Friends – Rusty Huerlin and Arnold Gibson send Greetings to Ced in Alaska – July, 1944

Envelope from Rusty Huerlin to Ced, July 10, 1944

Letter from Rusty Huerlin to Ced in Anchorage, Alaska mailed on July 10, 1944

Nome, Alaska

July 9, 1944

Dear Ced,

Stormy weather for about one week. Expect “ada” down from ____________ any day now, then it will be a mad rush to get everything aboard her and pull stakes for Pt. Barrow where I finally decided to locate, if they’ll have me there.

Many, many thanks for green stuff. They arrived in O.K. condition same day boat brought first greens we’ve had here since fall, three more boats with more greens – then a tanker with whiskey and beer. But I went in for the milk on first boat – drank so much of it (40 cents a paper quart) that I quit when I noticed that my tits were growing.

Who am I to thank for the beautiful scarf? Hardly a chance of wearing such finery until I get back to Anchorage again.

As for the paintings you wrote about, will take care of the matter as soon as I get situated up north. Will write Byrk first chance I get. These are busy days.

Thanks for sending pictures. Swell to look at and letters to read from home. Will return slides to you in care of Fiske when he looks in this way again. If possible for him to handle frames you have and deliver them to Major Marston – Wallace Hotel, Nome, for me, that would be swell. But if it runs into money for this, skip it, as I could not take care of that now. He may not be coming this way again for some time. He has been flying Mackenzie’s ship and with “Mac” back in Anchorage now he may fly his own ship to Nome. I could get “Mac” to fly them through, however, if either of them coming here soon. I could not take them on first trip this way. I had better not have them sent here as I would not care to have them sent up to Pt. Barrow unless I took personal care of them.

Hell of a rush now. Will write you at greater length first chance I get.

Love to all,

As ever,



Postcard from Arnold Gibson (Lad’s best childhood friend), in Hawaii, tto Ced, in Alaska, July 11, 1944

Gibby - Post card to Ced from Hawaii - front, 1944

“Isle O’ Dreams”, Hawaii

Gibby - Post card to Ced from Hawaii - message - 1944

Honolulu, June 28


Arnold Gibson

Ship 51 N Y

Pearl Harbor,

Dear Ced,

Here I am back in Hawaii. Alta is in Cal. and will follow later.

We saw Lad and Marian in Orinda and had a swell day. Wish I had a little Alaska  weather right now.

Aloha, Gib

Tomorrow and Friday, I’l post two letters from Marian to Grandpa about life for the Lad Guions in California. On Saturday, more of the  Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis in 1851. On Sunday, the continuing story of My Ancestors, the Rev. Elijah and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion. 

Judy Guion


Trumbull – My dearest son: And of course I mean YOU (2) – Possible News About Lad’s Future – July 9, 1944


Lad and Marian Guion

Old Sgt. A.P. says: “it seems that “D” day for me is getting closer. Sometime this month the 142nd is being transferred to some camp in the East, but when or where I don’t know. It looks as though I will have to go by train, so Marian may drive East in the Buick if there is any cause for it and if she can get someone to go with her. Right now the 3019th is doing some work in Camp Haan which is similar to what we did at Pomona before I left for my furlough. It appears that we did such a good job at Haan before we went out to the desert that the Col. at Haan called us back from the desert and we spent only one week out there instead of two. For that I’m very thankful and we did get a chance to see Death Valley. It was rather an uneventful trip and we had very little trouble. We were to return from Death Valley to the desert but instead we returned to Haan and began work immediately. We have until July 6th to finish the work there. After that I don’t know what we will do. We’ve been having a rather hot spell here. In fact the day before yesterday it was 115° in the shade (You had me fooled for a minute, Lad, as your degree mark was rather large and low down and looked at first glance like 1150 which would lead one very naturally to not quibble if you had said it was as hot as hell). Out on the desert we didn’t mind the heat because it was so dry, but it is a little more moist here and is quite warm for Marian – – lots warmer than in South Pasadena”. And Marian adds: “Maybe we’ll be seeing you again very soon. This Army life is anything but settling.”

So, that leaves some interesting conjectures. In fact life these days is just full of what I said for every last one of you and when I get you all home again, I am thinking of putting in a series of balls and chains in the cellar with big padlocks on them so I can keep you all fastened down for a spell.

Dan Guion

Well, Dan, the US government has just sent me a notice that as one of your dependents I am to receive $15 a month hereafter from your regular pay. Do you want me to invest this for you in some more stocks, put it in the B & L or just let it accumulate in the bank? I am wondering if you ever received the four or five packages of soap and toilet articles and Kleenex that I sent? And Lad, did you get your camera yet? And Ced, did you receive the Buick parts and the filter and the subscription to Reader’s Digest? And Dave, I will try to get a box of cigars (they are getting scarce, no more boxes of a5 are available) and shall send them as soon as I hear what kind you prefer or some idea if what you want to pay, along with your necktie and leggins. And if you can pick up for me at the PX a hydraulic jack, a large size bottle of eau de quinine hair tonic (any make) and a package of razor blades it will keep me quiet for a while. I hope the notebook fillers I sent for your friend arrived safely and were what he wanted. I forgot to ask you about them when you were home.

I understand Jean (Hughes) is coming home very soon to be ready to increase the population of Trumbull and that Jane (Mantle) is also pointing in that direction, if you know what I mean.

Along the line of an interesting news, just to fill up the page, I spent several hours yesterday substituting for a stoker and shoveling an estimated 3 1/2 tons of buckwheat coal from one side of my coal bin to the other, as the moronic or just sheer lazy coal deliveryman neglected to put up any boards to confine the coal from rushing out of the exit hatch into the cellar and practically buried the stoker. My muscles were somewhat sore when I got through and I looked like something from south of the Mason and Dixon line, but I finished the job and took quiet satisfaction from the thought that there was some life in the old boy yet, and if the worst came to the worst and you young fry couldn’t put Hitler’s legions in their place and they had to call on us has beens I could come through in fairly good shape, although I don’t think I’d choose a stoker’s job.

Well, let’s call it a day and hope next week I’ll be in better mental shape to write you a really interesting letter. Meantime, lots of love and good luck, from


Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a letter from Rusty to Ced and a postcard from Arnold in Hawaii to Anchorage. On Thursday and  Friday I’ll post letters from Marian to Grandpa about the latest developments in the lives of Lad and Marian in California.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – My dearest son: And of course I mean YOU (1) – Dave’s Mishap – July 9, 1944


Trumbull, Conn., July 9, 1944

My dearest son:

And of course that means YOU. I have been sitting here in sort of a trance trying to think of something interesting to write to you. The fact of the matter is I am all written out. I have been owing so many letters for so long that this afternoon, in spite of the muggy heat (perhaps because of it and my disinclination to do any “sweating” work) I decided to put procrastination to flight and catch up on some of my back correspondence, knowing from experience that if I wrote you boys first I would have neither time nor inclination to write to others. In consequence, I have just finished letters to the Larry Peabody’s, the Kemper Peabody’s, the New York Peabody’s, Elsie, Red Sirene, Barbara Plumb, and Sylvia Ward – Campbell, mostly about you boys, your locations and your doings.

Mrs. Richard (Jean) Guion

Another week has passed without word from Ced or Dick. Jean says as to the latter she is kidding herself trying to imagine the failure to hear from Dick lies in the fact that he is on his way home, he having written some weeks ago that there was a 50-50 chance that sometime during July he would be shipped back to the states. As to Ced, my natural optimism tells me that no news is good news, that he is still a civilian, that he has burned down no more Anchorage fixtures, and that he is quite well and busy. I just wish he’d get a little busier to the tune of a postal at least telling me he has successfully passed his pilot’s examination, or something. I have not had a chance yet to grow anxious about Dan, having received a letter from him last week. My oldest and youngest, however, have each come through with welcome letters, which I shall now share with you.

Dave writes he is back in camp “safe and sound in one dilapidated piece. The train I came down on was the dirtiest train I’ve ever been on. Leaving St. Louis for the last leg of my journey, I got myself in a comfortable position and fell asleep. The next thing I knew the conductor was shaking me and asking for my ticket. He took one look at it and calmly said: “We just left Neosho, you should have gotten off there.” Boy! I had visions of dragging my bags behind me into the orderly room sometime this morning. Then I thought of OCS and the CO putting through my application for OSC before I even got started. But, thanks to that lock that’s been following me all the way, I made good connections back to Neosho, got into bed about 2 AM, reported first thing this morning and no questions asked.”

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this letter with possible news of Lad’s future.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Saludos Amigos (1) – Happenings In and Around Trumbull – July 4, 1943


This week’s edition of the letter, with carbon copies for everyone, is filled with local news and news about what each of the boys are up to. Lad and Ced remain stationery, Dick is on the move and Dan is expecting to be shipped overseas any time now. He’s trying to get home for a visit before he leaves, but it doesn’t look too likely.


Trumbull, Conn.

July 4, 1943

Saludos Amigos:

I don’t know what this means, but it sounds like a friendly Spanish phrase and being the title of one of Walt Disney’s pictures, it ought to be good, hence appropriate in starting off a letter to all my young hopefuls.

Today I made a Nazi prophecy come true and opened a second front on the garbage incinerator. With Lad’s flamethrower I succeeded in reducing the enemies stores and ammunition dumps to a heap of ashes. The ruins are still smoldering as I write. The next problem is where to dispose of the remains. Steve Kascak will still accept them as a help to increasing his “waterfront”, but with gas doled out by the spoonful, I can’t make five or six trips with my car hauling the blasted stuff. Any suggestions anyone can think of to relieve the situation will be given due consideration.

We had company today for dinner. The extras were Dorothy (Peabody), Elsie (Guion, Grandpa’s sister), Biss (Elizabeth, Grandpa’s daughter) and her two young imps Butch (4) and Marty (2).. We played an unofficial game of find the fire tongs, or hammer for ringing the dinner gong, or the top to the brass teakettle that hangs on the stand in the dining room fireplace, or any other articles that are not nailed down, starting as soon as the firm of Marty and Butch get inside the outside screen door. Usual occupations cease and everyone turns to a combination of nursemaid and policemen — they usually go well together in real life, I am told. After everyone is thoroughly exhausted (except the children themselves) and the last farewells are said, we go round the house picking up things here and there and restoring them to their erstwhile resting place. It’s sort of an unorthodox method of getting things dusted.

On June 30 a little Wayne girl made her appearance at Bridgeport Hospital. Things I understand went very well and everybody is happy. Grandma (Peabody, mother of Arla (Pebody) Guion, Grandpa’s wife who passed away in 1933)  has not been feeling as well today but came down to dinner after having had her breakfast in bed served by daughter Dorothy. She feels better tonight. Elsie is up taking a nap, which is part of her Trumbull routine when she comes to visit. This time she plans to stay overnight. Dorothy asked me to send her best to all of you and tell you she thinks that you all frequently.

Among the correspondence this week is the letter from Pvt. Donald Sirene (Red, a good friend of Grandpa’s sons) from Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. He says he is working on the railroad, surveying — interesting work and keeps him from KP or other jobs below his dignity. “Girls down here get married young and don’t need any “literature” because they are rather prolific. I had a hot date with a three-year-old blonde, but had to break it because she got engaged, ah, me. I’ve seen those strange, hard cased animals called t armadillos, caught alligators and chased a cotton mouth – but not very far. You should see our Toonerville Trolley, as I call the G. I. railroad. The tracks were laid on soft clay (we have crews out all the time just hunting for the tracks.) Derailings are quite common. We have a novel way of being trained to face artillery fire. We were out in an open field, lining a curve (R.R.) when a sudden electrical storm jumped us. I saw trees within 500 feet of me blown up by lightning. At least four bolts struck within 1000 yards of us. Stumps were still burning two days later. Needless to say, I was glad to leave that spot.” signed Fatty Sirene

Tomorrow, the rest of the letter.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Alaska, California, Indiana and Pennsylvania, GREETINGS – June 27, 1943


Every week Grandpa challenged himself to come up with a new and interesting salutation for his letters…. this is one of his better ones. He even includes Jean in there.

Trumbull, Conn.

June 27, 1943

To Alaska, California, Indiana & Pennsylvania, GREETINGS:

or we might say Dear CARD (+J) at CAPI: (Dear Ced, Alfred, Richard,  Dan (+ Jean) at California, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Indiana — Lad is in California, Dan is in Pennsylvania, Dick is in Indiana and Ced is in Alaska))

The driveway is not drifted high with snow, nor is a cold wintry blast howling against the storm windows, nor is a sleepy fire nodding and dozing over a few chunks of hardwood in the alcove fireplace. No, dear children, it is as hot as they come in Trumbull, although I do not doubt it may be even hotter other places (and I don’t mean what you are thinking, either). How we will be wishing for some of this excess heat during the fuel shortage promised for next winter by some of F.D.R.’s bright boys in Washington. How any responsible person can even be considering a fourth term for anyone who has bungled the domestic situation into the mess it is in now, is more than I can understand, with my limited intelligence. If it were necessary in order to win the war, we stay-at-homes would be glad to take it on the chin, but when we have coal strikes and rationing because some of the big boys want to play politics, it’s time we had a change of administration, whether we’re crossing streams or not. If you boys have a chance to vote next election I hope your memories will not be too short. By the way, the following comes to me by way of Alaska:


I pledge allegiance to the Democratic Party and to the Roosevelt family,

for which it stands; one family, indivisible, with commissions and divorces for all.

Borne in to me as I sit here sweltering in the very faint breeze that timidly stirs through the open alcove door, are the distant shouts of children in the old swimming hole that you boys can readily recall, interspersed by the hum of airplane motors overhead. And speaking of swimming, Lad, after spending about half an hour searching all through the attic trying to find your trunk, I finally looked in your old room near the window, and there it was. In consequence, your bathing suit is now on its way to be wet for the first time in the Pacific Ocean. Don’t get mixed up with any Jap submarines in the process.

Now that you have read this far, you will probably have surmised there is not much news. Dave just told me Nellie (Nelson) Sperling is in the hospital, where or why, not know. Yesterday’s paper announced the marriage of Eddie Banas to a Ms. Margaret Moyer of Easton. For the first time in many months we had chicken for dinner today, raised locally by Earl Ward. There are none in any of the markets.

No letters arrived this week – – not even from Jean, so I just reread last week’s letters and look forward to next week. Dorothy will probably be up to Trumbull again next week (4th of July) and possibly Elsie, and if we are that fortunate, maybe Dan.

Ced, don’t forget to send me a list of items that you ordered from Montgomery-Ward, that they were unable to ship, as some of them I might be able to procure in Bridgeport for you. Jean, don’t you wish you had some of your summer dresses, or maybe shoes, with you there, instead of hanging up in your closet? Let me know if you want any of them sent on to you. And tell that husband of yours it’s about time he wrote me and told me he still loves me.


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, one from Lad.

Saturday and Sunday will continue the interesting story of Mary E Wilson, born in England but arriving at Ellis Island in 1925 and in the process of building a new life here.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Guions (2) – News About Family and Friends – June 19, 1943

This is the conclusion of the letter I started posting yesterday.


That description of the new plane, Ced, was so realistic I could almost believe I had seen it myself. We all enjoyed your letter immensely. Dan will have some interesting reading when he finally pops in.

I have just finished reading Fifty Years Below Zero by Brower that you recommended and found it, as you said, a very interesting account of far North Alaska. I will also appreciate very much receiving the Alaskan Sportsman when it arrives. Thanks also for the money order.You thanked me for sending the Buick parts and paid for them but you did not say that they had reached you. I would also like to know whether the several other packages I sent reached you, as they have been charged to my account at Read’s and of course if you didn’t get them I want to follow through. Aunt Betty also asks if you received the birthday card she mailed to you about two weeks before the happy day. With that new camera, I hope you will be able to send us some snapshots. These will be welcome adjuncts to your interesting letters. Just a word of advice, if you can get film up there now for your camera, take a homely man’s word for it, it would be well for you too lay in as large a supply as you can, because here in the East there are no more obtainable, and we are told there will be no more for civilian use until after the war. Biss did get your gift and has promised to write you and also send dates of Butch’s and Marty’s birthdates. You speak of having written another letter prior to this one after Rusty’s return. If you did I did not receive it and I am wondering if I get all the letters you send. I never got your account of the end of that rescue mission you were on and I would particularly like to have it. Many months ago I told you just where the present account I have ended, and if you save my old letters and can dig it up sometime I would like to learn how it all came out. Yesterday Carl came up and said he had had a very interesting note from you. He brought along a gift for you which he asked me to send the next time a package left here for Alaska. It was a pair of General Electric aviator boots, wired for heating. You can plug them into a battery on the plane or heat them up before you leave. They are supposed to keep hot for six hours. They are a part of the aviator’s electrically-heated suit made by G.E., so you have a start on it anyway. By the way, you haven’t mentioned anything lately about how you’re coming along with your flying, and I suppose nothing new has come to light on the draft matter.

A suggestion just occurs to me that all you correspondees might like to follow. Whenever I ask a question in my letters which calls for an answer or whenever, in reading over my weekly epistles, they remind you of something you want to mention when next you write, and then forget what it is when you finally get around to it, why not make a mark of some kind on the margin opposite the item in question and then when you come to write all you have to do is to look through the last two or three letters you have received, quickly glance at the margins and you will have the whole thing there without having to wade through all the stuff I write from week to week.

Well, as I have to play Peter Rabbit tomorrow and get over to Mr. McGregor’s garden, I’ll  pull down the curtain right here and bid you all a fond adieu (spelling all right on that one, Lad?)


P.S. to Lad: I did try to find that bathing suit this afternoon, but the attic was so intolerably hot and I was getting so thoroughly wet with honest sweat that I gave up my search until a bit cooler day. You’ll hear from it, however.

Tomorrow and for the rest of the week,, more letters from Grandpa to those near and far, trying to keep the family informed of each others lives.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Guions (1) – Father’s Day – June 19, 1943

Grandpa is just ending a family Father’s Day celebration – minus his four oldest sons – and even though it’s 10 PM, he still sits down to write his weekly missive to them.

Trumbull, Conn.

June 19, 1943

Dear Guions:

It is now nearly 10 PM, and I have been, since 3:30 this afternoon, trying to get started on this letter. Dorothy and Anne had come up last night and after dinner we sat on the cement Terrace and chatted, then they got ready to catch the five o’clock bus and found it didn’t leave until six on Sundays, and just as they got on the bus Elizabeth popped in with the children. They left about an hour ago (it is quite impossible to write with those two youngsters around), and just as I at last pulled out this machine, Dave arrived home, having been out all day with Paul and Carl and Walter to launch Paul’s new boat, and of course I had to hear about their adventures, so I am just now getting started.

First, the Aunts asked to be remembered to you. Don (Stanley, the son of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Arla’s sister. He is in the Navy.)  is off again, no one knows where but it is possible this trip he is to bring home prisoners of war from North Africa. Elizabeth yesterday went to Edna Beebe’s wedding, I taking the children to be cared for meanwhile up at the Zabels. So much for the scanty news.

This was a 100% letter week – – Lad, Dan, Ced and Dick (by proxy) made it a bang up Father’s Day for me. Jean sent me a nice card, a box of Dan’s things arrived with some toilet articles and razor blades for me, the girls brought up some crullers and a coffee cake. Your letter, Jean, as always, was much appreciated. Of course we would be delighted to hear from Dick and learn a bit about his daily work, his accomplishments, trials, etc., and I do hope when you are not there to pinch hit for him he will not neglect to keep us informed. You have certainly been awfully good about keeping us informed as to how he is getting along.

Dan, your packages arrived safely and I liked your selection of toilet articles. Thanks, old boy. I took the batteries out of your radio, as requested. They are putting you through your paces, all right, and it all may prove a blessing in disguise, but we’ll be mighty glad to see you just the same when you get that July furlough.

By the way, if you fellows want to make the most acceptable Father’s Day gift, please send me, each of you, a snapshot or photo of some sort of yourself in uniform.

Lad, I had to renew the note again at the bank. It would clear up what has now become somewhat of a mystery, if you would explain just what the situation is on that remittance that never came, as unless I can offer the bank somewhat of an explanation, it puts me in rather an embarrassing position. Every time I see them I tell them I’m Marian Irwinexpecting daily to hear from you, and your last very sketchy reference leaves me up in the air as much as ever.

After so long a silence it was good to get your two-page letter to learn a bit about what you are doing. I was particularly interested in the nice things you had to say about Marian and hope someday you can wangle an extra snapshot from her and send it to us. How do you plan to spend your furlough when you get it? What is ”goldbricking”? Good luck to you and your staff rating affair. Of course I’ll see you through your vacation funds. Just let me know the amount and when you want it and the check will be forthcoming. It’s just as easy as that.


Marian Irwin

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter.  For the rest of the week, two more letters from Grandpa to the four sons who are away from home serving Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion