Army Life – Dear Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean – Ced too – Serene Texas Life and Civil Service Exam – February 18, 1944

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian Irwin Guion.  (Mrs. Lad)

Wednesday –

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean – Ced, too – ‘cause I imagine he’s there also—

Life in Texas seems very serene these days. Not too much excitement, and Uncle Samuel has been keeping Lad so busy that he hasn’t had time to think, but he has gotten home every night so far, so I’m not complaining in the least – for that is much more than I expected. Don’t know how long this will continue, but just being near enough that I can see him occasionally is all I ask.

Valentine’s Day being our third (month) anniversary, we were going to celebrate, but Uncle Sammy stepped in and decided that Lad should work until 9 PM that evening. However, we did have dinner together, slightly rushed, I will admit. – but that in itself is an occasion! Just think of all the celebrating we are going to be able to do when this is all over!

Dad, we are sending you one of our wedding gifts that we would like to have you put in Lad’s safe deposit box. It is a $25 War Bond, and we don’t want to carry it around with us.

Marian’s Civil Service Notice of Rating, February, 1944

I took the Civil Service exam yesterday, so if I passed the test and they still need office workers, I may be working at the Red River Ordnance Depot. I should know the results the first of next week, so perhaps our next letter will tell whether or not I have a job. Being a lady of leisure has been very nice so far, but with no house to take care of, I’m hoping to be able to work at least part of the time, so that I’ll have something to keep me busy during the day.

I’m going to wait to mail this letter, and also one to Dan, in case Lad gets home early enough to add a few lines to them. He’s had to work every night this week, so far, so I’m not sure whether he will even get home – needless to say – I hope so – .

Love to all

Marian

2/18/44

P.S.   Sorry, Dad, but I better get this in the mail before you think a Texas tornado has done away with the Lad Guions! Received your letter yesterday – we were glad to hear that Ced has been deferred and are waiting in hopes that we will be able to see him before he returns to Alaska. If he left immediately, I guess he couldn’t stop off in Texas, for he would have been here by now, but if he couldn’t get a reservation until later this week, perhaps we will see him after all. Needless to say, we certainly hope so!

Lad has been working so hard he hasn’t had time to think, let alone write letters! Maybe next time – and that roast beef you mentioned had us practically drooling! How we would have loved to be there! In fact we got so hungry that we had a late evening snack. The best Texas had to offer was crackers spread with peanut butter and one lone candy bar! A far cry from delicious roast beef!

Love —

Marian

Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Grandpa to the Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian) mentioning Ced’s  travel plans up until he got on the train and quick updates on the rest of the family.

Judy Guion.

Army Life – Dear Dad and Assembled Members of the Guion Family – Moving Without a Car – January 30, 1944

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

Marian (Irwin) Guion

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Sunday

Dear Dad and assembled members of the Guion family,

I’m afraid that I’ve neglected you this past week – not in my thoughts, however – tho’ very definitely in regards to letter writing.

This business of packing sort of has me stumped. Here to fore,  Mother has always been on hand to forward anything I happened to forget, or take care of the many things I didn’t know what to do with. This time, however, I have to figure it out by myself – and not being able to move in a car is another handicap. Now I have to wrap everything or put it in a box or suitcase instead of just throwing it in the back of the car! It’s been so long since I’ve tried to move without a car that I don’t know how to act.

We were so sorry to hear about Ced. It must be very nice to have him home for a longer time than you expected, but I wish it were under more favorable circumstances. I sincerely hope that everything will work out just the way he wishes.

What a very interesting person Lad’s Grandmother must have been. I wish that I could have met her. Your lives have been just that much richer, haven’t they, by having her with you for as long as she was here.

I also received a very interesting letter from Aunt Elsie last week. She spoke of having been to California some years ago and having liked it very much. I’m looking forward to meeting her, and I hope it will be very soon.

Thank you Aunt Betty for your letter – I am glad the sweater meets with your approval, and Lad is the one who deserves the credit for the right size.

I’m surprised that I can get anything done this week. I’m so excited about finally being able to join Lad that I’m practically in a daze! Did I tell you that he has found a place for us to stay? Not too fancy, but that makes absolutely no difference.

With love to everyone,

Marian

P.S. You see, I took your suggestion about the green ink, Dad. I like it very much.

M

I believe this writing paper was a Christmas gift from Lad to Marian, but Grandpa actually printed it from Lad’s design suggestion.

Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another one from Marian with a note from Lad. Judy Guion

A Tribute to Those Who Served – DUTY – Sending Sons and Daughters Off to War – 1942 – 1946

         Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

On this Memorial Day, I would like to dedicate my post to Alfred Duryee Guion, my Grandfather, who took very seriously his DUTY to send all five of his sons off to make their contribution to the American effort to end World War II. It is also a tribute to those sons, Alfred Peabody, (my Father), Daniel Beck, Cedric Duryee, Richard Peabody and David Peabody. Each of the boys did their duty to their country and served with honor.

Daniel Beck Guion

In January, 1942, his second oldest, Dan, writes from Anchorage, Alaska:

Uncle Sam feels he needs me to save the world for Roosevelt… When I left Anchorage I made several promises to keep the boys posted about how I made out with the Army….I tried valiantly but the Anchorage draft board tried harder, so into the Army I go, perhaps to fertilize some exotic orchid in the jungles of Sumatra, or fill out the lean feathers of some scrawny African buzzard…. saving America, of course, from the Japs, the Huns and the Wops, every one of whom has only one aim in life… to make every U.S. citizen a slave.

Dan, as a Surveyor and Civil Engineer, was in London and Paris before D-Day and was in Normandy shortly after the invasion.

        Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion 

Later that month, my Grandfather writes:

Every week the war gets closer to home. Last Wednesday, Lad received notice of reclassification to A-1 …. And this of course is Dan’s last week home. He leaves Wednesday from Shelton to begin working for Uncle Sam and that, at present, is the extent of our knowledge on the subject.

Four months later he writes:

Last Wednesday, Lad woke me up a little before 5 am and after a hasty breakfast we started off in my car to the railroad 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 filled with cars. I learned later there were about 80 men in the group…We learned that Lad had been appointed a leader and would probably be busy so I said goodbye 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 examination then to Camp Devens and parts unknown.

Lad, a large machine Mechanic, trained mechanics for the Army and eventually was sent to France. Then, on his way to Okinawa, Hiroshima was bombed and his ship was diverted to New York. (This is another story.)

Richard Peabody Guion

The war continued and in February, 1943 in a letter to Lad my 

Grandfather writes:

You will recall, as will Dan also, that early morning trip to the Derby railroad station and my dutifully surrendering into Uncle Sam’s care, my two oldest boys. Well, that performance was repeated again with Dick as the sacrificial lamb. Dick and Dave (the youngest) had both set alarm clocks, heard them go off and immediately went back to sleep. At 10 to five, conscientious Dad, with the matter weighing on his subconscious mind, awoke, roused the two slackers, had a hasty breakfast and started on our way by bright moonlight at about 5:15. We arrived at the station at about 5:45 and most of the boys were already on the train. Unlike your case, Dick had been granted a 9-day leave so after going through the routine at Hartford, he returned last night …and does not have to go to report until next Monday.

Dick served in Santeliza, Brazil, as an interpreter and liaison to the local population.

David Peabody Guion

Dave dropped out of high school after turning 18 and enlisted. In January, 1944, my Grandfather writes:

Dear, Lad, Dan and Dick, It is only the three of you I am writing to today but it won’t be long now before Dave will be added to the list.
Dave goes Saturday, and following my usual custom which has happened as many times now it has almost developed into a habit, I shall deliver my youngest at the well-known railroad station in Derby to swell the ranks of Uncle Sam’s army.

Dave, with a number of skills, including typing, Morse Code and telegraph operator, Radio operator and Signal Corps, was attached to a 4-man unit that travelled and worked together at the Communication Centers, first at Okinawa and then Manila, Philippines.

Cedric Duryee Guion

Although Ced actually missed being drafted by one day (That is another story), he served the military as a civilian. The Army took over the airfield he was working at in Anchorage, Alaska, He was employed as a civilian and  repaired planes, went out to the tundra to repair and bring back downed airplanes and, as a bush pilot, flew supplies all over Alaska.

Grandpa was fortunate that all his sons came home from the War, but today, I honor him, my Father and Uncles, and all the families and their sons and daughters, who served this country to aid in the “War To End All Wars”. Their sacrifices are immeasurable.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (2) – Training Continues – May 17, 1942

Lad’s first letter home to his father and the rest of the family continues with Lad’s detailed training activities at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, where he is part of an Ordnance Battalion.

Lad - 1943

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Wed.

Due to the issue of rifles last night, I did not have time to complete this letter. And it looks as though I may not have time to finish it tonight. We are to have a lecture at 8 PM and that is only a short time distant. If anyone tells you that we are busy, just let it pass as an understatement. Boy, from 5:45 until 9:00, with the exception of about 30 minutes at noon and 1½ hours in the evening, we do not have time to even think for ourselves. To say nothing of heeding “Mother Nature”.

May 23

I was right. I could not finish it, and then, since there was to be an inspection today, we spent all free time yesterday thoroughly cleaning the barracks. Outside and in. Then today for a diet we had drilling all morning, an inspection/review early in the afternoon, a rigid inspection later in the barracks, and then about 40 of us were marched a couple of miles to the infirmary, given two injections, and marched back again. Right now my right arm is so stiff that I have to use only my fingers and wrist to write. And incidentally, I don’t feel too hot. Oh! Yes. – Yesterday we were given our first rifle practice on an indoor range. I didn’t do too bad, but nowhere nearly as well as Dan.

From things that have been said at various places and by various people who should know. – Ordnance work and the Ordnance Department of the US Army rates second to none. Not even the Engineering Corps. Apparently, eight men out of 1000 get far enough to make the necessary qualifications for this department, and then, to make things even better, of those picked men, two out of 1000 get a chance to qualify for an Instructor’s rating and the Officer’s Training Course. I am among the latter few, and that really makes me feel good. I just hope that I can live up to the honor when my chance comes. I believe that if things go for me as they have been planned at present, I will be stationed here at Aberdeen Proving Grounds  (A.P.G.) (NOTE: Lad’s initials – Alfred Peabody Guion) for six months or even for the duration. In any case, Ordnance men are not trained to fight except as a means of self-protection, and the main idea, roughly, is to supply the men on the lines with ammunition, and equipment for fighting. We are the men behind the men on the front. Apparently, I have been picked to act as an instructor in automotive repair and maintenance. Well, so much for Army Life, here. I received your letter O.K., but I’m afraid that it will not be as easy as you seem to think to write regularly for a few weeks anyway. I am busier than the proverbial bee. Time out.

Sunday –

Those injections plus a cold got me. I quit, planning to take a short rest, but the first thing I knew it was just 9 PM and the corporal was saying one minute before lights out, so I didn’t have time to write more.

Breakfast on Sundays is at 7:00 and then I spent the rest of the morning washing clothes and cleaning my equipment in general. Then, immediately after lunch we fell out with rifles and had an inspection of arms. Then, following this, we went on a hike of about 5 or 6 miles, with cartridge belt, first aid kit and leggins. We returned in time for supper and then – here I am.

Quarantine will be up one week from tomorrow night. Then, if I am lucky, I will be able to get a pass for the weekend.

However, in the meantime, I would appreciate very much your sending me 10 clothes hangers. Two of them, steel. It is impossible to get hangers here.

I heard from Babe (Cecelia Mullins, the girl he’s been dating back home) Sat. but have not received any other mail. And speaking of mail, can you give me Dan’s address?

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

How do you like the Ordnance Emblem? The department colors are yellow and crimson. The insignia is a flaming bomb.

In order to shorten the address you may use the abbreviations as shown below: – remember me to everyone and my love to Aunt Betty.

Pvt. ______(me)____

Co B – 1st Bn. – O.R.T.C.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Md.

Love —–

Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home.  

Judy Guion 

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (1) – Trumbull, Connecticut, to Ayer, Massachusetts, to Aberdeen, Maryland – May 18, 1942

This is the first page of 11, a long letter to Grandpa telling him of all of his adventures after leaving Grandpa at the Railroad Station in Shelton/Derby, CT, on May 14, 1942.

APG - First letter to Grandpa from Aberdeen Proving Grounds - May 18, 1942

Pvt. A.P. Guion

Co. B 14 Bn ORTC

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Md.

May 18, 1942

Dear Dad: –

We left Derby on time and stopped at Ansonia. Here a second car was filled, and after a stop at Waterbury the third car was filled and our next stop was Hartford. Here we detrained at a few minutes before nine and walked about 1 ½ blocks to the Induction Center. There were so many of us that the complete inspection was not over until 2:45. The actual inspection per person was not more than 30 or 35 min., if that much. At 3 PM the 88 who had passed the examinations out of 169, were put into a separate car and in a few minutes a train coupled onto the car and we were off. The train stopped nowhere until it got to Worchester, Mass. Here a switch engine hooked onto our car and while the train went on, we were switched back and forth, and ended up on the track going in the opposite direction. Here another train picked us up and again we were off. Our next stop was in Ayer, Mass., where there is no platform of any kind. The tracks run through the backyard of Camp Devens. Here, with our baggage, we were again given a short march and after a little discussion concerning behavior in the camp we were issued raincoats and a barracks bag, another hike to Co. B, 1st Bn., and we were issued blankets. Incidentally, we detrained at Fort Devens at 5:40, 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Then came supper and bed making instructions and we were more than glad to turn in at 9:00.

Friday we rose at 5:45 A.M., policed the barracks and fell out for breakfast. Immediately after that we were taken to Q.M.C. and issued our uniforms. What a system. It takes about four or five minutes from the time you start, stark naked, til you emerge at the other end very well fitted from the skin out, and in six complete uniforms with two complete changes of everything else. Then came an Aptitude test – lunch – and a private interview. Back to the theater to be shown a film on the evil side of sex, a couple of short welcome speeches – supper – a couple of fallout calls to advise some of the men that they were leaving early Sat. morning and then to bed.

Sat – up at 5:45 and out for reveille where 10 fellows and myself were told we would be ready to leave at 7:15. A rush to breakfast, again to the medical section for injections and a vaccination, back again for clothes and we fell out at 7:21 for the trip to wherever it was. We were marched out to the same lot at which we detrained when we first arrived and here we were told to wait for further orders. We waited until 8:30 and then were assembled and marched back to the road again, a distance of a couple of hundred yards and were put onto a truck. By truck we were taken a few miles to Fitchburg where we again waited and at 9:21 a train pulled in. At the rear was a special car and we were loaded into this. By now we numbered 44. A sergeant was in charge. He would give us no information as to where we were going, not even if it were a long trip. However with spirits undaunted, we had a good time. At Greenfield, Mass., we were shunted again and changed direction of travel from west to south. Our next stop was at Springfield where we were put onto a siding and taken into the station for lunch. After lunch we boarded the car again and in a couple of minutes another train backed up and again we were off. We stopped at Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford and Penn Station. We were ordered not to mail anything or make phone calls until we arrived at our destination, so I could not write anything to you. A half hour stop in Penn. Station, while a Penn. Engine was put on in place of the New Haven, during which time we ate a box lunch, and then began a real ride. On the New Haven road we had made good time, and only a few stops, but the track was quite rough and I don’t think we traveled better than 45 or 50 M.P.H. The first stop on the new leg was at Newark and then began a fast non-stop trip. The only times we slowed down below 75 M.P.H. (according to my figuring – the mile posts were going by every 44 or 45 seconds) was when we switched from the local track to the express or vice versa. On this trip we passed two freight trains, two locals and one express. All of them moving. It took about 2 ½ or 3 miles to pass the express, but we did it. Our next stop was Philadelphia, then Wilmington and then Aberdeen. Here, to our surprise, we all got off and were taken by truck, in the rain, to our present location (see the letterhead). We were issued blankets, assigned to barracks and were glad to go to bed even though it was only 9:30.

Sunday we had nothing to do, and also being in quarantine for a two-week period, we could do nothing. I acquainted myself as well as I could with in our limited grounds, about 2000 x 1000 feet, and made a few purchases at the PX (Camp store – Post Exchange) which we are lucky enough to have within grounds and again retired.

Monday began our training and was spent in learning marching fundamentals.

Today, Tuesday, we heard from a few of the Big Shots on the duties of the Ordnance Dept., and this afternoon, more drilling. Just now we are having an inspection of all equipment issued to us. And so will end today. And, believe me, we are all glad to hit the hay at 9:00 P.M. when the lights go out.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter from Lad to his Dad, my Grandpa, all about his first experiences in and with the Army after his induction. Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home: Ced in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic; Dan, being trained as an Army surveyor in Pennsylvania and Lad, who has just been inducted and is at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – Dave’s Induction and a Good Conduct Medal – January 16, 1944

This is the first half of a  long letter Grandpa penned to his sons and daughter-in-law during the first month of 1944. It is filled with Army News.

DPG - Dave in uniform nexct to barn - Dec., 1944 cropped - head and shoulders)

David Peabody Guion, January, 1944

Trumbull, Conn., January 16, 1944

Dear Dave:

Now that you have become eligible for membership in the “Veterans of Foreign Wars”, and this is the first letter you will have received as a rookie from me, it is quite appropriate that this week’s news sheet should be addressed to you alone. With your kind permission, however, we will allow other Guion members of the armed forces and their “appendages” to peak over your shoulder, so to speak, and thus glean what few bits of information they may from this screed.

While we did not receive the expected postal from you up to the last mail Saturday, a little bird whispered that internally you were humming a theme song which had a slight resemblance to the old saw: “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”. But cheer up, all your big brothers went through the same experiences and got over it without any permanent scars. It’s always the beginning that is the most difficult and beginnings never last.

After saying goodbye to you at the Shelton Town Hall Thursday, clutching in your little hands the booklet donated by the American Legion on how to act as a soldier, the little package of cigarettes, chewing gum, etc., we drove down to Bridgeport and Aunt Betty took the bus home. I admit I felt a bit lonesome all by myself in the office but having found from past experience that plunging into work is the best antidote for brooding, I tried a full dose of the remedy and held the enemy at bay, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors. I will say however that we all miss you a great deal and every so often someone says: “I wonder what Dave is doing now?”. (If they only knew, huh?)

Every week over this station we call in our correspondents from distant points. We will now hear from Ordnance in Texas. Come in Texarkana. (Pause) We regret that conditions beyond our control interfere with proper reception, but here is a report as of Jan. 9th.

Lad'swedding photo (2)

            Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) 

Lad opens up with the shot amid ship: “I’m sorry, my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance.” (Which is quite proper as long as you don’t back the old man off the map entirely, Lad. I know you won’t do that and even if you felt like it I don’t think Marian would let you, so there) These faithful daughters-in-law of mine do have such a struggle at times trying to get their new husbands lined up. It’s an awful task, girls, I know. I’ve been at it longer than you, sometimes with fair results but many times with but meager returns. All this, of course by way of an aside, because Lad reassuringly goes on to temper the broadside by adding: “However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense decreased. I still think of all of you constantly but time has been lacking. In fact, I had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week.

On December 18th Lad was given advance notice he was to be shipped out. On the 21st he learned he had to go to Texarkana, Texas, and must be there by December 25th. Some Christmas present! By noon of the 21st he was on his way in the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. He arrived on Christmas Day and until January 3rd worked in getting a group of men ready to start training. If the 23 men under Lad’s charge successfully pass their examination, they are scheduled for overseas sometime in the early summer, but due to the type of work they are trained for, they should always be at least 300 miles from the front.

Lad doesn’t like the weather there at all – snowy, cold and damp. Marian is planning to come out by train about February 1st, and will come to Trumbull with Lad when (?) he gets his furlough.

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick)

Incidentally, just to show up thoughtful, generous minded Jean, just as soon as she learned the above, she immediately said, “When they come they can have my room.”, and as admittedly, hers is the most attractively furnished room in the house, it’s rather significant. And while I am at it, I might as well tell on her some more. Zeke asked Elizabeth to go out with him to some affair last night, but they could find no one to take care of the children, and in spite of the fact that she was not feeling top-notch, Jean packed her little overnight bag and took the double bus journey over to Stratford. I don’t suppose she will like me publishing these facts but I believe these little kindnesses should not go unacknowledged.

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

(We now switch to Southern California where Mrs. A. P. has a message for us.

Marian writes on some new stationary with her initials and address embossed in green, which I sent her at Lad’s suggestion. And now, young lady, stop around at the 5 and 10 on your way back from lunch and pick up a bottle of green fountain pen ink, just to put the finishing touch on this Irish Symphony. Enclosed with her letter were some highly prized photo prints from the Kodachrome slides, showing Marian, Lad, the cake and other members of the wedding party. And there is a promise of more to come later. They were very much appreciated, as you may well surmise. Marian has officially terminated her work with the Camp Fire Girls as of February 1st, and is looking forward to soon being “down in the heart of Texas”, clap, clap or however the song goes. Thanks, Marian, for keeping us so well posted. You’re a great girl, as Lad has remarked once or twice.

APG and MIG wedding pictures -0 cake and table (2)

The Wedding Cake in the Irwin House, where the ceremony and reception were held

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

 Marian (Irwin) Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

  Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

Your announcer for several months past has been able to highlight various items of importance to listeners over this station. In November it was the Guion – Irwin wedding. In December, it was the Alaskan’s return. In January, the youngest son eloped with Uncle Sam’s Army. But that is not all. The month is not finished yet. In fact January has already proven to be a doubleheader and may even become tripodal in character – see Alaska note later. The big news beginning January’s second-half is a broadcast from Brig. Gen. Pleas B. Rogers, U.S.A., Commanding Headquarters, Central Base Section as follows: I quote from the official document received by the proud father during the week-

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Subject: Award of Good Conduct Medal to

Daniel B. Guion

T/5 31041206

Co. A, 660th Engr. Bn.

Dear Mr. Guion:

It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity

(At this point, I believe Grandpa started another sheet of paper, but the carbon paper was reversed, so I don’t have the rest of this letter from Brigadier General Rogers.)

Tomorrow, I’ll post the conclusion to this letter.

If you enjoy reading these stories and adventures of various members of my family, why not share this link with a friend or two? They might find them interesting, also.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Everybody – Lad Arrives in Texarkana, Texas – January 9, 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad and Marian)

As you may remember, Lad received orders to report to Texarkana, Texas, before Christmas and only one month after getting married to Marian in California. They had a quiet and early Christmas just before he left on the 21st. This is his first letter to Grandpa and the Home Guard in Trumbull.

Sun. Noon  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Everybody:-

I’m sorry, but my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian, and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance. However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense, decreased. I still think of all of you, constantly, but time has been very lacking. In fact I’ve had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week. Here is the reason, en todo:-

Lad - 1943

Lad, my Father

On December 18th I was told that I was to go to Texarkana or Flora, Miss. On the 21st I learned definitely that it was Texarkana and that I had to be there by December 25th. Some Xmas present. By noon on the 21st I was on my way via the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. As I wired, I got in on Sat., December 25th and that’s ”B.S.” in the message should have been “By”. The Texarkana W.U. (Western Union) also made a mistake in the one to Marian. Until Jan. 3rd we worked hard getting a group of men ready for basic training, which really amounted to nothing of consequence and we really didn’t need to arrive here until Jan. 2nd. That first week was just a waste of time. Then on the 3rd we started training our men in earnest. From Santa Anita 25 good men were sent here as the parent cadre for the 3019th Co. 142 Bn. We are an engine rebuild company attached to the 142 Bn. which contains two engine rebuild Cos., one powertrain rebuild Co., one Hq & supply Co. and one base depot Co. We will work as a unit, always, the five companies being in close contact at all times and performing 5th echelon or Base Ord. work. I am one of the barracks sergeants and am responsible to see that my 23 privates passed a P.O.E. examination. If they pass, we are scheduled for overseas shipment sometime in June or July, and there seems to be no kidding about that. Due to our type of work we should always be at least 300 miles from the front lines. That, at least, is one consolation. This past week (and I imagine that the next five also) has been the toughest one I’ve spent since my induction in May, 1942. I am teaching these boys (most of them have at least one child, some three or four or five) the same training I received during my first five weeks in the Army. They have all been in the Army less than one month, and all were inducted just a few days before Christmas. I’ll never understand why the Army does some of the things it does. It is very disheartening, and produces a lot of resentment, even in myself.

The weather here is terrible after Southern California. Today is the fourth day of sunshine we’ve seen in over two weeks. It is cold enough to freeze and we had snow for two days. It is impossible to keep warm and well in the cold, wet rain we’ve had here. I’ve got a very slight cold, but other than that and cold feet, I’m well.

Marian is coming out by train, I think, soon after February 1st and will come to Trumbull with me when (?) I get my furlough. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Christmas, naturally, was quite a quiet affair, and the same with New Year’s Eve, and not being able to wire anything I had to use “the best of everything” in my telegram. However, the thoughts to you all were there nonetheless.

I got your gifts, thanks, via Marian and the mail, and was extremely pleased with everything. This is my last sheet of paper until I go to the PX so I’ll quit with the very best wishes for the new year and a sincere desire that your numerous wishes come true.

Lots of love, etc.

Laddie

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad’s Induction Into the U. S. Army – May 14, 1942

For the Greatest Generation, it was an honor and a privilege to serve and defend their country. The following excerpts are taken from a pamphlet called “FALL – IN”,” “Greetings to the men who serve today from your comrades of 1917 and 1918”. It was presented by the American Legion to my father, Lad, on May 14th, 1942, the day he reported for duty.

APG - FALL IN, May 14, 1942  (cover)

APG - Fall In... Induction date, 5.14.1942

APG - FALL IN - May 14, 1942 (Contents)

 WHAT YOU ARE DEFENDING

Life….. Liberty….. Pursuit of Happiness

Right to Hold Property

Brotherhood of Free Peoples….. Equality of Man

The Constitution, Including the Bill of Rights

American Way of Life

THE FOUR FREEDOMS

“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

  1. Freedom of speech and expression
  2. Freedom for everyone to worship according to his own faith
  3. Freedom from want – poverty is a crime today
  4. Freedom from fear – “Sic Semper Tyrannies”

FOREWARD

This booklet could properly be titled, “Letters from a sailor father to his son.” It is a welcome to comradeship from the members of the American Legion to those young men who are now entering upon the greatest experience of their lives. They have become Service Men in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Members of the American Legion, without exception, wore the uniform of the United States with outstanding honor during the great war, now sometimes termed World War I. They were honorably discharged after the emergency but they have never ceased to serve their country. They have displayed great interest in the problems of their country; they have manifested that interest at all times by serving in peace as they served in war.

But now we are at war. Our nation has been attacked. We are starting NOW to build – to build for the preservation of freedom and the homes we love:

Therefore at a time when these forces are being expanded, trained and made ready to defend our beloved country, at any cost necessary, the American Legion greets these men and women who are now defending the same things for which we fought and for which we offered all that we were and all that we hoped to be.

We want to be the Big Brothers, the Pals and the close friends of those young defenders. We want to serve as advisers when they seek advice; it is our desire to attempt to make their road just a little smoother, their great task a little easier, and above all, to make the success of their accomplishment secure.

For these reasons we offer you this information culled from our own memorable experiences of 23 years ago.

(Signature)

Lynn U. Stambaugh

National Commander

THE SERVICE FRATERNITY

You are, or soon will be, a fraternity brother in the oldest fraternity on earth, a fraternity of men who have served their country. There is no closer brotherhood on earth, there never has been.

No one can explain it, no one can define the comradeship that exists among men who have served; it is an active, living brotherhood. Money cannot buy membership; preference finds no place on its rolls. It’s the service that counts. It’s service that pays your initiation and secures your membership. No one can take it away; nothing can take its place.

Your service is your initiation into the fraternity of all serviceman. That initiation may be a bit tough in places but it brings to the surface the fine characters of men; it also shows up the other side in some. It brings everything to the surface. There is nothing hidden during that initiation. We can visualize your experiences. We went through it and therefore we hope that we can make things better for you by giving you a brief outline of what may be ahead for you.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

First, you are an individual worthy to defend liberty and freedom. You have chosen to preserve that for which many have died to obtain and to defend. You are to wear the uniform and the insignia of the grandest organization on earth.

Second, you are now a comrade of every man and woman who has served, or is serving under the flag of United States; of Washington, Jackson, Grant, Lee, Custer, Roosevelt, Pershing, and all the rest. After your service is completed you will find no rank or preference among your comrades.

Third, you are going to have a lot of new experiences, many of which will seem very hard and burdensome as you pass through them but which will appear some time later as interesting and amusing experiences.

Fourth, you are entering upon a new life and it will be somewhat difficult to make adjustments. The service has its regulations and traditions. They are sacred to the service so do not try to change them. They are older than you and each regulation exists for some good reason. Their worth has been proven by experience – and hard experience at that. So accept them as they are and conform yourself to them.

“The service is just what you make it.”

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will begin posting Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Marian Heading to Texarkana, Texas – January 10, 1944

This letter was written only a few days after the last one. Things are moving very quickly for Lad and Marian, thanks to the U. S. Army.

              Marian (Irwin Guion, 1943

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Monday

(January 10, 1944)

Hello Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean –

I am so excited that I don’t know whether or not this is going to be a legible letter – but I know you’ll understand when I tell you that I have my train ticket and am leaving on February 2nd to join Al in Texarkana. Isn’t that wonderful !?! That’s all I’m living for now, practically, and so, of course, time is just dragging by. I’m sure they’ve put some extra days in the month of January, too, this year. I haven’t heard from Lad about a definite place to stay – he just got my letter saying when I was coming so I’ll probably hear about it this week. I don’t care if we have to live in a barn, or park in the Buick! At least I can talk to him, and see that wonderful smile of his, and see him – period. Even though we are so much luckier than so many others, I still miss him terrifically, and I’m practically ready to take off from our highest mountain peak, all by myself! But I wouldn’t leave before I had a chance to see Ced. I am so glad he is planning to stop here on his way north. I’m really looking forward to meeting him very much, Dad, I know I’m going to like him.

And incidentally, Dad, I look forward to those weekly letters of yours as eagerly as Lad does. Believe me, a very nice part of my week would be missing if I didn’t hear from you.

A matter of business, Dad. I have written to the War Dependencies Commission asking them to send my allotment check to you – when it comes will you forward it to us, please? We might be moving quite often so I wanted a permanent address to give them.

My love to all of you,

Marian

By the way, Dad – my husband tells me he sent me this stationery for Christmas – but I know you must have had something to do with it too – anyway, I like it very, very much.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will post more of Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad and Marian’s Plans for Texarkana – January 7, 1944

Just before Christmas Lad was shipped from South Pasadena, California to Texarkana, Texas. Marian plans to follow him as soon as possible.

Blog - 2013.10.31 - Lad and Marian's Army Life - Wedding Pictures - Jan., 1944

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Friday –

1/7/44

Dear Dad –

As you can see, my stationery arrived and I can’t start using it soon enough. I think it is darling, Dad – thank you so very much.

Alfred Peabody Guion and Marian (Irwin) Guion on their wedding day, November 14, 1943 (Marian is wearing a dark green outfit). This is taken in the back yard of Marian’s parent’s home, where the reception was held.

I’m enclosing some of the pictures we took on the day of our wedding. These were printed from Kodachrome colored slides – that’s why there is such a definite contrast of black and white – but it will give you a little idea of how we looked on that very momentous occasion. (I have never seen a black and white picture of their wedding so I have no idea where these pictures are.) All the pictures haven’t gotten back from the printers yet. We have some of Mom and Dad with us that I’d like you to see. As soon as we get them I’ll send them to you –

Lad forwarded one of your letters to me this week, Dad. In it you mentioned that Ced was planning to go back via Los Angeles so that he could stop by and see us. Is he still planning to do so? Lad isn’t here, of course, but I’d love to have Ced stop by and say “hello” anyway. We don’t have a phone here at our house. Our landlady could take any message however, she lives right in front of us – Sycamore 9 – 5588 or my office phone is Sycamore 9 – 1333, if Ced wants to phone. I’d love to hear from him.

We had a Board meeting Thursday night and I asked to be released from my contract. They were simply swell about it so I am leaving Camp Fire Girls on February 1st. I don’t mind in the least. My main objective is to get to Lad just as soon as I possibly can – ‘cause I’m sort of lost without him, Dad. A very important person in my life just isn’t here so I don’t like it here anymore!

I enjoy your letters so much Dad. I’m almost certain I know every one of you. My love and best wishes to everyone –

As always,

Marian

Tomorrow, another letter from Marian to the family in Trumbull.  

Judy Guion