Army Life – Dear Dad, Aunt Betty, Dave, Dick, etc. – Lad Is Now An Acting Corporal – August 16, 1942

APG - APG at D_____ ______ a_____, 25 June, 1945

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

APG - Lad to Grandpa - Acting Corporal - Aug., 1942

Aug. 16, ‘42

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty, Dave, Dick, etc.: –

I am now  Acting Corporal, so address my letters as such in the future. It happened this way. Yesterday, being Saturday, we had our usual review and inspection. That was finished about 11:00 A.M. and we were told to turn in our equipment as soon as possible and have our bags ready for transferring at 1:00 P.M. (1300 o’clock). At 1300, we fell out and were assigned to various of the Technical or Basic camps or Battalions. I was assigned to Co. C., 2nd Battalion. I got there with my duffel about 1400. It was only about five or six blocks so I made two trips. I reported to the 1st Sergeant and was assigned to the 4th Platoon and he told me to get my corporal stripes. So that is how it is. Since I arrived here after 1200 on Sat., the Co. clerk had left and I could not have a new pass made out, so I can’t leave the post until Monday, anyway, when the clerk will be able to type one for me. As to next weekend, I can’t say definitely as yet. I’ll try to let you know by Sat.

My car registration is in the little pocket below the dashboard at the right of the front seat. If those ration books are definitely marked as to when or what date each coupon is good for, will you please use the coupon yourself or put the gasoline in my car?

We have had rain every day this week and I don’t think this afternoon will be an exception. My love to all –


Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad Learns To Drive A Tank – August 12, 1942

Dan went into the Army in January of 1942 and Lad went in on May 15th, five months later. They are both receiving additional training beyond Basic. Dan is in North Carolina and Lad is at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland. Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, maintaining airplanes for Woodley Airways.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Aug. 12, 1942

Dear Dad: –

Got back to Aberdeen with no mishaps except that I had to walk from the station to Camp. There were so many men desiring to get into Camp that I thought it advisable to rely on me instead of taxis and I’m glad I did. Some of the fellows didn’t get back here until after 5:30, A. M.

Monday passed as usual, but yesterday, after supper, I went back to the shops and applied for extra training. So last night I learned to drive a light tank. Sometime in the future I’ll be given instruction in operating a medium tank and also, half-track vehicles, very heavy wreckers, and tractors. I will be given a license to drive whatever of these vehicles I proved to be successful in operating, which is a start in obtaining a license for the operation of all Army vehicles.

A tank is a cross between a car and a tractor in its operation. The clutch and throttle, as in a car are foot operated. In a tractor they are both hand operated as well as the steering. Steering a tank is done, as in the tractor, by hand brake levers. They ride quite well, and only on the real big holes or ditches, do they bump or rock badly. I really enjoyed it.


Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to the Truants, on Wednesday, another letter from Lad and on Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa telling the boys of the latest happenings in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dan Writes to Grandpa About the American Red Cross – March 27, 1942

 The following article appeared in The Bridgeport Post, Bridgeport, Conn., on Monday, March 27, 1944.

Daniel Beck Guion

Red Cross on Call for All Servicemen in London, Corp. Guion Tells Family

The American Red Cross in London is “a composite Travelers’ aid, shopping guide, nursemaid, companion, entertainer,  tour conductor, encyclopedia, Dorothy Dix and hostess, all at the beck and call of any G. I. in uniform”, according to Corp. Daniel B.  Guion, of Trumbull, now stationed in London.

“Because it occupies such a prominent place in my mind today, I am dedicating this letter to the ARC (American Red Cross)”, Corp. Guion recently wrote to his father, Alfred D. Guion, of Trumbull.

The clubs in London have been a Godsend to every American serviceman who has come to London,  wanting to get the most out of his visit, the Trumbull soldier continues. “Maps, accommodations, education, information, entertainment, all are the daily diet of the ARC.”

Rooms and meals, he says, are available at minimum cost. “But nicest of all, a new ARC club has just opened quite near the place rather different from the downtown London clubs, more like a USO in that there are no overnight facilities to attract the Grand Central Terminal crowd, that prevails in the regular clubs, coming and going at all hours of the day and night, unkempt from travel, gas masks and musette bags drooping from weary shoulders as they lineup for lodgings.”

This club, designed for men stationed in the area rather than for transient servicemen, appeals strongly to Corp. Guion’s sense of the historic and dramatic.

On Site of Old Palace

“This local ARC is housed in a building built by Christopher Wren for Queen Anne, in the early 18th century,” he explains.  “It is built on the site of an old palace,  which, causes it to fairly reek of atmosphere and tradition, despite the modern comforts that have been added for its present function.”

Great figures of Britain’s past, who have stopped there, or played their parts in the immediate vicinity, include 21 Kings, four queens, Chaucer, Woolsey, Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, Spencer (“he read the Faery Queen to Queen Bess”) and Dean Swift.

Open Fireplace

“There is an open fireplace in virtually every room. Library, music room, dining room, information desk, all contribute notably to our comfort indoors, while spacious lawns, secluded bowers, gardens and aged walls lend an aura of romantic antiquity to the grounds around it. Glimpses of barges and boats can be caught through the trees that line the further edge of the lawn past which a river flows.

“By fortunate coincidence I am able to take advantage of this club during the daylight hours all this week, because I have begun working on a shift job which changes hours periodically.”

Corp. Guion is not new to world travel. As a U.S. government engineer, he traveled through a good bit of South America, spending some time working in Venezuela, and before entering service, was given an assignment in Alaska. He had his early education in Trumbull schools, attending Central High School, and was graduated from the University of Connecticut. He has been overseas with the U.S. Army for several months.

Mr. Guion, Sr.,  is an enthusiastic volunteer worker for the Trumbull branch, Bridgeport chapter, American Red Cross, which he serves as director of public information.

“We all know the Red Cross is doing a grand job, here and abroad.” he says. “But it gives an added boost to your morale to hear directly from your own boy how extremely well the organization is serving our men overseas.”

Tomorrow,, a letter from Elizabeth (Biss) to Ced, one of her older brothers, then a letter from Grandpa to finish out the week. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Back in California – March, 1944

It is March of 1944. Lad and Marian are in Pomona, California. Lad is an Instructor of Vehicle and Diesel Engine Maintenance. Dan id in London working as a surveyor and Map Maker in preparation for D-Day. Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, working for Woodley Air Field, which has been taken over by the Army, as an airplane mechanic and Bush Pilot. Dick is in Sataliza, Brazil, acting as liaison between the local employees and the Army and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, receiving further training before being sent overseas.

Marion at Pomona - smiling - in color- 1943


Dear Dad –

While I’m basking in the California sunshine, (not the liquid variety !) and trying to dry my hair, I thought I’d better catch up on my letter writing to the members of the family on the East Coast. I received a notice from the post office at Hooks (Texas, where they were just staying before Lad was transferred back to California) saying that there was a package there for me, so I hurriedly dispatched the few stamps needed to have it sent out here to California. It should arrive any day now, and my curiosity is aroused as to what it might contain.

I can very readily sympathize with you, Dad, when you try to buy any sort of a gift for these “G.I. Caballeros”. It is awfully hard, I know, ‘cause there is so very little that they can use, and what they can use they can usually get right on the Post. With Lad’s birthday coming up, I am in a dither. Of course, I might hold out on the sweater that I’ve knit? Knitted? Nuts! – finished for him, but as it was sort of promised to him when I reached Texarkana – and then as a Valentine gift – I guess I’d better hand it over pronto, or he’ll begin to doubt my word! If I’m right here with him and don’t know what to get him, I can just imagine what you must be trying to think of when you can’t even see him. But I assure you it wouldn’t do any good so far as gifts are concerned. He has no ideas on the subject, so is none too helpful on that score.

As a passing thought, you asked when my birthday was. It is November 11th – almost the same as our anniversary – so what a wonderful present I received last year – and being three days late made absolutely no difference. US Mails (and males) are unpredictable these days, anyway!

Did I tell you that we received a perfectly delightful letter from Dan, dated February 9th – in which he reveals a certain family dispute over one box of cigars which we neglected to label at Christmas time. I know both you and Aunt Betty will appreciate the letter so I’m enclosing it with this letter. Wish we could see your expression when you read it! (More on this subject in Grandpa’s letter which I will be posting on Wednesday)

Lad had an unexpected holiday yesterday so we went into Pasadena, took care of a couple of business matters – stopped by the Hospitality Center in South Pasadena to say “Hello” and then went in to LA for dinner. These spur of the moment holidays are one of the many reasons why I’m glad I’m not working at a steady job, ‘cause I can go right along with him at a moment’s notice – and it’s always fun.

I am working two or three days a week at a department store, and altho’ I’ve never done this type of work before, I find it lots of fun and just enough work to keep me out of mischief.

My love to all –


Lad Guion and Marian Irwin – 1943

Hi folks,

Just a note to let you know that I’m still able to keep going. In your “Universal” letter of February 27th you gave Dan’s serial number wrong. It should have been 31 – etc. instead of 13 – as you wrote. Got a letter from Dave yesterday and he really seems to be enjoying the Army. I’m glad. Well – toodle-oooooo, and love to all. Laddie

Tomorrow, a letter from Alta and Arnold Gibson (Gibby – Lad’s best friend from Trumbull) to Ced. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad is Fighting Mosquitoes – July 25, 1942

APG - Letter from Aberdeen - Fighting With Mosquitoes - July, 1942

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

July 25, ‘42

Dear Dad: –

As you probably have deducted, your oldest son let you down last week, completely. But, I have a good reason. (In the Army they do not accept an excuse, but a good reason will sometimes work). Last Thursday – that is a week ago – we were called together and told that commencing that evening we would start to move camp to our new location. We started, and finally have the place fully arranged and in passable condition. Until the camp was in this condition we would not be allowed to even leave the Co. area, so you can bet we all worked as long as there was light. Well, we finished Thursday, and then last night we went on a hike, making tonight the first day I’ve had a chance to write a letter. As luck would have it, I’ve been assigned to a detail for the evening. I’ll be through at midnight, but it will be late, and foolish I think, to start for Trumbull at that hour. However, it looks now as if I may be able to head for Trumbull next weekend, unless another duty presents itself before that time. Anyway, I’ve got my fingers crossed.

This new area to which we have moved is across the Parade Ground, upon which those new buildings are being erected, from the Service Club. Since there is grass around the tents it is a great deal nicer. But the mosquitoes are worse than ferocious. And they are certainly plentiful.

Tonight I’m C.Q. (Charge of Quarters) from 6 to 12, and have to carry a revolver. C.Q. is sort of an administrative job, and I take charge of the Co. in the absence of the First Sergeant. But I don’t like the job because there is very little to do, and too much time in which to do it. And to top things, the previously mentioned mosquitoes are raising Hell with me right now. Some of them raise welts 1/2 inch or larger in dia. And they itch for hours afterwards.

I have three weeks of Cadre left and am now a senior member of the Co. This means that from now on I’m subject to duty as acting sergeant of the platoon. In fact, tomorrow I have that job until about noon when the Sergeant returns.

I’m still teaching and enjoying it more and more.

I received your last letter, a letter from Schick, Inc. One of the items was a shaving head. Did you ask them to do the work they suggested or did you eliminate the head?

Give my love to Aunt Betty and remember me to everybody.


Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting more of “Liquid Heaven”, our Island Family Retreat, noting Special Places and Memories.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad is an Instructor – July 12, 1942

It is the middle of 1942 and Grandpa’s three oldest boys are all in the service of Uncle Sam. Lad is at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Maryland, instructing new recruits on the finer points of Diesel engines. Dan is in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, learning the intricacies of surveying and map making as part of a TOPO (Topography) Unit that will be going overseas. Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic and Bush  Pilot for Woodley Aircraft, whose field has been taken over by the Army to defend Alaska. Ced keeps getting deferments but is always wondering when that will stop and he will have to join up. 

Alfred Peabody Guion

July 12, 1942

Dear Dad:

You asked me to let you know how I made out in my teaching course. The class was divided into five groups, by final score on the complete course, and I was in the fourth group. Not quite as good as the best, but well up in the class. And, to top matters, I’m now, plus everything else, instructing a class in Diesel Engines. Anyhow, that could hardly be bettered in the Army, as far as I’m concerned. But it does mean a lot of work on my part, because it is a new course, and I have to lay out a teaching program and the fellow who is in on the ground floor with me (there were only two of us in the whole Dep’t.) knows very little about Diesels. In fact, I’ve had to teach him quite a bit so far. However, we get along together well, and I think I’ll enjoy the work. He is a corporal and his name is Donald Frankenhausen. Our first class starts tomorrow.

The battery for my razor arrived yesterday to the tune of $3.22 which isn’t too bad at all.

Do you remember the parade ground on which they were building? Instead of four buildings there are now 19 completed, 27 others with the floors laid and ready for the sides and roofs, 23 more with the floor frames in place and 46 in various stages of completion. In two or three weeks the complete layout will be ready for occupation. (Isn’t it just like Lad to make note of the number of buildings in various stages of construction and to write home about it?)

I’ve not had a chance to see the Captain about insurance or anything else as yet, but I hope to find time this week.

Well, I’ve got to get going on my lesson plans again, so – hasta luego –


Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, a Round Robin letter from Friends and Family back in Trumbull, and on Friday, another letter from Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Family Circle (2) – News From Marian, Dick and Additional Comments – March 5, 1944

This is the second half of a letter from Grandpa writing to the Family Circle and informing everyone what is happening with other family members.

Marian Irwin Guion at Trumbull - 1945 (cropped)

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

From Marian: “The Army decided that the Red River Depot (in Texarkana, Texas) wasn’t equipped to give the fellows their technical training so rather than trying to bring in and set up the proper equipment they decided to move the fellows so here we are back in California, at Pomona, about 25 miles from Santa Anita. You are probably wondering whether or not we made connections with Ced. We did. It was so very nice to meet him (Are all of the family as nice as the two I’ve already met?) And he and Lad had quite a time catching up with each other’s travels since they last saw each other. He arrived at the Blue Streak (where Lad and Marian have their living quarters) about six o’clock in the morning and rather than wake us up he went back to Texarkana and had breakfast and came back again about 7:30. Lad was taking a shower so I answered the door when he knocked and for a few seconds thought that someone had made a mistake and come to the wrong cabin. Then I took a second look (there is a family resemblance that I could see) and he said: “I believe you are my sister-in-law”, so I knew of course who he was. His train did not leave until 3 PM, so we fooled around until the car was ready, had dinner and started on our way — very happy over the prospect of getting out of Texas, arriving in Pomona Friday morning. We found a very nice apartment temporarily, living and bed room in a private home.”

Richard (Dick) Guion

        Richard (Dick) Guion

From Dick: “There is not too much to report from South America (Dick is stationed at Santeliza, Brazil, working as a liaison between the Army and the local employees, since he speaks Portuguese) . Yours truly has been moderately busy doing his sundry duties. The city of Fortaleze (Fortaleza, ( ) is said to be the sixth largest city in Brazil. Anyway it’s a great improvement over Natal. The city has spent much time and effort in beautifying its streets. There are numerous parks and esplanades, the sidewalks are comparatively clean and there are some pretty homes in the better sections of town. The horse I purchased is typically Brazilian. He really has no desire to go anywhere but out in the pasture. Since our ideas as to the best form of entertainment differ greatly, I have to use quite a bit of persuasion getting him to amble in any direction away from his home. I believe his conception of what life should be would be one continuous siesta. By the time we return home I have exerted more physical activity than the horse, and my arms and hands are more fatigued than my bottom. I’m sure it’s only a mental condition, tho, because he can run when he wants to. He usually wants to just about the time when I consider it more advisable to proceed cautiously, perhaps when there are numerous low hanging branches or deep puddles covering the road. If he could run steadily at the speed he develops when we near the stables on the home trip, I think he could beat Whirlaway.”

And now for a few comments. Carl (Carl Wayne, formerly of The Red Horse Service Station) got home last night. One of the places his boat visited was London. Too bad, Dan, you couldn’t have visited each other. Incidentally, would be interested to know if you looked up any of Sylvia’s friends or Catherine’s orchestra leader. We’ll get some cigars off to you soon .

Paul’s (Paul Warden, who rents the little apartment with his wife, Catherine, and their two children, Skipper and Susan) associates at Remington’s gave him a farewell party last night. Jean (Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Dick, who is living with Grandpa at the Trumbull House for the duration)  took care of Skipper and Susan so Catherine could go. They gave him a billfold containing a $20 bill and a most delightful dinner. He goes for his final physical Friday and hopes to get into the Navy.

The bond arrived safely, Marian, and goes into Lad’s envelope in the safe deposit box. Incidentally I am enclosing a check which came for Lad. I am sending it on to you for obvious reasons. Any way you can probably use the cash.

Enjoyed your letter Dave and hope you can continue to write as interestingly of the camp.

I’m looking forward to your letter from Seattle, Ced, and hope you have a pleasant trip. Am enclosing a few photos (except to Dave and Ced who have seen them), just to vary the interest a bit. (I have no idea what photos were enclosed)

And so, my dear ones all, a pleasant good night to you from     DAD

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Mrs. Laurence Peabody, (Grandma Arla’s brother) who fills us in on the news from her family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Family Circle (1) – News From The Far Corners of the World – March 5, 1944

At this point in time, Dan is stationed in London, England, where he is working in the TOPO (Topography) Unit, and as a surveyor, he is making maps in preparation for the D-Day Invasion. Ced is returning to Anchorage, Alaska, where he works as a civilian for the Army as an Airplane mechanic and Bush Pilot.  Lad and Marian have been travelling quite a bit from California to Texas and back to California. They were able to spend a little time with Ced when he stopped by for a visit on his way to Alaska. Dave, who enlisted in January, has been sent to Camp Crowder, Missouri, for more Basic Training.

ADG - Grandpa in the alcove at his typwriter

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa) writing his weekly letter

Trumbull, Conn.,  March 5, 1944

Dear members of the family circle:

The Trumbull Weekly Clearing House Association is ready to report on the news from the far corners of the world.

Dan-uniform (2)

Daniel Beck Guion

From Dan: “Nothing startling to divulge– life has followed much the same pattern for the past month or so — plays, concerts, French lessons, pub crawling – all the little uselessnesses that keep life fascinating. I heard from Sylvia in Canada with the names of a few people I might look up. Tobacco is scarce over here for civilians and exorbitantly priced. Cigars are scarce for everybody, GIs included. I am sorry to realize that grandmother has passed. I was very fond of her — always good-natured and helpful. She grew old so gracefully that she seemed much younger — her spirit never lost its youth. Well, maybe with so many Guion’s thrown into the war we can bring it to a speedy conclusion. To the day when we all meet again. Cheerio.”

Cedric Duryee Guion

From Ced: (Seattle, Feb. 29th) “I am leaving this morning at 9 AM on the Northland Transportation Companies NORTH SEA. It looks like a nice ship. Arrived here last Saturday night and have been through a great new section of the country en route. Saw Lad and Marian and looked up Edna Schwenke in Tacoma. Details in letter later.”

David Peabody Guion

From Dave: “I’ve finished one week of basic training and don’t find it a bit tough. I am told that the first couple of weeks aren’t usually hard anyway. I also find that you must go from one thing to another here (you can’t waste time or dilly-dally). Naturally that’s kind of tough for me. I’m not supposed to tell what I do, see or hear while I’m doing my basic, which gives me very little to talk about because everything one does here is basic training. I still like the camp very much. The food for the most part is excellent. My face is filling out and I know I feel a whole lot healthier. Saturday is the big day around here. We have barracks, rifle (which is plenty tough), and personal and foot locker inspection on Saturday. Everything is spotless — especially that old Enfield rifle. There’s plenty of recreation here – movies (we get a lot of them before they are released to the public), three service clubs, each company has a day room (which has a piano which gets plenty of exercise) and of course PX. Even the KP isn’t bad here. I was on KP last Tuesday — just routine detail, not punishment of any sort. I spent most of the day in the pantry munching on cookies, dried apricots and what have you. I still haven’t heard from Lad. I do hope they can get a week off and come up here to pay me a visit. I also wish Ced had known where I was when he left home. He could have gotten a train from St. Louis to Camp Crowder and a bus from here to Texarkana. My love to all — even Smoky.”

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

From Lad: “I have been upped a grade. My official title in writing is T/3 but I am still addressed as Sgt. The big point is that it puts me up into the first three grader classification and means $18 more per month. It should not be mistaken for what is called a Tech. Sgt. Three days before leaving for Calif. the Buick clutch started to slip so I had to put in a new one. To do it I needed a free day and the first one I could get was Monday of last week or my first day of traveling time. Had it not been for the clutch we would never have seen Ced. He showed up at Hooks early Monday morning. He seems fine but has changed a little in the interval since I last saw him over five years ago. He’s a little heavier and his hair is darker and he has matured a great deal. He’s still the same old Ced otherwise.”

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter including news from Marian and Dick as well as Grandpa’s comments about other Trumbull news.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear sons (1) – Grandpa’s Adventure Exploring the Army’s Natural Habitats of Lad and Dan – July 12, 1942

Trumbull, Conn., July 12, 1942

Dear Sons:

Dan-uniform (2)

Daniel Beck Guion

As you may have noticed, for the first time in several years I missed out last Sunday on my regular weekly letter, the reason being I was flitting from hither to yon. Dan had come home on a 10-day furlough and I decided to take a few days off (the first I had taken in several years – – since the trip to the Gaspe, as a matter of fact), and go back with Dan, stopping off to see Lad on the way home. We started, Dan and I, on Friday, taking the bus from Trumbull to the Bridgeport station, train to New York, stopped off for a few minutes to see Elsie, thence by shuttle to the Pennsylvania station and P.R.R. (Pennsylvania Railroad) air-conditioned train to Washington. As Dan had a return ticket by bus from Washington to Roanoke Rapids, I decided to follow the same route. Outside of the N.Y. subway during the rush hour, I have never traveled any distance on a more crowded conveyance. We started from Washington at 5:15 P.M. Friday, changed buses about midnight at Richmond and arrived at Roanoke about 2 o’clock Saturday. Dan took me to the only hotel, a very pleasant, clean little hostelry – – the only one in town, and while it was lots hotter then Trumbull, I had a good-sized outside room. Dan called for me next day about 8 o’clock informing me he had gone to report but as they failed to call his name on the role, he had the morning free. After showing me about the town a bit we took a very interesting two hour trip through a big textile mill after which he showed me through the Armory where they are stationed, ate lunch and spent the afternoon calling at the homes of some very charming southern families, friends of Dan, who all expressed in very tangible manner the reputed spirit of Southern hospitality that one hears about and which is so different from our rather cold northern manner. It being very hot and humid, neither of us felt like eating much so we had a light lunch and went to the local movies. In order to make proper connections by train for visiting Lad, I had to take the 5:15 train from the next town early Sunday morning, so I said goodbye to Dan, went back to the hotel and retired a bit after nine.

            Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Up again at 4:30 Sunday, made the train O.K., arriving at Washington at 9:25. Had breakfast in the railroad station, left on the 11 o’clock train arriving at Aberdeen about 12:30, phoned to Lad after arriving at Camp and found he had to attend class, which, however, left him free for the afternoon from 3:30. We had a most interesting tour of this immense encampment, inspected Lad’s tent, had a most delicious army supper, walked around some more, tried to find a place where I could stay all night but being a 4th of July weekend, they were all filled up. Said goodbye to Lad and started for the 10:45 at Aberdeen which however did not arrive until almost 11:30. Because this train was late I missed a connection at Philadelphia for the 1:15 New York train and had to wait until 4:00 A.M. I reached New York just in time to miss connections for the Bridgeport “milk train” but finally arrived tired and sleepy at my home town at 8:30. To Trumbull by bus where I snatched a few hours sleep and went down to the office. Altogether I had a most interesting trip, in spite of the difficulties incident to poor train connections, and of course enjoyed seeing my two sons in their natural habitat – – to say nothing of the pleasure of seeing them and meeting their friends. As I review the few hours spent with them I couldn’t help but be reminded of a recitation my father used to give which made quite an impression on my boyhood mind and by contrast, how different my trip was to that described in “The Old Man Goes To Town”, which I will try to find time to copy and send with this letter.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second half of this letter with news of Ced and bits and pieces of information to Dan and Lad. On Friday, the poem “The Old Man Goes To Town” , regarding different experiences a father has with his three sons as adults and his reflections about how they were raised.

Judy Guion  

Army Life – Dear Dad – Moving Up The Ladder – June 21, 1942

We begin a week of letters written in the beginning of the summer of 1942. Both Lad and Dan are receiving further training in their chosen fields. Lad is at the Ordnance Training Center at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Maryland, for further training in vehicle maintenance and Dan is in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, for further training in surveying and map making.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

APG - Letter from Aberdeen, Moving up the ladder, June 21, 1942 - pg. 1

APG - Lad's Letter from Aberdeen - Moving up the ladder - June, 21, 1942 - pg. 2

APG - Army Life - Letter from Aberdeen - Moving up the ladder - June 21, 1942 - pg. 3

Next to the circled area Lad has written: “Ordnance Insignia”

June 21st, 1942

Dear Dad –

Please note change of address above. I have succeeded in the first step up the ladder, but it also has its drawbacks. I cannot leave here for at least five weeks. And then, between then and the termination of my second period of training, I might be able to get home once. At most twice. This second period covers eight weeks from today.

I am now located in the Cadre School, where I will receive the training for a non-com and instructorship. If I go through with flying colors, I have a chance at Officers Training. Our Co. Commander gave us a little talk yesterday afternoon and apparently we will have little time for anything but study. Therefore, please don’t feel slighted if you don’t hear much from me in the next two months. I’ll do the best I can, but study is going to come first. Our days starts at 7:15 AM and ends at 8:30 PM. Between 6:00 and 7:15 AM we clean house and shave and eat breakfast.

I got out of the hospital yesterday morning at 8:30 and upon my arrival at Barracks 2-Bn. 1, I was told that I had to be ready to move to Co. D at 9:00. I really had to rush to make it, but I did. I helped put up tents, we live in 12’ x 12’ tents, and heard a lecture given by our C.O. Other than that, we did very little except to arrange our own stuff and clean up around our tent. Six men live in each tent, and since there is no electricity, we can’t do much after 9:00.

Today, being Sunday, we haven’t had to do very much, but it has been far more than had we still been in Bn. 1. Our Co. is made up of 4 platoons, and I’m in the second. Each day one of the four is assigned to guard duty about the area, and today is plat. 2. Then Guion being right up near the top of the list, since 2nd plat. is made up of men in G,H,I,J,K & L, I am on guard at present, on relief # 3. I have just finished the first guard, 4:00 is 6:00 P.M. I go on again at 10:00 till 12:00 and once more at 4:00 to 6:00 A.M. More on Co. D of the 8th when I get a chance.

I’m sorry I never mentioned having received the hangers, but I did (7) and I would like some more if you can find any (6). The stronger the better, and only all-steel. And there are a few other things I would like. In repairing my razor, Schick did not do such a good job and I’d like to send it back again, and therefore, send me one from home to use temporarily, Fine, if not, just say so. The Army supplied me with a safety razor which I’m using just now. Also, since we have no electricity, I would like to have you send me one of those 110 V. Batteries. The only ones I have seen so far have been made by Rem. Rand Shaver Div. Maybe you can’t get one of those either, but I’d like to have you try. I intended to go into Baltimore or Philadelphia and get one, but I can’t get out of here at all. Another thing is my watch. I left it upstairs in the attic, on the little table by the N. E.  window near a book called “Semper Fidelis”. My Elgin came in this book (or box as it actually is) and you can use it for the watch. In turn I will send back my Elgin for cleaning and general checking. I don’t like to ask you to do all of these things, but I was really planning to be home either this  weekend or next weekend, and now I can’t make it for quite some time, and it all has to be done. However, don’t put yourself out, as there really isn’t any terrific rush. I think that is all, at present. Oh!! No – two things more. I took with me to Camp Devens, Dick’s Gladstone bag. Did you or he ever get it back with clothes of mine in it? And also, I would like three or four rather sturdy, but small, boxes, like candy boxes (1 lb.) or the like and not too shallow. A couple of inches deep, 4” to 6” x 4” to 8”. They will be used to put loose things of like materials (shoe shining equip., etc.) in my duffel bag. We do not have footlockers here.

You asked me what “Addere Flamman” means. Literally, I don’t know, but I suppose it means “Flaming Bomb”, which is the Ordnance Dep’t. Insignia.

Well, I seem to have run out of thoughts, Dad, so I guess I’ll have to call it quits. Remember me to all and sundry, and good health and luck.


Tomorrow, a quick postcard from Lad and a letter from Grandpa. Another letter from Grandpa tp Lad will finish out the week.

Judy Guion