Trumbull – Dear Children (2) – A Momentous Week – August 12, 1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)

Telegrams and letters from Jean announced safe arrival at Miami. She says: “The plane trip was quite wonderful, except from Washington to Columbia, where it was really pretty rough. We ran into such a thick fog I couldn’t even see the wing of the plane, and we had many air pockets making the plane drop and rock and roll. That’s when my stomach did a few flip-flops and my heart skipped a few beats. I was more than a little scared. After we left Columbia, tho, it was really beautiful. The weather was clear and I could look down and

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see all the cities. Then I relaxed and concentrated on my magazines. Why, I feel just like an old timer at flying. They served us lunch after we left Washington – – stew, mashed potatoes, frozen peas, radishes, olives, hot rolls, butter, tomato salad, peach tart and coffee. It was so good I ate every bit of it. When we left Jacksonville they gave us our dinner – – fried chicken, beets, string beans, roles, melon and cherry salad, coffee, pudding and cookies. It’s pretty wonderful, the things they can do on a plane. Of course they don’t cook these things on it – – they are put on the plane at a stop nearest the time were supposed to eat and then kept warm in containers. We got to Miami a little after 9 and the Danby’s met me. They have a darling house about 7 miles from the city. It’s nice and cool out there – – not at all as I had expected it. Wednesday I reported. They gave me two shots, one in each arm, for typhoid and yellow fever. I have to have three more, so I’ll be here for a while yet, and then, when my passport comes, I can be on my way. (Later letter said the passport had come).

Ced, Just a few minutes ago Ted Southworth came in and told me that last week he had been hired to fly a ship back from Georgia to Mass. and that down there were from 3 to 4000 planes of every description that the Army is selling (the bigger ones on time) and that Art Woodley, if he hasn’t already covered his needs, might write, as you could also, to the R.F.C., Bush field, Augusta, Ga., and ask for a list of the planes for sale. Taylorcraft, Aeronca and Pipers such as you are interested in, and of which there are hundreds, sell from 550 to 1150, while the larger biplanes such as the Fairchild (open job) sell from $850 to 1275. The 1-2’s, he says, seem to be in excellent condition. Art might be interested in the Lockheed transports they have, Lodestar, Ventura, Hudson or possibly the Twin Beaches. What they can’t sell they will probably scrap or burn.

Dave, there is nothing new about the camera. The Rangers did not hold any blowout here for Johnny Vichieola last Saturday.

Dan, I am wondering if you received the package containing your tripod. What happens if you have sailed for the states? Do they follow you back home or return to sender?

Dick, I asked Jean if she would ask you to send me another box of Brazilian cigars. Let me know the cost and I will remit. If this gets to you before your birthday, many happy returns I’ll be thinking of you and hoping and wishing all good things.

Lad, thanks for sending me the maps of Paris prepared for servicemen. I tried to locate Drancy but the maps were not on a large enough scale, showing Paris only. It was interesting to see the location of various places one hears so much about.

How would you boys like to have some nice homemade rhubarb pie, rhubarb from our own garden baked by Marian’s masterly hand? We had some for dinner today. In our present frame of mind, I’ll gladly pick some more and she’ll gladly bake if you’ll promise to drop in before the month is out. Are you on? Meanwhile, atomically yours,

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, the Gospels according to St. Dan and St. Lad regarding the wedding in Calais, France.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons Of Sneezy (3) – Extract Of Ced (2) – August 27, 1944

Ced @ 1945

Cedric Duryee Guion

Page 2 Ced extract

This year, Woodley rode into the Bay business full speed ahead – – an Electra, a Boeing and a Stinson, with the Travelair also available, if needed. The only handicap was that we had no float ship to get the man up to the Army base (this being the only airfield suitable for large ships in the whole Bristol Bay region). This, however, wasn’t too bad a handicap, as the Army barge brings the man from Naknek to the base on their regular scheduled trips twice a day. Things looked pretty good for a banner year. On one of the first trips of the Stinson, however, the left engine “blew up”, and pilot Booth had to land at Kenai. Art (Woodley) went down in the Boeing and brought in the passengers and Booth, and that afternoon, Frank, Roland and I went to Kenai with our tools and another engine and installed it, getting back to Anchorage in the Stinson the following evening. That was two weeks ago tomorrow night. We went home and ate our suppers, went back and worked till 5 AM Tuesday morning, getting the final adjustments corrected and giving the other two engines a routine check. Since that time, work has been nigh on to a nightmare. We never know whether it will be day or night work – – and so it goes. We do get our sleep pretty well, but quite often take two sessions at once trying to catch up. There have been no other failures but little things keep popping up along with the necessary routine servicing and maintenance, and the ball never seems to stop bouncing and is always a half a jump ahead of us. However, we are doing a bigger percentage of the business than ever, and if we can just limp along until the work down there is finished, it will be a job well done. We hope it will be over by this time next week, but the way it looks, I don’t want to plan on it. (Editor’s note: As far as I can figure it, this letter was written August 2nd or 3rd). Some days we send the three big ships down several times each and the Travelair twice, but then again, the fisherman get a couple of drinks or something and fail to board the barge for the Army Base and our planes and pilots sit at the Base and twiddle their thumbs. Today was typical. We mechanics worked till 11:30 last night getting everything ready for today. The Boeing, with Art and a new copilot, and the Stinson with Booth, both took off at 6 AM this morning for the Bay. The Travelair took off around 9:30 just as I arrived at the field after a short sleep. It was on the “Milk Run” to Kenai, Ninilchik, Kasilof and Homer. This run is steady, twice a week, hence the name. The Electra took off at 9:45 for the Bay. The Boeing returned to Anchorage around 11 and was serviced for another trip. When that was completed, the Travelair came in from the “Milk Run” and was ready for another trip just about the time the Stinson arrived from Naknek. We serviced the Stinson and by that time the Electra had arrived and they brought word that there were 18 men due in tonight at the Naknek base. As all ships weren’t needed for 18 men it was hoped that all could stay in Anchorage overnight, but Art said, “No”, and so all four took off for the Bay again and we went home to grab some rest so that we could service them around eight or 9 o’clock this evening when they started straggling in again. But – – it seems that the barge arrived at the Bay empty, and so the whole works remained overnight and we got to sleep a normal shift again. Tomorrow they may all have to make a couple of trips each and then one of them will have to be on hand Tuesday for the regular Juneau run.

I am now classified 2-B and deferred until February 2nd, 1945. Once again, I’ve taken stick in hand and have gone into the ozone, bird fashion. I flew with an instructor Thursday and Saturday of last week and today for a while and then soloed out for one landing. I did fairly well but am still pretty rusty. I had to ask for a duplicate license as I never found the old one.

Dick’s theory on why one should not write too often is a lulu and for a better suggestion, I pass, bowing in defeat first crack off the bat. To him goes the ring-nosed Amazon.

Tomorrow, Marian tells us about part of her trip from Pomona, California. to Jackson, Mississippi.

On Friday I’ll post a letter Marian wrote to Grandpa after she had been in Jackson for about a week.

On Saturday and Sunday, I will post two letters from Dave about his World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Off Spring (3) – More News From Ced – March 3, 1946

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The party was on St. Valentine’s day and since then most of my time has been put in on this Student Federalist work. I had the check canceled — duplicate enclosed. The news items had to do with arrival and maiden voyages of Woodley’s new Douglas transports. Two of them are here and the third is due to arrive this week. They are really fine ships even to the extent of being pronounced of finer interior than any of this particular type operated by any of the major lines in the states. The ship is the latest model of the twin-engine Douglas (C117 A). It was built for the Army on contract which was canceled and Woodley got it. They were for transportation of the “Brass” and were beautifully appointed for that reason. The model is a very successful one although its design is almost obsolete. (It was first produced around 1935 and was used almost universally by the big airlines in the country up to the declaration of war. Then the Army took most of them from the airlines and all the new production of this model (DC3 or Army C47). Douglas is finishing out their production on these last 150 ships, then they will go into production on their new pusher models (the DC7, I believe). We are taking three and possibly two more of these last 150 planes. They cost approximately $135,000.00 each. The airlines in the states are still operating the old DC3’s on most of their routes, so you could say we are operating better equipment than they are. The ships carry a pilot, a co-pilot and a stewardess. There are luxurious seats for 21 passengers. With each ticket purchased one finds himself welcomed and seated in the plane by a rather attractive uniformed stewardess. His seat is finished in an attractive soft gray-green ribbed upholstery. The armrests and skirts are tan leatherette and the base molding is aluminum. The floor is carpeted with a green rug and the walls and ceiling are the same soft shade as the seats and have aluminum stripes running across over the top and down the sides about every 3 feet from front to back of the cabin. Should the passenger want to recline, he may move a lever and the seat tilts back to a very comfortable degree or he may stop at any intermediate position he desires. An ashtray is at his fingertips. There is a pocket for papers, etc., which he might be carrying, right in front of him on the seat-back of the chair in front. If the sun comes in through the window to strongly he can draw the cream and tan curtains closed, and if cold or hungry, a push on the call chime will bring the stewardess with a P.N.A.- monogrammed blanket or a light lunch served from the buffet with coffee or a fruit juice to drink. After dark he may turn on his individual reading light and the stewardess will bring him a recent copy of some magazine which suits his taste. The pilot, too, may be relaxing, occasionally glancing at his instruments and resetting the automatic pilot for a change in course or just to check its operation. Then he sits back comfortably and enjoys the scenery along with the co-pilot. His radio equipment is the most modern and with that he can fly in nearly any kind of weather with comparative safety. Radar and blind landings are still in the future but he is creeping up on them.

The same day I lost that letter I was a passenger in one of the old Boeings piloted by Woodley and we flew out to Mt. McKinley alongside one of the new Dougs, taking pictures through an open port in the Boeing. Each time the professional photographer moved away to reload his camera I would jump in with my 35 mm color job and take the same ones he was getting. If the exposures were good there should be some humdinger’s. The shots taken should be better than those of the Electra which I took several years ago and which you perhaps recall having seen.

No doubt you read of the wreck of the YUKON just south of Seward, en route to Seattle. https://www.flickr.com/photos/12567713@N00/318257778 I know many people who were aboard and it must have been a rather harrowing experience. One man, whom I knew quite well, F. J. Fitzsimmons, has not been heard of since. He was manager of the Alaskan branch of the Standard Oil Co., and was perhaps the best liked man in Anchorage. Everyone knew and loved “Fitz.” He was fat and jolly, had a wonderful sense of humor and a fine personality. His wife and four kids are among the cream of the Anchorage families and his loss will cause the Yukon disaster to be imprinted deeply on the minds of most everyone in town. It is odd that of the 485 people aboard the ship only 10 were missing and only two of these civilians, and one of them the most popular man on the ship. Odd too, is his disappearance, as many saw him after the ship had broken in half and after the high waves, which swept over the decks, had subsided somewhat. It is the “mystery of the Yukon” and time may yield the answer. So far there is not even a clue.

Tomorrow, more from Grandpa with local news and on Friday, an original One Act Play, written by AD Guion, Grandpa to you and me.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (2) – News From Ced – November, 1945

 

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And now let’s hear from Ced.

“You now are in a way a sort of archaeologist delving deeply into the past and exploring some long forgotten man, that called Cedric. Of course others from time to time have made brief sketches of his habitat and some of his occupations, but for the most part, you probably find that his is a nearly dead memory. This would be true certainly for Dan, and to a lesser extent for Dave. Dan, I have not seen or written since September, 1941, he unmarried, unmilitarized, unEuroped, and the country uninvaded and unPearl Harbored. Dave has had the pleasure of seeing my personal self somewhat more recently, he having been home in the Christmas season, 1943. First off, I owe you both letters, long overdue. I am dreadfully chagrined at my failure to correspond with the newlyweds in Français. Be assured Dan and Paulette, that this is through no intentional snub, or even lack of interest on my part, but mostly to a phobia on my part on writing letters, and also due to the fact that I have been too, too dreadfully busy in Alaska. I must still take time, while I have it at home, to write a more lengthy and chatty letter, telling about Alaska and other items of interest to you two. I wish that I could write you, Paulette, in Français, but what little of it I received in high school would hardly bear repeating even if I remembered it at all. Perhaps when we meet you can teach me the language yourself. May I here take occasion to congratulate you with all my heart, and wish for you and yours the best of everything in the future.

To Dave, who has written me on several occasions and is perhaps still waiting vainly for an answer, I must also beg forgiveness, and I might add, I am highly interested in your broad-minded observations as to treatment the Japs should receive. Dave, I think you and I have a lot in common on this score, and one of these days I’ll write you a long letter answering all your questions and telling you a little more about what’s what. I will have more time in Alaska to write, as I am no longer tied up with the Ski Club administration, and hope to have less overtime at Woodley’s.

I just learned that this letter is also for Lad and Marian, and to them I just say “poo”.

This Taylorcraft plane is to be half mine, and half Leonard Hopkin’s. We are planning to put it on floats next summer and I hope to be able to have a commercial license by then. Leonard has learned to fly and has also a private license. His wife, Marian, is also learning, but hasn’t yet soloed. My intention was to fly from Ohio to Trumbull in the plane, but the factory was unable to install the extras before the 20th of this month, so I came on home by train, and will go back and pick up the plane if I can, on the 20th, returning to Trumbull with it (landing at Monroe) and being home for Thanksgiving and the balance of November. I should start back for Alaska about the first of December.

The Taylorcraft is one of the little planes, similar to the one I had an interest in, in Anchorage once before. It is however, a brand-new one, just being finished up at the factory next week. It will carry two passengers and 50 pounds baggage. Will cruise at 90-95 m.p.h., and fly nonstop without refueling, for about 5 hours and 25 minutes. It will have a high priced two-way radio of the very latest type, and should be a fine airplane. The cost of the plane landed in Anchorage will be approximately $3200, and will break my bank for some time to come, but this figure will cover protective insurance on the plane and I will have the benefit of all the flying time from Trumbull to Alaska, an amount of time which would cost me quite a little if I were buying it in Anchorage. Now enough of this item.

I have lots more good Kodachromes for the family album, and you will soon see them, I hope. Adieu for now, and Bon Nuit, Paulette.

Ced”

Tomorrow, part 3 and on Thursday, the conclusion to this letter. On Friday, Marian writes a note to the family.

Judy Guion

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

This is the next portion of a 5-page letter from Grandpa to his 4 sons away from home. Lad has been discharged from the Army and is home in Trumbull with Marian.

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 invincible, 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 of 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 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 thecountry.

Think what all this war will mean in experiences as we look back. All the hardships and headaches and for much too many, heartaches. 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 two fine additions to the family (and Jean) in the persons of Marian and Paulette.

On top of that I get a half reduction in my January rent due to the bet with Chuck Morgan, and 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 anymore. I presume the celebrations were as hilarious back there as here, perhaps more so, as we only celebrated the cessation of hostilities, while for you poor ration plagued individuals, it speeded the unshackling of so many of the restrictions with which you have been forced to put up. Well it looks as if it’s all over now and I look for a lot happier  and more prosperous period  for a while at least. In Anchorage, the horns, sirens, whistles and bells all sounded out the glad tidings and, the streets were alive with people it brought to mind Dan’s description of the celebration in Holland, even to the rain which pattered down steadily all night long which, just as in the case of Dan’s invention, failed to dampen in the slightest the glowing spirits which prevailed.

The report is that there were 10,000 gallons of liquor consumed on that first night on 4th Ave. in Anchorage! What headaches there must have been the next morning. The police were out, as were the M.P.’s, but the order was to apprehend no one unless the violations were severe. Of course there were lots of arrests – – a bunch of soldiers and civilians stormed the South Seas Club and walked out with half the furniture from the place, damages running to about of thousand dollars over the days gross receipts. There were many fights but most of it was just good friendly fun. Servicemen appeared in bright neckties, suit jackets, army pants, sailor hats or any other outlandish mixture which came their way. One M.P. accosted Bob Barnett while he was en route to the house here and said: “Hey soldier, unbutton your collar.” That was typical of the type of feeling which prevailed. Officers insignia were a dime a dozen and there must’ve been lots of fraternizing between enlisted men and their officers, judging from the number of privates who blossomed out major and Col. clusters. There was a two day holiday to go along with the celebration, although it, of course, didn’t affect me. We worked right along just as we would any other day.

For Dan’s benefit, Harold Rheard, with whom he used to work and ride to work and who is now Anchorage’s City Engineer, ran  in to me at one of the bars (no, I wasn’t there to drink) and yanked a handkerchief out of my jacket pocket and threw it to a soldier and shouted, “Here, soldier, here’s a civilian handkerchief for you.” The handkerchief was one of those nice ones which Aunt Elsie gave me when I was leaving to come back up here a year ago last February, but under the circumstances I willingly let it go.

One of the more bawdy incidents of which I only heard was the case where a girl in an upper window of the Anchorage Hotel did a striptease, throwing her clothes out of the window one at a time while she stood in full view and the crowd cheered her on. I questioned the fellow telling the story as to how far she got and he said, “All the way”.

Woodley’s is in an extreme state of flux again, the shop men are fighting among themselves, all telling their troubles to me. There is a new man who is going to take over the operations, leaving Art free to run the Washington D. C. end of the business, and to make new financial contacts – – I think he has tied up with Mr. Boeing of Boeing Aircraft and United Airlines in some way or other – – and other executive duties. The Anchorage-Seattle run is still not out of the frying pan but rumor has it that we are going to get two new DC-3’s (C – 47 Army designation) in 4 to 6 weeks anyway. We started the Kodiak run last week and it looks as though it would be a good one. I am still flying when I can – – put in an hour and a half today. Love to Marian and Aunt Betty. CED

I share the doubt that is evidently in the back of your mind as to the advisability of joint ownership. There are so many unforeseen circumstances that might occur, conditions change, people apparently change and what looks favorable today may tomorrow become a headache. I don’t mean to be pessimistic and in your case, everything may work out, but my observation and experience teach me that a situation of this sort has potentialities for unpleasant development. So, if you can swing it, is better to be all on your own. One thing about this plane business to my mind is of paramount importance and that is no economy should be practiced at the expense of safety. Guard against “familiarity breeding contempt” lest your knowledge of airplane mechanics lure you into taking a chance that a less confident person would avoid. “There speaks the cautious father”, I hear you say. All right, I’ll admit it but who has a better right. After all, I’ve only one Ced, and you’re it.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the final sections of this very long letter with a note from Doug Chandler and other local news.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of the life of Mary E Wilson, an English girl who arrived in 1925 as a young teenager. She is in her early 20’s and experiencing life.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Children – A Momentous Week – August, 1945

 Trumbull, Conn.,   August 12, 1945

Dear Children:

What a momentous week this has been! The atomic bomb – – the Russian declaration of war – – the Jap offer to quit (on condition) – – the full account of Dan’s wedding. Both internationally and personally, what untold future possibilities are opened up for you all! Almost overnight the whole aspect of things changes and the long hoped-for day when you can all be home again draws appreciably nearer. One has to sort of pause and think and even then is unable to visualize the endless changes in present outlook and future potentials of these stirring days. Of course the big thing that is most obvious is the time when you will be coming back, but big as this seems to us now, the harnessing of the atom for man’s service for peace-time use is almost too big for man’s mind to grasp its fullest significance. We are truly living in a great age, and while I may not live to see its maximum development, you boys have a wonderful prospect before you.

Meantime, to get back to earth, I don’t suppose you boys individually know any more about what the next few weeks have in store for you that we do here. Here are a few of the many questions that step on each other’s heels. Will Dave stay in Okinawa? Will he be part of the Jap army of occupation? Will he be home for Christmas? Will the end of the war affect Jean’s permit to go to Brazil, or is that a permanent enough base so that Dick may be expected to stay there for some time yet. If so, how long? Has Lad already left for the Pacific? If so, how far has he gotten and will he continue or will the Army cancel, with VJ day, all shipment of further men to CBI area? How soon will they lower the point release figures so that Dan can qualify for discharge and when can he and Paulette come home? Will Ced stay in Anchorage or come home? Will a lot of planes now be thrown on the market so he can pick up one very cheap, either around here or up there? Anyone finding the answer to any of these questions may earn a generous reward by communicating with the writer. (I can’t forget I’m an advertising man).

As to Dan’s wedding, which refuses to be blacked out by international developments and which we have been all waiting for so long to hear about in detail, I am attaching collateral accounts of the event by one of the victims and a sympathetic spectator. We will lack the feminine touch (what the bride wore, etc.) which, in truly masculine manner, the eyewitnesses have failed to record, but maybe Paulette will supply these details so dear to the feminine heart, for Marian’s and Jean’s benefit, to say nothing of the sisters and the cousins and the aunts. I have received a most friendly letter from M. Senechal written in quaint English, which I prize most highly and in which he speaks in glowing terms of Dan. (This note will be quoted in Grandpa’s next letter.)

Telegrams and letters from Jean announced safe arrival at Miami. She says: “The plane trip was quite wonderful, except from Washington to Columbia, where it was really pretty rough. We ran into such a thick fog I couldn’t even see the wing of the plane, and we had many air pockets making the plane drop and rock and roll. That’s when my stomach did a few flip-flops and my heart skipped a few beats. I was more than a little scared. After we left Columbia, tho, it was really beautiful. The weather was clear and I could look down and

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see all the cities. Then I relaxed and concentrated on my magazines. Why, I feel just like an old timer at flying. They served us lunch after we left Washington – – stew, mashed potatoes, frozen peas, radishes, olives, hot rolls, butter, tomato salad, peach tart and coffee. It was so good I ate every bit of it. When we left Jacksonville they gave us our dinner – – fried chicken, beets, string beans, roles, melon and cherry salad, coffee, pudding and cookies. It’s pretty wonderful, the things they can do on a plane. Of course they don’t cook these things on it – – they are put on the plane at a stop nearest the time were supposed to eat and then kept warm in containers. We got to Miami a little after 9 and the Danby’s met me. They have a darling house about 7 miles from the city. It’s nice and cool out there – – not at all as I had expected it. Wednesday I reported. They gave me two shots, one in each arm, for typhoid and yellow fever. I have to have three more, so I’ll be here for a while yet, and then, when my passport comes, I can be on my way. (Later letter said the passport had come).

Ced, Just a few minutes ago Ted Southworth came in and told me that last week he had been hired to fly a ship back from Georgia to Mass. and that down there were from 3 to 4000 planes of every description that the Army is selling (the bigger ones on time) and that Art Woodley, if he hasn’t already covered his needs, might write, as you could also, to the R.F.C., Bush field, Augusta, Ga., and ask for a list of the planes for sale. Taylorcraft, Aeronca and Pipers such as you are interested in, and of which there are hundreds, sell from 550 to 1150, while the larger biplanes such as the Fairchild (open job) sell from $850 to 1275. The 1-2’s, he says, seem to be in excellent condition. Art might be interested in the Lockheed transports they have, Lodestar, Ventura, Hudson or possibly the Twin Beaches. What they can’t sell they will probably scrap or burn.

Dave, there is nothing new about the camera. The Rangers did not hold any blowout here for Johnny Vichieola last Saturday.

Dan, I am wondering if you received the package containing your tripod. What happens if you have sailed for the states? Do they follow you back home or return to sender?

Dick, I asked Jean if she would ask you to send me another box of Brazilian cigars. Let me know the cost and I will remit. If this gets to you before your birthday, many happy returns I’ll be thinking of you and hoping and wishing all good things.

Lad, thanks for sending me the maps of Paris prepared for servicemen. I tried to locate Drancy but the maps were not on a large enough scale, showing Paris only. It was interesting to see the location of various places one hears so much about.

How would you boys like to have some nice homemade rhubarb pie, rhubarb from our own garden baked by Marian’s masterly hand? We had some for dinner today. In our present frame of mind, I’ll gladly pick some more and she’ll gladly bake if you’ll promise to drop in before the month is out. Are you on? Meanwhile, atomically yours,

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa letting us know what has been going on in Trumbull for the past week. Things are moving fast right now and it is hard to keep up.

On Saturday and Sunday, more installments of the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson.

Next week, we’ll jump back to 1941 as the war moves closer to Trumbull and Grandpa’s sons.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dave in Okinawa (2) – June, 1945

 

dpg-dave-in-okinawa-2-june-1945

The people are short, not very modest, and go around barefooted. Although I haven’t seen it myself, I’ve been told that the girls take baths while all the American boys stand around and gape (naturally). Much to my surprise somebody told me they had seen an outhouse on the island. I still haven’t seen one. Don’t ask me how they do it. I haven’t seen any traces of human dung. I understand they use it for fertilizer in their fields.

Of course, true to oriental style, every square foot of land that is cultivatable has something of worth growing on it.

I saw Kadona (?) in shambles. It sort of hurt to see machines standing in a pile of rock and rubble. I kept thinking how I would feel if I went back home and saw where your office used to be, parts of our automatic feed and maybe a multi-graph head standing in a heap of broken wood. Now Kadona (?) is just a flat hunk of bull-dozed land. You wouldn’t even know that there had once been a good-sized town standing there. Some of the villages are still standing although the houses have been ransacked.

Our group was the first to set up a bivouac area in the spot assigned to us. There were no other outfits around. We were told that snipers were not scarce and that air raids were frequent. We were a small group and had to supply our own guards. It was all now   to us – this business of guarding a bivouac area for a real enemy who might be armed with grenades, a knife and a rifle. It wasn’t like that old fire ground at Crowder where you walked around with an empty carbine on your shoulder. Here you sat as still as the mosquitoes would let you and every leaf that rustled or every domestic animal (there were a lot of pigs, goats and horses left by the fleeing natives) that moved had a carbine pointed in its direction. But I never did see a live sniper.

The first day after we got to our bivouac area a couple of the boys went out to do some exploring. They didn’t get more than a couple of hundred feet away from the area before they ran across a Jap soldier and a civilian who had been hit by flamethrowers. The soldier caught his before he could get out of his foxhole. Surprisingly enough, they didn’t smell too badly. A detail was sent out to bury them.

One night we had a raid and for the first time we saw an enemy observation plane. We had seen plenty of zeros and had seen lots of them shot down, this was the first time we had seen an observation plane. One of the boys made the speculation that we soon would be bombed. This theory I quickly pooh-poohed, figuring it was too far-fetched. That night I went to bed in perfect peace (nevertheless I was in my foxhole which was covered with my tent). The next thing I knew there was a terrific explosion that shook the dirt loose from the sides of my foxhole, and bounced me up and down on my cot. Then another and another. There were five of them altogether. I wondered what it was so I got up and looked out between the flaps of my tent. I saw that dawn was breaking as I threw on my shoes (I had the rest of my clothes on all night) and went out to see what had happened. The first person I saw was Larry Oeruatoski (?) who was on guard. He said it was a Jap who had come in low just over the trees and had dropped a stick of five bombs, so we took off across the field a few hundred feet to where we found the first crater. We decided that it must have been a 100-lb. anti-personnel bomb because the crater was only a couple of feet in diameter. We found the rest of the craters and started thanking our lucky stars that the pilot of the plane was a poor shot. If he had been a few degrees to the left he would have reduced the size of the US Army by a few men. We found shrapnel holes in our mess tent, supply tent, and one guy had a rip in his tent about 2 feet long.

Tomorrow and Thursday, the other two sections of this letter from Dave, Grandpa’s youngest, who is stationed in Okinawa. On Friday, a letter from Biss to Ced, in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (3) – June, 1942

Judy_0003

Page 3   6/7/1942

Dear Ced:

Your letter, dated May 26th, examined by Censor, was like a drink of water to thirsty troops on the Libyan desert. That was certainly a most interesting experience you had enroute to rescue the plane and I am anxious to get the next installment. You always manage to leave off just as the hero is about to step off the precipice in the dark. I don’t know how my nerves are able to stand up under the strain. Can’t recall such excitement since that day on the Gaspé trip when you drove the car over the road that was crumbling off into the ravine.

Dick is still on night work but thinks there is a possibility of his changing to a day shift in the near future. He has at last gotten his tires but they are not much to brag about. One of them has a cut on the side wall, but he patched it up and put it on anyway.

I received a letter from Nan Osborne the other day. She says Stan is in the hospital for an operation in Albany. He has been having prostate gland trouble. She says: “Please give them all (Aunt Betty and the boys) my love, and be particular about sending it to Cedric for he was exceedingly kind to me when I saw all of you on our last visit.” She says they still have my hat and invite me to visit them at New Paltz (New York) this summer. I look back on that trip we took there together with a great deal of pleasure.

I note what you say about camera and radio and I will keep my eye open for a camera similar to Dan’s. It’s too bad you did not have a camera along on your rescue trip to go with the account just to make it doubly interesting. Thanks very much for the money order. In view of the fact that interest on mortgage and taxes on the house arrive simultaneously on July 1st, it is quite opportune. I have, as you know, been keeping up your insurance payments. There is another due next month so that too is welcome.

As to tennis balls, I went to three places. One was out of them entirely and did not expect to get anymore. Another had only a few, and at Read’s, I tried to order a dozen but they refused to sell me more than three. Cost: $.50 each. I therefore ordered them to send three to you. Later on I’ll try to pull the same stunt again.

I am enclosing a couple of newspaper clippings which may be of interest to you. How did you celebrate your birthday? I am glad you are so comfortably housed. Between two such good cooks as you and Rusty, the cuisine in your ménage must be sompin.

General Notes:

I understand Nellie is home with his bride but I haven’t seen him. Jack Philmon came home on a hasty furlough. He has been ordered to San Francisco and has been issued cold weather clothing so the inference is he might be seeing you one of these days, Ced. Charlie Hall was unable to make the flying core on account of his eyes. He will probably rate Ensign in the Navy however.

One thing I have been intending to take up with all three of you is a request for blanket permission to open any mail coming here addressed to you. I take it that action will be O.K., but just for forms sake, I am mentioning it here now my intention to do just that unless I receive specific instructions to the contrary. I can then deposit any dividend checks to your account and use my discretion about forwarding any letters to you.

Dick has moved upstairs to Lad’s room. Today Dick asked Jean over to spend the weekend – – one reason why Dick vacated the spare room for the attic. Mr. Eichner sent me some broilers for today’s dinner and with homemade ice cream, we had a regular Sunday dinner.

Lately I have been doing some advertising work for Milford Rivet, who are supplying the plane manufacturers with rivets. I went through their plant and found Dwight Brinsmaid working there.

DAD

 To follow the War and the invasion of Alaska, go to  https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com. GP Cox does  very thorough research on each post. As you follow the posts, you will learn what actually happened – a piece of our history that was overshadowed by what was happening elsewhere.

Tomorrow and on Sunday, I’ll be posting Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Life In Alaska – Ced Writes To Lad – July, 1940

The following letter is from Ced to his older brother, Lad, who is still in Venezuela. It was included in the same envelope as Dan’s letter dated the day before.  Both boys have been in Alaska for about 6 weeks and found jobs very quickly. It didn’t take them long to find jobs that were better suited to their plans. Dan is working as a surveyor at the military airfield and Ced is working at an airline transport company.

Cedric Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

Monday – July 29, 1940

9:35 PM our time

3:35 AM New York time (Daylight Savings)

Dear Alfred:

I have been intending to write to you for a long time and it seems as though I finally got around to it. I won’t be sure until it’s in the mailbox however.

I suppose you must feel that I am either a lousy correspondent or just a terribly dis-interested person as concerns you – rest assured, it’s undoubtedly the former. I can’t begin to tell you how I appreciate all you have done for Dad and also the rest of us. I know that your help has been invaluable to Dad and he, I’m sure, is very grateful. As concerns myself – ahem – I wanted thank you for the birthday gift of the bag which Dad got for me with your money. Even coming as it does, within two days of two months late, it is none the less sincere. It (the gift) came in very handy on the trip out and I’m afraid I would have been hopelessly short of luggage if it hadn’t been with me. Golly, it’s hot to write. Dan and I sit in our room sweltering with the window and door wide open, just imagine, this in Alaska. The paper says there has been a heat wave in the eastern states too, so I don’t feel so badly.

Just took time out to read Dan’s letter to you so that I wouldn’t duplicate. I agree with him in his disappointment in Alaska, but perhaps I enjoyed the trip out a little better than he, though at times it did get monotonous. At present, I’m in the middle of writing a trip history and when it’s finished, I will send you a copy.

It occurs to me that you might be interested in my work at the airport. Mr. Woodley runs an airline which operates commercial planes for hire. He was one of the four concerns in the commercial flying business upon whom I called on the first day out looking for work. The reason being that I have decided, pretty definitely, to get into aviation (on the top side I hope) and concluded that work in any capacity at the airport would help me get on the “inside”. Mr. Woodley was the last one I contacted as he had been out the first three times I tried to get him. When I finally did get to see him, instead of being the gruff, executive type I had expected to find, he was friendly and reminded me somewhat of Uncle Fred, though not in appearance. He knew Rusty when I asked him if he had known him and when I told him where I was from he was quite interested and said he had come from Boston. He said he would look around and see what he could find and I left, hopeful, but not expecting. The next day I found work at Glover’s gas station and the day after started in there. I told Mr. Woodley I was working but still hoping to get out on the airport. This second visit, I suppose, convinced him I was interested and two days later I was walking to work when he drove up in his car (39 Packard 6) and hailed me. He said I could go to work as soon as I wanted to. I told him I’d see Mr. Glover and let him know that noon. (I of course did see Art Glover, and did let him know the answer was “YES”.) He told me the work wasn’t much – gassing planes, cleaning them inside and out and being a general handyman. So far the job has been just that. My pay is $.60 an hour which is what I was making at the Tilo Company when I left, but Art Woodley told me it would be increasing if I did all right. Soooo,

The company has three pilots: Art himself and two others, a girl and two men in the office, a large hangar at the airport, and old shed at the Lake where they have two ramps for planes on pontoons, a ‘39 panel GMC and a ‘40 station wagon GMC, two planes on wheels – one undergoing complete repairs in the hangar and two on floats or pontoons. All six place and pilot Travelaires with Whirlwind engines, weighing under 400 pounds and developing 310 hp, and one eight place, pilot and copilot, Stinson tri-motor with Lycoming engines and retractable landing gear. The Travelaire’s are around 10 years old and the Stinson eight. The Stinson is a sweetheart. The seats are overstuffed and pivot; a card table, large map of the US, reading lights, a fan, sick berth and small lavatory and sink are part of its equipment. It will cruise at 150 to 160 miles per hour and what an instrument panel! It has about 30 dials and 35 or 40 switches and about as many telltale lights. The only thing is that it doesn’t get used very often as it is so costly to operate. It hasn’t left the ground since I have been here (two weeks).

The country up here is particularly hard on cars because of rough roads, very dusty and about two thirds of all the cars are Packard’s – almost no Fords, Chevrolets, Plymouth’s, Buicks and practically all Dodge GMC’s.

It’s bedtime now. Best of luck to you, and I’ll send you that trip report.

Ced

Tomorrow I’ll be posting sore of the children’s Early Memories of Trumbull and  on Sunday, Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1941 when Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for about a year and Lad has just returned from Venezuela.

Judy Guion