Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced – Dear Sudrack – June 14, 1944

 

Nome, Alaska

June 13, 1944

Dear Sudrack,

Why don’t you ask me to do something for you once in a while so I can ask favors of you without total embarrassment? You have a mean way of putting a fellow on the spot. That is all I can say about you.

Thanks for sending newspaper but which article did you want me to read? I still have it in my can for light reading. No heavy stuff there as I’m burdened enough with weighty matters every time I find the growler. You wouldn’t like Nome because we really don’t have the growlers here — no running toilets or “waters” and the sanitation is not and it stinks. But Nome is proud of Nome and do not want their shortcomings being wide cast. Think I had better move soon as I’m afraid I’m going to like it here.

Most important thing on my schedule now is word “yes” or “no” from Harry Olson. So kindly drop everything and give him a ring either at Alaska Novelty Company, Olson’s Cleaners or drop in at Ed Coffy’s and inquire as to his whereabouts. Just want to know if he got my letter of some three weeks ago — that’s all.

If you can visit Anchorage Grill, ask for Stanley (forgotten his last name) and tell him I want to be remembered to him. Get his last name and sometime when you write me you can send it along so I can drop him a line. He is the owner of a fine establishment, always neatly dressed and impeccable in character. You might tell him I read “My Native Land” by Adonis and found it a most important book, in fact, the best I have read since “10 Days Which Shook the World”. Stanley is one of those fellows which you have to dig up to know and perhaps the most farsighted of Anchorage, yet few people, if any, know him down there. As this book is written of his native land known as Yugoslavia I do not remember from what section he comes — what country — Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Livonia, Dalmotia,, Bosnia, Herzgovenia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, or Goyrodina. I am just a Swede from Scandinavia. More simple with you — half breed from Larchmont, N.Y.

Good night!     ——- Rusty

Two boats from Seattle jammed in ice. Snowing today and cold.

(Heard from Sansbury’s – have moved again to where it is cooler – St. Ignatius, Montana, Route one. They’ll be back to Alaska one of these days.)

During the rest of the week I’ll be posting two letters from Grandpa to his sons and daughter-in-law, scattered around the country and the world. Judy Guion

 

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My Ancestors (27a) – Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion – Clara’s Letter – 1893

The following is a letter written by Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck to Amelia Bowden Guion of Seneca Falls, New York in 1883:

“My grand-parents on my mother’s side were of royal descent. My grandfather Cadoret was guillotined in France for his loyalty to Marie Antoinette. My grandmother with her three daughters (my mother being the youngest) were secluded for months in a tower outside Paris and were released by being let down in the dead of night in a Cracker Barrel. This was suitably curtained inside and slightly ventilated, and with my grandmother inside was taken as freight on board a ship bound for Havana. My grandmother was of Spanish birth and it was deemed safer to send her to Cuba, than to Spain, as she might have been traced, and her head would have gone too. Of course they were rescued by friends, and when the ship was safe off, then my grandmother was released from her narrow quarters and arrived safely in Havana. Her daughters came on in the same way some months later. They came with their three brothers who had been in England during the worst of the trouble. They left the coast of France in their own vessel, laden with their own property, expecting never to see their country again. Their voyage was peaceful until they entered the old Bahama Channel; a violent storm sent the vessel on a rock, and the passengers and crew escaped by means of a life-boat, which took them to a desert island, not far distant. They hoisted the flag of distress, and were there three days, faint for want of food, being threatened to be devoured by the animals of the forests. When at last an American vessel bound for Havana from New York and commanded by a Captain Hicks saw the flag and came to them and saved them. They started from France with immense wealth. They arrived at Havana where their mother was with only a change of clothes, handkerchiefs, and a few jewels in their bosom, their ship wrecked and everything lost. Soon after, my Uncle took the yellow fever and died.

My grandmother sent the three girls to Philadelphia to school to learn English. My aunts did not like it, and insisted on returning to Cuba but my mother stayed and eventually married my father in Baltimore. He was a wealthy merchant, and had commercial relations in Havana. So he exchanged with his partner and went to Havana to live after they had been married about a year and a half. Her mother still lived, and also one sister. The other had died. My brother was born in this country, and was four months old when they went to Cuba. I was born in 1819. My father died when I was quite a child, and left a large fortune in slaves and two plantations of coffee and sugar, but lawyers were, in those days, like these in later days, and after gobbling up all they could, left my mother in very moderate circumstances. She decided to bring us to America and did so in 1832 or 1833.”

Next Sunday, I;ll continue the story of the Rev. Elijah Guion and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

Tomorrow, I’ll be start posting a week of letters written in the summer of 1944.  Lad and Marian have returned to California after a furlough in Trumbull and Orida, California. Dan is in France, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick is in Brazil and Dave is completing basic training. Grandpa is holding down the fort and acting as a clearing house for letters to and from each of the boys scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

Voyage to California (11) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.

Diary:

Spent considerable part of the day watching the trains of mules as they arrived with the view of securing my own baggage as soon as possible. Toward evening it arrived in good order, very much to my satisfaction. Took a bath in the Bay in the evening and I walked about the city. The view of the Bay walls was very fine. Water was very smooth, green islands rose abruptly from its surface. The coast was lined, in places, with palm trees, and wild ducks and pelicans were flying about in large numbers, or floating tranquilly on the still waters. The Cathedral is a grand old building and appears to have been very fine inside, but the tooth of time has deeply marked it. My lodging room is directly opposite, one side of it, and it’s gray walls are about the first objects that meet my gaze when I awaken in the morning. It is roofed with tiles, among the crevices of which, numerous parasitic plants find their sustenance.

Journal:

I spent a good deal of the day watching for my trunks, which eventually arrived, about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, in good condition. Some got theirs earlier in the day, others not till after. After getting my trunks, I went down to the beach to take a bath, which felt very grateful after the heat and anxiety of the day. Our hotel is situated on the main street, opposite the Cathedral, and is one of the old buildings of the place, fitted up to accommodate travelers. The room that I lodge in is on the side next to the Cathedral, and its wall is the first object out-of-doors that meets my eyes in the morning. It is a side wall, however, and very plain, the outside ornamental work being chiefly expended upon its front. The inside exhibits evidences of having once possessed considerable magnificence, but the hands of time and neglect, have placed their seal upon it in a matter not to be mistaken. The view of the Bay from the walls of the town, is quite handsome. A number of islands, generally composed of a single hill covered with verdure, rise from it, the water is very smooth and placid, and the coast stretches away from the town on either side, dotted with cocoa-nut groves, in a manner very agreeable to the lovers of the beautiful in nature. Large flocks of ducks and numerous pelicans may be seen at nearly all times upon the Bay. The pelicans will hover about over the water, occasionally diving down into it with a splash, but quickly emerging and flying off with apparent ease.

Tomorrow, I’ll be continuing the story of Louis Guion and his wife, Thomasse (Le Fourestier) Guion in England and then New Rochelle, New York.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in the fall of 1946. Lad and Marian, Dick and Jean and Dave are all living in the Trumbull House with Grandpa and working in the area. Dave has been in charge of Guion Advertising while Grandpa took a much-needed vacation. Dan, Paulette (Chiche) and baby Arla are still in France, waiting to begin their voyage to America and their new home in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Guest Post Reposted – Women of World War II by GPCox

Women of WWII

By: gpcox http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

As WWII unfolded around the globe, women were also affected.  Some found themselves pressed into jobs and duties they would never have previously considered.  Hitler derided Americans as degenerate for putting the women to work, but nearly 350,000 American females alone served in uniform voluntarily.  A transformation of half the population, never seen before, that began evolving in the early ‘40’s and continues today.

For the WASPs, 1,830 female pilots volunteered for Avenger Field outside Sweetwater, Texas alone and it was the only co-ed air base in the U.S.  These women would ferry aircraft coming off the assembly lines from the factories to the base.  They acted as test pilots; assessing the performance of the planes.  The WASPs were flight instructors and would shuttle officers around to the posts where they were needed.  For artillery practice, they would tow the target.  During their service, 38 of these brave women died.

A wonderful story was given to me by my longtime friend, Carol Schlaepfer, about Pearl Brummett Judd, a WASP pilot she met in California.  Pearl was a test pilot flying the Stearman, PT-17; North American AT-6; Vultee BT-13; Cessna UC-78 and AT-17.  In an interview, she said, “The B-29 was a little touchy.  The engines caught on fire.”  Pearl Judd and her fellow WASP sisters (or their survivors) finally received a Congressional Gold Medal for their services in March 2010.  25,000 women in all applied for the WASPs; in Pearl’s class of 114 women, only 49 graduated.  The symbol for the WASPS, shown below, uses the image of Pearl Judd.  They did not receive veteran status until 1977 and did not have the right to have flag on the coffin until 2000.

 

WACs, (Women’s Army Corps), the nurses were on active duty around the world.  But, the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service of the Navy); the SPARS (U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve) and Women’s Marines were prohibited by law from serving outside the U. S.  At Cherry Point Marine Air Station in North Carolina, 80% of the control tower operations were done by the female Marines.  Nearly all the SPARS and WAVES officers were college graduates and worked in finance, chemical warfare or aerological engineering.  Some were assigned to install radar on the warships.

WWII enabled women to be involved in top-secret operations for the first time.  These women dealt with LORAN stations, night-fighter training and watched the screens for unusual “blips.”  They took in messages from the British “Enigma” intelligence about German activity.  The OSS hired women as agents, as we discussed on my post at:                                                                   http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/allied-spies-saboteurs/

The first WACS to arrive in the Pacific were sent to Australia, 2 ½ years after Pearl Harbor, in May 1944.  In Port Moresby, New Guinea they served within barbed wire compounds (any dates with the men had be pre-approved)  As the forces moved from island to island, the WACS followed after the area was secured from the enemy.  Yet, despite these precautions, 68 service women were captured as POWs in the Philippines and 565 WACS in the Pacific Theater alone won combat decorations for bravery under fire and meritous service.  Nurses were in Normandy on D-Day+4.  In the Army Nurse Corps, 16 were killed as a result of enemy fire.  A Red Cross woman was also killed during an attack on the 95th Evacuation Hospital.  Also in the ETO, when their plane was forced to crash land behind enemy lines, Lt. Agnes Mangerich and 13 other nurses, male technicians and the pilot marched for 62 days before reaching safety.

A fascinating story of WAVE, Margaret Hain, can be found at fellow blogger, Don Moore’s site:

http://donmooreswartails.com/2013/08/23/margaret-hain/

American women did more than join the military…..

Alice Newcomer graduated George Washington University in 1943 and immediately began working in the Lend-Lease Program.  The 400-500 people employed there easily dealt with billions of dollars in war materiel, but when it came to how much should be shipped in civilian supplies, she said no one quite knew where to draw the line.  Hilda O’Brien, fresh out of Columbia Univ. Graduate School, started her career in the Justice Dept.  Kay Halle, a radio broadcaster, worked for the OSS in Morale Operations and became known as Mata Halle.  (Many of these operations still remain secret.)  Sally Knox was an editor for what was a part of the Army Air Force.  She was in Detroit and then Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio. (Which later became Patterson Air Force Base)  She helped to prepare military publications.

Coralee Redmond of Tacoma, Washington had a husband, 9 children and several brothers who worked for the war effort or served in the military.  She and one daughter worked in the shipyards while her other daughter went to work for Boeing in Seattle.  [No one could doubt her contributions.]  On 29 April 1943, the National Labor Board issued a report to give equal pay for women working in war industries.  To see the actual report, a fellow blogger has posted it:

http://todayinlaborhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/april-29-1943-2/

In Canada, besides having their own Canadian Women’s Army Corps, the women showed their national pride, not only by entering the masculine sphere of work to release the men to serve in the military, but by using their domestic talents in volunteer work.  The War Services Fund was supported in this way.  Their civic and community pride provided various forms of aid to the war effort.

In New Zealand, the women of WWII were also doing their part.  The Women’s War Service Auxiliary worked in the Transport Division, firefighting, canteen work, camouflage netting, ambulance work and even had an orchard and gardening section.  Their WAAF (Women’s Aux Air Force) had cipher officers, pilots, mechanics and meteorologists.  Noeline and Daphne Petrie, after joining the WAAF, were stationed at Woodbourne and Fiji.  And, we cannot forget the nurses.  Our fellow blogger, Gallivanta at: http://silkandthreads.wordpress.com gave me the link for this information and for books that are available: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/heritage/warandconflicts/worldwar2/servicewomen/

Australian women as early as 1939 were trained in jobs to free the men to enlist.  The Women’s Emergency Signaling Corps were based in Sydney.  The Woman’s Flying Club were not pilots, but trained to be mechanics and the Women’s Transport Corps passed rigorous driving tests for truck driving and ambulances.

In Britain there was a definite industrial segregation of men and women in industry, but as the war continued to rage, the barriers lessened out of necessity.  They began transporting coal on the inland waterways, joining the Fire Service and Auxiliary Police Corps.  They began to be “drafted” into the Women’s Royal Naval Service (“WRENS”), Auxiliary Air Force and Air Transport.  The women of Britain played a vital role in all phases of the war including the French underground, Special Operations and anti-aircraft units.

Finland had the organization, Lotta Svard, where the women voluntarily took part in auxiliary work of the armed forces to help the men fighting on the front.  At home, they were nurses and air raid signalers.  The Lotta Svard was one of the largest voluntary groups of WWII; although they never fired guns which was a rule of their group.

The Soviet Union utilized women pretty much from the start of the war and they were NOT auxiliary.  Approximately 800,000 served in front line units.  They were part of the antiaircraft units as well, firing the guns and acting as snipers.  Klavdiya Kalugina was their youngest female sniper starting her military service at age 17.

An interesting story about Irena Sendler in war-torn Warsaw, go to fellow blogger’s page at:

http://abigaleblood.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/a-triumph-and-tragedy-for-womens-history/

Judy and I would appreciate hearing any and all stories you have.  Let’s hear from every country out there!!

Resources: University of Fraser Valley; ww2 database; “Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokaw; “Americans Remember the Home Front” by Roy Hoopes; ctch.binghampton.edu; Wikipedia; publicworks.qld.go; Australia.gov

Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes to Grandpa – January 7 and 11, 1944

Blog - 2013.10.31 - Lad and Marian's Army Life - Wedding Pictures - Jan., 1944

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Friday – 1/7/1944

Dear Dad –

As you can see, my stationery arrived and I can’t start using it soon enough. I think it is darling, Dad – thank you so very much.

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

I’m enclosing some of the pictures we took on the day of our wedding. These were printed from Kodachrome colored slides – that’s why there is such a definite contrast of black and white – but it will give you a little idea of how we looked on that very momentous occasion. All the pictures haven’t gotten back from the printers yet. We have some of Mom and Dad with us that I’d like you to see. As soon as we get them I’ll send them to you –

Lad forwarded one of your letters to me this week, Dad. In it you mentioned that Ced was planning to go back via Los Angeles so that he could stop by and see us. Is he still planning to do so? Lad isn’t here, of course, but I’d love to have Ced stop by and say “hello” anyway. We don’t have a phone here at our house. Our landlady could take my message however, she lives right in front of us – Sycamore 9 – 5588 or my office phone is Sycamore 9 – 1333 if Ced wants to phone. I’d love to hear from him.

We had a board meeting Thursday night and I asked to be released from my contract. They were simply swell about it so I am leaving Camp Fire Girls on February 1st. I don’t mind in the least. My main objective is to get to Lad just as soon as I possibly can – ‘cause I’m sort of lost without him, Dad. A very important person in my life just isn’t here so I don’t like it here anymore!

I enjoy your letters so much Dad. I’m almost certain I know every one of you. My love and best wishes to everyone –

As always,

Marian

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

 

Marion at Pomona - smiling - in color- 1943

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Monday

Hello Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean –

I am so excited that I don’t know whether or not this is going to be a legible letter – but I know you’ll understand when I tell you that I have my train ticket and am leaving on February 2nd to join Al in Texarkana. Isn’t that wonderful !?! That’s all I’m living for now, practically, and so, of course, time is just dragging by. I’m sure they’ve put some extra days in the month of January, too, this year. I haven’t heard from Lad about a definite place to stay – he just got my letter saying when I was coming so I’ll probably hear about it this week. I don’t care if we have to live in a barn, or park in the Buick! At least I can talk to him, and see that wonderful smile of his, and see him – period. Even though we are so much luckier than so many others, I still miss him terrifically, and I’m practically ready to take off from our highest mountain peak, all by myself! But I wouldn’t leave before I had a chance to see Ced. I am so glad he is planning to stop here on his way north. I’m really looking forward to meeting him very much, Dad, I know I’m going to like him.

And incidentally, Dad, I look forward to those weekly letters of yours as eagerly as Lad does. Believe me, a very nice part of my week would be missing if I didn’t hear from you.

A matter of business, Dad. I have written to the War Dependencies Commission asking them to send my allotment check to you – when it comes will you forward it to us, please? We might be moving quite often so I wanted a permanent address to give them.

My love to all of you,

Marian

By the way, Dad – my husband tells me he sent me this stationery for Christmas – but I know you must have had something to do with it too – anyway, I like it very, very much.

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House, Then and Now. 

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 312 – Daniel Beck Guion and Alfred Peabody Guion – circa 1919

This is a 24 x 17  framed photograph that my parents, Lad and Marian Guion, had in their apartment. It is one of my favorites. I love the small smile on my Dad’s face. I didn’t really see his sense of humor very often. Then I saw pictures of Mom and Dad wearing costumes that Mom had made after they moved to California. They had joined an RV group and went on the weekend trips about once a month. I’ll find those pictures and post them soon.

 

Trumbull – The President is Preparing a Statement (3) – January, 1946

Page 3    1/20/46

And Dave gives us an on the spot story of the soldier demonstration which has occupied so much space in the newspapers of late. He says little about himself, which of course would be the most interesting news of all, but the very absence of such comments may of itself be reassuring. He says: “Everything was running smoothly – boats were leaving every day packed with boys bound for Frisco. Then the Daily Pacificcan (our Bible) came out one morning with the statement that a ship had left the day before with 600 empty births. There was the usual noise from the fellows – – maybe a little more vehement than usual, but nothing spectacular. The next day the Pacifican printed the story on Patterson’s statement that he didn’t know points had stopped as of VJ Day. Some of the guys laughed. Others (like me) could see nothing funny in it. How can one have faith in his government when the heads are so ignorant of their own particular departments! The third day the paper came out with the order that men had to be ELIGIBLE to go home on points. Anyone of these stories would have created the usual moaning from the man, but after two days in a row the War Department coming out with this new ruling! They couldn’t have picked a worse time psychologically for their statement. Some of the boys talked of protest but halfheartedly. They become passive in their feelings toward the government and the Army. You often hear, “What the hell!” Or “You can’t beat it”, in a way that shows they are too disgusted to even raise a finger.

The Red Cross holds a forum once or twice a week. Last Sunday’s discussion was the advisability of a peacetime draft. The boys weren’t thinking of this subject and the discussion gradually worked around to the latest government order. More stopped to listen to the arguments. Pretty soon the crowd got so big they went outside. The crowd grew still bigger. It was suggested they break up before there was trouble and they made plans to meet outside City Hall the following morning at 8:30. With a start of 25 at the forum Sunday night, and I don’t know how many at the 8:30 A. M. Meeting where a committee of five were chosen, they ended up Monday night with a group of 20,000 to hear a statement from Gen. Styer. He didn’t like the idea but his hands were tied. Unless these men cause trouble there was nothing he could do about it. That’s what thrilled me, Dad. These men weren’t a bunch of misled sheep that get panicky and cause trouble. They feel something definitely is wrong and that it can be corrected by concerted action. I’ll tell you frankly I didn’t go to any of these rallies because I was afraid there would be trouble. I have been very pleasantly surprised. According to today’s paper it looks as though we may get some action. I hope so.”

Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to Dave discussing this issue and other thoughts about Dave’s future.

Judy Guion