Life in Alaska – Dear Ced – Distinguished Service Citation – May 24, 1944

This week, I have moved forward to 1944, a time when all five of Grandpa’s sons are serving the war effort in one way or another. Lad is in California, with his new bride, Marian, training vehicle mechanics for the Army; Dan is in London, with trips to Paris, probably drawing maps for the coming Army invasion; Ced is working as an airplane mechanic at an airfield which has been taken over by the Army; Dick is in Brazil, working as an M.P. and acting as a liaison between the Army and the local workmen; Dave has been in the Army for about six months and is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, for further training before being sent overseas. 

Rusty Heurlin, taken in Alaska (2)

Magnus Colcord Heurlin (Rusty)

Nome, Alaska

May 24, 1944

Dear Ced,

Sure wish to thank you for taking care of frames for me. Will someday show appreciation for lifts you’ve given me. But plans have taken a change with me on these frames being sent here. May have you deliver them later on to someone in Anchorage who may take care of selling my work, as then would only need 2 frames — one gold and one silver to show paintings in — judge type of frame best for pictures I sent to this person in Anchorage — send picture without frame and tell him which kind to use. This is a more practical arrangement. So hold on to them until you hear from me on this score.

Cashed your money order and went to Bureau of Indian Affairs Office to pick you up some ivory. In same mail came a check from Harry Olson of Anchorage for whom I was going to do some work. But come to find out that they are sending all their ivory over  to office in Juneau. Next best thing I can do is to pick up stuff direct from natives on trips to Pt. Barrow. Will stop at Diomede where Indian Affairs got ivory, was in hopes of getting here so I will get the jump on them here over there. But what may be of greater value are whale bone baskets made farther north, as the art is slowly passing away and most all this work is real art.

Ice is still reflecting into sky blinding light. Looks like you were going to lose but Army on turning point of war with regard to invasion. We had invasion pool here – month by month — but will not take any chance until month of July. For some reason or other I peg July 5th but who cares what I think anyway. I could be wrong on this psychological analysis. That means — look it up in the dictionary!

You wouldn’t like it here — grapefruit 90 cents apiece — lemons 20 cents apiece. Why should I eat them just because they are not to be had during winter time up here? Never went in for them much before says I to greedy storekeepers so can wait till I get back on the farm someday where fruit will be a carrot (for the eyes) then pounds of tomatoes for the gut.

Was over to the flying preacher’s house at a little gathering tonight and we all turned to pages this and that and sung hymns. Find it rather difficult at times to sing with tongue in the cheek. But soon he is taking me on a trip to ___________  in the Piper Cub. Went down to Solomon with him few weeks ago and attended church with him there. Getting to be quite religious these days and seeing as much of Seward Peninsula as I can. Attended Catholic services at Nulato on way over and was invited to dinner at rectory where I had a delightful repast with Father Band and interesting evening with the 3 sisters. It is nice or good to see how the different men of the different clergy live.

How goes the flying? And how is your daffy boss treating you these days? Nothing new here — marking time only for the breakup. Old Hankus Morgenthau put his hand and seal to distinguished service citation on behalf of War Finance Program whereupon beautifully centered and over pale blue lithograph of Minute Man is this number, name, with “Rusty” written between C. H. It is a neat little tidbit of parchment but I did so want to get a Purple Heart. Feel wounded as it is, so I think that I should – Enuff stuffy stuff so’ll be writing you anon – when I have something interesting to tell you.

Best to all friends in Anchorage as ever and thanks again for taking care of the frames.

Rusty

For the rest of the week, two more letters from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Judy Guion

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Life in Alaska – Dear Ced – One More Request – April 27, 1944

Judy_0003

Cedric Duryee Guion

Nome, Alaska
April 27, 1944

Dear Ced,
Here we come to the unpleasant matter of Lloyd E Jensen and C Heurlin. What can I say about it? What can I do about it? I ordered them before Xmas and he has just gotten around to making them for me. Pictures this size will be my best sales for the next year over this way and I got six frames in only too insignificant a number with which to carry on, however, invaluable for showing pictures and if I can see them without the frames.
On leaving Anchorage I went out with a clean slate but for a balance of $25 to George Rengard and what I.O.U. I spent $300 in getting straightened out. Sure wish I could have taken care of bill to you but felt I could leave it to the more graceful going away if I squared up with merchants in Anchorage. If you still have faith in this old bum and are able to do something about getting frames for me – send Jensen a money order right away and in it a note to have him ship frames to you. Better use typewriter for that stubborn dumbkoff –

“Kindly ship Mr. Heurlin’s frames to me as soon as possible. He is in the Arctic and has left many pictures with me to frame. I cannot dispose of these paintings for him until they are framed so will greatly appreciate receiving them from you on next boat north.
Sincerely yours
Cedric Guion
Anchorage, Alaska”

I have given you a lot of headaches in the past – this to do and that to do and you never have asked a thing of me. Well, hope you don’t sigh too heavily over this. I have to make close to $1000 in a short time before I go up north. But once there with a year’s grubstake with me, I will start going ahead and with plenty of speed to clear up any debts with you. I have hated like hell to ask another favor of you, but boy! If you could possibly take care of it I will make sure of one thing in the days to come and that will be to see that you come out on top for this last big favor.
I will make arrangements with Gordon McKenzie to pick up these frames from you and get them to me with his careful handling.
Now to take care of one last piece of business and then to hit the sleeping bag.

Rusty

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s reply to Marian’s ribbing.  

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – To Cedric Guion, Scavenger – A TO DO LIST from Rusty Heurlin – April 20, 1944

The following is a letter from Rusty,  (Magnus Colcord Heurlin) a very good friend of the family and who would become a very well known Alaskan Artist. He has left Anchorage and is traveling with Major Marston, in charge of Security for Alaska, and Governor Greuning, who wants to meet the various natives he is governing. Rusty is along to sketch and will use much of this material in future paintings of Alaskan life.

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - April, 1944

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - signature page - April, 1944

Nome, Alaska

April 20, 1944

Cedric Guion

Scavenger

Anchorage, Alaska

Dear Ced,

Spent the afternoon out at airbase here going over air manifests but could find no entrance reports on any 4 pieces shipped from Anchorage. A Lieut. Ladrak suggested I write you  to check what plane the stuff went on – see if it was Troop Carrier 3541, a C 47 plane which left Anchorage on the 7th of March. He thinks the bag was returned if put on the plane and that it may be in the Air Cargo Warehouse at Anchorage airbase. If you locate it there, have them ship it again with Army tag attached which has a stub number, clip off stub and mail to me.

Sorry to put you to all this work. I know nothing will be done about it unless you take the bull by the horns and make the search yourself. They are positive it was never unloaded here so if it came on that plane it was returned to Anchorage.

Where are you staying, Ced? Apparently you are not with George anymore. Must write to Hans and Ruth – Clara will be the next one to approach if you’ll be around for a space.

When you go out to the base take along a bunch of carrots – first, in case you locate bag, second, If any other _____ you lay eyes on that you think will keep if plane is going within a few days for Nome.

You should have seen four wolves hung up on main drag in front of Munn’s Arrival Office. They were shot from plane and picked out of a pack of nine chasing reindeer. They were all large but one larger than the rest weighed 175 pounds. The largest dogs in town sniffing them over looked like pygmies in comparison. Hanging with nose touching the ground they were longer than 6 feet from nose only to halfway up on their hind legs. This seems unbelievable but it is true. They would be more than twice as long as old Mack and were more than twice as large. I have never seen a black bear that would make a mistake for them and I believe the largest could take down a polar bear if it got its fangs into its throat or neck.

Enclosed is a letter finalizing the “Major played me one”. Lottie says hi, better sew his pants to his shirt when he comes up this way again.” Will you send it to Al (Grandpa) in your next letter.

We kindly see Bill Doran’s (don’t know how to spell it) at Fonsac’s #2 store and inquire about pictures I sent out with him for duplicates. Address is Nome.

And one more thing Ced – my Maul Stick left at George’s. Please get a tag and tie it around knob end. On tag write, “Gordon McKenzie for C Heurlin, Nome.” And leave it at Star Airways office.

About all I can think of now. Soon as I can think of more for you to do will certainly write you.

Lt. Heurlin, ____ later – PFC

Tomorrow, a card referencing an incident dating back to Easter and a misunderstanding, then another letter from Rusty, Grandpa’s answer to Marian’s note and finally a letter from Lad. This looks like it will be a very interesting week. Enjoy.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Rusty Heurlin Writes to Ced (2) – April 15, 1944

Rusty Heurlin, taken in Alaska (2)

Rusty Heurlin in Alaska (cropped picture from yesterday’s post)

Hands are about stiff but will warm them up – can hardly see the writing for the storm. Going to be a late break up but I cannot say the exact minute.

Sent Maury some ivory as a starter to see how he makes out on it. If it gets to him this time take a look at it and see what you think. Two of the pieces were damaged in PAA crackup so I got the package back. If you like the seals I can get some for you to sell. Sure you could turn them over at a profit if you stay around long enough. If interested how about you and I going into business? I owe you some money now but hope you will forget it for a time. But here is my idea. Send me what money you can spare – what you can put out and forget and I will put every cent of it into good ivory. Then sell every bit of it at what ever profit you can get and send that money on to buy more. This should build up into a big thing in a very short while, then someday we can or you can take on a store of your own. What do you think will be a fair commission for me, well, should not a 50-50 proposition above cost be agreeable all around? It takes time to locate good stuff and you take time to dispose of it. It is all a matter of making a small sum of money grow – personally I hate business, however, money gained under this set up is an economic necessity today. And we can be dealing in good workmanship. I have come to learn a lot about ivory but have always known good workmanship. I can now buy two large ivory bookends for $38.50 and the Major says they sell in Juneau for $85, perhaps $100 in Anchorage.

Ivory is shipped from here to Seattle and sold to companies in Juneau, then resold to brokerage – bought and sold outside again. A fine set up is this! We can cut out all those middlemen – not be too high priced but keep things moving by selling at fairly good price to the last purchaser. And  your dollars would build up fast. I saw several hundred dollars of it sent to Seattle last week which could have made a nice profit for anyone here with connections in Anchorage to dispose of it there. I have been asked by many people – owners of stores – in Anchorage to write or wire for money when I see something good but why should I take time of my own to help them profit while I lose.

So they didn’t get you in the Army – best of luck to you with your studies. And when you get flying don’t dare nature to ground you. A fine view is stretched out in the rolling plains in back – eight and a  half miles in back of this city. Freddie Mueller, who had walked out of several wrecks said to a few of us a few nights before that no one would be so tough to get him. He, like all the rest, died instantly. Freddie was about 60 years old.

Love to all when you write again, including themselves.

Rusty

Tomorrow, I will finish off the week with a letter from Grandpa with “a few flotsam and jetsam of news”.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Rusty Heurlin Writes to Ced (1) – April 15, 1944

 Rusty is in Nome, Alaska, with no heat, and his hands are almost stiff. He writes with a business proposition for Ced.

Nome, Alaska

April 15, 1944

Dear Ced,

Your most welcomed letter received yet the news was sorrowful about poor Grandma Peabody’s passing. But it is over for her and now – all the unhappiness she had to bear in losing the ones she loved. But it was wonderful that all her children stayed by her and that must have been consoling to her. I think they expressed in a most civilized action in waiving all customs of the actual departure, aside of the feeling that manufactured words of the preacher gives one – soft spoken and well meant as they may be. No one can intercede for any almighty power – tell one what to do – what to expect – how to go on living, especially when one lives and vibrations have always been on different wavelengths. She understood the silence of brothers and sisters speak finer words in final parting if no interception enters to break the bond. My deepest feelings go out to Dorothy, Helen, Anne, Lawrence, Kemper and Burton for they were her dearest left, as she was theirs.

I am half in furs and half in sleeping bag. It is 15 below outside. Ran out of oil tonight so no heat tomorrow unless I take down the front door and put it in the coal stove.

You wouldn’t like Nome at all – not enough water for you to wash out burnt pans and it takes plenty of water to do that. But I have discovered a trick. Just turn the pan upside down – let all the burnt beans fall out then put same pan back on the stove. Gradually the burnt will all flake off – every bit of it, and it will need no washing for the next batch – we live and learn do we not?

Saw Betty Davis for the first time tonight – picture – “The Little Foxes” ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033836/ ) at the Dream theater. It should have been named “The Wolf Pack” or “The Great Big Wolves”, anyway she is a truly great actress.

You all did right by my baggage left behind even though I have lost the jib sail bag. Confidentially now – I do not wish it known that the Brown boys took anything of mine from Anchorage to Nome. So if you will kindly contact Lieut. Brooks at Army Transportation and tell him since I was informed by him there would be no plane from Anchorage to Nome for a month or probably two months – his words – that I had changed my plans and had, unbeknownst to you and George, made other arrangements to get all my stuff here. Next month I can write to him but don’t want anything to go down in writing to him as yet and this is confidential between you and me. Why I do not want to wait until then –  it is because some effort should be made to locate the bag before many more days have passed. It says jib sail on the bag and I sure would like to get the clothes that are in it to say nothing of the handy old article. After getting your letter I went right over to the base but evidently it never reached here.

It is too long a story why I do not want to write Sgt. Brooks at this time – another thing, I had a tag on the bag – C HEURLIN – NOME.

Tomorrow, I will post the conclusion of this letter. On Friday, a letter from Grandpa to his sons, scattered all over the world.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – Extracts From Rusty Huerlin’s Letter To Ced – November 12, 1944

Page 2      11/12/44

Friday’s local paper recorded the death of Tom Cullen, who had been ill for about six months. Cancer, I believe, was the cause of death starting with a face infection and finally going to his brain. In his early 40’s, it is quite a loss to scouting.

These last two weekends I have not only been busy at the office but the breeze has been enough to make it a bit dangerous for me to attempt to put up storm windows alone perched on a rickety ladder, so we are not yet set for old man winter’s onslaughts. I have the furnace running however and so far the house has been comfortable.

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

Perhaps this would be a good occasion to send a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced written August 14th from Barrow, Alaska. He describes the perilous run from Nome to Barrow in a 44-foot powerboat, five of them, all together, as crew, the boat 5-tons overloaded on deck, running into storm after storm. “I have seen high waves off Cape Hatteras and in the North Sea but never so close to rough weather as what we ran into on the “ADA”. Conrad would have made a book out of it. None of us ever expected to see land again and I know now why men pray. Hope becomes one concentration and that a tremendous thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped and never taxed my heart as much before as we kept taking in water and more water. Finally the engine quit. One of the Eskimo crew saved the lives of all of us by getting out 9 fathoms of anchor line and holding onto the end of the line probably two minutes before he could get 2 feet of it to make a turn on the forward bit. None of us could get to him, the sea was so rough. And that was the beginning of a 24-hour battle with the devil in that deep green sea. Finally we could take it no more and made for a lagoon. Breakers were 5 miles long over shoals. When soundings showed we were in only 6 feet of water one of the men yelled “Let’s get the hell out of here.” But it was too late. We struck bottom, went over on our starboard side, shipped water to soak me from head to foot where I stood on one ear in the cabin. Water poured down into the engine room to kill engine. All we could do was to blow the foghorn to summon Eskimos in tents on shore to get out what help they could offer. All this happened so quickly, and the next breaker sucked us so hard that we went some 10 feet sideways, and then the miracle of all miracles happened. The ADA righted herself. We had been smacked over the bar. We rolled helplessly in deeper water until blown into the channel. Finally we got the engine started and motored into behind a sand spit breakwater. 15 minutes later a gang of Eskimos came aboard saying we were the luckiest people they had ever seen. We all knew that. Not one boat in a million could do the same thing again. After laying up for five days we finally made Wainright. Here we unloaded most of the freight and took on as passengers storm bound Eskimos unable to return to Barrow in their boats heavily loaded with coal. So we left there towing five whale boats and about 25 Eskimos to sweeten the forecastle and share with us the four bunks when the next storm came. We had then run into icebergs 20 feet high and were forced outside of them and land. 60 miles of this. The kids had gotten over their seasickness and there was no more rushing from below to punk pots. One woman had six children. She and all of them had been sick in my bunk. But that was nothing. After one storm I had laid down in more filth than could be found in a garbage can and never felt more clean in my life. To sleep alongside of those shipmates after trying to take what they did uncomplainingly was the finest sensation I have yet experienced. I have made four friends I shall never forget.” More at some later date.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Benedicts and Bachelors (3) – News From Ced – September 2, 1945

This is the next portion of a 5-page letter from Grandpa to his four sons away from home. Lad has been discharged from the Army and is home in Trumbull with Marian.

CDG - Alaska - reading LIFE Magazine - August, 1941

This is a new picture of Ced I became aware of while while I was in New Hampshire attending a Memorial Service for Ced’s wife, Fannie Mildred (Pike) Guion, the photo was taken in Alaska. Ced is reading the August 25, 1941 issue of LIFE Magazine. I know this picture was taken a few years before this letter, but I wanted to share this new picture. I was actually able to obtain an original issue and have been enjoying the articles.

And from Ced, bless his heart, comes the following under date of August 23rd. “Last week I wrote up the missing link of the Farwell trip, included with this letter. Next week I’ll try to get off a new chapter in the adventures of the three invincibles, or should I say, “Three men on a cat”. Since you have been so patient in waiting I shall try to finish the balance soon.

Now, the last letter you sent mentioned a great many planes down in Georgia and I have mailed the R. F. C. a request for information on these ships. In the meantime, I learned that the new planes will be out very soon and so I am looking into that angle also. I have made tentative arrangements to go on a 50-50 basis in buying the plane with Leonard and Marion Hopkins. They’re the people who have the clothing and sporting goods store in Anchorage at which I got those clothes just before going home two years ago. They are both ski club members and I think you have pictures of them in that ski club rally set of pictures. Marion was the head of the membership committee who stood behind the desk. They have given me absolutely free rein in getting the plane but I think they rather favor a new one. The new Aeronca will sell for approximately $1800 f.o.b. Ohio. They will be available around the first of Sept., and just how soon after that I could get my name on the waiting list is problematical. The Aeronca is the most likely choice at present. The Hopkins are extremely generous people, and I have no qualms about going in with them on this deal. Fact is, Leonard really bends over a little backwards on this deal, although I suppose he figures that a mechanic is a good one to tie in with, just for the purpose of maintenance. At any time either of us want, we can either buy or sell to the other, whichever is most agreeable. The upkeep will be jointly carried with my biggest share being in the labor while his will be capital. Felis, the radio operator at Woodley’s, is co-dealer with another local man for the Anchorage Aeronca Agency, and he could probably get me some extra considerations. I am still waiting to hear from the R. F. C. before taking any definite action. In any case, I hope to get out fairly soon to pick something up and fly it back to Alaska. Don’t be surprised if I dropped in on you at the office one of these days.

Enjoyed the dual blow-by-blow account of the Guion nuptials and hope I can soon meet both the major parties. I have now three wedding gifts (Dick and Jean, Lad and Marian and Dan and Paulette) to present after the family’s return to a home somewhere. Incidentally, I am looking forward to seeing Marian again – – our meeting was so brief and under such turbulent circumstances, with she and Al about to take off for California when the clutch was repaired on the Buick and I hastily grabbed the proverbial last rail on the observation car as I beat a hasty retreat from Texarkana in my whirlwind scamper across the country.

Think what all this war will mean in experiences as we look back.  All the hardships and headaches and for much too many, heart aches.  I feel especially privileged in looking back and realizing that to the best of my knowledge there have been no members of our immediate family, relatives or close friends who have had to undergo the real hardship which has been the misfortune of so many.  We are indeed a lucky family as we not only came out virtually unscathed but acquired to find additions to the family (and Jean) in the persons of Marian and Paulette.  On top of that I get 1/2 reduction in my January rent due to a bet with Chuck Morgan that I took the side that the war with Japan would be over by the first of the year.  It certainly is wonderful to realize that the war is apparently finished, if only we can avoid any more.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of Ced’s letter all about the celebrations in Anchorage and finish up with some bits and pieces of Trumbull news from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Ced – Walrus Hunting With Rusty – September 2, 1944

This is another letter from Rusty to Ced,  mailed in Barrow while Rusty was staying there.

Rusty - envelope to Ced - 3 letters

Sept. 2, 1944

Dear Ced,

Winter came yesterday with strong N.W. wind and snow. Ice, which had left, formed up to shore again. USN freighter Spica with part of ship’s company at oil base is at PT Lay. Skdaddled  in time to duck crushing ice. First freighter of season which everyone is waiting for left Nome two weeks after we did. It comes from Seattle with years supply of grub and fuel (1400 tons) for Barrow. Got as far as Wainwright and had to go back to PT Lay. Most unusual summer here since  Charly Barrow ever remember.

Last Sat boys got three walrus and one 12 foot polar bear. By Sunday they went out and got seven more walruses. Sorry I missed both hunts. If ice drifts north they will go out soon for whale. Have been promised two hunts and to fire whale gun. Natives will have plenty to eat, if whale is brought in, for the winter.

Sending you some ivory buttons for woman’s coat – one knife and mukluks and blanket. Paid sick boy at Nome $15 to carve latter for me. It is not very good work. Got it to help poor kid out. He was in bad way and don’t think he will pull through.

Morry Danford said he was not much of a salesman. Sent him a few things to sell as a tryout. Said he would turn them over to you if he could not dispose of them. Bought them when they were salable through Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was this work of natives I was going to get for you, however, when you sent money I went back only to find they had shut down on selling them – all went to Juneau after that for prices to be upped down there. Get them from Morry first chance you have and keep them for yourself or do what you wish with them. The two seals should be kept together, old man that made them would not sell them unless they were kept together ________ ________________.

Am picking up a basket or two for you soon – whalebone baskets, only place where they are made is here.

How did bracelet turnout or have you not received it yet? Asked to have walrus head joining piece made solid without head out away from ivory as Alec Melik has been making. Let’s hear when you receive it.

Did you also receive your pictures – Kodachrome? Your letter in mail first chance I get.

Bye now or cheerio!

As the “Rawshian” men of the mighty Soviet Union have taken Romanian airfields there is no necessity for drive through Dardanelles – hence turning point of war has already come, however, not as I expected. Should have figured on Russian ability to get there first, for not doing so I lose the bet.

Yours till Moscow falls, and best to everyone.

Rusty

Here’s a different link to learn more about Rusty Heurlin, a family friend for all of his adult years.

http://www.alaskannature.com/Rusty_Heurlin.htm

Here’s another link to see some of his work.

http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/search/collection/cdmg3/searchterm/Rusty/field/all/mode/any/conn/and/cosuppress/

Tomorrow and Friday, two letters from Marian to the family in Trumbull letting them know what is going on with the Lad Guions.

Judy Guion 

Friends – Dear Ced – No Food For Barrow – September 6th, 7th or 8th – 1944

Rusty Huerlin in Alaska

Barrow, Alaska

Sept. 6th 7th or 8th

Dear Ced,

Tomorrow is Sunday – nobody works or hunts – most all go to church but I.  Everybody here in sad mood but don’t show it.  Captains of freighters could have come here in past 3 days.  Turned about at Wainwright for Seattle with wire “Cannot make Barrow this year – Sorry”.  Whole village will feel the food shortage – Second time it has happened in history of Barrow.  This is only food ship to Barrow with food for season – a years supply for everybody.  Hospital has food to last for 2 weeks.  Medical supplies also on board this freighter the  WIPPIO. (https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/sh-civil/civsh-w/w-elcajn.htm )

All joined sending telegrams to Governor Gruening (Ernest Gruening, 7th Governor of the Alaskan Territory) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Gruening ) yesterday to bring what pressure he can for boats return to Barrow.  It is now en route the Seattle having arrived at PT Hope.  Last year it unloaded here on Sept. 15th.  Because of the old fraidy-cats impatience to wait a week, 500 people will go very hungry for one year.  Food may be flown in but not enough.  A chance still that Captain may be forced to return – if not news of his incompetence and thoughtlessness will be flashed all over America.  He had one month to unload here, all the while he loitered at Kotzebue.  This will be felt from here to Damnation Point but what the hell does Steamship Company or Captain care.  I am just too mad to think.  Minister said Damn! yesterday which gave me opening to call Captain a selfish Son of a Bitch.

Played Battleship with Minister tonight.  Have been beating him at game since he started.  He laughed and giggled all over when I missed.  When I got close, too close, he got deathly quiet and rigid as iceberg.  Would start peppering around spot when he got in such a state and sink his boats and have 7 shots left.  Then he wondered why to which I told him I had a system.  I let 2 men watching our game in on it and they have been keeping it mum and have enjoyed watching him squirm when salvos got close.  But then he developed a system – a real good system – stayed awake last night thinking it out.  It was not bad and I watched him play one game against his wife tonight when he beat her with it.  He laid out his first shots in this pattern.

But next game he had was with me and by the time he worked inside of his triangle of shots he was cut down in ships and I had still 7 shots left when he had one shot left.  Knowing he would work same system on me I laid out my ships this way.  He triangled each ship and only got one hit.  After rushing over to see where in hell I had them laid out his ___ ____ ____ _____ and I then received the first complement a minister ever gave me.  He said, “You are as slippery as an eel in slime”.  But it was fair, said his wife, then to him, “Old smarty, you crowed to quick that time.”

People are really swell here Ced – happiest village I have ever lived in.  Took natives out today for third time to sight in ATG  rifles.  They are getting along fine but need lots of practice with rifle unfamiliar to them.

Be sure to examine the container I am sending you.  It has ivory inside it so do not throw it out the window.  That may be your first impulse after receiving it – a unique little container, apparently of no intrinsic value.  Allow me the few opportunities I have these days to play a prank now and then.  So, as I delve in skulduggery at long range be on the lookout for said surprise package from out here.  Be of good cheer my lad and go with God as it comes with or to you with the devil may care. — Rusty

Tomorrow I will post the third letter to Ced from Rusty. On Thursday and Friday, two short nots from Marian to the Trumbull Crew.

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Ced – Rusty and the PBY – August ??, 1944

This envelope contained three letters, the first written in August, 1944, and the second on September 2nd and the third on September 6th, 7th or 8th.  This is the first letter. 

 

Rusty - Letter to Ced - PBY adventure - Aug, 1944

 

Close-up of sketch at the top of the letter

Barrow, Alaska

August   ?

Dear Ced,

How is the old junk dealer. Sure thought about you yesterday and you would have been in your 7th heaven had you been in my gang yesterday.

Barrow as you know is some 12 miles from sand spit known as Pt. Barrow. The point is low, about 2 feet above water and runs out to a shape like  (drawing in the middle of the letter)  so man’s feet can stand in marks as described, but then the sand is running into the water.

A visual and the history of the PBY – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMJw8845P1o

About 2 miles east of said point a narrow spit ends and a lagoon begins. It was in this lagoon where PBY flyers anchored said plane at western edge and went for a walk to oil drilling quarters (tents) between Pt. B and Barrow. Next day they returned to find plane wrecked by storm and on eastern tip of spit inside lagoon. It was wrecked beyond repair, $25,000 shot to hell.

With permission to get some wire from it for picture hangings a bunch of boys found me offering transportation to the plane. We took with us wrecking bars, hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches (Stilson etc.) two axes and three hacksaws. It was a fine day for pirating and the sea smooth as glass. It was close to shore on way to point. We shot at ______ sitting on bow of boat – seals and ducks. Going eastward around the point we soon could see our prize beached about in center of spit. On landing each man took tool from boat he was best trained at using. I got a heavy but badly nicked axe and a hacksaw, jumped to shore with 10 Eskimos and the schoolteacher (tried to get minister to join us at Barrow but he gracefully backed out of mission). We attacked plane from all sides, then within, and then the fun began. I cut several holes in sides of fuselage to throw our booty out of. Two small boys were delighted to stay outside and pile up the stuff as it came out of these compartment holes. After working diligently for eight hours which was a constant banging and squeaking of hammers, axes and wrecking bars, well the old PBY looked as if it had several bombs go off inside of it or that it had come down after going through much concentrated flack. We removed chairs, sinker boards, magnetos, batteries, 50 unknown gadgets, some 35 coils of wire, nuts, bolts, very light bombs, floating bombs, aluninum this and that and two boys hack-sawed the two halves of pear-shaped shutters to machine gun nests out of which they will make a kayak. The pontoons will soon be turned into kayaks also. The wing had all kinds of gadgets. I got my wire and the _______________.  We returned loaded to the gunwales, as nice a picnic as you ever went on. You sure would have liked the pickings knowing this booty,

I could not read the last bit of this letter, written in tiny letters all around the edge of the page. Rusty’s handwriting is difficult to read. For more information on Rusty, check out these links:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Colcord_Heurlin     and see some of his art work at    https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=A211US679&p=Rusty+Heurlin 

Tomorrow, another letter from Rusty to Ced.  On Wednesday, the third letter to Ced from Rusty, O Thursday and Friday, two short notes from Marian to Grandpa.

Judy Guion