will probably be what Roger used to call “a quick one”, as it is late, I am tired and besides, there is not much in volume of news to report this weekend.

I am late getting started because this has been a busy day hereabouts. To start at the beginning, yesterday afternoon, after getting lunch and donning my old clothes, I tackled the semi-annual job of cleaning out the incinerator. Lad was working, Dave at the movies and Dick asleep, so I started soloing. The first job was to gather fuel as the darn contraption was full to overflowing, and there being much to burn out, I needed a full supply of wood. So around the yard I goes, with the wheelbarrow, picking up sticks, broken limbs from trees that the winter had treated roughly and in general, cleaning up the yard. Later Paul came out and between us we rigged up the old blower that used to be in the furnace, cut pieces of tin to seal up the front, spliced up wire enough to give sufficient length and for the rest of the afternoon ran a little blast furnace, which with frequent stokings, did a very good job. I kept it going during supper and until about 10:30 P. M. Then I came in and gave the kitchen floor a thorough cleaning – – the first it has had for many moons. I guess Dan did it the last time (how I miss that boy on these days when there is so much to do outside and in, too). This took me until about midnight.

This morning, after getting dinner in process, I started to clean out the cans, melted bottles, burned-out garbage, and as a byproduct, two suffocated rats. Lad and Dick were out horseback riding and Dave had gone to church, and, as I needed baskets to put the rubbish in, and all the baskets were filled with ashes, these had to be emptied. In this Paul helped and David, after coming home from his devotions. I worked away merrily, as the saying goes, until about 2 P. M., came in, took a bath and put dinner on the table. Meantime, Lad and Dick had come home and started to take the lawnmower apart for it’s seasonal cleaning. This took them until about 3:30 when they came in, got washed up and we had dinner. After dinner, Mr. Ives, who is home again from the hospital, offered the use of his trailer to take the 25 or so filled baskets down to the end of the driveway so that the town trucks could pick them up during their annual spring rubbish collection. Lad then cut the grass and returned some empty oil cans we had borrowed some weeks before and I got busy repairing faucets in the bathroom, which were leaking and needed new washers. Thus, tired but with a sense of accomplishment, I turned to the job of setting down these homely facts for posterity to gloat over and let you boys out on the firing line know that we are carrying on as usual.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish this letter. The rest of the week will be devoted to Lad’s entrance into the Army.

Saturday and Sunday, I’ll have more Special Pictures for you.

Judy Guion