Army Life – Camp Santa Anita – A Bet and a Band – June, 1943

Grandpa finally receives a letter from Lad with quite a bit more news about Marian Irwin, his main social companion. Things seem to be moving along quite nicely.

Blog - Lad's Army Life - A Bet and a Band - June, 1943

Camp Santa Anita

June 14, 1943

Dear Dad:

This is Monday afternoon. I’m so terribly busy that I’ve had no time to write this morning, and so I have to do it now. (Apparently the ribbon is pretty shot so I shall write in red. Hope you can read it without too much trouble). It is a shame for the past four weeks or more I have done practically nothing, one week I spent out on the range, shooting for record, but even that was not too much of a success. Out of a possible 220 I pulled in only 165. Other than that I have done very little. No instructing, to speak
of, and most of the time I’ve devoted to “goldbricking”, and designing. The basic diesel principles course of which I wrote still has not received the final sanction from Washington, but the office is expecting daily. (And I don’t mean the secretaries – of which there are many, some very good-looking too). Therefore I’ve been making an injector test stand. It has been a lot of fun, but the thing is still only on paper, I won’t know just how well it will work for about a week. Art Lind has been put into the service so I’m in full authorized charge of the tentative class. That means that I’m in line for a staff rating and Art has a bet with me that by the end of August I shall have received the rating. Since the bet is worth winning, I hope that he will sort of give things a little help whenever he can, now that he has the opportunity. I definitely will not be sorry to receive it.

No further news on my furlough. However there has been no chance as yet, concerning the approximate date, and therefore I’m still expecting it to be toward the end of August. And that brings up another matter. I may need a little money in order to get home by plane if possible, and if not, by train. In any case I don’t think that it will be more than $50 or $75. Now if you will be in a position to help, fine and dandy, but if not, fine also. I can get money out here rather easily.

On the $525, I have not been able to find out much. It all amounts to the fact that the check is being handled by a bank here and not an individual.

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

My social life has, if anything, been stepped up. It has also been pretty much concentrated, as far as companionship is concerned, on one girl. I believe I wrote you something about Marian Irwin previously, and she is the subject of concentration. You may hear more about her in the future. Every Thursday evening about 12 or 15 of us, in mixed company, go bowling, and a couple of weeks ago I sort of missed the boat, got off the beam, you know, was behind the eight ball, or in any case I took a couple of bets with Marian, and lost both of them. One game was for a bottle of her favorite perfume against a carton of cigarettes, and the other was for the admission to the play “Firefly”. I pay off Wednesday, and am sort of looking forward to it. Tomorrow night there is to be a swim party and picnic afterward at the Hospitality Center,  sponsored by the Senior and Junior hostesses of the South Pasadena Hospitality House. I expect that it will be a lot of fun. However it reminds me of something you can do for me. In my trunk, I think in the right hand corner, under two or three layers, is my bathing suit. Please dig it out and send it to me here at Camp Santa Anita. The keys for the trunk are in your drawer in the dresser in your room. And continuing on the social life, tonight I am supposed to attend a surprise birthday party for one of the Junior hostesses at her house. She is a friend of Marian’s and has really been awfully nice to all of us. In fact, the four of us, (Vic is no longer a part of our gang), are invited. That is Art, Jr., Vince and myself, and ever since we first started going to the Hospitality House regularly, we have just about taken over the place. Everyone there knows us by our first names, and we are always being invited to something, or someplace. We all expect to have a good time, as usual. That is a sample of just how our free hours are spent, week after week, and on into eternity, I hope. Last night, Art, Marian, and a girlfriend of Art’s and myself went to Hollywood and spent all evening dancing to Woody Herman at the Palladium. Woody is one of the Swing Band Leaders that I don’t like particularly, but he does have a good orchestra and plays some sweet music now and then. Marian is not a jitterbug and neither am I, but she is a very good dancer and we get along very well, dancing to almost any type of music, so we had a perfect time.

I said that Vic is no longer here. He has been accepted by the Army to attend college where he is to study electrical engineering. That means that he will, in all probability, be part of the Army of Occupation that is being built up now. However we do not know just yet to which school he will be sent.

This afternoon, before starting this, I took the machine apart and cleaned it and it is working quite well. There goes the siren which means there are 5 minutes to go until quitting time, so if I want to get supper before it is too late I had better finish this up quick.

So long.

Lad

P.S. the correct phrase is Buenas Noches and not as you wrote it, just in case you didn’t know.

AG

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will be letters from Grandpa. On Friday, another from Lad.

Judy Guion

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Lad’s Army Life – Uncle Sam’s Time Clock – Aug, 1943

Blog Timeline - 1941-1943

Grandpa finally gets a letter from Lad telling of his furlough plans and his daily schedule. Grandpa is happy to get the news.

Camp Santa Anita

Wednesday

Aug. 11, 1943

Dear Dad:

Today I got word to report to the personnel section to verify my request for a furlough, and it is to start on Friday, September 3, and is good for 14 days, which means that I will have to be back at camp here on September 17. It looks as though I will have to travel by train, which means that it will take about four days or a little more to get home, and the same returning. However to make things different, I believe that I can work on one of the dining cars on one of the Santa Fe crack trains, and in that way will not only get to Chicago as fast as possible, but will be paid for going there. Then the trip from there to New York is much easier since there are many trains leaving per day, and the fair is only about $20. So, if things go as planned at present, I shall be home Monday night or sometime Tuesday, either September 5 or 6. I have checked no schedules as yet, but everything points in this direction. If there will be any changes, I shall notify you as soon as possible.

Things here have been going along fairly smoothly, but somebody, probably Washington, decided that we were having life a little too easy, and last week we started getting up at 5 AM. Incidentally, that means that at the same time as you are thinking of getting up, so am I. Along with that change, came a stiffening of regulations here. We fall out for reveille at 0515 and then have until 0630 to eat breakfast, clean house and get everything ready for the daily inspection of the barracks. At 0630 we fall out and March to the drilling area where we spent half an hour doing calisthenics and then an hour alternately drilling one day and listening to lectures on the next, which pertain to some phase of military life. At 0800 we return and again fallout to march down to the section where we start teaching at 0815. At 1000 we have a 10 min. break and then continue until 1145. Chow (lunch) is at 1145 and from then until 1250 we are free to do as we please. At 1250 we again fallout and march to the section and begin classes at 1300. Again at 1515 we have a 10 min. break and then school is over at 1730. Altogether that makes 12 1/2 hours that we are on the go for Uncle Sam. Then of course, we start on our own time and spend until 2200 or 2300 gallivanting around for ourselves then to bed until 0500. What a life, but it isn’t so bad if you don’t weaken.

A few weeks ago you asked me for a picture of Marian, and all that she can find is one taken some time ago, when she was looking for a job and

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

needed a picture to put on employment blanks. The picture is fairly good except that her eyes in the picture are too far apart and it looks as though she can’t keep her eyelids completely open. We are keeping pretty steady company. She is a fine girl, and I like her a great deal.

Tonight I am asst. Bn. C.Q. and apparently that is a better deal than C.Q. in that I get off at 1030 while the C.Q. is on until 1200 (2400). I have been on since 1730, and so far have run four errands and done a lot of talking with various of the other boys who have walked in or some of the guards. There goes the phone, and from the conversation, I guess that I’ll have another errand to run. Yep – just a minute. Well, that’s done.

The bag arrived O.K. and it will suit the purpose perfectly. Thanks Dad, and as usual, things that you do are usually done completely and well. However, I have a suggestion that may or may not be worthwhile. The condition of the bag, due to rough handling by the shipping companies, is in pretty poor shape as far as looks are concerned. I don’t think that the bag is actually hurt very much. But to at least help against being crushed, why not fill the bag quite tightly with crumpled newspaper. I think that the procedure will prevent a great deal of the crushing that occurred.

That diesel course that I was supposed to start teaching never did materialize, and at present I am instructing in a new course called “Engine Tune-up”. It is all right, but not as interesting as the diesel course would have been. Art Lind tells me that the diesel course has not yet been thrown out of the window, but I’m beginning to think that it has gotten just about as far as the frame, it is waiting for some wind to either blow it back in again or on out. I hope the wind blows from the outside. I’m really not too interested in this present course that I am connected with.

Well, I seem to be running out of thoughts, and since I do not have any of your letters with me here, I cannot look them over for further suggestions, and therefore I shall call it quits, and with love to all, I’ll sign this as

Laddie

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll move back to 1939 and continue for several days in a row. Do you know of anyone who would like to take a trip down memory lane and relive what a family was going through during the late 1930’s and 1940’s? Why don’t you pass along this link so they can enjoy the stories also?

Judy Guion

Trumbull Sunday Clarion – July 11, 1943

Trumbull Sunday Clarion, July 11, 1943

Trumbull Sunday Clarion, July 11, 1943

My Grandpa’s gifts with words, printing and advertising all came together this particular Sunday and we are the recipients of those gifts. This is the “letter” he sent out to his sons scattered around the world. Lad, the oldest, is in Camp Santa Anita in California,  training auto, truck and diesel mechanics for the Army; Dan, next in line, is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, awaiting transfer to London with the rest of his Civil Engineering Unit;  Ced, son number three, is in Alaska working at Woodley’s Airfield, which has been taken over by the military, working as an airplane mechanic and bush pilot; and Dick, son number four, is in Indianapolis, awaiting transfer to who-knows-where.

I’ll give you a little background information on each of the stories.

COOKS VACATION ENDS – Mrs. Peabody is the Grandma referred to in many of the letters. She is Grandpa’s (Alfred Duryee Guion) mother-in-law, the mother of Arla, his wife, who passed away in 1933 after a long battle with cancer. That event was the lynchpin that set all of the events in the letters in motion.

PERSONALS – D. Guion refers to Dan, in Pennsylvania, who is trying his hardest to get a furlough to travel the 250 miles home for one last visit before he heads overseas.

C. Guion has subscribed to the Alaska Sportsman for his father, possibly to give him a better idea of what life is like in the northern territory.

Mrs. R. Guion is Jean, Dick’s wife, who has followed her MP husband from Miami to Indianapolis and will follow him until he is sent overseas, when she will return to Trumbull to stay in the family homestead.

Sgt. Guion refers to Lad, in California, who is trying to plan a furlough to travel across the country to visit family and friends.But, as it always is with the military, you don’t know anything until it actually happens, particularly during a war.

I have no idea who Miss Anna Rakowski was.

At this point in time, Papa (Grandpa), his Aunt Betty and youngest son Dave are the regular residents in the Trumbull house, since Grandma is supposed to leave in a couple of weeks.

B. PLUMB BECOMES WAC-Y  Barbara Plumb is Dan’s girlfriend and has been for a while.  The brief article tells the rest.

CAROL ELIZABETH WAYNE – Her father, a close friend of the older boys, is running the gas station that Lad worked at when he was in his teens and early twenties. You might remember his letter in the post titled “Trumbull – The Red Horse Service Station – Carl Wayne”, posted Jan. 27, 2013. He couldn’t wait to tell my father all the news in town, especially the fact that his sister had eloped.

SHOE SHORTAGE HITS INDIANAPOLIS is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that Jean must be wearing out her shoes following her husband from Trumbull to Miami to Indianapolis.

I hope you found this particular post as interesting as I did. My Grandfather continues to surprise me.

Judy Guion

Lad – Army Life – Camp Santa Anita, Spring, 1943

This letter gives you a pretty clear picture of Lad’s life right now. He’s out socializing, probably with my Mom, and teaching during the day.

Camp Santa Anita

April 28, 1943

Dear Dad –

Again, weeks have passed. I just have too good a time to sit down and spend some of it writing, and I really should. However, you can rest assured that if anything of importance happens, you shall know of it. No news will be good. I have definitely decided to keep the car, but not as you suggested.

Tonight I’m again on company duty, but instead of C.Q., I’m Corporal of the Guard. The few times I’ve been on company duty are so infrequent that I really have nothing to complain about. For instance, tonight is the first night I have stayed in camp since I got here January 9, with the exception of that first night, due to quarantine.

It seems that the course in Diesel Engine Principles has finally gotten through to the right authorities by fair or foul means, and pressure has been applied to the effect that the course is to have its first sanctioned appearance on May 3, if it can be put into workable shape by then. Art Lind and I have been working on it and it looks possible. We are hoping.

Our new showers have been opened in the camp with plenty of hot water. There are 197 of them, so we no longer have to the go to the Y in Pasadena to get a hot shower, and speaking of cleaning up – my razor finally begin to show signs of excessive wear, so I turned it in for a new Schick Colonel – eight dollars. The new one operates very nicely. If you remember, you sent me a clipping concerning the need for men with the knowledge of other languages? I had taken you on it, but nothing as yet has been heard from it.

Don’t worry about my operator’s license. I have already written to Hartford asking them to send them to me, but if they come to Trumbull, please forward them. As regards grandmother you, I believe, did the right thing. Personally, I certainly would never have even hesitated, as you probably know. My love to all, and to all a good night –

Laddie

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Trumbull, Conn.

May 2, 1943

Dear young uns,

You are in an airplane. You are on a mission and your course has been set. The country below slides by. It is interesting and you study it, for part of that landscape may fit into another assignment one day. But you keep on your course. You are on a mission!

In the busy round of duties the Army has set as your daily routine, don’t become so absorbed in the present that you neglect once in a while to get off by yourself and try to fit this into the larger scheme of things that will constitute your regular living after this war interlude is over. You too, have a mission – – to enlarge your knowledge and experience and make it serve as a “landscape”, because someday it may be a useful postwar brick in your life work structure. The simile is a bit mixed but I assume you have intelligence enough to get the thought I am trying to get over.

This afternoon a telegram came from Jean, as follows: “Have changed plans (She expected to be home tomorrow). Decided to stay. Letter to follow explaining. Please call my mother( I did and she said she was glad Jean was having such a nice vacation). Please forward any allotment check (Sorry, Jean, but none has arrived). We are both fine. Love. Jean”

Lad has written and the big news in his letter, at least so far as I am concerned, is that he is now a Sergeant. How de do, Sarge. Congratulations from your old man. He is been given the same type of job he had in Aberdeen, Chief of Section, which calls for a staff rating. He therefore expects in two or three months he will have an opportunity to take the staff exam. And the rest of you will have to watch your reputation as bowlers, as he now bowls 180 and expects to top 200.

Barbara was just in and has about decided to apply for a job open to her doing drafting work for the Signal Corps, involving a six-month training course on the N. J. coast. I learned that George Laufer is now at Fort Bragg, N. C.

Grandma wants me to write you all that she is SO happy to be here. Aunt Betty wants me to thank Lad for his lovely letter to her, and I, well I’m just glad I have such a bunch of nice boys. If I were “that way” I might even be a little bit proud.

Ced, I’m having trouble getting your Buick parts shipped. Both the post office and express company refused to send it. I am taking the matter up with Washington. Did you get the package of books?

DAD

It seems that now that the hustle and bustle of Dick and Jean’s wedding on Valentine’s Day, Dick going into that Army, Jean following him and grandma arriving, things are finally starting to settle down a little at the old homestead. I wonder what comes next, don’t you?

For FREE copies of New Inceptions Magazine, an e-nagazine, with several articles and stories from my family, you can click the following links.

Issue 1   Click Here

Issue 2   Click Here

Issue 3   Click Here

Judy Guion