Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (2) – News From France – September 23, 1945

This is the second portion of this letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Jean and Dick Guion

Oh Kay, Jeannie, old kid, we’ll do that little thing. And while I think of it, Dick, your insurance premium notice arrived the other day. Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I shall take care of it by my check in the regular way before it comes due. You’ll be interested, Jean, to know I received a nice letter from Marge (Mrs. Ted Southworth) the other day announcing their safe arrival at “Crosswinds, RFD West Sand Lake, N.Y.”. She says: “We want you to know we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Trumbull under the Guion roof and thank you for putting up with us. Ted has already started classes at R.I.P. (I believe Grandpa meant to type R.P.I, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY) in Troy  and finds it a little strange to be a student again. We will be living with Ted’s folks for a while as there is not much hope of finding anything in Troy at present. We have sort of a private apartment with “kitchen privileges”. I haven’t found any gainful employment yet but am working on it. I hope it won’t be too long before all the members of the Guion family will be together again. We certainly enjoyed reading their letters and meeting Lad. “Spintail” was overjoyed to see us again and is leading a very happy life here on the farm, free from strange dogs to fight with. He gets his exercise by chasing rabbits and woodchucks.”

Alaska was silent this week but I haven’t forgotten that threat: “Some time I may drop in unexpectedly at your office”, after landing, I suppose, in a Piper or something that he has just acquired, and hitchhiking in from the Stratford airport. Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream!

And now let’s turn the spotlight on the French theater of action. A Sept. 13th letter arrived on the 20th (regular mail, it says here) and one dated the 5th arrived on the 22nd. The composite result is somewhat as follows: The whole Senechal family is spending a few days in Drancy. They asked me to send their best regards to you all – – especially to Lad who, they know, is home at last. I no longer expect to be home this year.

(Comment. This is a bitter disappointment to me Dan, as you must realize, and I am not giving up without a struggle. I want to see my son – – I want very much to know my new daughter and I had very much hoped my little grandchild would open his little eyes first in good old Connecticut. Having stated that with all the sincerity and fervor of which I am capable, I must add that no matter how strong my wishes, or yours, Dan, might be, it is, after all, Paulette’s wishes that must, under the circumstances, come first. I can understand she might want to have her baby born among familiar surroundings rather than in a foreign country, yet I wonder if judging from the economic conditions in both countries, she wouldn’t be better off from every other standpoint if she were here. As for getting home, I understand the airlines have already started transatlantic service, and I imagine the fare is not out of reason. I am also going to make inquiries as to the resumption of steamship service. I understand some of the liners have already been returned by the Government to the steamship companies and regular service will soon be resumed.)

But to go on with the quotation. “The explanation is somewhat involved. “Chiche”, being pregnant, cannot travel by government transport until three months after the birth of the child, unless she leaves before her pregnancy has advanced more than four months. But with shipping as crowded as it is these days, even assuming that her visa could be hastened by political pressure from you back home, the chances are remote that the Army could find room for her before next year. She is expecting the child in April or May. Thus she will not be eligible for travel by government transport until July or August, 1946!

(Comment. I should hate to rely on any governmental pressure I could exert these days with all the red tape that would be necessary, although I would not hesitate to try, but I should think the best thing would be to forget the Army transport method and make it as a civilian, and that, as soon as you can be discharged, and she can find accommodations. And don’t let the expense deter you, because this is important enough to transcend any consideration of this sort just as long, at least, as you have a Dad to fall back on.)

Tomorrow, the final section of this letter with more information from France. Thursday and Friday I’ll post a Birthday letter to Dave from his Dad.

Judy Guion

Dear Reader – The End of an Era (5) – Memorable Event (2) – Dick and Jean’s Wedding Activities – February 14, 1943

With six married children, it is unusual that Grandpa was present for only three weddings. Three marriages took place during World War II, and Dick’s was the first. Lad and Marian Irwin were married in California on November 14th, 1943 and Dan and Paulette Von Laere were married in Calais, France on July 17, 1945. Grandpa had the privilege of performing this first one as the Justice of the Peace. Below is his account of the event in a letter to his other sons away from home.

Dick and Jean (Mortensen) Guion on Christmas Day, 1947.

Trumbull, Conn., St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th, 1943

To my three still unwed sons:

Well, things have been happening so thick and fast this week that I scarcely know where to begin, although the one big item of news crowds the others into insignificance.

Dick is now in the Army. His notice came through Thursday telling him to report at the well-known Derby R.R. station at 5:30 next Saturday for induction. And now for the big news. Dick is married. I tied the knot personally this afternoon, so I know. It seems that after receiving his induction notice, he and Jean talked the situation over and on Friday they announced they intended to get married at once. So Saturday, Dick got the license from Helen Plumb, obtained the waiver of the customary 10-day notice and blood test from the Judge of Probate, set this afternoon between four and five for the deed, and in the living room, in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Mortensen (Jean’s parents), Mr. and Mrs. (Red) Sirene, Aunt Betty (Duryee), Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) and Aunt Anne, ((Peabody) Stanley) I exercised the right conferred upon me by the State of Conn., and as Justice of the Peace, pronounced them man and wife. The whole thing was arranged and completed in so short a space of time that no opportunity was given to make any but the most hasty arrangements, although I did telegraph Dan, thinking he might be able to get the necessary leave, and also phoned Aunt Elsie, asking her to let Dorothy know. Dan wired back his congratulations to Dick in lieu of personally being present and Aunt Elsie was unable to make arrangements to get away.

Today, as you can imagine, was a busy one. After preparing a chicken dinner held in the dining room, adorned with flowers and suitable St. Valentine’s Day decorations, Katherine Warden took over the arrangements for the reception refreshments held in the dining room at which were present, besides those witnessing the ceremony (I forgot to include Biss above) Dave, Zeke, Paul and Katherine (Warden, renters of the small apartment), Jean’s sister and aunt, grandmother and grandfather, Carl (Wayne) and Ethel and Flora (Bushey), Red (Sirene), Barbara (Plumb), Jane (Mantle), (Paul and Zeke, in the course of the celebration, imbibed freely and at the end, were in “high spirits”). The girls had the dining room attractively decorated and, with chairs filched from various parts of the house and the Wardens, we all sat around in a large circle and enjoyed a light upper. Carl and Paul had obtained a big box labeled “Extra Heavy Duty Rubber” and in this they packed an extra large white baloney shaped object together with a tube of salve which they handed to the bride and groom just before they left for the train and insisted upon its being opened in the presence of all. Jean’s face got red and she retired but Dick stood and faced the music without batting an eyebrow.

Dick, Jean, Dave and I went down to the station in my car and two other carloads went along. During the five or ten minute wait for the train in the packed depot, the usual rice throwing took place and a placard reading “Just Married”, at the last minute was tucked under Jean’s arm. The poor girl was evidently so taken up with the excitement of the moment that she never noticed it and walked through the train in search of a seat with the sign still under her arm, both ends projecting out.

Tomorrow, another post about the End of an Era at the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (4) – News From Jean in Brazil – September 16, 1945

This is another portion of a 4-page letter from Grandpa, informing the rest of the family about the lives of Dick and Jean.

Jean Mortensen Guion - Christmas, 1947

        Jean (Mortensen) Guion

And Jean, who is probably the American belle of Brazil, writes: “Did you think we had forgotten all about you? We haven’t, honestly. Just that we’ve been so busy fixing up our house and keeping up with all the social obligations that I haven’t had a chance to write. We are quite popular, you know! We spent quite a lot of time out at the base —  it’s more of a necessity than a desire. We haven’t a refrigerator yet so we can’t keep food for any length of time. Once in a while though, we get a few cans of vegetables and a can of meat and come home for dinner. It is a little hard cooking, tho, because we have only a small gasoline stove, but it’s fun. Dick usually goes to the base at 7 and I get a ride in at 11. This gives me a chance to do a few of the necessary things around the house. I spend every afternoon sitting at Dick’s desk knitting or talking to some of the Brazilians. They’re trying just about as hard as Dick is to teach me Portuguese. I’m afraid I’m a hopeless case but I’m trying anyway. All the Brazilians I’ve met so far seem to be very nice — they go out of their way to do things for us. Being here with Dick is almost as good as civilian life. I see him practically all day during the week. He gets off at 4:30 and doesn’t have to report back until eight the next morning. Sunday is his day off. It’s really wonderful. We’ve been out almost every night — most of the time we stay at the base and see the movies or go to N.C.O. club where they have an outdoor dance floor. It is wonderful dancing under the stars. I’ve learned the Samba and the March. They’re lots of fun. The Polish couple that Dick mentioned in one of his letters lives a block away from us so we see quite a lot of them. They both speak English so it’s a lot more enjoyable for me being with them. One night we visited a Brazilian family. The man spoke English but his wife didn’t, so we sat and smiled at each other all evening. This same man took us to the Club last night — quite an affair. The Brazilian General and the American Consul were there. There were five

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American officers but Dick was the only enlisted man who was invited — that made him feel pretty good. Tomorrow night the enlisted men are giving a Labor Day dance at one of the Brazilian Clubs, where there is a beautiful tile swimming pool. There will be a swimming meet during the dance — it should be fun. I’ll probably be the only American girl there because the only other wives who are here are officers wives and that’s only two. I’m sort of getting used to being the only American. I felt uncomfortable at first with everyone staring at me. They still stare but I don’t mind it so much. The people in Portaleza are pretty poor and about 40% or more of them are illiterate. They can’t even sign their names. The school problem here is really bad. They have to pay for both grammar and high school. Most families can’t afford it so the children just don’t go. Three-quarters of the people are suffering from mal-nutrition. Before I got here I was under the impression that the cost of living was very low but it isn’t. Food, clothing and everything else is very high. Most of the people don’t even wear shoes and if they do, they’re just a scuff made of cheap leather or wood with a piece of material over the toes to hold it on. I get the creeps every time I go downtown and see the conditions that exist here. The Government does nothing at all for the poor people –if they can’t get work that pays them enough to live, they die in the streets. Out where we live tho, all the rich people have homes. It’s really a very pretty section. Our house isn’t one of the finest but it’s quite nice. We’re going to try to get some pictures of it soon and when we do, will send some to you. The weather is ideal –there’s always a strong breeze from the water. We live about a mile from the beach. Received your weekly letter the other day. Now I know how much that letter means to the boys. It made me feel a little closer to home. Dick gave me a beautiful Ronson cigarette lighter the day I got here. It has my monogram on it –JMG — pretty snazzy. Love to all. Jean.

Tomorrow I will end the week wit Grandpa’s final comments to his sons, scattered around the world..

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – A Letter From Marian And Lad – November 1, 1944

MIG - letter to Grandpa - Thanks for the $35., Nov., 1944

Wednesday

Jackson   11/1

Dear Dad,

What a peach you are to send the $35.00 so speedily, without any question. We thought that we could wait here until our first government check arrived but Uncle Sam began rushing things too much. Today (Nov. 1st) is the dead-line as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. All the wives are supposed to have gone home, and no more private cars on the Post. But Lad took the car today, anyway. He’s going to park it outside the gate, so that I can pick it up if he gets restricted. He called me this noon to say that he thought he would be able to get out tonight.

Just to be on the safe side however, we packed the trailer last night, so that it will only take me a few minutes to put the last minute things into the car and be on my way home.

Incidentally, Dad, I’m really looking forward to living there at Trumbull. It seems to me to be the best place of all, other than actually being with Lad, and think of the extra nice company I’ll have. Your comments and P.S.’s in your recent letters have made me feel that I’m really coming home, so that this doggone separation has one bright side, anyway.

I’m leaving here tomorrow or Friday, at the very latest. When Lad comes home tonight, he’ll know a little more about their coming restriction, I think, so that he’ll have an idea whether or not he will be able to get home tomorrow night. If he can, I’ll stay until Friday, but I’m pretty certain I’ll leave then. So if everything goes according to schedule, I should be home sometime Sunday, probably late in the evening.

APG - letter to Grandpa - Nov., 1944

Dad: –

Marian has told you just about everything it is possible to tell, so far. I don’t know anything further about tomorrow night than I knew last night. It is quite disconcerting to say the least to have to make plans when everything is so unsettled, but I can’t get anything definite concerning just what we are going to do. That, I guess, will have to wait until it happens.

Marian is a wonderful girl, Dad, so please take care of her for me. My happiness, and practically my life, is wrapped up in her. I know you will, tho’, even without my asking. Incidentally, her birthday (29th) is Nov. 11.

I get up at 0400 and packing the trailer last night kept me up until almost 2300 last night, so I’m so sleepy I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I’m “gonna quit” here, and as they say in Mississippi – hurry back and see us.

Lad

From the looks of things it might be later than Sunday before I arrive. Lad wants me to stay as long as possible – and I want to, too. However, it would make it easier for him, I think, if he knew that I had arrived home safely, so I just don’t know. The best I can do, I guess, is to say, “Look for me when you see me.” It won’t be very long before I’m there – Love from Marian and Lad

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Lad, letting Grandpa know a little more.

Judy Guion

Army Life – A Telegram And A V-Mail From Lad – October 31, 1944

APG - telegram asking for $35 traveling money for Marian -Oct.,  1944

A D GUION

FONE BPT4-2928 DANIELS FARM ROAD, TRUMBULL, CONN=

HOLD CHECK FOR MARIAN CAN YOU WIRE $35.00 IMMEDIATELY TO MARIAN I GUION 303 LONGINO JACKSON MISS FOR TRIP TO TRUMBULL DEPARTURE THIRD=

LAD MARIAN

APG - V-mail giving new address - writing to Marian only - Nov. 1944

In using the cable address just put my name and the code address. That’s all. As you have probably realized, I’m writing to Marian only and relying on her to keep you all at home, posted. I hope she is doing a good job. I also hope she is not in the way there or is not unhappier then she need be. I’ve not gotten any letters yet due to moving too fast. Laddie

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from both Marian and Lad, letting Grandpa know a little more. Then another letter from Lad and one from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chillens (1) – All’s Right With The World – September 9, 1945

This week I will be posting letters written in the fall of 1945. Lad has come home from France, Dan has married a French girl in Calais, France, Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, Jean has travelled to Santaliza, Brazil, to be with her husband, Dick and Dave is in Manila, Philippines).

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 9, 1945.

Dear Chillens:

Following its prescribed course, my faithful hay fever reaches its climax right about now and, while I don’t think it has been quite so violent as in some years past, it still causes that feeling of low energy, peevishness and impatience, so that the effort to write this letter even, assumes unpleasant proportions.

Elizabeth, Zeke and the children came over to dinner today as sort of a pre-birthday celebration, and beside the birthday cake, made with Marian’s fair hands, I was also presented with a much needed white shirt and an equally desired union suits, with also the usual steel engravings of George Washington (Aunt Betty always gives a dollar bill in her birthday cards) accompanied by appropriate card from Aunt Betty. During the week I received a box of Brazilian cigars from guess who, and this, with the box of cigars Lad brought me, will keep me in smokes for a while.

Five or six separate communications from the Dan B. Guion’s during the week sort of makes up for lost time and Dave also makes our Quotes Dept. take on new life.

First a letter dated Aug. 2nd, from Ghent, Belgium, reads: At last a short note from your French relatives. I suppose Lad has already informed you of the Big Day. I did not write sooner because there is no APO in Calais and I saw no official Americans for over three weeks. But the honeymoon is over and I am on my way back to Paris via Ghent. (There is more superseded by later letters)

Aug. 13th. I arrived here in Drancy on Aug. 3rd. Chiche tentatively had decided to come on Aug. 4th, but when I visited her relatives here in Drancy, I found she had wired she would come on the 6th. But alas, they had no room for her because several other members of the family had come there for the marriage of Paulette’s cousin. Friends in Drancy, however, with prodigal generosity, offered me all the facilities of their house for as long as we wished. So we wired Paulette to come. Paulette arrived in Paris about 3:30 and wired for me to meet her. The message went astray through a misunderstanding here at the barracks, and after waiting four hours in Paris, decided to come to Drancy. We finally got together shortly after 8 P.M. Chiche was rather upset to learn she could not stay with her relatives, and to make matters worse, the acting Co. Commander (the same officer who had sent me back to Drancy from Calais last April against my wishes) told me that I could not stay overnight with my wife more than one night per week. “Regulations,” he said. I thought he might offer to try to make a dispensation but he said no more. I thanked him and left his office. Later that day I happened to meet Maj. Minor, who is a high official in the Battalion. I presented my problem to him and immediately he offered to help me, saying he was quite certain it could be arranged. So back I went to the acting C.O. to apologize for having “gone over his head”. Far from forgiving me, he was furious. His face became flushed, his fingers beat a tattoo on the table. “I don’t like it” he growled, “but if the Major says it’s all right, there’s nothing more I can do about it.” So now, no menacing clouds remain to obscure promising horizons. I stay each night with Chiche. A new commanding officer has taken charge. The war is collapsing. “All’s right with the world.”

Tomorrow, more news of Dan and Paulette (Chiche) from this letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Gentle Readers (2) – News From Jean in Brazil – August 20, 1945

jean-on-lawn-1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)

However a letter from Jean reveals that she was practically on her way when the peace news came through. Maybe this would be a great time to quote her letter:

“Surprise, I’m here. Arrived at one (noon) on the 16th.  Dick didn’t know I was due that day so he didn’t meet me. They had quite a job locating him but when his assistant found him and told him I was here all he could say was, “Are you kidding?” He was quite worried because the officer here told him that all the wives orders had been canceled because of the end of the war. He was sure I wouldn’t be able to come. I wasn’t supposed to leave Miami until Thursday, but when I checked in to

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the Army hotel Tuesday morning, they started rushing me through briefing classes and my last typhoid shot. They told me late in the afternoon that I would be leaving about 6:30 that night. We were out at the airport at seven when the news of the Jap surrender was announced. We took off at eight in a C-47–the same one they flew Gen. Mark Clark back to the US in. We were very lucky to get such a nice one, as most of the planes were just plain transport ships with bucket seats and very uncomfortable. There were seven girls, one child and myself, +5 crew members. Our first stop was Puerto Rico, 2:30 A.M. Wednesday. They gave us breakfast and we sat around in the post lounge waiting for a minor repair to be made until 4:30 A.M. We flew until noon when we stopped at British Guiana. There we were treated like Queens–met us in the staff cars, took us to a restroom to get cleaned up, then to the officer’s mess hall for lunch and from there to a cottage where we took showers and slept until 6 PM, then dinner, after which two officers took us to the officers club for a highball. We took off at eight P. M. Our next stop was at Belem, Brazil, at four A.M. Thursday. After breakfast we took off again, arriving at Natal at 10:45 A.M. Everyone but me and the crew got off—I was the only passenger back to Forteleza.

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion

Dick couldn’t get the house he wanted but he got a cute place in a very nice section, about the same size as the other place, four rooms, bath and a separate servants home on the side. So, we have a garden. Dick is having the yard all fixed up. The man starts work at seven A. M. And works until about 4:34 P.M. for $.50 a day. Can you imagine working in the hot sun for that? I can’t either. It is spring here now. I don’t know what the temperature is but it’s just comfortable and there is always a strong breeze. Dick looks wonderful. He says he’s lost some weight the past week, though, worrying about me and trying to get the house cleaned up. He even bought a table cover for our dining room table.”

Dick adds a  P. S. “I want to thank you for having taken such good care of Jean, Dad. I’m happier now than I have been since I was drafted. I don’t mean to insinuate that I was happy they drafted me. She’s the difference between existing and living. My love to all. Dick”.

So we see that maybe if Jean had been a few hours later in getting started, orders might have come through for cancellation. Incidentally, this might cause Lad to revise his opinion that allowing the wives to go down probably means Dick will be there for some time yet. Would like to know what the prospects are as they look to you down there, Dick. Do take some snapshots of the house and send them home as we are all eager to see what the Guion Brazilian home looks like.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the rest of this letter.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad Sends A V-Mail To Dan – July 20, 1945

Lad sent this V-Mail to Dan five days after Dan and Paulette’s wedding in Calais, France.  Lad returned to his Base in southern France and discovered that the Battalion had left without him.  More on this story later.

Army Life - Lad Send A V-Mail to Dan - July 20, 1945

S. France – July 20, 1945

Dear Dan: –

While I was gone it happened and I’m part of the rear detachment, so you had better not plan to try to see me.  I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do about it.  Better luck next time.  Will probably see you after this is all over.  Had no trouble getting back at all.

I think Paulette is swell, and I really had a lot of fun even if it was a little bit hectic.

Hope you get a chance to go home before long and that Paulette can follow you soon.  I think she’ll be able to adjust herself in a few months, but will probably miss France for quite a long time.  She will be well liked at Trumbull, anyhow, I know.

If you get a chance will you drop Marian a line?  She’d be interested in knowing about Al’s plans, at least as much as you know.

Give my love to “Chiche” when you see her and I’ll be seeing you both sometime soon.  Be careful.  Lad

This is the last communication from lad.  The next letter I have in sequence is a letter dated September 2nd from Grandpa addressed “Dear Benedicts and Bachelors”. During this time frame Lad came home to Trumbull.  There is no letter explaining how this happened so I’m going to let Lad  tell you in his own words, which I recorded on one of my trips to California.

LAD – Dan and I were both in France in 1945.  I had been corresponding with Dan and I knew he was going to be married on a particular day, I’ve forgotten what it was, I think it was in mid-summer.  I talked my Captain into a three-day pass but it was limited to Paris.  That was as far as I should go.  So I went to Paris and checked into the (Hospitality) Hotel.  I left my duffel bag there and put a little sack in my pocket with a toothbrush and that’s about it, I guess, maybe a comb, too.  I decided to try to get to Calais (where Dan was to be married).  I didn’t know how far it was, maybe 50 or 60 miles from Paris, north of Paris, up on the coast.  I got a ticket on a train and the train went about 5 or 6 mph  for about 10 or 15 minutes, then it stopped.  It stood there for a long, long time, then it went a little further and it stopped again.  I was noticing that cars kept going by so I got off the train and hitchhiked.  I beat the train by a day.  I didn’t have much trouble hitchhiking.  An English soldier came along on a motorbike and asked me where I wanted to go.  I told him Calais.  He said, “That’s not far.  I’ll take you up there.”  So that’s how I made the last two thirds of the trip to Calais.  I had no trouble finding the house; it was Chiche’s mother’s house, her mother and father’s house.  He was a pharmacist.  It was fairly late in the afternoon when I got there.  I stayed the night and the wedding was the next day. The third day, my pass was up but I didn’t hurry to get back.  I went back to Paris on the train, and this time, it went pretty well.  I grabbed all of my equipment out of the Hospitality Hotel and checked out.  I took the usual bus to go from Paris to Marseille, but by this time, I was one day over my pass.  When I got back to camp there was nothing there, just damaged grass and fields.  Everything was gone!  I finally found an officer who was walking around and asked him what had happened.  He said that everybody had shipped out, Saturday, I guess it was, or Sunday.  I told him my name and he said, “Oh, yeah.  They tried to get a hold of you but the Hotel said they couldn’t find you.”  So he told me where to go and what to do.  I went to the location he told me about and they knew all about me.  There was another fellow there, Bob Marks.  I was with the 3019th and he was with the 3020th.  He had been left behind to gather all the equipment.  I said, “That’s what I’m supposed to do.”  So Bob and I got together and found our equipment, we both belonged to the 149th Battalion.  We got all the equipment rounded up, got it to the dock and finally were able to get a ship that would take it to Okinawa.  I think it took us close to a week to get everything ready and get aboard.  We started out but when we were about 200 miles from the Panama Canal, the word on the PA system was that the US had dropped a bomb on Hiroshima.  We got the message in the afternoon, and the next morning the ship turned around, went back out to the Atlantic and up the coast to New York.  After I returned to New York I was stationed at Fort Dix.  I didn’t know how many months, a couple or three months.  They didn’t know what to do with me.  I went home every weekend and came back on Monday.  Finally they said to me, “We don’t know what to do with you so you might as well go home and get discharged.”  So that’s what finally happened.

For the rest of the week I will be posting Grandpa’s letters to the Benedicts and Batchelder’s.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (127) Dear Gang – April 9, 1946

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

Manila, P.I.

April 9, 1946

Rec’d. 4/16/46

Dear Gang –

Yep, still here.  Rumors still say we are to leave here April 13 – but the Gen. Heinzelman still hasn’t arrived.  I have three letters here which I shall answer.  The first is one written on Feb. 6 and send to Dan by mistake.  As this is all about the office, I’ll wait till I get home before I answer it.  I was glad to get a report on how things are shaping up, though.  The second was written on St. Patrick’s Day.  It contained little news but was nevertheless important.  A letter is a letter – even if it’s a short one.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves in New York with the Stanley’s.  Wish I’d been there.

This third letter quotes a letter of mine in which I tell of being relieved of duty.  This one, I presume, is to be the last I received.  It was written March 24 and said that you are sending a copy to Aunt Dorothy in case I didn’t get it here.  By the way, thank you for Aunt Dorothy’s new address.  She sure does get around.  I probably wouldn’t have been able to find her if I hadn’t gotten this letter.  This brings me to your predictions on my arrival date in Trumbull.  The day before I received your letter, I set a date in my mind – a goal so to speak.  Figuring on leaving here Saturday (the 13th), and taking seventeen days across the Pacific (April 30), seven days across the country (May 7), three days in Fort Devens (the 10th) and one day to get home (May 11 – say 3:30 or 4:oo P.M.), my guess would be the same day as Lad’s.  The only trouble is that with this plan I’m allowing no time for the inevitable delays in Army transportation.  I’m figuring on no time in Calif. And I don’t think seven days ‘cross country is particularly slow for an Army troop train.  If I leave Saturday, though, I most certainly should be home sometime during the week of May 12 to 18.

My thanks to Lad for any and all work done at the office. I know you’ve been up to your neck, Dad, and I guess you had real need for the help.  Anything Lad does now will make it easier for me, too – so “Thanks, again, Lad.”

It looks to me as if Dan is having as much trouble getting to England as I am having trying to find a ship with my bunk on it.  I hope Dan’s nerves aren’t taking the beating mine are.  I’ll have had three weeks in the Depot next Saturday.  The usual wait is three to five days.  And to top it all off there’s no shoulder to cry on.

Guess this does it for this time.  When I get definite news that I’m leaving Saturday I may not have time to write – but I’ll try to say something even if it’s just – “I’m leaving”.  So – “till we meet again” –

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in nineteen forty-five.  On Monday I’ll post a quick V-Mail from Lad to Dan.  The rest of the week will be devoted to a five-page letter from Grandpa to Benedicts and Bachelors. Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (126) – Dear Dad – Neglecting to Write – April 5, 1946

My Uncle Dave is getting impatient to get back to Trumbull.  This letter explains his frustration.

World War II Army Adventure (126) Dear Dad - Neglecting to Write - April 5, 1946

Manila, P.I.

April 5, 1946

Rec’d. Apr. 15

Dear Dad –

I’m truly sorry for neglecting to write at such an important time.  I left for the Depot on schedule just as I wrote.   But there wasn’t room for me on the boats that were here at the time.  I’ve been waiting at the Depot ever since.  As things stand now, I will leave here sometime around the middle of the month, getting into Frisco the first week in May.  I should be home around the middle of May.

The ship I’ll probably sail on is the General Heinzelman.  It’s arrival in Manila and it’s estimated time of arrival in the states is not yet definitely known because of storms in the Pacific.  But you can be pretty sure of seeing me is sometime between the fifteenth and twentieth of May.

I am well and unhappy – this business of waiting three weeks for a ship isn’t easy.

Don’t be surprised if I’m a little thin when I get home – hot weather never did agree with me, and I had fourteen straight months of it.  But it’s nothing that a little of your cooking won’t fix up in a short time.

See you soon –

Dave

P.S. Written in a hurry – hope you can read it.

Tomorrow I will be posting another letter from Dave to the Gang in Trumbull. 

Judy Guion