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

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian Irwin Guion.  (Mrs. Lad)

Wednesday –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love to all

Marian

2/18/44

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

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

Love —

Marian

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

Judy Guion.

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

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

Marian (Irwin) Guion

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Sunday

Dear Dad and assembled members of the Guion family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love to everyone,

Marian

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

M

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

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

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

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

Lad - 1943

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Wed.

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

May 23

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

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

Sunday –

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

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

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

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

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

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

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

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

Pvt. ______(me)____

Co B – 1st Bn. – O.R.T.C.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Md.

Love —–

Lad

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

Judy Guion 

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

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

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

Pvt. A.P. Guion

Co. B 14 Bn ORTC

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Md.

May 18, 1942

Dear Dad: –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Tripartate (2) – Bits and Pieces of Trumbull News – May 17, 1942

page 2     5/17/42

ADG - Gas Rationing Card - 1945

 Sample Gas Rationing Card

Well, gas rationing days are over here. Dick, (Paul) Warden and I each obtained a ?-? card but Zeke could only get an A-3, so Elizabeth will not be visiting Trumbull so frequently as of yore.

Red (also known as Don Sirene)  came home this weekend and informs me he was turned down by the Naval Reserves and the Marines, so he, too, will be in the Army. Charley Hall however, he says, made the grade, due presumably to his engineering training. Red’s roommate received some notice asking if you would like to work in Alaska, and immediately Red sent to the same source for a similar application.

1938 Kurtz (2)

“The Good Times” – 1939 Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl Wayne – The Red Horse Station

The Ives and Carl and Ethel (Wayne), are intending to take a trip up to the Adirondacks and get in some fishing. Carl has not decided whether he will try to keep the station going under all the new handicaps, or not.

No words of cheer to the old base last week from either of the three absent sons, so I am much in the position of the radio announcer who keeps on broadcasting without knowing whether his message is getting across to his audience or even whether he has an audience.

My business continues in the doldrums, some weeks the expense of doing business exceeding the income and some just enough over to make me feel it might be worthwhile to hang on until things take a turn for the better. I’ve just got enough tenacity of purpose in my makeup so I don’t easily give up, I guess.

Cora Beach died last week. Mrs. Burr Beach is now running the library. Jimmy Smith has been ill in the hospital but I understand is home again and better. Lad went down to see the New Rochelle relatives just before he left and reports all well.

Enclosed with this note, Ced, old dear, is a birthday card from Aunt Betty, which she asked me to address and send for her. Dick is over getting Dan’s car filled up with gas in the hope and expectation he might come back with Bar (Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend)  who goes to visit him on the 22nd. Dick just finished and sent in his questionnaire last week and has now received a card to fill in as sort of an occupational guide to enable the Army authorities, I suppose, to fit him in where his experience and training would seem to promise best results. He spends about half his time in Stratford (where Jean Mortensen, his girlfriend, lives) these days, although from now on, the gas rationing may possibly cramp his style a bit.

Lilac Bush

Lilac Bush

This will probably be the last week for the lilacs but the iris are coming along nicely, and is also the grass, particularly after last night’s rain.

The news stream got down to a trickle in the last paragraph with a few drops left for this one and has now ceased entirely as I shall also, with the usual greetings (I shall forbear saying anything about writing soon, as being entirely superfluous). So with best wishes from the home folks, I shall sign off, as usual, from

DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday, Lad’s first letter to Grandpa, telling him of his experiences since saying good-bye to his Dad at the Derby Railroad Station. I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa to the three boys, all in service to Uncle Sam. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Tripartate (1) – Lad Joins the Army – May 17, 1942

This week, my posts will be about Lad’s introduction into Army life with a little bit about other members of the family.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn., May 17, 1942

Dear Tripartite:

Spring Bulletin No. 1 – Saw mosquito, sank same.

Yesterday afternoon, my entire remaining army of sappers and Miners (accent on the sap), being awol, I had the alternative of cutting grass or cleaning oil stove burner in the kitchen, and, as it seemed to be threatening rain, I selected the latter job which I finished and then lit the fire. About 10 o’clock it really started to rain, not a little sissy sprinkle but a steady business-like downpour, distinctly audible from where I sat in the kitchen listening to Raymond Grame Swing. The drumming beat of the raindrops continued, accompanied by gurglings as it rushed down the leaders, and to its obligato, I went off to dreamland, being rudely awakened at ten minutes to three by the sound of the Trumbull fire siren, accompanied, a few minutes later, by the arrival of the apparatus itself right in front of our house. Beams of light stabbed the rain and darkness, car after car arrived, smoke drifted in through the window, men shouted outside. My oil burner flashed into mind. Was this history repeating itself?  A light appeared under Dave’s door. Light blasted out from Warden’s apartment. A crowd seemed gathering in front of the house all the way from Laufer’s to Pack’s. Dave and I peered out of the windows. There was a light also in the cottage, but Dave finally discerned a ladder up against Pack’s house, which solved the mystery. Apparently they got whatever fire there was under control quickly, and about half an hour later the neighborhood returned to its wonted quiet.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Wednesday last, Lad woke me up a little before 5 A. M. and after a hasty breakfast we started off in my car for the w.k. rail road station in Derby, from which I saw my engineer son (Dan left in January, 1942, just 5 months earlier) off to the army camp. This time, however, there was much more of a crowd, the station yard being pretty well crowded with cars. I learned later there were about 80 men in all in the group. A voice said: “May I have your attention for a minute, please”, and then went on to announce that he was the leader of the local draft board, gave them a brief talk, introduced the mayor of Derby, an ex-service man himself, who also gave them a little pep talk. It was then announced that booklets will be distributed to each trainee, and to expedite delivery the two leaders who had been appointed were asked to assist. Mr. so-and-so and Mr. Gwo-yon were asked to step forward. I looked at Lad but he said it was not intended for him as he was not a leader. However, when the booklet was passed out with his name on it, the same pronunciation was given, and when later, Lad went into the station to get his ticket, the girl informed him he had been appointed a leader. His duties were to see that the men were properly entrained, etc. The only way I could figure it out was that probably, in going over Lad’s questionnaire, they noted that he had been in charge of a group of men in Venezuela and had also taken the police training course, both of which would qualify him for the job. As this seemed to indicate he would probably be busy and the absence of a father would relieve him of one additional burden, I said good-by as the train pulled into the station. I have not heard from him since, but the plan was for the boys to go to Hartford for their final physical exam, thence to Camp Devens and parts unknown. Lad did not sell his car. The Buick people would not give him even six hundred dollars for it so it now reposes in the barn awaiting more favorable days.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish this letter from Grandpa to Ced, Dan and Lad, all away from home now. Wednesday and Thursday, a letter from Lad to Grandpa with his version of his first weeks in the Army. I’ll finish the week with another letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Laddie – All the Local Dirt – March 5, 1940

This is a letter from (I believe) Ethel Bushey, one of “The Gang” from the Trumbull House, who was Bissie’s best friend and married Carl Wayne.

APG - Lad on Hotel porch in Caracas (2)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Caracas, Venezuela

March 5, 1940

Hello Laddie –

What a surprise to receive a letter from you, especially when you remembered my birthday. I meant to answer long ago but things seem to happen just when I plan to write. Carl (Wayne) is now in Florida with Ebb Joy. They took Carl’s car, a new Ford, and Ebb’s trailer. I am now a lonesome widow. Of course I get around, you know how it is.

EWGZ - Bissie and Raymond Jr. (Butch) at baptism - June, 1940

Biss and her son, Raymond Zabel, Jr., known as Butch to the family

You should see your lovely nephew. He is wonderful! The best baby in the world. I love him.

The weather has been very nasty here between snow and hail. Just yesterday we had a hailstorm and we have no heat, lights, or water. The furnace is run by electricity, too. Damn the modern conveniences (sometimes).

Wish you would come back before I get so fat you won’t know me.

Anything I write now will probably be old news.

Rusty (Heurlin) is staying with your Dad at present and last night he was playing the guitar and we all sat around and sang.

Dad has a new car. This year’s model is a beauty.

I’m writing this in the office so please excuse the pencil.

Have you found any girls that you like? Bet you miss parking off the Merritt Parkway, or don’t you? I often think of you when we go by that certain place. Never have I thought of anybody but you driving the Packard.

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

            Arnold Gibson

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

Were you surprised to hear of Arnold and Alta’s engagement? I was flabbergasted. Did you think he was serious with her? Remember the first night he took her out? New Year’s Eve and we were at my house, with Doris and George Porter. Doris’s little girl is quite a young lady now. She is walking and also talking. Won’t be long before Bissie’s will be doing the same. Helen and Bill have a very nice little home and seemed very happy.

Bill and Carl want to buy a 27 foot sailboat for this summer, Helen doesn’t approve but I guess he is going to do it anyway.

Arnold and Alta bought a $950 trailer to live in. Arnold says he isn’t going to pay anybody rent.

Have you been writing to Babe? (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) If you have, then you probably know she has a 1940 Ford. Someday Ethel will have a car too. (I hope)

Remember Ann Holt? She is married and expecting in April. Guess I told you about all the marriages, births etc. Just thought of two more, J Kurtz has a son and Dan Wells’ wife is expecting again. How’s that for all the dirt in town.

Now, how about you? What are you doing and who do you go out with and when will you ever be back, etc. etc. etc.

Wish that I could have enough time off so I could come down and visit with you. I hope Lad, that everything I’ve written isn’t old news to you. It won’t be very interesting if it is. Please don’t wait as long as I did to answer and I promise faithfully I’ll write a nice long letter next time. In the meantime be good and write soon, I’ll be waiting.

Love,

Ethel Bushey

                           Ethel Bushey

Ethel

P.S. Any pictures of you? Send one please.

I never reread a letter so excuse the errors.

I meant to address this last night but we still had no lights so went to visit Bissie. Lad, I do wish you could see the baby or just hold him for a minute, he is just perfect.

Rusty played some more and Bissie and I sang. Later Rusty walked home with me and we had quite a nice talk. He is leaving today for New York or Philadelphia.

Carl Wayne

               Carl Wayne

I’m just counting the days for Carl’s return. I’m beginning to miss him now. Don’t you miss any of us? You never say in any of your letters anything about being lonesome.

Last night the fireplace was going and I thought of the nights I spent in there with you. We had fun, didn’t we? Remember the night I got sick on the beer and Bissie accused you the next morning?

There are so many things I would like to tell you but don’t know whether or not they would interest you.

This summer two very nice boys, Richard Bylandt and Paul Brolin, rented Friend’s Lodge for the summer and we had wonderful times with them. Paul’s people have oodles of money and he is a Cornell man. He worked for six years after graduating and this summer he and Richard gave up work to live for one year doing just as they please. I know you would like them.

Carl has a diving helmet. He took it to Florida with him. In his letter he said he went down for some coral and sponge. He really has the craziest hobbies.

Think I will finally end this letter and look for your address. I hope it is the same.

Love,

Ethel

For the rest of the week, I will be posting a letter written by Grandpa to Lad in Venezuela. He also enclosed a Round-Robin letter written by members of “The Gang” who are visiting on Sunday Evening’s Weekly Open House.

Judy Guion

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

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

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

David Peabody Guion, January, 1944

Trumbull, Conn., January 16, 1944

Dear Dave:

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

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

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

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

Lad'swedding photo (2)

            Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) 

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

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

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

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick)

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

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

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

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

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

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

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

 Marian (Irwin) Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

  Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

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

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Subject: Award of Good Conduct Medal to

Daniel B. Guion

T/5 31041206

Co. A, 660th Engr. Bn.

Dear Mr. Guion:

It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity

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

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

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

Judy Guion

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

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

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

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

Sun. Noon  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Everybody:-

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

Lad - 1943

Lad, my Father

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

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

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

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

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

Lots of love, etc.

Laddie

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

Judy Guion

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

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

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

APG - Fall In... Induction date, 5.14.1942

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

 WHAT YOU ARE DEFENDING

Life….. Liberty….. Pursuit of Happiness

Right to Hold Property

Brotherhood of Free Peoples….. Equality of Man

The Constitution, Including the Bill of Rights

American Way of Life

THE FOUR FREEDOMS

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

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

FOREWARD

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Signature)

Lynn U. Stambaugh

National Commander

THE SERVICE FRATERNITY

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

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

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

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

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

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

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

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

“The service is just what you make it.”

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

Judy Guion