Trumbull – Dear Backsliders – Grandpa Responds to Marian – April 30, 1944

The letters I’ll be posting this week were written in the spring of 1944. Lad is at Camp Santa Anita training vehicle maintenance personnel, Dan is in London helping to plan for D-Day as a civil  engineer and surveyor, drawing maps for the invading forces, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, retrieving downed planes, repairing them and maintaining the fleet of airplanes for the Army, Dick is in Brazil as an MP and acting liaison between the Army and the local workers and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, finishing up advanced Basic Training.

Alfred Duryee Guion

           Alfred Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn. April 30, 1944

Dear Backsliders:
Save a little verse from Marian (about which more later) this is the second week that has passed without hearing a word from any of my five absentees. Now, I ask you, how can I quote from letters received if there are no letters received?
Last week about the time I was appending a little verse to my letter to you boys, Marian was indicting a little verse to me, to wit::

Dear Dad,
In the letter we received last week
there was a certain reference,
made to the fact that we had shown
a very distinct preference!
We didn’t know – (we’ve been away
from Trumbull quite a spell.)
That Dad had reached the well-known stage
that even “best friends won’t tell”!
He seems to think that a sweet sachet
will help his cause a bit.
But frankly, Dad, we think you’ll find
that there is something you forgot !
So we are sending with this note
the things we think you need,
we know your friends will all return
if only you take heed.
And use a little every day
of each and every one.
With best regards from daughter-in-law
and ever loving son.

To which the following the reply is respect fully submitted:

That’s done it. Now the lid is off.
Aunt Betty and Jean know
The reason you sent them sachet –
You think they have B.O.

And by the selfsame reasoning
The hanky, I should say
Implies they both have fevers
That flaunt the name of “hay”.

Another thing — the envelope
By Marian duly panned
Says: from “T/3 A. Guion”
As if these words would lend

An aura of great probity
And in advance, defend
Our Marian from the wrath to come
By blaming “friend husband.”

However, judgment is reserved
In my case, till receipt
Of alleged package, now en route,
I must, without deceit

Admit, as one thing not forgot —
The height of all my joys
In having safe at home again
Not friends, but all my boys.

And now this bit of doggeral
Should meet a timely end
And what more fitting that it be
The vehicle to send

To Marian, and to “T/3 (who
We best know here as “Lad”)
In spite of all we’ve said — our best.
Aunt Betty, Jean and Dad.

Now a quick glance at the meager home news of the week. Art Mantle is home. His nerves seemed to be a bit shot but otherwise is O.K. He has 30 days leave. I have not seen him yet. Biss, her two kids, Aunt Betty and yours truly went to see “Snow White” ( )yesterday.
Since eight o’clock this morning I have been as busy as the proverbial bee, clearing the back flower bed of stones, dumping several loads of raked up leaves, putting tar on the laundry roof where it leaks, replacing numbers on storm sashes to match frames where they had come off, cleaning out the furnace, besides getting dinner, etc.
We have as our guest Jean’s friend, Ann, from New Hampshire. Early yesterday morning they left for New York to paint the town red, stay overnight at a hotel and come home, sometime.
A letter from Barbara (Plumb) “somewhere in Italy” says: “I am well — gaining weight at a rate I don’t like to think about — enjoying everything I’m seeing and experiencing so very much. Overseas WACS, from all reports, are doing their jobs well. I saw Col. Hobby in North Africa and she certainly is absolutely charming — completely a woman. I’d never seen her before and didn’t know quite what to expect.”
My strenuous day in the outdoors, while but child’s play for you youngsters in the pink of condition, has made my bones a bit weary, do let’s call it a day, and hope the mailman will give me some quotable material for next week’s screed.
Creaky bones.

Tomorrow, a letter from Lad and Marian and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (36) – A Letter From Another Friend – June 13, 1944


David Peabody Guion

6 Fayerweather Terr.

Bridgeport, 5  Conn.

June 13 – 44

Hi Dave,

I suppose you don’t remember me. I’m Fran Moore’s right hand helper. Remember? You’ve seen me gloating up Bassick. Dot Topolski gave me your address so I just had to write.

I hear you know most of my friends in Trumbull. Sayers and Millie Osterberg. They all go to my church. I had the yearbook down church and that’s when we all found out who who was.

I do hope the Army has been treatimg you ok. We had a grand time at class day exercises. We missed all you boys who could not be with us.

You haven’t heard anything from Fran, or the gang, have you? Fran is supposed to be coming home this week from college. I hope so.

The swimming has been good though the water is quite cold. I bet Pine Brook is just great this time of year.

Every thing around here is just about the same, except, as you might have guessed, Jack and Barbara Young, in 1954, will have twins. At least according to the prophesy. They made a grand jumble out of the seniors.

The picture of you in the year book is very cute. When you get home, you’ll have to put your John Hancock to it.

I’m afraid I’m a punk one for writing. I don’t know what you’d like to hear. The kids are all over so it’s hard to keep taps on them.

If you get a spare moment, drop me a line and let me know how things are with you.

Best of Every Thing,

Ethel Sjoberg

Can you read it?

P.S. Fran just called. Sends her regards.

Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters from 1944. All five of Grandpa’s sons are serving Uncle Sam in one capacity or another.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (35)- Letter From Jim McClinch, United States Navy – June 15, 1944

My uncle, David Peabody Guion, enlisted in the Army and was sworn in on January 15th, 1944. He is currently at Camp Crowder, Missouri.  It seems that Dave will have missed seeing Jim McClinch and Stanley Feller when he gets to Trumbull.

David Peabody Guion

Thursday    15-44

Dear Dave,

Well, I left dear old Sampson and got myself 5 days delayed orders. I had a hell of a time for 5 whole days, and here’s why, Stanley Feller was home.First time in 17 months and I was out with him for 5 whole days.

I’m telling you, Dave, I saw more women in those 5 days than I did in my whole life. God Damn, but Stan has turned to be an awful wolf. And he is funnier than all hell.

This place is a hell hole and don’t let anyone tell you any different. We hav to take more shit here than we had to take at Sampson for 6 months. And it also is a filthy place. The damn walls are alive with cock roaches and other undesirable insects.

In about 5 minutes I’ll have to go out anad run my ass of ragged for about 2 hours. — Physical Marching, you know. I’ll be a physical wreck before I leave this place. — believe me.

Give a little prayer that I get assigned to a ship and to hell off thhis base — it’s driving me batty.

There goes that damn bugle so I’ll have to “shove off” for now, but I’ll be “cruising in” again soon. Write soon, will you, “Salty”?

Your Sailing Buddy,


Tomorrow, another letter from Ethel Sjoberg.

Judy Guion


World War II Army Adventure (34) – Belittling Army Organization – June 7, 1944





7 June 1944

Dear Dad – –

Enclosed is a piece of paper which is to be used as a sample for getting me a package of same.  If you can figure out what I mean – you’re a better man than I am.  I started the sentence without first constructing it in my mind – that is the result.  It’s for a T/Sgt. (?) friend of mine – he can’t get any down here.  When (if) I get home I’ll tell you all about him – and also a T/5 that I know.

I got a big kick out of a letter I just got from El (Eleanor Kintop, hid girl back home).  She was belittling Army Organization were not allowing me to come home for graduation.  At the time she wrote it – there was a letter in the mail for her from me saying that I would very likely be home.

Well got to get some chow in my stomach.



Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in 1939. Both Lad and Dan are still in Venezuela but Lad is no longer working for Inter-America. Dan is still working for Inter-America out in the field but is seriously thinking of heading home in the next few months. Grandpa is fed up with the treatment shown to his two sons and goes on the offensive, starting with letters to Venezuelan Government officials.

Judy Guion



World War II Army Adventure (33) News of a Furlough – June 3, 1944

My Uncle, David Peabody Guion, enlisted in the Army and was sworn in on January 15th, 1944. He is currently at Camp Crowder, Missouri, but as this letter and postcard state, he will be arriving home on a furlough that happens to coincide with the reading of his Grandmother Peabody’s will and his Graduating Class Ceremony, which he hopes to attend. He is guardedly optimistic about the whole thing.





Army Service Forces Training Center (RTC)

Camp Crowder, Missouri

June 3, 1944

Mr. Alfred D. Guion

871 Main Street

Bridgeport, Conn


Dear Sir:

In reference to your request for a furlough for your son, Pvt. David P. Guion, 21409102, of this Organization.

This matter has been taken care of and I will see to it that your son will have a furlough in such time as to allow his presence in court on the 21st of June, 1944.

Further correspondence on your part will not be necessary.

Sincerely yours,



Captain, Signal Corps,






Dear Dad —

Will be home by the 21st. I don’t know anything except that my application went through. (over)

I actually can’t be positively sure until I’m on my way — so please don’t say too much about it ’til I get there — but as things are now — I’ll see you on the 21st.

Tomorrow, another letter from Dave asking for a box of stationery and the fact that El (his girlfriend, Eleanor Kintop) was belittling the Army Organization 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Doggies (3) – Quotes From Lad and Sheer Optimism – April 15, 1945


APG - APG at D_____ ______ a_____, 25 June, 1945

Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion

Page 3    4/15/45

I guess I’m slipping, and will have to back water again. Maybe I can hide behind a technicality. There was no letter to be sure in P.O. Box 7 from Lad this week, but I was pleasantly surprised one day to find one from him waiting for me at the office, written Easter Sunday. “No letter from you again this week. Sometimes the mails are very slow. Yesterday one of the fellows in my room got a letter mailed Dec. 19th, — just a few days short of 4 months – – but then you consider the quantity of mail handled to and from the States I wonder that it makes such good time. And our Censors are doing a wonderful job over here too (now that’s what I call tact, Lad). It is very seldom that a letter isn’t mailed within 36 hours from the time it is written. Marian has only told me of one.

The past few days have been cloudy and wet, but the sun is trying to shine out bright and strong for this day of days. Seems to be having a little trouble though and now and then the clouds win the battle for a short time. It is still morning, so it may yet overcome all resistance. Hope so. I’ve been to the movies three times in the past week but didn’t see anything worth seeing. We’ve had quite a few mystery pictures lately but I don’t enjoy them too well. According to Marian, Ced, as usual, practically outdid himself in his Christmas Box. His ideas are always so practical, yet good, that it is truly a great pleasure to receive anything from him. Even his letters. Which reminds me, I should write to him. Plans to see Dan or the other fellows in Paris are no more mature than they were last time I wrote, but I’m still hoping. Interesting news items of the past week are nil and therefore I don’t have much to write about. Give my love to Aunt Betty and Jean and remember me to anyone so interested. I’ll take care of Marian’s interest, I hope. Lots of love, luck and good health, Dad. An Easter wish to you all – – on paper that is. I thought it many times this morning. LAD

It’s so good to be hearing from you regularly, again, Lad. It makes more difference in the days contentment than you realize. The only sad thing about it is that it makes me want to do so much more for all you lads that I can do. You married ones are being supplied from time to time by your devoted wives with boxes containing what you ask for and perhaps some things that you don’t ask for and possibly even can’t use, so Dad is sort of frustrated in exhibiting any of the tokens of esteem he wants to express, but from the news we keep getting, it seems as if it couldn’t be too long now before the show is over and the day brought nearer when you march up the gangplank and set sail for home. Oh, boy, won’t that be some day! And it does look over here as though you boys will not need to worry much about the future. I suppose I’m just naturally optimistic, but it does seem that for several years we will have a period of great prosperity here in this country. That report from Ven. Pete. (Venezuela Petroleum) which Marian is sending you looks as though they might use a good man on diesel down there, if you’re interested, Lad. Meantime I don’t think it would do a bit of harm to drop those men you know a postcard now and then, just to let them know you are on the map and have not forgotten them.

To you, also, Dick and Ced and Dave, our thoughts turn your way more than you know. In fact each of you occupies a special place in the thoughts and affections of your…..


Tomorrow and Sunday, letters from Dave during his World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Doggies (2) – Two Boxes and Local News From Trumbull – April 15, 1945



DBG - Paulette on Bike @ 1945 in France

Paulette Van Laere

Page 2     4/15/45

Another box was promptly dispatched to you during the week, Dan, which I hope will reach you before the war is over (or do I?). I am sorry to say I was unable to get a table cover of the size you wanted. Howland’s said they had had no oilcloth table covers for over a year. Read’s had one left, quite a bit smaller than you specified but I sent it along anyway. Howland’s had a very poor assortment of needle sizes, Read’s no needles at all, but I’m going to try some other stores. I also included in the box some more postage stamp assortments but the low price makes me wonder if any of the stamps will be of much interest to your perspective brother-in-law. I did succeed in getting two laundry brushes and I also enclosed in the box another of your shirts and a small box of writing paper for Paulette, with the initial V on the sheets.

And while I am on the subject of boxes, I am sending pretty soon one to Dave. I read in Ernie Pile’s account of his landing on Okinawa that he was practically eaten up the first night with mosquitoes, and while it may be that the Army furnishes you boys with mosquito netting, it seemed worth the chance, so I ups and buys enough for one cot cover, but as it did not come very wide, I got a double length so that you can employ some of your time, Dave, in plying needle and thread. Just as a bit of a novelty, I put in Dan’s package and will also include in yours, a can of popping corn and a bottle of oil (I suppose you can get salt) so that to vary the monotony some night, you can have a corn popping party if you can find or devise some form of popper. AND, Dan, this week I also instructed Davis & Hawley to mail to you, insured, a package containing an engagement ring and a wedding ring. The girls are fearful that the size is too small but supposedly the jewelers followed the instructions you sent as to what the ring size should be. I hope both Paulette and yourself will be satisfied with the efforts of the joint purchasing commission which consisted of Marian, Jean and yours truly. Anyway, we think we did pretty well.

In today’s Sunday Post there is a picture of Sgt. Benjamin A. Slauson, and quote: “Mrs. Benjamin A. Slauson, of Main Street, has received word from Lieut. Gen. George C. Kenny, U S A commander, that her son, Staff Sergeant Benjamin A. Slauson, was decorated with the Bronze Star medal in recognition of courageous service to his combat organization. He was cited for heroic achievement in connection with military operation against the enemy at Dulag Harbor, Leyte, P.I., on Nov. 12, 1944. He was a crew member aboard a ship when an enemy airplane made a suicidal dive and crashed into his vessel, killing 89 men and seriously wounding 100 others. When two explosions started fire in the stern, hurling shrapnel and debris about the ship, Slauson and other crew members hastened to the aid of the injured and extricated the wounded from the flames and wreckage and fought fires with shrapnel-riddled hose until a naval vessel came to their aid. Sgt. Slauson enlisted in the service five years ago and has been in the Pacific two years. Prior to entering the service he was employed at the Stanley Works and was a graduate of Bassick High School. He is 25 years of age.”

I also received the following in the mail this week: Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Fowler requested the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Mildred Elizabeth, to Ensign Harold Stacy Kercher, U.S.N.R., on Saturday, April 28th at Hamden, Conn.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish the week and this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more  of the World War II Army Adventure from Dave.

Judy Guion