World War II Army Adventure (119) – Dear Dad (2) – January 11, 1946

This is the second half of the letter I posted on Saturday. I thought I had scheduled this, but obviously I didn’t. 


World War II Army Adventure (119) Dear Dad (2) - January 11, 1946

WHOOPS ! Made a mistake! Pages 5 & 6 are inside. This is page 7 and 8 is on the back.

_________________________________________

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May be you could get a hold of Johnny Vichiola and asked him what he wants to do.  He was our original President.

Sure I remember George Nurse.  Tell him I wish him a lot of luck, but that he can expect some keen competition when I can get my hands back into printer’s ink.

Milford Rivet’s change sounds like quite a blow. Gee, how I wish I could

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get back there.  Try to hang on to everyone we’ve got now, Dad.  We can worry about new customers later.  How is the quality of our work now?  Are all our customers satisfied?  I’ve been thinking and have come to the conclusion that after the war started and labor was so hard to get, that we allowed the quality of our work to drop off.  Don’t you think it’s better to make a customer wait if you have to, but to make sure he’s satisfied with the completed job.  You had years and years more experience

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then I hhave.  What do you think along those lines?

You’re right about its being important for me (or someone) to get out and dig up business, but it won’t do any good to get business unless we are sure we can handle it.  I would welcome the chance to test my ability and make Salesmanship.  I feel I’ve learned an awful lot about human nature, etc.  In the past two years, and I’d like to test my knowledge.  But I can’t help but feel the importance of knowing, before I leave the

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office every morning to try my luck, that we can handle well – no – better than anyone else in town, any job that may be thrown at us.

From where I started to talk about George Nurse to hear is all in answer to yours of Dec. second.  Your letter of December 9th says that Ced will leave tomorrow for Alaska, Peggy Van Kovics called (I’ve written her), Dick would soon be out (old news now), you are sending candy, etc. in a box (I’ve received it.  Thanks.  It has been well disposed of).  Those

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are the only comments I have on that subject.

The December 16th writing of your much-looked-four letters contained both good and bad news.  The bad being that you had a cold.  I’d give anything within reason to be there in the bitter cold – you’d give equally as much to be here in our 85° temperatures (and that’s just average).  The good things are humorous – Ced’s safe departure for Alaska, Dick’s arrival and his last departure before he dons those blessed “Civies”, Paulette’s letter to you, etc.  The only comment on

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this would be for me to say that the T/4 that I mentioned in the letter you quoted is still hanging fire.  A second request has gone in from GHQ to Korea to our parent outfit, but GHQ is closing up here and moving to Tokyo.  If the advance doesn’t go through fairly fast, it will be again it canceled until they put me in for one at AFWCSPAC which is where it is rumored we are to go.  So maybe I’ll be discharged as a T/5.  Who cares so long as I’m discharged?

Love,

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written

Family – Dear Caric – Butch Asks Biss to Write to Ced – September and October, 1944

Blog - Biss in yard - 1949

             Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Sunday Night,

9:39 P.M.

9/24/44.

Dear Caric,

You can thank Butch for this unexpected letter from me. You see he and Marty were having an argument the other day over who was going to wear a pair of slippers that Butch received from one of you boys up there in Alaska about two winters ago and I told Butch that they fit Marty so let him have them as he had no other pair and Butch did have an extra pair. Well Butch let Marty have the slippers but very grudgingly and he told me to go down town and buy him another pair just like those so I had to explain to him that I could not buy another pair like that as they had come from Alaska and they did not sell slippers like that around here so he told me to write to Ced—-right now, mother! I told him I would write to you and see if you could get another pair for him so can you? Here is a description of the slippers if you can find another pair similar to the ones here. They have three “A” markings on the front in colored beads. It seems to me that there were some other beads on it too but I wouldn’t be sure now. He wears a size 12 children’s shoe if you do happen to find a pair.

I have to stop now just as I am getting started as Zeke wants to get to bed early tonight and I have to take a bath. We have all been sick this week so that is the urgent reason for getting an early start to bed but I will tell you more about that tomorrow when I continue this letter to you. Good night for now from me and Zeke too.

Sunday Night,

9:23 P.M.

10/1/44

Well, here I am again! I put down the ”9“ and then looked around at the calendar to see what day it was only to find that another month had crept up on me unawares. I think I will send Dave a note tonight too to wish him a happy birthday.

I suppose Dad has told you by now that Bob Peterson died this past week from a Tumor of the brain. It was a surprise to us here as we hadn’t even heard he was sick. Dad probably mentioned how long he was sick.

Zeke and I started bowling this last week and I am proud to state that I had the honor of bowling high score for the night with a score of 126. We bowl with the Singer dept. that Zeke works in. Johnny and Dot Heigelmann bowl with us. They give a prize for high score for women at the end of the season and if the scores had counted that night I probably would have had a good chance to win it right then and there.

Did Dad tell you that Aunt Betty fell last week and hurt her knee? I guess she had one of her dizzy spells as she didn’t trip on anything but just fell. I greatly doubt that she will last the winter out as I can see her failing more and more every time she comes down here for a visit, I believe she is losing weight too. We were talking about Christmas today and trying to find out what the different people wanted and Aunt Betty said she thought having somebody else do the cooking would be the best Christmas she ever had in her life. I felt awfully sorry for her at the time and thought what a shame it was that she had to do all the cooking.

Well, Zeke wants to go to bed early again and is almost finished with his bath so I had better cut this short if I want to get that birthday note written to Dave tonight.

Love,

Biss

P.S. The rest send their love too.

Tomorrow, a quick note from Marian to Grandpa, then another letter from Grandpa to his boys (and Marian). 

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear DARCD – Home Town News In Brief – September 24, 1944

This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian are still in Jackson,Mississippi, Dan is in France, Dick is in Brazil acting as a liaison with the locals who are employed on the base, Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska repairing planes and finding and repairing downed planes and Dave  is at Camp Crowder, recently assigned to the Signal Corps Battalion.

pp pic 1

Trumbull, Conn   September 24, 1944

Dear DARCD:

(Dan, Alfred, Richard, Cedric, Dave)

That’s my code word for all the boys in the family, individually and collectively (in recognition, naturally, of the fact that our youngest is now in the U.S. Signal Corps).

Home Town News in Brief: Bob Peterson, age 50, died quite suddenly last Thursday at the Newington Veterans Hospital where he had gone for treatment for headaches. The trouble is alleged to have been a blood clot on the brain. Besides being a veteran of World War I and a member of the Trumbull American Legion Post, he was a member of the Board of Education, a Building Commissioner, Pres. of the Fairfield Co. Fire Chief’s Assn., and has for 20 years been our local fire chief. Cedric Joslin, whom some of you knew, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps was reported killed in action in Corsica when his fighter plane crashed. Don Whitney is reported home in Long Hill on a visit but I have not myself seen him. Red Sirene is probably overseas somewhere. Yesterday afternoon and this morning, interspersed with spells of cooking dinner, I chopped and sawed, trying to clear the place of fallen timber and as soon as I finish this I shall have to tackle cleaning the kitchen oil burner, so if this letter is shorter than usual, let’s call it the laws of compensation in operation.

Thanks Marian and Lad for your birthday greetings, and by the way, did you ever receive the government check I forwarded to Miss? Dave, happy birthday greeting to you, come next Saturday, just in case, although I expect sometime during the week to write a special birthday letter, as per usual practice. Ced I am in touch with a man who handles refrigerator repairs and who has promised to keep his eye open for something really suitable.

Dave writes he has been assigned to a Sig. Trng. Bn. At Camp Crowder, having been up to the present time in the Replacement Training Section. The new group trains as a unit and as a unit when their training is completed is sent overseas together. He also writes that he and Lad are trying to arrange some time and place where they can meet halfway for a chat. I received Dave’s letter Thursday. In it he suggested I take Jean and Aunt Betty to see “Arsenic and Old Lace” when it comes to Bridgeport.  (  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036613/ ) It was then playing at the Merritt, so that night we all went to the Merritt and enjoyed seeing it. Thank you, Dave, for the suggestion. And now for something not quite so pleasant. I don’t urgently need it, but I don’t like to see any of my boys careless about money matters, so don’t overlook the fact that you still owe me some borrowed money, only part of which has been repaid. Don’t “save till it hurts”, but on the other hand, don’t be too nonchalant about it either. Your father may be lenient but others not. And it’s the habit and frame of mind that count, not the money owed.

Dan writes he has seen a bit of the Brest section.  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Brest )He reports the German atrocities, after talking with the French eyewitnesses and near victims, are unfortunately true. His explanation sounds plausible. The Jerry’s considered themselves superior to the French. The French didn’t feel inferior. Resentment led to action, action to punishment, punishment to revenge, revenge to atrocity. Dan is still enjoying himself and his contact with the French folk.

And now, if you will, let be off this week for just one page, I’ll tackle the oil stove. The weather is getting cooler and Aunt Betty feels it quite a bit and unless the kitchen stove stays lighted it is uncomfortable for her here during the day. I have been able to get some parts for the furnace and that will have to be tackled soon. Adieu.    DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Biss to her brother, Ced, in Alaska, working on a Military Air Base, Wednesday, a short thank you note from Marian to Ced, on Thursday another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another note from Marian.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes to Grandpa From Jackson, Mississippi – September 23, 1944

It is the fall of 1944, and Lad and Marian are in Jackson, Mississippi. Lad is an Instructor of Army Mechanics. Dan is in France, following D-Day, and reports about German atrocities. Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, where he is employed as an airplane mechanic and Bush pilot. Dick in in Santaliza, Brazil, and Dave is at Camp Crowder, preparing for a trip “to somewhere”. 

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Marian (Irwin) Guion

MIG - Army Life - Marian Writes To Grandpa From Jackson Mississippi - September 22, 1944

Friday

Dear Dad —

The week is practically over and it suddenly occurred to me that we haven’t written to you as yet, so if this violent stationary of mine doesn’t put your eyes out, I’ll try to acquaint you with our latest happenings.

Which really aren’t very many. Things go on just about as usual – swing shift still in session. Lad’s working quite hard – he’s the only one of the instructors, I believe, who has classes right straight through until 1230. The others get off early two or three nights in the week. Consequently, it’s pretty tiring.

The photograph that I mentioned sending to you hasn’t gotten in the mail yet! Were awfully sorry, but there seems to be a shortage of boxes and cardboard around here, so that we are having difficulty trying to find something to wrap it in. But will get it to you eventually.

The hot weather is with us again, and believe me it is rather hard to take – it is so darned unpleasant being so “sticky” all of the time, and when the nights don’t cool off it’s hard to get decent sleep. Our only consolation is that the hot spells don’t seem to last very long.

If you have the opportunity, may we recommend Bing Crosby’s latest picture, “Going My Way”,    ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036872/  ) as a definitely “must see” for you. I think Aunt Betty would enjoy it, too, as well as Jean, for to our way of thinking, it is the best picture we have seen this year. The title is a little confusing, and it is hard to imagine Bing Crosby in the role of a priest, but he and Barry Fitzgerald do an exceptionally fine job in the picture. I saw it twice, and would thoroughly enjoy seeing it again. Perhaps you’ve seen it already. If so, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Incidentally Dad, we thought your last letter (Dated September 10th) was a “top – notcher” – particularly Dave’s reminiscent contribution. And to think it came from an ancient 18-year-old! You must feel exceedingly proud, Dad, when you receive such letters, and what satisfaction you must have, knowing that you were in a large part responsible for such perfectly grand results as five wonderful sons and an equally fine daughter.

Pleasant surprise! Lad just came home early (Wonder of wonders) and he is hungry, so I’d better get busy and fix him something to eat.

Lad brought your latest letter with him, tonight. The news of the hurricane was not too good, to say the least. It’s a shame about all those lovely trees. We hope that the house, however, is none the worse for wear.

Lad says to tell you he is going to follow through on Uncle Ted’s suggestion. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. It sounds wonderful as far as we are concerned – hope Uncle Sam feels the same way.

Love to all – Lad & Marian

Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to DARCD (code for all the boys in the family). This letter is filled with news about friends and family. For the rest of the week, I will post letters from Biss (Elizabeth, Grandpa’s only daughter) to Ced, another from Marian to the Trumbull folks, and another from Grandpa to his boys.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (119) – Dear Dad (1) – Expediting the Shipment of Troops – January 11, 1946

Dave, Grandpa’s youngest son, has been in the Army for about two years.  He turned eighteen in September, 1943, left school and enlisted over Christmas break.  He wrote his first letter home on January 15, 1944.  At that point he was at Ft. Devens in Massachusetts.  From there he was sent to Camp Crowder in Missouri for further training.  On January 31, 1945, he wrote his last letter from Camp Crowder and left for parts unknown.  The next letter from Dave to Grandpa was a V-Mail “from somewhere in the Pacific”.  He arrived in Okinawa but ended up staying on board the ship for a few days until the area could be cleared of any remaining Japanese troops. V-J Day occurred on August 15, 1945. His last letter from Okinawa is dated August 11, 1945.  His next letter, dated August 26, 1945, came from Manila.  At this point, Dave is hoping to be home in May or June, 1946.

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

Jan 11, 1946

Manila, P.I.

Dear Dad –

We got a message to our code room last night coming from Eisenhower and going to Gen. Styer and other base commanders.  The message contained a plan for expediting the shipment of troops home for discharge.  It asked for a reply as to whether it would be possible to carry out the plans.  The message stated that all man with 2 1/2 years service and 45 points will be home

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by April 30th.  All man with 2 years of service and 40 points will be out by June 30th.  This second group would include me.  I have 32 points as of V-J Day and two years active service as of Jan. 13 – two days from now.  The message stated that this plan was a must and a minimum.  If the men could be released faster, then they should by all means be released.  After the 2 1/2 year man leave Manila (in early April if they are to be in the states by the dead – line) they will start sending the man with 2 yrs., 5 months,

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then 2 yrs, 3 months, etc.  I figure that I should leave, at the latest, by May 15th.  If we keep bringing pressure to bear on Washington, it can be sooner than that.

If we’re actually needed over here for the good of the country, then I am the last one on earth that would ask to be allowed to go home.  But I think if the government had worked for weeks they couldn’t have thought of a poorer excuse than to say they don’t have replacements.

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I may sound cynical, but I think if there is really a dire need for us out here, the government could have given us a better reason for keeping us here – even granting that the real reason may be a diplomatic or military secret.  Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that politics of one sort or another has entered into the matter.  I hope I’m wrong – but I’ll have to have proof to the contrary if I’m to believe anything else.  With that said, I’ll change the subject.

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I have here five letters from you yet unanswered.  The first is a three-part job: one part concerning your information on surplus goods; the second on Thanksgiving Day activities; and third on news accumulated between Thanksgiving and the following Sunday.

I can see nothing wrong with your suggestion that I write to the Boston Corporation.  I shall try to get around to doing that before too much more time passes.

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The Thanksgiving Day summary was interesting but requires no comment except that I wish I could have been there.  The only comment I have to make on Sunday’s letter is that if your kindness in letting the gang use the barn is being abused, by all means, close it to them.  Get a hold of Bill or Win and tell them that you’re going to close it, at least until I get back, and that they had better take anything that belongs to them and that they want, out of there before you close it.

WHOOPS !!! Made a mistake!  Pages 5 & 6 are inside.  This is page 7 and 8 is on the back.

Tomorrow I will finish this 12 page letter from Dave. 

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Danbury Fair Week – October 1, 1939

We are in to October, 1939, and Lad has been in Venezuela for nine months. He has been promoted to the “Trouble Shooter” and travels from one rustic camp in the hinterlands of northern Venezuela to another, to repair vehicles that other mechanics are unable to fix. This keeps him out of Caracas and makes it difficult to write home weekly, as he used to. Grandpa doesn’t like it one bit.

Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad)

R-43

October 1, 1939

Dear Lad:

It is getting kind of monotonous to have letters from me being the same each week, so I’ll fool you this time and say nothing about the empty mailbox. Whether my restraint will hold out next Sunday, if no news is received in the interim, marking the fourth week of silence, is too soon to forecast.

Daniel Beck Guion with his nephew, Raymond Zabel, Elizabeth’s firstborn

The only big news, relatively speaking, that has happened this week is that Dan has returned to college at Storrs. He had written to them about the possibility of re-enrollment but not having heard anything in reply, I telephoned Tuesday to  the registrar and learned that Dan could enroll, but that he ought to go up there at once and arrange for a room. So bright and early Wednesday Ced drove him up. He came home yesterday and reported that he is again on the debating team, is boarding with a retired professor of geology, and is a Junior. He’s taking the Packard up as Ced prefers the old Willys as being cheaper to run back and forth.

And speaking of cars, Carl is trying to sell his all Auburn. He has it outside the gas station was a big for-sale sign on it. He has officially changed his name to Wayne as you may have heard. Nellie (Nelson Sperling) is still working off and on as the spirit moves him at Steve’s (Steve Kascak’s garage, where Lad started working as a mechanic during summer vacations when he was 14, and continued for several years) garage. Art Mantle is somewhere on the high seas on one of Uncle Sam’s warships, but at just what location I have not heard lately. Chris Smith and family, I learned, have sold their house on Cottage Place and moved to California St. in Stratford. I understand they have taken a big enough house so that when Bill and Helen are married, which is scheduled to take place towards the end of this month, they can live there also. Irwin Laufer, as I may have told you, is on the Democratic ticket nominated as Constable from the Center. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is working for Judge Miller in Bridgeport.

This is Danbury Fair week once again, and it is the present intention of Dan and Ced and the gang to go up there next Saturday. If I go too, I shall naturally miss you. I was trying to figure out the other day whether it was more logical, you suppose, that we miss you here more than you miss home, and decided that the former was the case because at home here, I particularly am reminded by a thousand familiar things that have associations with what you did or said, whereas you are in entirely new surroundings with little to remind you of former scenes or people. Just as an example, the air was quite chilly the other morning when I got up and because I have a cold that is still hanging on, I thought it would be more comfortable to shave in a warm bathroom, so I upped and lights the old oil stove, and as I was turning it out I pictured you stalking in in your 6 feet 1 or whatever it is, and promptly moving the stove outside the door where it would not smell. Go on, say it, you are quite hurt that a stinky stove should have reminded me of you, to which my reply would be that the sweetest perfume is made from what a sick whale throws up, so you needn’t get all worked up about that remark. I was only trying to make conversation anyway, so there’s no sense in your flying off in a temper. There, that’s disposed of.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and on Friday, an article published by the Bridgeport Times Star about the Republican Candidate for First Selectman of Trumbull …. Grandpa, up for re-election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (2) – More News From Alaska – July, 1945

This is the continuation of Ced’s long letter I started yesterday.

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

As to flying, perhaps you could find me an airplane cheap. Seriously, the more I think of it, the more I think it would be smarter for me to buy one instead of paying rental on planes here. The cheapest I can fly for is $7.50 an hour and I need at least 150 hours more. That makes $1125 and nothing to show for it but the flying time and experience. The Army is releasing some of the small ships which they used for observation purposes. If I could get an Aeronca Chief or a Taylorcraft or some such thing, I might be money ahead. I think the Army is selling them for around $750 as is. Most need repairs but some need very little. My thought is that if I could get one of these, spend a few dollars on repairs and licensing, I would not only get my flying time a little cheaper but would have something material out of it. As for purchasing wherewithal I would have to scrape up the cash somehow, as the Army, I don’t think, would like a time payment plan. If Dan would permit me, I might sell the car and use that money toward a plane paying him back on time. The biggest hitch is finding the plane as I think I could promote the money. Perhaps the fellows in the apartment could steer you onto something. There were also some good buys on the civilian market, but they are probably not quite as much for the money. If something were available back there, I could perhaps take time off,  dash home to Trumbull on a flying trip, and fly the ship back up here. Then next time I wanted to go to Trumbull, it would be just a matter of packing up the plane and get going. This is perhaps all a pipe dream but I’m enjoying it and if you happen to run across something let me know, post haste. In the meantime I am looking around for whatever I can see and paying from $7.50 to $10 an hour. A plane similar to those I mentioned, in this country, would run from $2500 to $4000, which is slightly beyond my means. Ask Marian if she could get me a helicopter for $25 down and the rest when they catch me.

Marian (Mrs. Alfred (Lad) Guion), is living at the Trumbull House with Grandpa, awaiting Lad’s return from the war. She is employed by Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Connecticut)

I must finish that trip history before I forget that I went on it. I’ll try to include another installment in the next issue. Dave’s moccasins will be on the way soon. I haven’t been able to get them yet but I think this coming week will turn the tide. Now as regards the much discussed touring Grandpa being able to travel after the War) , all arrangements at Trumbull should be comparatively simple. There should be someone interested in renting the house in the event you care to leave on an extended vacation after the war. They should be willing to take over the apartment care if the rent was reasonable, and of course Dave and Aunt Betty would either stay there or move into other quarters, whichever seemed the most adaptable to all concerned. At any rate, it seems to me that a trip such as you mention would be a swell one to take and maybe things can be worked out so that I can start from here and join you somewhere along the road. Perhaps I would fly on ahead and spied out a trail for you in case the highway was too bad. Seriously, it would be fun to start by car from here and go all the way down through the U.S., stopping at the National Parks and wonders which Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie have raved about, and continuing on through Central America. Wouldn’t a house trailer be a good investment on a trip such as that? Maybe the roads wouldn’t be good enough to take a heavy trailer over, but if they were, and from what I’ve heard of trailers or tourists, it would be a most enjoyable way to go and perhaps as inexpensive as any other way and less than most. We could

page 3 of Ced’s letter

carry a tent for extra sleeping and use the trailer as a cook shack and base camp. Of course, it would be most enjoyable and a WOW of a trip if the whole caboodle clan Guion and spouses could gather together enough rolling stock and equipment to make the trip together, and I for one would be for it, but I suppose that, due to circumstances beyond our control, that would be difficult to manage. However it is something to think about and to work for. Well, I sure have wandered about in this letter and romanced plenty.

Now let’s get down to facts again. Art Woodley is again in the states to see about new planes, new routes, etc. All planes are now running again. Thursday of this coming week, the fishing season closes and again we have that mad rush evacuating the fisherman. At least we are better situated to handle the rush then we have been for a long time.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Latest rumor, unconfirmed, is that Rusty is coming back to Anchorage to live. Walter Stoll told me that John Manders had a letter from Rusty to that effect. I have not written him lately nor have I heard from him for five or six weeks. The city of Anchorage has finally oiled many of the streets to keep down the dust, a move which I have felt necessary since Dan and I arrived here in 1940. There is an amusement park at the east end of town opening soon. It consists of a merry-go-round and an airplane loop-the-loop. There are now some 90 odd licenses in the city for the dispensing of retail and wholesale liquor. Whoops, my dear, what a fair city we have, hic, hic. The Community Hall has been converted into a hospital for venereal diseases, which are on the sharp increase hereabouts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bolivar_Buckner_Jr.

The successor to Gen. Buckner, Gen. Mittlestedt, has threatened to call “off-limits” many places in Anchorage if the condition isn’t cleared up quickly. So much for the dirt. To Jean, bon voyage and a pleasant landing. Marian, I hope such joy as Jean is experiencing will soon be yours. To Aunt Betty I promise a letter in the near future. Till then, to all a good night.

Tomorrow, Grandpa gives us the complete letter from Lad, who is somewhere in Southern France. On Thursday, letters from Dan and Dick and on Friday, a letter from Dave and Grandpa’s comments.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (117) – Dear Folks (2) – Obsolete News – November 30, 1945

The Water Works Building where Dave is working

Well, so much for all that.  Maybe I’d better see what there is to answer in all these letters I’ve got here.  The first, written on Sept 23rd, contains a birthday letter to me.  The birthday letter contained inspiration and the rest contained news – but alas, all the news is “obsolete”.  You see, somehow, this letter was held up and got to me just this past week.  It took the letter over two months to get here.  In the meantime, of course, I had received more recent letters.  But, as usual, the letter made interesting reading.  However, the news is so out-dated, that I don’t feel I can comment on the letter.  So I’ll go onto yours of Oct.. 28.  (The ones between these two dates have already been answered).  Nothing in this one except that in it you quote the first of my letters that told of lowered morale.  It seems that my letters got worse and worse until finally, in your letter of Nov. 11, you wrote a morale-booster to me.  It has had its effect – thanks.  A number of things that have happened in the last two weeks have also improved my morale – I have already mentioned them – MED (Sgt. Mendendorp) has come down from Korea and we are once again hanging around together, and they have finally started to get the shipping ball rolling.  Tomorrow our 63-pointer leaves to join an outfit that is going home sometime next month.  So they’re getting down nearer to my level.  General opinion around here now is that those in my shoes will be going home in April or May.  That means I should be on my way, or even home, by the end of six months.  I can wait that long.

Sure glad to hear about and from Ced.  I wish I could be home to see him again.  I am sorry to report that since being in Manila, I’ve lost some of my broad-mindedness in my feelings as to the punishment that should be meted out to the Japs.  There a sly lot and they should be punished.  However, I still hold to my conviction that education will solve the problem.

Well, there’s not much here, but I’m afraid it’s all you get from this ole “Pacifican”.

Love,

Dave

NOTE: General opinion was quit accurate. Dave was discharged on May 6, 1946. Tomorrow, I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1939. Lad, Grandpa’s oldest, (and my Father) is the only son away from home. Dan has returned from Venezuela and Lad remains there, working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. He is their troubleshooter and travels around from Camp to Camp, working and maintaining equipment that the regular mechanics are not able to handle.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (117) – Dear Folks (1) – Comments On Five Letters – November 30, 1945

David Peabody Guion

Nov 30, 1945

Manila

Dear Folks –

I have here only five letters from Ye Olde Homestead which have as yet not been answered.  We have been extremely busy up to about three days ago.  That’s the primary reason that I have not answered these letters until now.  But our busy days are over for the present, anyway.  Now if you don’t hear from me it will be because of pure negligence on the part of one Cpl. Guion.  Here’s the story: a the matter of 24 hours our Radio Circuit Korea was taken off the air, the Teletype Circuit was moved downstairs in the GHQ Teletype Tape Relay Station, and our Message Center was closed.  It all happened so fast that we don’t quite believe it yet.  Lt. Greenberger sent a message asking for instructions from Korea.  As yet we’ve received no reply.  The two most likely answers as things are now: (1) we will stay here and work downstairs in GHQ Signal Center instead of a sub- division of it as we were before, and (2) we will go to Korea where our fate is unknown.  Neither one of these possibilities is any more likely than the other – your guess is as good as mine.  There is also a more remote possibility that we will go to Japan.  Time will tell.

In the meantime, we are waiting for answers to two messages that were sent a day or two before we were closed up.  One was a request for replacements for the men who have left here going home for discharge (this situation has cleared considerably, by the way, and as a result my morale has improved immensely).  You’ll probably remember my mentioning Sgt. Mendendorp, the guy that was my Team-Chief on that advanced party to Okinawa.  We became pretty friendly and I hated to leave him when I was assigned to this team coming to Manila.  But now he has arrived as a replacement for one of the guys who has left.  Once again, he is my Chief and I’m sure glad he’s back.  These two replacements that we’re waiting for now are two more of the guys that were in that five-man team that was in the advanced party on Okie.  The missing man on that original team has left for the states from Korea.  So if the two replacements get here, it will make our old team with the exception of one, intact once again.  The second message that we are waiting for is an answer approving the recommendations of a boost in rank to four members of this detachment, one of whom on this list is yours truly up for T/4.  The question is, if no action is taken on these messages before the message saying that were closing up is received, will they go ahead and send replacements (doubtful) and approve the rank boosts (possible) even after the third message was received.  I can only hope that action was taken.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (1) – The BIG Storm – September 17, 1944

Trumbull House - Maple tree taken down in Hurricane of 1944 - view towards litle drive way

Trumbul house - Maple tree taken down in hurricane of 1944 - loking towards road

Trumbul house - Maple Tree taken down in Huricane of 1944 (front porch steps

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 17, 1944

Dear Lumberman at large:

Return immediately. Poppa needs you. The wind she blow like hell in Trumbull and the place formally yelept (I have no idea what he meant by this) Babbling Brook (The name Grandma Arla used for the Trumbull House) seemed to be right in the path of the storm. Anyway, this morning, inspired by the good neighbor policy, Messrs. Laufer, Reynolds, John Kurtz and A.D.G. with ax, saw, crowbar, block and tackle, plus Buick horsepower lifted several tons of maple tree off the roof of the apartment, after a big section of the big maple tree in the back of the house ripped off and crashed down on our domicile. What internal damage was done I have not yet been able to ascertain, but here is a brief review of the other tree damage on the property;

1 – The aged maple tree between the barn and the old chicken coop was entirely blown down over the electric wires leading to the cottage.

2 – The top of the pine tree just outside the barn door had the top entirely blown off where it extended above the barn roof.

3 – At last the little old half Apple tree outside the back door which lost half its life in the last storm in 1938, has now been completely uprooted and lies partly across the driveway.

4 – The middle sized apple tree near the fence between the east side of our property and Ives corner lot, about opposite the big dining room window, was completely snapped off about 5 feet from it’s base so that it now parallels the driveway on top of the rhododendron brush and practically up to the stone gateway.

5 – The big old Maple tree on the front lawn near the screened porch, which was pretty hollow at the base anyway, had a big section toward the street broken off.

6 – The top of one of the big fir trees, or whatever it was, on the west side of the front entrance cement steps, as completely wrenched off.

Of course the whole place was littered with leaves and twigs and broken branches. It looked as if Eisenhower’s men had just finished a bombardment of enemy territory and this was it. There is plenty of potential firewood available this winter if I have the time and strength and endurance to saw it all up. Catherine took some pictures of the damage done to the place and as soon as prints are available I will send you some.

It’s the big fish that always gets away, they say, so it follows that one of the most appreciated letters that it has ever been my privilege to receive – – a birthday message from Dave – – which I intended to preserve and reread from time to time as a bracer and moral tonic when ere I got to feeling out of sorts, was lost in the big storm that visited us. The letter arrived on the same day during a heavy downpour and a few hours before the big wind hit. I took it with me after I left the office that night to go over to Elizabeth’s for supper. When I arrived I showed it to Elizabeth and Aunt Betty. Just before leaving for home, Zeke read it, handing it back to me just as I went out the front door into the driving rain with Aunt Betty toward the car. I thought I put it in my inside pocket where I generally carry such things but  I had several packages in my hand and was guiding Aunt Betty. When I reached home a search through all my pockets failed to reveal it and I pictured it being blown over the fair state of Connecticut at the rate of 70 mph. Oh well, it’s good to note Dave feels like he does to his pater, anyway.

You know the kind of glass they sometimes have on bathroom doors that lets light through, but is rippled and clouded so you can’t see through it? Well, that’s just about the visibility through the windshield of my car on the way home except for the immediate instant as the wiper was making its quick pass back and forth. Repeatedly we were engulfed in small ponds in low places on the road, invisible a few feet ahead through the storm, sprayed walls of water to each side just like the prow of a speeding boat (Remember that day in Hartford, Ced?) After a few such experiences the car began to buck a little and miss and the brakes began slipping, but we finally made port in the old barn, dropped anchor and reefed all sails to prepare for the coming hurricane, which the radio promised would increase in violence until reaching its peak at midnight. As the hours wore on, gradually the gale increased. Powerful gusts again and again would make the old house shiver. An occasional snap or thud made one wonder what was going on and what would happen next, but as the streetlights were all out, it was as black as pitch and you couldn’t see a thing. Jean, who was a bit on edge with it all, stayed up until 3 AM, writing all about it to Dick – – a sort of blow-by-blow description, one might truthfully say. On Friday morning, alas, the bright sun showed the havoc. The old Guion place had literally had its face lifted. We were without electric current until late Saturday afternoon and thus were without radio news, lights, hot water, or stove, and to cap it all, the oil burner in the kitchen range acted up so we had no cooking means at hand and had to avail ourselves of Catherine’s offer to use her gas stove. The telephone is still out.

Valerie, a valued follower in New Zealand, took this one step further than I did and found this link about the Great Atlantic Hurricane which hit New England in September, 1944. Trumbull is five miles north of Bridgeport, which is on Long Island Sound. This is where the Hurricane landed in Connecticut.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1944_Great_Atlantic_hurricane

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the rest of the letter. Thursday, the Birthday letter from Dave, on Friday, a One-Act Play, written by Grandpa.

Judy Guion.