Trumbull – Dear Sheiks (4) – A Message From Aunt Elsie Duryee – August 13, 1944

This is the final segment of a letter written by Grandpa to his sons scattered around the world.

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

Elsie May Duryee, Grandpa’s sister

And now here is a rather pleasant surprise – – the “outside viewpoint” in these weekly letters which has been absent for some time. I have the honor to present a veteran of the last war, an ex-Red–Cross worker, Miss E. M. Guion:

Hello, Folks! – a la Mickey Mouse. New York got too “hot” for me so I ran out on it for a week until the heat is off, and now I’m in hiding in Trumbull. When I arrived at the door last night, there, right on the mat before the door, was a hand-lettered welcome to me from the Guions, in stunning great big black letters. I felt really welcome.

Speaking above of me as a veteran of the last war, I am thinking that if Dan should somehow get to St. Nazaire, he might walk along the waterfront where there are dwelling houses and in one of them I lived for about three months while working at base hospital # 1 just outside the city. It was one morning in December, I remember, when the maid of the house came to bring a pitcher of hot water and as she closed the window she said she couldn’t understand why Americans wanted to keep the windows open all night. All this to say that if Dan gets to St. Nazaire, he might see if anything has happened to that row of little houses. I enjoyed my work there and had fun too.

The shop in New York is getting along. We serve many servicemen and when they buy things we absorb the tax ourselves – and 20% and 1% sometimes loom big, but that’s our bit that we can do for those who are doing so much for us. Well, so long and victory soon. From Elsie.

And that about brings us to the end of the page, with the usual goodbye and good luck, from                                      DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Marian to Grandpa, explaining that they are still in Pomona, California, waiting for Uncle Sam to make a decision.  

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (61) Dear Dad – One Hectic Week – September 22, 1944

 

Company Street Scene, Camp Crowder, Missouri

 

Sept. 22, 1944

Dear Dad –

This has been one hectic week.  At this point of the game none of us know a darned thing about what’s going to happen to us.  Monday we got our orders – officially – to move to some company in the 847th Sig. Trng. Bn. (Signal Training Battalion). The847th is just outside of the R.T.C. (Replacement Training Center, where Dave has been for about six months) area. It is composed of many companies, each of which contains men doing a number of things.  The situation is so bawled (Dave’s choice of wording)  up that no one seems to know – or even have any idea – as to what will happen next.  Anyway – Tuesday we shipped over to Co. E – 847th.  There they told us that we may ship out soon – and then again we may stay there until a new organization is activated.  The proposed organization would be the 3152nd Sig. Service Co. This Co. would train together for a period and then join a division and go overseas.  No one knew when or even if the company would be activated and if it were – no one knew how long or what kind of training it would be.  I met Jack Feldman there and he said that there would be a shipment of Sig. Cen. Clerks (Signal Center Clerks) going out soon – when or where – he didn’t know.  So I spent Wednesday and Thursday cleaning up the classrooms after each class.  Then Thursday night (last night) we – that is most of us who had come over to the 847th together and some others besides – were told to pack up our stuff and be ready in one hour to move down to Co. F – 847th.  So we moved here last night.  So far we have received no information as to why we’re here or what regulations we are to adhere to.  You see – every time a new group comes in to a company, the C.O. (Commanding Officer) gives us a little orientation speech so that we know what were supposed to do.  The speech usually includes what kind of training we receive – what formations we’ll have to stand and what uniforms to wear to the formations – when they will have mail call – what passes we will be entitled to – who are various officers and non-coms (Non-Commissioned Officers) are – etc.  But here we’ve heard nothing.  Someone came in last night and told us to fall out at 6:00 this morning for Reveille.  We did.  Then we went to chow and came back to the Bks. Now it’s 9:00 and still no news as to what is going to happen to us.  We’d like to know – but then on the other hand – it gives us a chance to catch up on sleep and letter-writing.  That’s all I can tell you.  As usual – there are plenty of rumors – but what’s the use of repeating them?  They’it’s allre more often than not ill-founded.  I’ll let you know what goes on if and when I find out.

Love,

Dave

P.S. – Just missed a shipment out of B-33 going to New Jersey.  I was pretty disappointed.

World War II Army Adventure (60-2) – Possible Birthday Gifts – September 17, 1944

The second half of this letter is filled with news of all kinds, including news from Lad, a promising encounter with a friend from Trumbull and a list Grandpa has been asking for so he can get Dave a Birthday gift. 

 

One of the Camp Crowder Exchanges. “The Soldiers Department Store”, Camp Crowder, Missouri

 

The next hunk of news comes from Lad – he hasn’t figured that if either one of us gets a three-day pass we can come to the others place.  But as nearly as I can find out, we would both have to get a three-day pass at the same time and meet at some point halfway between the two camps.  I think probably that would be Little Rock, Ark. anyway, I couldn’t make any arrangements with him because I didn’t know where I was going to be, or what I was going to do.  But now that I know I’ll be in Crowder – with a Class A pass, maybe I could set out some time and have enough time to see him even if I don’t get a three dayer.

On the program we have a request to make.  Please when the movie Arsenic and Old Lace this  comes to Bridgeport, take Aunt Betty and Jean to see it.  I never saw the play and maybe the play was better than the movie, I can’t make any comparison; but I can say that it was awfully good and one of the funniest I’ve ever seen yet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenic_and_Old_Lace_(film)

Now to answer your plea as to what I want for a birthday.  Every year this is a hard job for me – I never seem to be able to think of anything.  I finally end up saying “Clothes” – but even that is well taken care of this year.  Truthfully, all I can think of that I need or want are the following – each of which are too easily eliminated:

A furlough – you have no control over that.

A three-day pass – ditto.

A wrist watch – I can get one down here far cheaper than what you would have to pay there.

A camera – And my kiddin’?

Jockey underwear – that is as equally hard to get as a camera, I guess (I want elastic tops).

A pair of Civie shoes-I’d have to get the Ration Stamp from my C.O. and try the shoes before I bought them.

Smoking Tobacco – I still am trying all sorts of brands, trying to find the (perfect one).

Candy and Beach not Peppermint, – well, at last, these I can always use.  Homemade cake and cookies, too.

You see, Dad, although I’ve done some kidding around in that last paragraph, I really can’t be of much help to you.  We get all we need here, except home life and companionship – you could come down here sometime and bring El with you.  I wouldn’t mind that at all!!! Dan often writes a good list of things – but I can get most of the things he asks for right here in the P.X. Maybe I could use your system and send you something (besides a Jack) that you could use – for my birthday.  I have a feeling there is more I can say to you in this letter, but I can’t think of anything else.  Keep writing to my old address until I give you my new one correctly.

Love,

Dave.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1945. Both Lad and Dan are in France. Lad is on the southern coast at Marseiles, Dan is getting ready for his wedding in Calais, on the northern coast. Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick is still at Fortaliza, Brazil, and Dave is on his way to somewhere – it’s a secret.

Judy Guion

 

World War II Army Adventure (60-1) – Dear Dad And All Concerned – I Finally Got My Orders – September 17, 1944

 

Service Club No. 1, Camp Crowder, Missouri

Service Clubs

SPECIAL SERVICE – U.S. Army

Camp Crowder, Missouri

Sept. 17, 1944

Dear Dad and all concerned –

Well, I finally got my orders.  Alas – I guess I’ll get my discharge in about five years from good old Camp Crowder.  I’ve been assigned to the Sig. Trng. Bn. (Signal Training Battalion) over at the New Area.  You see, Crowder is divided into a number of different sections.  First of all there is the Replacement Training Section, which I’ve been in all these months; then there is the Team Training Section, which teaches us to work as units – something like we did out on C.P.X. – the Teletype man work with the Radio men and Sig. Cen. Clerks (Signal Center Clerks) and all the other various jobs, each man doing his own part but all working together; then there are units which are activated over there (in the new area) and are sent overseas right from Crowder – the men who train together go overseas together; and then there is the part of Crowder that has been devoted to the Sig. section of the Second Army.  They are just biding time until the Gen. Staff in Wash.  decides what they are going to do with the Second Army.

I will be assigned to a company ( Co. E, I think) of the 847th, Sig. Trng. Bn.  for Team Training.  In other words, I’ll work with the other man as a team.  I don’t know exactly what my address will be except that I’ll still be in this XXXXXXXXXXXX camp! As usual, there are all sorts of rumors as to what we will do, and how we will be treated.  It’s rumored that we will get Class A passes which would mean that we are entitled to be off the post any time we are not on duty.  Up till now, we always had to go over to the Orderly Room and ask for our passes which were good only until 11 o’clock that evening, but now we will have passes which will be good until reveille the following morning.  Also, our life over there is not supposed to be so strictly regimented as it was in the RTC (Replacement Training Center).  And there are a lot of other things flying through the air now – such as getting furloughs every six months without fail, etc. – stuff which I believe only when I see it.

Here is the big news though; I went to Joplin last night – the first time I’ve been there since I went on furlough, I think – and I ran into Jack Feldman (a friend from Trumbull)at the Connor Hotel ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connor_Hotel_(Joplin,_Missouri) ). he was with a WAC and I was with a buddy, so I didn’t talk with him very long – but he greeted me and said, “Dave, you’re moving over to my company in the 847th.”  He is a Tech. Sgt. – and although I don’t like pulling strings and playing politics – I find that’s the only way to get anywhere in the Army.  And if you’ll think back over the different things I’ve told you that Jack has wanted to do for me, I think you can see that I’ll have a pretty good set-up over there.  I don’t know what he’s doing there or how long he’ll be there – but it should all be worth while.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter from Dave to friends and family in Trumbull. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Tentative Plans For Marian – July 1, 1944

 

 

ALFRED P. GUION

BOX 491

POMONA, CALIFORNIA

July 1, 1944

Dear Dad – –

The letter with the news of Dick’s promotion, Dave’s return and Dan’s remain arrived Friday. It was very interesting and we enjoyed it very much. At the same time we got a letter from the Williams’ in Venezuela. Things have changed there quite a bit apparently, but the oil business is still going strong. Almost all of the fellows have gotten married, so I’m not the only one. But some of them have children, so they are ahead of me in that respect.

Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion

It seems that “D” Day for me is getting closer. Sometime this month the 142nd is being transferred to some camp in the East, but when, or where, I don’t know. It looks as though I will have to go by train, so Marian may drive east in the Buick if there is any cause for it and if she can get someone to go with her. If she does, I’m hoping she can go on to Trumbull with some of my stuff for you to store. We will know more about the move later.

Right now the 3019th is doing some work in Camp Haan which is similar to that we did at Pomona before I left for my furlough. It appears that we did such a good job at Haan before we went out to the desert that the Colonel at Haan called us back from the desert and we spent only one week out there instead of two. For that I am very thankful and we did get a chance to see Death Valley. It was rather an uneventful trip and we had very little trouble. We were to return from Death Valley to the desert, and instead we returned to Haan and began work immediately. We have until July 6th to finish the work there. After that I don’t know what we will do.

We have been having a rather hot spell here. In fact the day before yesterday it was 115° in the shade. Out on the desert we didn’t mind the heat because it was so dry but it is a little more moist here and it is quite warm for Marian. Lots warmer than in South Pasadena.

Well, Dad, I have to get some gasoline before supper so I better get going, and I’ll mail this at the same time.

I’ve not been able to think of any appropriate reasoning yet for “Between The Acts” but give me time; I’ll come through yet. Love to all, from US

 

Hello, everyone –

Maybe we will be seeing you again very soon.

Marian

Tomorrow I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to his five sons and on Friday, a letter from Rusty to Ced and a card from Arnold. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (57) – Dear Dad – A Birthday Letter – September 11, 1944

 

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Sept. 11, 1944

Dear Dad —

You usually write each of us a special letter each time our individual birthdays roll around.  So I said to myself – “Why not follow in your good Father’s footsteps – and do the same for him?  So here I am.

I thought of this day many times during the last month and a half.  But never once in that time – I’m ashamed to admit it – did I think of sending something home to you.  I had thought of telephoning you – or sending a telegram – but never once did I think of sending a box of cigars – or something else as a reminder to you of how proud I am to be able to have you for my Father.  In view of the fact that I’ve already written to you that I may be home – I decided that to phone you would be a bad policy – because your first thought – upon hearing my voice – would probably be that I am at the Bridgeport RR station.  This thought would probably come to you before I could explain that I am still at Crowder.  And that – pardon my conceit – would only be a disappointment rather than a glad tiding.  I may send you a telegram yet – I don’t know.  At any rate – I’ll send this letter.

Since coming back from C. P. X.  – I thought time and time again that I may be able to bounce in on you on Sept. 11th – but Saturday I finally abandoned all hope – because I would’ve had to leave Saturday night to make it.

I hope this birthday is a happy one – but I know next year’s will be a happy one.  By that time – at least part of your scattered family will be home under the shaded roof of our old house – business will be much improved – with the Bridgeport war plants once again turning – or turned – back to fluorescent lamps – brass fixtures – rivets for peace-time use – and organizations and clubs once again throwing their anniversary parties and the like – without being hampered by gas or food shortages.  They’ll all turn back to the Guion Advertising Company for their ads – business letters – and announcements.  They’ll be the old customers and they’ll be new ones in a bigger and better Bridgeport.  Right now it may seem like a dream – but by Sept. 11, 1945 – it will be far more than a dream.

Maybe by that time – I won’t have to be telling my buddies about the business I’m going back to – about all my brothers  scattered all over the world – about my Father who pulled his small business through the hard times – and who – in spite of losing his wife – brought all of us up so that he could be proud of us.  Maybe I won’t have to lie on my army cot and wish I were home with my Father who brought me up just the way a kid would like to be brought – always advising – seldom laying down the law – letting me think things out for myself – hardening me to the world – being a brother rather than a Lord over me.  Maybe I can be back appreciating it – rather than just remembering what used to be.

I started this letter – and it was going to be a “happy birthday” letter – but it has turned out to be a letter of hope and thankfulness.  I am thankful, Dad, and I always will be – and maybe that will make you happier – knowing it’s true – than just having me say in a lot of words –

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD !

– I hope so – anyway.

Love,

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in the Spring of 1939..  Lad has taken a job with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company working to maintain their vehicles and oil pumps  and Dan is looking to get paid by Inter-America Inc. before heading home.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (56) – Dear Dad – Happy Birthday – September 9, 1944

 

David Peabody Guion

Sept. #9, 1944

Dear Dad – Happy Birthday – Will try to find something to send you.

Well, I’m still here at Camp Crowder.  We’ve been doing nothing all week, but going to Sig. Cen. School (Signal Center School) and doing odd jobs around the school.  I was lucky to land a lettering job that has kept me busy most of the week.  Early this week, Monday I think, there was a large shipment to Beal in California.  And there have been other transfers to other parts of camp, and two other posts – but nothing as yet for Shenango, Penn.  Most of us fellows living East of here are still waiting for orders – which may mean that there is a shipment coming through for Shenango.  But there really is no way of telling.  The rumors are flying around here thick and fast.  It’s so bad that we don’t even pay any attention anymore when someone says that there are orders over at the orderly room.  We are to start Teletype School Monday – just so that we will have something worthwhile to do while we’re waiting for our orders.  I think that having the chance to go to Teletype School is fine – but I’ve talked myself into the prospect of going home and then going overseas and doing my part to win this war – and now I’m getting mighty tired of staying around this RTC.  I figure if they need me in this army – all very well and good – I’ll do my part and gladly – but if they’re going to keep me in training camp until it’s all over and then let me go over for three or four years in the Army of Occupation, then they’d better just let me go now and  let me finish my High School Education that they interrupted.  If I don’t get any orders by the end of next week, I think I’ll go up to Personnel Hqs. and see if I can get transferred out of this camp – and at least do something.  The morale – as you can see – of our gang who are just hanging around is very low.  We know we aren’t doing a damn thing and that we might as well be home.  After spending a number of months on the go – trying to learn a specific job – having a comparatively little time to call our own – we are pretty restless.  All I can give you now are rumors, and there isn’t much sense in doing bad – so I’ll just say sit tight and I’ll let you know what and when if anything happens.  There is one thing I’m pretty sure of – I’ll very likely get a delay-en-route if I leave Crowder.  My chances of going to a Port of Embarkation are about 8 to 10 I think.  The other two chances would probably be some team training Battalion which would join a unit for overseas duty in a few months.  There is a rumor that two of us Sig. Cen. Clerks out of about ten who are left, will be sent to New Jersey to join one of these battalions.  If I should be one of the lucky ones, I would probably get a delay of ten days or better and then I would very likely be able to get home weekends – but I guess I’d better stop dreaming – I probably won’t ship for weeks now.  At any right – hang on – I’ll let you know all as soon as possible.

Love,

Dave

Tomorrow another letter from Dave to his father. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (55-2) – Dear Dad – More Explanations – September 3, 1944

This is the second half of a letter begun yesterday from Dave to his father.  He is attempting to answer questions that Grandpa has asked him in previous letters, but ends up following a rabbit trail in his mind back to his childhood in Trumbull.

Dad, I guess you’ve been reading the stories on what a varied supply of necessities the Army K.X. has for its soldiers – but one thing the Army seems to have slipped up on our Jacks for automobiles.  Maybe you should write to your friend Franklin.  Ask him to have some sent to P.X. 8, in Camp Crowder, Mo. tell him it is very urgent because you don’t know how long your son might remain in above mentioned Camp.  Then after he has it sent here I will buy it and send it on to you.  Of course you could just write to him and have him arrange to make some deal with the officials so that he could send one directly to you, but you know Franklin and his boys, they’d much rather make it complicated.  After all, if it took some time to get to you, you may not have any use for it when it gets there, and then you could put it out in the backyard and let it rest.  Then you to could do your part in this way – you could be like a lot of other executives who are helping to win the war by letting a lot of valuable things rocked in their “back yards” – my, aren’t I bitter today?!

And lastly, an explanation of my talking about “virgin blood”.  What do you mean you don’t know how I figure it that way.  Don’t tell me you have any shady ideas about your youngest son, who has had such a sheltered life – having been brought up by a good and wise father – and we mustn’t forget to mention all the other sons who struck their fingers in the pie to help bring up this last of the present generation of Guion’s – Lad, who, although tried to help me with various things and explained very interestingly many things (one of which was a four hour discourse on oil well digging) nevertheless, told me more than once – and I can vividly remember the tone and inflections of his voice – “don’t do that, David!”  Then there was Dan – he tried SO hard to get little Davey to go swimming, spending many hours with me at Ye Olde Swimming Holes – he who tried to get me outside to get some tan on my back – also to try to get me to play tennis (in this last attempt he succeeded – a little anyway) – one other thing.  He also spent a summer yelling ” Hefalump” to me – our own secret code word meaning – “You look like hell – straighten out your shoulders”. then there was Ced who insisted that I stop palling around with the boys who were my friends.  – Ced, who very quietly made me feel like less than nothing when he found out I had been  “borrowing”from his collection of pennies.  This, by the way, is something that up till now, as far as I know, has been a secret between Ced, Dick and myself.  I hope, Dad, that you and all the rest don’t think too harshly of me.  I learned my lesson OH SO WELL from Ced – although I don’t remember now just how he cured me.  Then there was Bissie – the most vivid thing in my mind as to her part in bringing me up was the day I was raising a little hell around the house while she was trying to clean it up.  “Do you want me to spank you!?– there’s another sentence that I can still remember well – but why shouldn’t I – I hear her use it all the time now – when I’m home – on her too cute little muchachos.  Anyway my answer – seeing as how she was a girl and couldn’t run as fast as I – was “yes”.  They’re off!I tore out of that old house of hours and around to the lawn over by the screened porch where, as I remember, fear and exhaustion overcame me and I went down pleadings so that she would feel sorry for me and not spank me.  But alas – I didn’t know enough about human nature, I guess – four there, out on my own front lawn insight of the street – my own sister BEAT me! oh, the shame of it all!! of course I MAY have had it coming to me! then there was Dick, I could write twenty pages on the way Dick helped to bring me up by hardening me to the mean people in this world.  The idea was a good one – but I didn’t like his system of teaching.  I guess he believed in the “experience in the best teacher” theory.  Anyway, he led a happy teen-age life teasing the pants off of his kid brother.  Come to think of it – I think we should mention here my good cousin Donald Stanley, who, when with Dick, really did a bang-up job of making both Gweneth and I enjoy their visits.  Thinking back on it now – it was probably the best part of my life so far – but at the time I didn’t think I did anything from the time Dick and Don got together – but cry, because they were picking on me.  Of course the prize experience was the nights that has been so often mentioned at the dinner table in later years – the night we were all out on the screened porch raising a little too much commotion for the older set – until finally we were threatened to be split up if we made any more noise.  Of course my version of the story is a little different but basically it is the same – we all agreed that I kicked out the window on the stairs – and we all agree that I took a good tanning from my riled father – but one thing I can say – no one remembers quite as visibly that spanking – my last one by the way – as I do.  Unless as the old saying goes “this is going to hurt me more than it does you,.”  – And Dad’s Hand Hurt As Much As My Little Rear-and Did.  Anyway, Dad, If It Did Hurt You, You Didn’t Cry like I Did.  Golly – When I Started off I Didn’t Know I Was Going to Write Anything like This.  There Are No Hard Feelings Left Now of Course , but it’s a lot of fun thinking back on those terrible days when nobody liked me in the whole world was against me.  Poor Dave.  Damn – I’m still but a kid, I guess, but I’d like to live over again all those days that I thought at that time were so terrible.

Times growing short, Dad, just a couple of more lines.  I suppose there are a lot of things I could tell you about C. PX. – But during my last week of it – I still have it, but I’m getting it under control.  I started a couple of letters to you while I was out there – but I just never got them done.  As I said in the beginning of this letter I haven’t as yet received any shipping orders – if you don’t hear from me – or if you hear nothing to the contrary – it will mean that I’m still at Crowder.  I’ll let you know as soon as possible when I find out anything definite – I’m at the Service Club – I was using one of those typewriters I was telling you about – 10 cents for 30 minutes – well as you can see, I ran out of time just after ice truck the “l” in “letter”.  I hope to hear what Der Fuehrer has to say today – maybe it will be something worthwhile.  My love to all, Dave

 

I just read this elongated letter over and realized that I started to explain what I meant by my “virgin” blood – but then I got side-tracked when I started feeling sorry for myself in my “dark youth”.  In short – I meant by “virgin blood” that the chiggers, up ’til that time(they thought) had not polluted my blood with their bites.  But then I went on to say that they would be fooled because I had already been bitten.  I thought that it was clear enough at the time – but I guess not – anyway – there’s the explanation – the defense rests.  By the way – I don’t think I was bit three times while in the field.  I did get stung by a bee though – right in my eye

Oh – tell Bissie -I grew a mustache while I was out in the field.  I still got it – but I’m going to try to get some snaps taken of myself today and then shave it off.  I don’t like it a bit.  One of the boys told me it looked “sexy” – and I guess that’s about the best description of it.

Hope to see you soon,

Dave

One more note –

the way my envelope is addressed is the approved way for this company – but don’t bother changing the plate – you probably won’t use it anymore than once more anyway.

Tomorrow I will be going back in time to April of 1939 when both Lad and Dan are in Venezuela.  Lad is working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company where he will be maintaining the diesel engines for their pumps.  Dan is still out at a camp in the field with no supervision or food.  He is still employed by Inter-America, Inc. but management is struggling. 

 Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (55-1) Dear Dad – Answers to Questions – September 3, 1944

My Uncle Dave, my father’s (Lad’s) youngest brother, has been in the Army for just about nine months.  He has completed Basic Training in Ft. Devens, near Ayer, Massachusetts.  He was then sent to Camp Crowder in Missouri and has been through Signal School, Radio School and Crypt photography School.  He has had training in the field and is getting rather bored with all the Training.

 

David Peabody Guion

Sept. 3, 1944

Dear Dad –

Well, here I am back in Camp Crowder again after a three-week sojourn with all the Missouri rocks, chiggers, and tics that I promised you I would meet up with.  It’s good to get back to Camp – but it will be so much “gooder” to get out of here entirely.  I’ve spent six months in this place and I’m getting pretty tired of it all.  But alas, as yet there are no shipping orders on any of us.  I’ll sure as heck let you know what goes on just as soon as I find out

Now I will answer all the questions that you have been after me to answer for you.  At least I’ll answer all that I could find.  They don’t seem to be as many as you would have me believe there are.  Think of any that I have missed, put them in your next letter, and I will either answer them, or if my luck is still holding out, I may be home to answer them in person.

No. 1 – What does ASFTC mean? Ans. – ASFTC means Army Service Forces Training Center.  I think this question was answered in the letter in which I announced to you that Camp Crowder was changed from a Signal Corps camp to an ASFTC.  Before that time, if you will remember, my letters were addressed to CSCRTC, meaning Central Signal Corps Replacement Training Center.  If you will check back, I’m very certain that you will find this to be true.

No. 2 – Jack Feldman was very pleased with the loose-leaf fillers you got for him and asked me very honestly to thank you very much for them.  He had been looking around all the towns here for some fillers but they just couldn’t he had.  He finally wrote to New York for some – but he couldn’t even locate any there – so you see your deed was really appreciate. (too many very’s)

No. 3 – What’s the story on O.C.S. for you? Ans. – After I got back to Crowder from my furlough I lost contact with Jack Feldman.  He was the one that was going to pull for me.  I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to apply for OCS through the regular channels.  But I had reason for my lack of confidence – you are supposed to have a college degree in Electronics for Signal OCS anyway. But he might’ve landed me in some other OCS in which case, upon graduation, I could apply for transfer to the Signal Corps and possibly land myself a job as Signal Center Officer. but as I said, I lost contact with Jack – he’s somewhere over in the new area on the other side of camp.  I finally convinced myself that it was foolish not to at least try for Signal OCS.  But then all in the same breath I told myself – and I am firmly convinced of it, especially now – that applying for OCS at this late date would mean nothing but a commission in the Army of Occupation, or possibly combat duty in the South Pacific.  Either of these out-looks would be all right if I were planning to stay in the Army as I originally had planned to do.  But with the prospect of having my own letter shop and possibly, in later years, my own Advertising Company, all set, established, etc.,  Why should I waste valuable years in the Army?  A fellow who has no outlook as to his future will have something to gain by staying in the Army – but under my present good fortune I think it would be foolish for me to stay in – but if I went to OCS it would very likely mean staying in longer than if I just glided along and waited for that little slip of paper telling me to go home and forget about the war and the Army and to help my father was his increased post-war business.  How do you feel about this?  I think I’m doing the right thing, but I’m always willing to take a little advice from my dear old Pappy.

Those are the only questions I could find – maybe I have some more of your letters in my barracks bag that contained some more questions – but these are the only ones I could lay my hands on this morning before I came up here to the Service Club.  But I do have some comments to make which I picked out as I read over your letters.  Here they are.

First of all, I want to know if there’s any more news of this Trumbull P.O. deal?  I’ve given my home address to some of my buddies here – it seems to be the best system as we never know from one month to the next where the H____ will be.  I’d like to know if our home address is going to be changed.

Well, here it is third of September – according to the radios the war is still going on over in Europe.  In fact, according to the radios, I guess about all that’s going on anywhere is the war.  At least that’s all anybody seems to be talking about.  I mention this because some time ago, in an optimistic mood, I made the statement that it looked like the war would be over by August 15, – but August fiftheenth has come and gone – and still the Germans are fighting (sort of).  Now I won’t make any estimates as to when it will be over.  Who cares when it will be over.  It is so damn close to the finish now that all I do is sit and think about what a good feeling it is – and I don’t bother to worry about any specific date.  But I STILL say that we all should be home by Christmas of ’45.  At least that’s what I’m planning on.  My brothers can think what they want to – but I’m looking forward to a Christmas dinner and a little less than 16 months at our “big white home in the East”.  With the smell of Evergreen permeating the house, a fire in the fireplace, maybe with the added discomfort of having it fill the dining room with smoke, a tree decorated in either the music room or the living-room, Butch and Marty, (and maybe more of a new Guion generation) to pull down the tree after they have gotten tired of holding their eager eyes wide open with the joy and wonder of that most important day of the year.  I’m looking forward to being there with All my brothers and my sisters all three of them, and more if the case should be, and maybe even all my cousins, uncles, and aunts, but – come now, maybe along about now I’m asking for Too much – maybe I’d better just let it go for now.  But anyway – let’s hope for a complete Christmas in 1945.  It will be the first in many years, if were all there together.

Tomorrow I will post the other half of this interesting and informative letter from Dave expressing all kinds of thoughts and feelings. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (52) – Another Transfer at Camp Crowder – August 6, 1944

 

 

6 August 1944

Dear Folks –

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing very regularly – but I told you that the time might come when I wouldn’t be able to write because I’m too busy.

Saturday – the 12th – we will all move from this company over to some company in the 34th Bn. And then on Monday we will go out to the field (C.P.X.) for our final phase of training. C.P.X. (Command Post Exercises) is a sort of small scale Maneuvers.  The boys in each school go out there and cook for us – Sig. Cen. Clerks run Sig. Centers – Radio boys completing their course run Radios – Field Linemen set out and maintain their wires – Pole Linemen likewise – the same is true for the Teletype Operators, Motor Mechanics – Chauffeurs – Truck Drivers – Pigeoneers – and anyone else I might not have mentioned.  This final phase of training is three weeks long – three weeks of Missouri woods, ticks, chiggers, Rattlers, and various other species that don’t hold too much interest in my mind.  – But I think it will be fun – and anything would be better than school!  You see, after I got back here from my furlough – although I still liked Sig. Cen. Clerks – I felt as though I knew all that they had to teach me in school (conceited) – and I still feel that this last 4 weeks has been a waste of time.

After C.P.X. – who knows?  All I can do is to make a few wild guesses which would be based upon nothing but the Army’s ceaseless rumors – which are more prevalent than ever before right now.

The most likely thing that will happen is that they ship us out of here to a Port of Embarkation (maybe Reynolds in Penn.  – More likely Deal in Calif.) where will be prepared to get on a boat “and see the world through carbine gun sites”.  If this is the case – I may get a delay–en-route and I may not – who can tell?

Another possibility is that they will send us back here to Camp and put us to school again.  Rumor has it that they will teach us to drive Army trucks, and to operate Teletype machines for Sig. Cen. work.

A third possibility – which to me sounds pretty impossible (typical G.I. rumor) – is that we will go back to our respective Induction Centers for re-classification.

The last – but not so unlikely – rumor has it that we will be sent to another part of camp for Unit Training – where we will be shipped out after a few months training as a unit – or rather the Signal section of a regular unit.  This is quite possible but not nearly as likely as the first rumor which would have me overseas in a matter of weeks – or maybe a few months.

Another pet rumor making the rounds here states that the camp (as a Replacement Training Center) will be entirely closed and that instead they will turn Crowder into a Rehabilitation Hospital.  Another says that instead of being a Signal Corps Camp – Crowder will become a training camp for all the Service Forces (Engineers, Signal Corps, Ordinance, M.P.’s, Quartermaster, Corps of Chaplains, Medics, – and more).  I think this rumor got it’s base from the fact that the camp was changed from Central Signal Corps Replacement Training Center to Army Service Forces Training Center – Remember?

Everything I’ve told you so far is “G. I. Rumor”.  Don’t hold too much stock in any of it – just sit tight for 4 more weeks – by that time I think I’ll be able to give you something tangible to chew on.

The other night I was on guard duty when a Sgt. came out of his barracks with another man and called me over to him.  He told me he had seen this man come into his barracks and pick up the Sgt’s.  pants.  We questioned the fellow and he told us that he had moved into the company that morning and as he wasn’t thinking – due to the fact that he had had a few drinks in Neosho – he got into the wrong barracks.  His story was very impressive and the Sgt. told me to let him go.  The culprit left and I once again started walking my post.  On an impulse – as I passed the barracks where the accused claimed to actually live – I decided to take a peek in to see if he were in bed.  I went in to see – and much to my dismay – found that he wasn’t in there.  I went back and told the Sgt. about it and then when I got to the Guard House I told the Cpl. of the Guard about it.  The next day I found out that he was a crook – and doing pretty well in his business throughout the whole post.  For the offense which I committed – (not turning him in) – they could have court-marshaled me – not a pretty thought.  As yet the culprit hasn’t been located again.

I think there’s more to say – but I can’t think of anything now.  I may have time to write again – and I may not.  I don’t know how things will be out at C.P.X. I do know that mail will be appreciated more than ever while I’m out there – though.

Love,

Dave

P.S. – Monday night – sorry I didn’t mail this earlier – still find it hard for time to do anything – still haven’t got the knack of  “From one thing to the next, Don’t dillydally”.

Love,

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters from 1939.  Both Lad and Dan, Grandpa’s oldest sons, are in Venezuela.  Dan is still employed by Inter-America Inc. and is in a camp out in the field surveying the route for a road from Caracas to Maracaibo.  Lad is no longer with Inter-America Inc.  but is now working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. 

Judy Guion