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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Early Years – Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion (8) – 1940 – 1986

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Cedric Duryee Guion, Grandma and Grandpa’s third child and third son.

Ced @ 1945

Cedric Duryee Guion

About 1940-41, things were getting red-hot.  Major Marston was up there in charge of the Alaskan Defense Command.  He was based in Anchorage.  Rusty made friends with him – he made friends with everyone he talked to.  He met Governor Gruening of Alaska through Major Marston.  Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re gonna do?  Major Marston says that the Governor wants to go around the whole perimeter of Alaska and try to develop a reasonable defense system for Alaska.  I guess it was Major Marston’s idea.  Major Marston said, ”None of us know anything about Alaska, the Eskimos, the Indians.  We should go around and meet these native people.  They know the land and if any problems develop with the days coming, we’d be lost.  We wouldn’t know what to do.’ He said, ‘We want to get an Alaskan Defense going with native people.’ Gruening says, ‘Well, you know what?  I don’t know any.  I’m the governor of this territory and I’d like to go around with you and meet these people that I’m supposed to be Governor of’.  So Rusty sat and listened to all this talk and he said, “You wouldn’t want to take me along, would you?  I’ve had this in the back of my mind for years, that I would like to do a series of pictures on the discovery of Alaska”.  His whole goal, idea and the love of his life was Alaska.  He said, “I’d like to have a chance to go around to all these places, make sketches.”  “OK, come on along.”  they said.  That’s where he got this series of eighteen pictures, starting with the fellow who came from Russia, sailed to Alaska and took it for the Russians.  That was the first painting, he did the Gold Rush and sixteen others.  This was after he moved to Fairbanks.

Rusty - Pioneerland - Rusty's Panels

Rusty moved to Fairbanks and got married.  He was probably in his 60s, and he married a girl from the Fairbanks News.  At this point he decided that he would teach Art so he got a job teaching Art at the University.  He did that for quite a while.  After he got these pictures done, the University said to him, “Why don’t we set up a building for you and fix it with a huge rotating platform and you can put these eighteen pictures all the way around the building.”  They talked it over and they got the Poet Laureate of Alaska to narrate the story.  He did a beautiful job and that’s up there.  If you ever get to Alaska, you should see it in Fairbanks.  Alaska is different than any other state.  This place is out of town about 10 miles or so.  It’s a park sort of thing.  They have a huge boat there that they have on display, probably like the boats they used up there.  This one building is all Rusty’s pictures.  They also have a museum and other historic stuff.

Rusty was an amazing person.  He did posters during the War with “Uncle Sam Needs You” on them.  We (Ced, his wife, Fannie, and his sister, Elizabeth) went to the University of Alaska, we told them what we were after, they took us down to the basement and showed us some of his work.

Ced planned this trip to visit with Rusty, introduce his wife and re-introduce Rusty to Elizabeth, whom he hadn’t seen since she was a child. Unfortunately, Rusty passed away in March, only 3 months before Ced was to visit. I believe his trip to the University of Alaska and seeing some of Rusty’s work in the basement was bittersweet.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are serving in the Army, receiving Training for their units.

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

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (2) – More News From Alaska – July, 1945

This is the continuation of Ced’s long letter I started yesterday.

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

As to flying, perhaps you could find me an airplane cheap. Seriously, the more I think of it, the more I think it would be smarter for me to buy one instead of paying rental on planes here. The cheapest I can fly for is $7.50 an hour and I need at least 150 hours more. That makes $1125 and nothing to show for it but the flying time and experience. The Army is releasing some of the small ships which they used for observation purposes. If I could get an Aeronca Chief or a Taylorcraft or some such thing, I might be money ahead. I think the Army is selling them for around $750 as is. Most need repairs but some need very little. My thought is that if I could get one of these, spend a few dollars on repairs and licensing, I would not only get my flying time a little cheaper but would have something material out of it. As for purchasing wherewithal I would have to scrape up the cash somehow, as the Army, I don’t think, would like a time payment plan. If Dan would permit me, I might sell the car and use that money toward a plane paying him back on time. The biggest hitch is finding the plane as I think I could promote the money. Perhaps the fellows in the apartment could steer you onto something. There were also some good buys on the civilian market, but they are probably not quite as much for the money. If something were available back there, I could perhaps take time off,  dash home to Trumbull on a flying trip, and fly the ship back up here. Then next time I wanted to go to Trumbull, it would be just a matter of packing up the plane and get going. This is perhaps all a pipe dream but I’m enjoying it and if you happen to run across something let me know, post haste. In the meantime I am looking around for whatever I can see and paying from $7.50 to $10 an hour. A plane similar to those I mentioned, in this country, would run from $2500 to $4000, which is slightly beyond my means. Ask Marian if she could get me a helicopter for $25 down and the rest when they catch me.

Marian (Mrs. Alfred (Lad) Guion), is living at the Trumbull House with Grandpa, awaiting Lad’s return from the war. She is employed by Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Connecticut)

I must finish that trip history before I forget that I went on it. I’ll try to include another installment in the next issue. Dave’s moccasins will be on the way soon. I haven’t been able to get them yet but I think this coming week will turn the tide. Now as regards the much discussed touring Grandpa being able to travel after the War) , all arrangements at Trumbull should be comparatively simple. There should be someone interested in renting the house in the event you care to leave on an extended vacation after the war. They should be willing to take over the apartment care if the rent was reasonable, and of course Dave and Aunt Betty would either stay there or move into other quarters, whichever seemed the most adaptable to all concerned. At any rate, it seems to me that a trip such as you mention would be a swell one to take and maybe things can be worked out so that I can start from here and join you somewhere along the road. Perhaps I would fly on ahead and spied out a trail for you in case the highway was too bad. Seriously, it would be fun to start by car from here and go all the way down through the U.S., stopping at the National Parks and wonders which Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie have raved about, and continuing on through Central America. Wouldn’t a house trailer be a good investment on a trip such as that? Maybe the roads wouldn’t be good enough to take a heavy trailer over, but if they were, and from what I’ve heard of trailers or tourists, it would be a most enjoyable way to go and perhaps as inexpensive as any other way and less than most. We could

page 3 of Ced’s letter

carry a tent for extra sleeping and use the trailer as a cook shack and base camp. Of course, it would be most enjoyable and a WOW of a trip if the whole caboodle clan Guion and spouses could gather together enough rolling stock and equipment to make the trip together, and I for one would be for it, but I suppose that, due to circumstances beyond our control, that would be difficult to manage. However it is something to think about and to work for. Well, I sure have wandered about in this letter and romanced plenty.

Now let’s get down to facts again. Art Woodley is again in the states to see about new planes, new routes, etc. All planes are now running again. Thursday of this coming week, the fishing season closes and again we have that mad rush evacuating the fisherman. At least we are better situated to handle the rush then we have been for a long time.

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

Latest rumor, unconfirmed, is that Rusty is coming back to Anchorage to live. Walter Stoll told me that John Manders had a letter from Rusty to that effect. I have not written him lately nor have I heard from him for five or six weeks. The city of Anchorage has finally oiled many of the streets to keep down the dust, a move which I have felt necessary since Dan and I arrived here in 1940. There is an amusement park at the east end of town opening soon. It consists of a merry-go-round and an airplane loop-the-loop. There are now some 90 odd licenses in the city for the dispensing of retail and wholesale liquor. Whoops, my dear, what a fair city we have, hic, hic. The Community Hall has been converted into a hospital for venereal diseases, which are on the sharp increase hereabouts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bolivar_Buckner_Jr.

The successor to Gen. Buckner, Gen. Mittlestedt, has threatened to call “off-limits” many places in Anchorage if the condition isn’t cleared up quickly. So much for the dirt. To Jean, bon voyage and a pleasant landing. Marian, I hope such joy as Jean is experiencing will soon be yours. To Aunt Betty I promise a letter in the near future. Till then, to all a good night.

Tomorrow, Grandpa gives us the complete letter from Lad, who is somewhere in Southern France. On Thursday, letters from Dan and Dick and on Friday, a letter from Dave and Grandpa’s comments.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (1) News From Alaska – July, 1945

Grandpa hit the jackpot this week. He received letters from all five sons and he is thrilled to share the entire letters in this 6-page missive to all family members. I will be posting this one letter for the entire week. Enjoy catching up on the activities of each son away from Trumbull and the Homestead.

Copy of a letter from Ced, postmarked July 24th and addressed to M. Alfredeau de Guion, Baux 7, Trumbull, Conn.

The ski club scheduled a hike and picnic for today (Sunday) but the weather was stinko this morning, consequently the trip was called off. Lad has been doing such a wonderful job of writing and answering your letters that he puts me to shame. So in humility I shall attempt in part to make recompense. To Lad you say he is probably hardest hit by being situated as he is. Reasoning is good and I think you are perhaps right. I hope, whatever happens, that he will find it not too depressing (witness Dave’s glowing account of the beauties of Okinawa). There is always the assurance that each day is one nearer to home, no matter how you look at it. Dan – – ah, there’s a fellow – – our Monsieur Guion. I keep telling all the girls at the office that I’ll write him and Paulette one fine day – – weather sure MUST be stinko – – and for sure I will. I should also take up French but time is so scarce. Perhaps by now Chiche and Dan are probably hitched. I hope so, at any rate, as it must be heartbreaking to have to keep putting off such an important thing in one’s life. How I would like to have been there to witness the ceremony and properly welcome the bride and groom – – wouldn’t we all.

Dave mentions my flying down to Okinawa on a visit. What does he think is going to happen when I fly over Paramushiro? Of course the Japs don’t give much opposition in the air anymore, but if a poor little puddle-jumper such as I happened along, I’m afraid my gas might be so low at that point that I’d have to stop for more, and while it might be fun to steal some Jap gas, it would be a little foolhardy, don’t you think? I’d sure like to be able to do just that tho, Dave.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion  (Ced)

Now you wonder about my future plans. They are not too definite yet but I hope to get a commercial pilot’s license. If I stay in the flying game it will be as a pilot – – of that I am quite sure. Flying is becoming safer every day and I don’t expect to get into trouble. I wish you were up here this afternoon and I’d take you up for a spin. Should we get into trouble, I expect I could land almost anywhere with little or no scratches. The plane might suffer considerable damage but occupants would be comparatively safe. For the present I am sitting tight awaiting developments up here. I’m afraid this will not satisfy your requests for information, but we have this in common. I am just about as set on what to do as the proverbial tumbleweed, which puts me in exactly the same category as yourself concerning my plans.

To Jean and Dick it must be a lovely world just at the moment. I am interested in Dick’s answer to your question as to whether or not he is still expecting to come to Alaska. It might be that I could do something for him in the event he is still serious about it. As to your plans for Dave at the office, I suspect he is going to stoop to a little subversive activity to prolong the war. Certainly the easy life of a soldier stalking through swamps, sleeping on tree stumps, guns firing near misses now and then, nasty officers asking and requiring the impossible, would be a picnic beside the task of upholding a schedule such as you line up. Just because you lean to the Superman-style is no reason you must expect it from your youngest son. Dave’s letter about being in Okinawa was a little worrisome for a while but he came through with flying colors. Incidentally, neither he nor you seem to have realized that Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, killed just a few days before the end of the Okinawa campaign, was Commanding General of the Alaska Defense activities, stationed here at Fort Richardson from 1940 through 1944. He was credited with saving Alaska from the Japs, owned land here on which he intended to build and it was here he planned to live after the war. He resided in a house in Anchorage for some time prior to the outbreak of hostilities, along with his wife and family. Rusty has been

Page 2 of Ced’s letter

at several parties at which he was a guest and knew him quite well. I never met him but have seen him many times on the street and at civic and Army gatherings. Dave’s mention of having seen him a few days before his death interested me, and more so, the remarks on his popularity. While here in Alaska he was quite well-liked, both in and out of Army circles. I suppose there were many who didn’t like him but the vast majority seemed quite taken with him. He was a heavy drinker but held it well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bolivar_Buckner_Jr.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of Ced’s very long letter (two and a half typed pages from Grandpa. (I don’t have Ced’s original). Letters from the other sons will appear later in the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (3) – News From Ced – Sneezy Guion – September 17, 1944

A letter addressed to “Sneezy Guion, Ragweed, Conn.” from you-know-who in Alaska, arrived on the morning of September 11th, which shows pretty good timing, and started the day off right. It’s worth having a 60th birthday to find out what one’s boys think of their old man. Ced writes: “Once again I see by the calendar that the natal anniversary date of pater Guion approaches. This being most likely the last letter from an admiring son to be received in Trumbull before that date, must convey a message of thanks for all you have been to us all, and the very best wishes for you in the ensuing year. I wish that all of us could join you at the dinner table on the eventful day in body as well as in spirit. Be it a comfort to you to know that few up here can rival my record of one letter a week from home. One has the feeling that no matter what happens he can always fall back on Dad and be sure of the best that Dad can offer in the way of assistance. A token of appreciation is en route from the sourdough via carrier pigeon, underground telegraph or some other means of transportation but may not reach you until after your birthday. Last night and today have been a definite prelude to winter. Snow fell quite low in the mountains last night while a cold rain and accompanying wind hit town. I am of the opinion that this winter will be early, with lots of snow but not too severe. Some of the Buick parts have arrived and I start tomorrow putting the transmission together. (Ced next gives an interesting account of his watch repairs, and goes on to say) Now I can fly and keep track of my minutes in the air. The ship I am soloing in is the most luxurious of small planes but to operate the radio one must have a radio operators license so that too I must study for and obtain. In the meantime, I use the lights from the control tower. Eleanor Burnham is doing library work in New York with little children. Helen has gone to Syria on missionary schoolwork. Brad is in the Marines in the Pacific. Rusty (Heurlin) is at Pt. Barrow.” He writes he has completely quit drinking.

DAD

P.S. I found Dave’s letter in my car. See attached copy. This reminds me of the famous Sears Roebuck letter: Gentlemen: I git the pump witch I by from you, but why for Gods sake you doan send me no handle. Wats the use of a pump when she don have no handle, I lose to me my customer. Sure thing you don treat me rite.  I wrote ten days gone and my customer he holler like hell for water from the pump. You no he is hot pumper and the win he no blow the pump. She got no handle so wat the hell I goan to do with it. If you doan send me the handle pretty quick I send her back and I order pump from Myers company.                       Goodby.

Yours truly,

Antonio

Since I write I find the dam handle in the box. Excuse to me.

Tomorrow, a Birthday letter from Dave to his Father. On Friday, Grandpa’s One-Act Play with a look to the future.

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 

Trumbull – Dear Foreigners (3) – More News From Ced And Some Answers – June 24, 1945

Judy_0003

Cedric Duryee Guion

Page 3       6/24/45

Skiing is done. Summer hikes are coming up but I put in very little time on them. I am singing regularly in the choir when I’m not working Sunday (average once a month). Flying. There we have a little surprise for you. I am the proud possessor of one private pilot’s license with authority to fly any plane from 0 to 80 HP., as of last Wednesday. The inspector told me I did a good flight test. Now I’m anxious to put in more time and get a commercial, but oh, the cost.

Dan’s coming nuptials are considered much as you in Trumbull view them. Does Dan need to make a request for a package to be sent him, and if so, can you get me one from him as I’d like to mail something to him. Paulette is certainly a knockout on looks, isn’t she? I certainly enjoy hearing from Lad and Dave via you and am pleased that Dave is so happy with the whole thing. Sounds as though he’s being a good sport. I don’t intentionally cut out Dan and Dick but lately your quotes haven’t included much from either of them. (Wait to get last week’s eight pager, Ced, about Dan’s experience). I enjoy all the quotes – – particularly enjoyed Lad’s description of the plane trip. Let’s have more descriptions of European experiences – – this for Lad and Dan’s benefit. I finally heard from Rusty. His latest flame is Ann Berg. He has been corresponding with her and trying to get her to come up to Barrow to become his spouse. Rusty is still crazy about Barrow and its inhabitants. Has just returned from a whale hunt and says he has material for two years painting. Love to all the gals. Ced

Now to answer some of your questions. Whether or not a request is needed before sending packages to boys overseas seems to depend on the local postmaster. I know it is required sometimes in Bridgeport but not in Trumbull. Suggest you inquire of your own post office. Above I have quoted a letter from Dave asking for serviceable, not fancy, moccasins. Perhaps that will do. In back letters you will also find quotations from Dan asking for this or that. Perhaps that will be sufficient. I still think I’d like to give you a ring rather than the other items you mentioned. How would a smaller ring for your “pinkey” go? If that, what size would this be? At last I have a picture of you in uniform but I didn’t see any stars on the collar. CONGRATULATIONS in big letters on the pilot’s license. I’m glad for you but I’m just old-fashioned enough, particularly after getting the news in the letter telling of narrow escapes and planes, to wish it were something the insurance companies would consider less of a hazardous occupation. However, the compensating thought is that your mechanic experience must have impressed on you the wisdom of taking no chances with imperfect workmanship, carelessness, etc. I have no fear as to your good judgment or quickness in emergencies. In fact I would feel the same way about you that you do about Ernie and Bill.

Next week maybe I’ll have a letter from Lad to quote but the Censor hasn’t taken the lid off as in Dan’s and Dave’s case. Until then, good night and good luck to you all, until we meet again.

DAD.

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to all his boys in the service.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Foreigners (2) – Ced Writes Of Dramatic Events – June 24, 1945

Ced @ 1945

Page 2     6/24/45

Now for Ced’s quarterly statement. After the expected apology and the discovery that he can forecast the weather in Connecticut by telling us two weeks before we get it what is happening in Anchorage, quite overlooking the fact that if he writes only once in two or three months the information will be a bit late when received here. However, we’ll let that pass. They have had trouble securing competent help (as who hasn’t) leaving him with much work to do alone. Just as they thought they had things in hand, trouble started.

First the Travelair landing gear, then pilot and copilot of the Boeing took off for Juneau one morning. “10 minutes later the radio operator, Chuck, and I were eating breakfast over at the airport café when someone behind us said “Surprise”. It was the pilot himself and a ghost wouldn’t have been more disconcerting. It seems he had just gotten headed for Juneau when both engines stalled simultaneously. By switching gas tanks and manipulating throttles he was able to get the engines going again. There were some 5 gallons of water in the tank when we drained it. Water had apparently leaked under the gasket in a new funnel and we had used a hose which had lain idle for over a month, which had apparently been a full of water. No harm was done other than a scare and lost time. That was Friday.

On Sunday the same two started for Naknek, got to Kenai when the right engine went sour. They returned to Anchorage on the left engine. Trouble – cracked cylinder head.

On Tuesday the same two, returning from the regular run to Juneau, when about 10 minutes out from here and about 6000 feet up, they noticed a smell. A radio operator was watching their approach and listening to their request on the radio for clearance to land. They saw what appeared to be the landing light turned on for a few seconds. A minute later the pilot reported he was in serious trouble and to stand by for an emergency landing. Suddenly the right engine burst into furious flame and while the copilot turned on the fire extinguisher, Ernie prepared for a crash landing at Turnagin Arm. He dove from 6000 to 2000 feet in the time it took the fire to go out (thank the Lord). In the meantime, he had opened the passenger door and told all passengers to fasten on their safety belts. He was afraid they would either panic and start jumping out the door or come forward and try to get into the pilot’s compartment. However, they behaved beautifully, the fire was out and at 2000 feet the pilot was set for a dunking in the Arm with all on board, right engine inoperative, when he suddenly realized the ship might limp into the field. He leveled off and started to strain the left engine to pull into the field. Landing was made without further mishap to the relief of all concerned. Incidentally, I would fly anywhere with these two. They show excellent presence of mind and judgment. The fire burning less than a minute nevertheless did terrific damage under the cowling. The main gas line, due to defective installation at L.A., had broken and had spewed high test aviation gas directly out of the pressure pump into the open engine nacelle at the probable rate of more than 2 gallons per minute, some of which had undoubtedly run out under the bottom of the wint. (A nacelle, in case you haven’t a dictionary handy, is the covered seat for the pilot of a plane).

I’ll continue Ced’s letter later today. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his five sons.

Judy Guion