Army Life – Dear Dad – Tentative Plans for Marian – July 10, 1944


Monday –

Pomona, Calif


Dear Dad –

Thanks a million for your very nice letter that we received from you last week. Wish I could report some definite plans that the “Roving Guions” have made, but so far everything is still very much up in the air. We might be here two days, two weeks or even two months – we just don’t know. However, we have tried to make a few tentative plans – subject to an immediate change, if necessary.

  1. If it is at all possible I am going to drive the Buick, by way of Orinda, back east to our new destination. (Where??? When ???) We have received permission from the C.O. to get gasoline for the trip, but so far have not applied for it.
  2. I would love to come and stay at Trumbull – I really love it there and can think of no nicer place that I would like to be. Theoretically, you are not supposed to apply for gasoline for a move any oftener than once every six months, so I may be with you longer than you anticipated. In that case, I would probably get a job in Bridgeport. It remains to be seen just what will happen, but maybe I’ll have a chance to spend a winter where it snows yet!
  3. One of the other wives is planning on going east with me, and before we get started, there may be more. But at least, I know I’ll have company and although both of us would rather have our husbands along, Ruth and I have a lot of fun together so it should be a pleasant trip.

That’s the best we can do in the way of plans so far, and any changes or later developments we will report immediately.

The camera arrived safely, Dad. Thanks for sending it to us.

You are a peach for offering to increase our “budget” with another loan. Even though we don’t believe that we will need it, it is nice to know that we can call on you in case of dire necessity.

With two such recommendations as yours and David’s, we decided that we must see “Between Two Worlds” (, so we went yesterday. It was a very unusual picture, wasn’t it? We both enjoyed it very much.

Lad is still at Camp Haan, and although he gets home for dinner every night, this business of getting up at four o’clock every morning is no fun. We hope that he will be transferred back to Pomona in a few days so he can get a little more sleep in the mornings.

Thought perhaps we would have a check for you in this letter, but Uncle Sam has not come through as yet, so we are using the allotment check to live on for the time being. Maybe next time, Dad.

With all our love to everyone –

As always,

Marian and Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Marian about getting ready for the move – to where and when still a big question. On Saturday, another installment of Marian’s Grandfather’s (John Jackson Lewis) Voyage to California in 1851. On Sunday, more about the Rev. Elijah and Clara Guion’s life with their children after  leaving New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Judy Guion


Friends – Rusty Huerlin and Arnold Gibson send Greetings to Ced in Alaska – July, 1944

Envelope from Rusty Huerlin to Ced, July 10, 1944

Letter from Rusty Huerlin to Ced in Anchorage, Alaska mailed on July 10, 1944

Nome, Alaska

July 9, 1944

Dear Ced,

Stormy weather for about one week. Expect “ada” down from ____________ any day now, then it will be a mad rush to get everything aboard her and pull stakes for Pt. Barrow where I finally decided to locate, if they’ll have me there.

Many, many thanks for green stuff. They arrived in O.K. condition same day boat brought first greens we’ve had here since fall, three more boats with more greens – then a tanker with whiskey and beer. But I went in for the milk on first boat – drank so much of it (40 cents a paper quart) that I quit when I noticed that my tits were growing.

Who am I to thank for the beautiful scarf? Hardly a chance of wearing such finery until I get back to Anchorage again.

As for the paintings you wrote about, will take care of the matter as soon as I get situated up north. Will write Byrk first chance I get. These are busy days.

Thanks for sending pictures. Swell to look at and letters to read from home. Will return slides to you in care of Fiske when he looks in this way again. If possible for him to handle frames you have and deliver them to Major Marston – Wallace Hotel, Nome, for me, that would be swell. But if it runs into money for this, skip it, as I could not take care of that now. He may not be coming this way again for some time. He has been flying Mackenzie’s ship and with “Mac” back in Anchorage now he may fly his own ship to Nome. I could get “Mac” to fly them through, however, if either of them coming here soon. I could not take them on first trip this way. I had better not have them sent here as I would not care to have them sent up to Pt. Barrow unless I took personal care of them.

Hell of a rush now. Will write you at greater length first chance I get.

Love to all,

As ever,



Postcard from Arnold Gibson (Lad’s best childhood friend), in Hawaii, tto Ced, in Alaska, July 11, 1944

Gibby - Post card to Ced from Hawaii - front, 1944

“Isle O’ Dreams”, Hawaii

Gibby - Post card to Ced from Hawaii - message - 1944

Honolulu, June 28


Arnold Gibson

Ship 51 N Y

Pearl Harbor,

Dear Ced,

Here I am back in Hawaii. Alta is in Cal. and will follow later.

We saw Lad and Marian in Orinda and had a swell day. Wish I had a little Alaska  weather right now.

Aloha, Gib

Tomorrow and Friday, I’l post two letters from Marian to Grandpa about life for the Lad Guions in California. On Saturday, more of the  Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis in 1851. On Sunday, the continuing story of My Ancestors, the Rev. Elijah and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – My dearest son: And of course I mean YOU (2) – Possible News About Lad’s Future – July 9, 1944


Lad and Marian Guion

Old Sgt. A.P. says: “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. Right now the 3019th is doing some work in Camp Haan which is similar to what 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 Col. at Haan called us back from the desert and we spent only one week out there instead of two. For that I’m 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 but 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’ve been having a rather hot spell here. In fact the day before yesterday it was 115° in the shade (You had me fooled for a minute, Lad, as your degree mark was rather large and low down and looked at first glance like 1150 which would lead one very naturally to not quibble if you had said it was as hot as hell). Out on the desert we didn’t mind the heat because it was so dry, but it is a little more moist here and is quite warm for Marian – – lots warmer than in South Pasadena”. And Marian adds: “Maybe we’ll be seeing you again very soon. This Army life is anything but settling.”

So, that leaves some interesting conjectures. In fact life these days is just full of what I said for every last one of you and when I get you all home again, I am thinking of putting in a series of balls and chains in the cellar with big padlocks on them so I can keep you all fastened down for a spell.

Dan Guion

Well, Dan, the US government has just sent me a notice that as one of your dependents I am to receive $15 a month hereafter from your regular pay. Do you want me to invest this for you in some more stocks, put it in the B & L or just let it accumulate in the bank? I am wondering if you ever received the four or five packages of soap and toilet articles and Kleenex that I sent? And Lad, did you get your camera yet? And Ced, did you receive the Buick parts and the filter and the subscription to Reader’s Digest? And Dave, I will try to get a box of cigars (they are getting scarce, no more boxes of a5 are available) and shall send them as soon as I hear what kind you prefer or some idea if what you want to pay, along with your necktie and leggins. And if you can pick up for me at the PX a hydraulic jack, a large size bottle of eau de quinine hair tonic (any make) and a package of razor blades it will keep me quiet for a while. I hope the notebook fillers I sent for your friend arrived safely and were what he wanted. I forgot to ask you about them when you were home.

I understand Jean (Hughes) is coming home very soon to be ready to increase the population of Trumbull and that Jane (Mantle) is also pointing in that direction, if you know what I mean.

Along the line of an interesting news, just to fill up the page, I spent several hours yesterday substituting for a stoker and shoveling an estimated 3 1/2 tons of buckwheat coal from one side of my coal bin to the other, as the moronic or just sheer lazy coal deliveryman neglected to put up any boards to confine the coal from rushing out of the exit hatch into the cellar and practically buried the stoker. My muscles were somewhat sore when I got through and I looked like something from south of the Mason and Dixon line, but I finished the job and took quiet satisfaction from the thought that there was some life in the old boy yet, and if the worst came to the worst and you young fry couldn’t put Hitler’s legions in their place and they had to call on us has beens I could come through in fairly good shape, although I don’t think I’d choose a stoker’s job.

Well, let’s call it a day and hope next week I’ll be in better mental shape to write you a really interesting letter. Meantime, lots of love and good luck, from


Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a letter from Rusty to Ced and a postcard from Arnold in Hawaii to Anchorage. On Thursday and  Friday I’ll post letters from Marian to Grandpa about the latest developments in the lives of Lad and Marian in California.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – My dearest son: And of course I mean YOU (1) – Dave’s Mishap – July 9, 1944


Trumbull, Conn., July 9, 1944

My dearest son:

And of course that means YOU. I have been sitting here in sort of a trance trying to think of something interesting to write to you. The fact of the matter is I am all written out. I have been owing so many letters for so long that this afternoon, in spite of the muggy heat (perhaps because of it and my disinclination to do any “sweating” work) I decided to put procrastination to flight and catch up on some of my back correspondence, knowing from experience that if I wrote you boys first I would have neither time nor inclination to write to others. In consequence, I have just finished letters to the Larry Peabody’s, the Kemper Peabody’s, the New York Peabody’s, Elsie, Red Sirene, Barbara Plumb, and Sylvia Ward – Campbell, mostly about you boys, your locations and your doings.

Mrs. Richard (Jean) Guion

Another week has passed without word from Ced or Dick. Jean says as to the latter she is kidding herself trying to imagine the failure to hear from Dick lies in the fact that he is on his way home, he having written some weeks ago that there was a 50-50 chance that sometime during July he would be shipped back to the states. As to Ced, my natural optimism tells me that no news is good news, that he is still a civilian, that he has burned down no more Anchorage fixtures, and that he is quite well and busy. I just wish he’d get a little busier to the tune of a postal at least telling me he has successfully passed his pilot’s examination, or something. I have not had a chance yet to grow anxious about Dan, having received a letter from him last week. My oldest and youngest, however, have each come through with welcome letters, which I shall now share with you.

Dave writes he is back in camp “safe and sound in one dilapidated piece. The train I came down on was the dirtiest train I’ve ever been on. Leaving St. Louis for the last leg of my journey, I got myself in a comfortable position and fell asleep. The next thing I knew the conductor was shaking me and asking for my ticket. He took one look at it and calmly said: “We just left Neosho, you should have gotten off there.” Boy! I had visions of dragging my bags behind me into the orderly room sometime this morning. Then I thought of OCS and the CO putting through my application for OSC before I even got started. But, thanks to that lock that’s been following me all the way, I made good connections back to Neosho, got into bed about 2 AM, reported first thing this morning and no questions asked.”

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this letter with possible news of Lad’s future.

Judy Guion

My Ancestors (30e) – The Rev. Elijah Guion – Civil War and the Church in New Orleans

Last June I  read about a Challenge, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, and I was intrigued. I decided to take up the challenge. Some Ancestors may take more than one week, but I still intend to write about 52 Ancestors. I hope you enjoy reading about My Ancestors as much as I am looking forward to researching and writing about them.

(1) Rev. Elijah Guion; (2) Alfred Beck Guion; (3) Alfred Duryee Guion; (4) Alfred Peabody Guion; (5) Judith Anne Guion

It was about this time, in 1865, that Guion’s own rigidity of principal caught up with him.  All through the war, this clergyman had persisted in doing that which no other southern clergyman, it is said, had continued to do — namely, to read the Prayer for the President of the United States Sunday after Sunday at the services at St. Paul’s.  The President, of course, was Lincoln; keeping that prayer in the ritual before a Confederate congregation required courage as well as obstinacy.  During the four long years of the war he got away with it and probably was admired for it.  In 1865, with the South in the misery of defeat, the parishioners could stand it no longer.  The vestry met, and the Rev.  Elijah Guion was ousted from the pulpit of St. Paul’s, which he had occupied with distinction for 20 years.

The rest of the story as I understand it: Major General Benjamin Butler issued an order during the Civil War to the Episcopal Churches in New Orleans. The order stated that they were to pray for the President of the United States as required by the ritual of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States or close up.  The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States was the only church that had these prayers included in their liturgy. Where the vestry’s refused to comply, they had to give way to men named by the military authority. 

In October, 1862, the  Rector at St. Paul’s was interrupted in his ministrations by military order and exiled.   During his absence, beginning on January 1, 1863,the  Rev. Elijah Guion had charge of the pulpit.  

As General Banks prepared in the spring of 1864 to move up the Red River to cut off Confederate supplies in northwestern Louisiana, the union military tightened its control over the city.  Now General Banks issued the same kind of order that the nefarious Butler had earlier issued: pray for the President of the United States as required by the ritual of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States or close up.  Where vestry’s refused to comply, they had to give way to men named by the military authority.

The only city church to be served continuously by one clergyman  for most of the period between General Banks’ order reopening the churches and the end of the war was St. Paul’s.  To it as acting Rector came the Reverend Elijah Guion.  He was acceptable to the military authorities because he had been – and would be again – a chaplain in the United States Army.

The Rev. Elijah Guion, at St. Paul’s, wrote President Lincoln urging an abatement of the order.  But his letters were returned to him through military channels.  Finally he to complied.

On May 10, 1864, the Rev.  Elisha Guion announced at the morning service that time had come when it was his duty to use the “Prayer for the President of the United States” and the “Prayer for Congress when in session”, and he would begin reciting those prayers at the evening service.  It was reported that this announcement so irritated the ladies of his church, whose sympathies are with and for the rebels, that they chose to attend some other church, since Mr. Guion’s sermon was preached.

The Rev. Elijah Guion remained at St. Paul’s until  September 1, 1865, when the previous rector resumed his office.

Inflexible men do not take such things easily.  Grandma Guion was the organist for her husband’s last Sunday service at St. Paul’s.  He couldn’t remember the ritual and kept crossing the chancel to ask her in a whisper what came next.

Guion’s loss of his important pulpit meant the end of the New Orleans era for his family.  At 56 he was still in his prime and he had his admirers.  For a time he served as Chaplain of the First New Orleans Volunteers; then he was called to the parish of Baton Rouge, capital of the state, where my mother and father already resided.  At Baton Rouge, as before, he both preached and established a church school in which my grandmother taught. (Actually, he was at. St. James Church in Baton Rouge from July 1, 1854 to July 18, 1860, and I have not found any evidence that he had another parish in Baton Rouge.)  The war had ended, the nation again was one, and on July 28, 1866, my grandfather became a chaplain of the 41st Infantry, United States Army.


COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952.

The Diocese of Louisiana: Some of It’s History – 1838 – 1888, Complied by the Rev. Herman Cope Duncan, M.A., New Orleans: A.W. HYATT, PRINTER, 73 CAMP STREET – 13391, 1888

So Great A Good, A History of the Episcopal Church in Louisiana and of Christ Church Cathedral – 1805 – 1955 by Hodding Carter and Betty Werlein Carter, The University Press, SEWANEE, TENNESSEE, 1955

Next Sunday, I’ll continue the story of the Rev. Elijah, Clara and their large family in New Orleans.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting leters written in 1944. All five boys are helping Uncle Sam and Grandpa is holding down the fort in Trumbull. He doesn’t hear from each of the boys every week but he sure tries to encourage them to write home on a regular basis. Lad and his new wife, Marian, are in California but Lad is expecting to get transferred overseas in the not too distant future. Dan is in London, probably preparing maps for D-Day. Ced is in Alaska, repairing planes, rescuing downed planes and ferrying people and supplies as a Bush Pilot. Dave has left Trumbull after his furlough and  is back in Missouri for more training. Dick is still withholding news, even from his wife. She and Grandpa wish he would write more often.

Judy Guion


Voyage to California (27) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


Day clear and pleasant.  In sight of the coast part of the day.  A gambler on board opened a monte bank in the steerage cabin last evening and was reported to have made $75 by his operation.  Distance 205 miles.


Nothing remarkable to note of this days occurrences, in sight of the coast part of the day, pleasant weather, and 205 miles accomplished, being the chief events.  The monte banker plied his trade again in the evening, and, as one who played with him and lost by him informed me, made about $100.  A number of the passengers are quite dissatisfied at such proceedings being permitted on board.

I will continue this story next Saturday.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting more information about the Rev. Elijah and Clara Guion and their daughter’s marriages. 

Next week, I will continue this story at the very beginning with Reminiscences of Alfred D. Guion, my Grandfather’s memories of growing up in Mount Vernon, New York in the 1880’s and 1890’s. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Saludos Amigos (2) – Ced the Firebug – July 4, 1943

This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday. 

As Dick is not on speaking terms with his family any more, his faithful wife carries on the family correspondence. She writes it is just a little warm in Indianapolis, one hundred in the shade at 3 PM on June 27. That was the day Jean says Dick wouldn’t get home because the fort was being bombed — with flour bags, and Dick’s company had to be on hand to keep things in order. Dick said he was going to be one of the first “injured”, so he could sleep for the rest of the day. “It will be too bad if they all have the same idea.”

Dan, too, is getting to be just a memory, it is so long since we have seen his jovial countenance. He writes that “once again they have no definite word of our impending departure, and rather than renewing promises of passes and furloughs, we are still led to believe we shall be lucky to get home at all! There is not much I can tell you otherwise, except that we are anxious to get going after such a long and abortive stay in Lancaster. I have been, and still am, feeling in the pink of condition physically, which is precisely what the Army has been trying to achieve — this despite the long, intolerable heat wave.”

Maybe I’ll get fooled, Dan, but I can’t believe that your C.O. would refuse permission for you boys to get home once more before you go across, particularly as it has been so long a time that you have been training intensively. But, should you learn definitely that such is the case a letter or wire will bring me down there posthaste, preferably in the middle of the week to comply with the request that weekends be avoided for the convenience of you boys in the service.

Ced writes an extremely interesting and gripping account of the fire started in a plane he was repairing, finally resulting in the loss of that plane, the hangar, parts of other planes under repair, the radio station and equipment, tools and parts, several thousand dollars worth of liquor and furs, Ced’s new radio and battery, was himself burned and blistered so that he was laid up for about a week although he does not think there will be any permanent scars. The loss altogether will amount to about $75,000, not all of which was covered by insurance. Besides all this, the tires of his new car have gone flooey, Three out of five being “on their uppers”, but nothing can daunt his courage even though the ordeal has left its mark in more ways than one. The letter is too long to reproduce here (three full pages single spaced) but it is so graphic a description that you will do well to make a mental note to read it next time you are home. And that means YOU.

I wish, Ced, for certain reasons of my own, you would, as soon as you receive this, sit down and write me just how you now feel about this conscientious objector business, and whether outside of still holding the ideal of brotherhood being better than bloodshed, your attitude toward taking part in the fighting forces has been modified by our experiences in Japan, etc., and also by what we see of the type of individual who seems to compose the large majority of those under this classification. I would like your up-to-date views on this subject sent just as promptly as you can get them off to me, please. Good night to you all, my children, and blessings from your


Tomorrow, a short note from Lad to his father.

On Saturday and Sunday, more on the life of Mary E Wilson.

Judy Guion