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.