Army Life – The Big Day – Announcements – November, 1943

This appeared in the South Pasadena Review in November, 1943, announcing Marian Irwin’s engagement to Alfred Guion.

*************************************************

Mr. and Mrs. Mowry A. Irwin

announce the marriage of their daughter

Marian

to

Mr. Alfred P. Guion

Army of the United States

on Sunday, the fourteenth of November

Nieteen hundred and forty-three

Berkeley, California

 

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Army Life – Dad – Lad to Dad Concerning his Stock – November, 1943

 

Mon.    22.11.43

Dad:-

In answer to your various questions concerning our financial status via Ven. Pet:–: (Venezuelan Petroleum Stock)

1st – should you pay Investors Syndicate installment from Ven. Pet. proceeds?

ans: Until I know more about the purpose of the Investors Syndicate (length of or number of installments or maximum total; percentage of loss by sale; etc.; etc.) I shall follow your advice and continue on with the installments; using some of the proceeds from Ven. Pet. for this purpose.

2nd – If you decide to sell (and you have my permission) – yes, by all means clear up your own back balance as well as

3rd – the balance due the Bank so that you can clear your name as well as unfreeze your collateral.

4th – For the moment sell only enough to meet current obligations (Inv. Syn.; Bank Balance; A.D.G. Bank Balance; and retain the remainder of them until further notice.

As to Marian’s and my address — Who knows? Apparently you haven’t gathered from what I have written, that Marian has had to give up her apartment, and for the moment we are living from night to night anyplace we can find a room. We’ve been looking now for almost 2 mo. with still no luck, so we have no address we can use as a residence. Mailing can be to me, at

I don’t seem to have the rest of this letter. Tomorrow I’ll post two announcements concerning my Mom and Dad wedding. On Wednesday, Dads description of the wedding. On Thursday and Friday, a long letter from Grandpa to the Captains of Industry.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (2) – Conclusion of Lad’s First Letter Home – May, 1942

 

Lad - 1943

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 and 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.) (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. On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures. Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1943, just after Lad and Marian’s wedding.  

Judy Guion 

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (1) – Lad’s First Week in the Army – May, 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

Dear Tripartite (1) – Grandpa’s Rendition of Lad’s Induction into the Army – May, 1942

 

 

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.

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

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 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 week in the Army. I’ll finish the week with another letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Induction Booklet “FALL-IN” – May, 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 - May 14, 1942 - (insdide cover)

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 called 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 way 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’re 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. They are 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, more Special Pictures.

I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1945 on Monday. Dan and Paulette are still in France,Lad is home, Dick will be soon, Ced is still in Alaska and Dave is in Manila, the Philippines.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (1) – Lad is in the Army – May, 1942

Trumbull, Conn., May 10, 1942

Dear boys:

Lad is in the Army.

At least that is what he announced after coming back from a trip to New York in which he applied successively but unsuccessfully for enlistment in the Naval Reserves, the Marines and the Coast Guard, failing in each to meet eyesight minimum requirements, so Wednesday he is off for Derby to see what happens.

Well naturally I am sorry for Lad’s sake that he did not get into the branch of the service he felt would interest him most. As I think the whole thing over, I believe I would rather have it the way it is. Speaking from the viewpoint of a parent whose uppermost thought these days is the welfare of his sons, it would seem as though the Army is the best bet.

I reach this conclusion along the following line of thought. As the basic premise, this country is all out to win the war. We must put into this effort everything we have – – both men and materials. However at the present time, the outstanding need and our foremost contribution is, and for some time must be, not so much man as materials – – planes, ships, guns, tanks, ammunition for all the allies, and secondarily men to use such proportion of these war materials as we reserved for ourselves.

But of all the manpower fighting on the side of the Allies I should surmise that the U. S. proportionately would expect to have the least number of men engaged in actual fighting.

The main objectives for victory, in order of their importance, seem to me to be the destruction (1) of Hitler’s Army, (2) the Jap Navy and (3) the Jap Army.

To accomplish the first would seem primarily the job of the Russians, aided by the British flyers, Navy and perhaps later their Army.

Number two seems to be our meat, the brunt of losses falling on our naval and flying forces.

Number three just naturally falls to the lot of the Chinese.

If and when the invasion of the continent is decided upon, and in Australia, Africa and China, our Army will undoubtedly have a part, but on account of geographical location, shortage of shipping and less shortage of manpower among our allies near the scene of conflict, and then of materials, it seems as though demands of our army would be far less than that of our other services such as navel and flying personnel, with consequently smaller losses.

That is the way things look today, and unless the character of the war changes considerably (and I suppose we must expect surprising changes with the world at war), I would expect our losses in manpower to be in the following order: Navy, flying service (both Army and Navy) and Army ground forces. Theoretically, then, the best chance of survival would seem to be with those in the US Army. You can understand therefore why the selfish part of me is glad to have my boys serving in the Army rather than in the Navy or flying forces.

Did you boys listen to Churchill’s inspiring talk this afternoon? As an oratory I think he has our own chief executive beaten to a frazzle.

Tomorrow, page 2 of this letter. I’ll be posting other news and letters about his induction into Uncle Sam’s Best. On Friday, the Induction Booklet, “FALL IN”, given to Lad by the American Legion on the day of his induction, May 14th, 1942 at the Shelton Railroad Station.

Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion