Trumbull – Dear Chillun (2) – News From Dan and Paulette – December 16, 1945

Page 2    12/16/45

And now for the distant ones. Just as we are beginning to wonder when we’ll hear from busy Dan again, out pops a letter, usually short, with a promise to write again later and give us the lowdown. The last one from Aix, France, dated Nov. 30th, says: “I’ve seen So. France at last. We drove through freezing fog from Versailles to Dijon two days ago and from Dijon to Marseilles (via Lyon and Aix) yesterday. We are staying in a first-rate hotel where thermal springs furnish hot water that put patent medicines to shame – – isn’t anything they won’t cure. I’ve been on the go since I popped up to Calais last Sat., and I am still fatigued, so I’ll tack on my latest order from S.R. (Sears Roebuck) and sign off until another evening when I intend to tell you more about what I have seen and done since renouncing the Army, God bless its impoverished soul!”

O. K., Dan, old Benedict, thy orders shalt have my earnest attention; in fact, Sears already have the latest one you sent, and if they maintain their usual ration you will in due time receive about 50% of the items therein listed, but unless you are receiving better service in package deliveries than usual, it will probably be 1946 before they finally reach you. Meantime I will be interested if any of the packages containing your T-shirts have arrived yet.

But that’s not the only news from France. Daughter Paulette has written another welcome letter (ably translated by Dan). She says: “You see, Dad, not yet do I write you in English. I don’t dare. I am not yet good enough in English. Life here in Calais is not very gay but the merchants are beginning to regain their courage. Houses are being rebuilt, but the food problem is always the same, which isn’t saying much. Here at home my two brothers are continuing their studies. They like Dan and everybody else also finds him charming, and now with his officer’s uniform he looks stunning. How disappointed you must have been to know we could not be in Trumbull before next year. I should have liked very much to have joined you sooner but unfortunately our good intentions proved futile, and while I am upset to have kept your son from you, your patience will be rewarded by the fact that we shall be three instead of two. It is such a wonderful happiness for Dan and me, and here at home there is much joy also. The arrival of baby is the constant topic. He will be like a tiny king. We still have the bassinet which belonged to my youngest brother. When I speak of my baby it is always in the masculine because I believe it will be a little boy. I hope so much that he will resemble his Papa. Is Alfred still in Trumbull? I am impatient to meet all my brothers and sisters. And Dave, have you news of him?”

Tomorrow, the conclusion to this letter. On Friday, two Christmas cards for Ced.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion


Special Picture # 352 – Paulette Jeane Van Laere – Circa 1945

This picture was given to me recently by Dan and Paulette’s daughter. I think this is my favorite picture of her.

DBG - Paulette Van Laere - circa 1945

Paulette Jerane Van Laere (Mrs. Daniel Beck Guion) – circa 1945

Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters written by Grandpa in the fall of 1945. There are only two letters but the second one is quite long so the posts will be longer than usual in order to finish the letters in one week.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (3) – More News From France – September 23, 1945

This is the final portion of Grandpa’s letter to his scattered family, wherever they are.

DBG - Dan andPaulette (Paulette - cropped) - 1945

Paulette (Van Laere) Guion

Rather than be separated from her for the better part of the year, I am taking steps to ensure that I remain over here as long as possible. I have applied for one of the university courses which will consume two months from its beginning date. Further, I understand that men eligible for discharge are allowed to volunteer for additional service up to Feb. 14, 1946, if they so desire. In the meantime I shall investigate the facilities of private transport in the hope that she will be able to get to America soon. She is still staying with Mr. and Mme. Rabet at 9 Rue Cuvier — a five minute walk from our billet. I have never met a couple more generous or kindly than these two elderly people. I have asked them to select a few items from the Montgomery-Ward (he means Sears-Roebuck) catalog. Mme Rabet, a nurse by profession, has just cured me of a badly infected throat, which I dared not entrust to the Army doctors for fear that I would be restricted to quarters, and as a result, would not be able to see “Chiche”. In every respect both have treated us as if we were their own children.

(Comment: Of course you should stay with “Chiche”, but what I want is for you to stay with her here. Leave no stone unturned to bring her home at the earliest possible moment, unless under the circumstances, she would prefer not to come until afterward. We shall get as much as possible of the list you sent. Are you sure of Mme’s bust measurement? Marion things it is extremely large.)

DBG - Dan and Paulette - Dan ( cropped) - 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

I needn’t tell you how much I am disappointed at having to postpone my homecoming, but time has a rather chronic habit of shuffling along, eilly-nilly, (I believe he meant to type “willy-nilly) and one day, not too far distant, I shall stumble over the milk bucket on the back porch as I grope my way toward the kitchen door. “Chiche” sends her love in hopes that you will all continue to write to her. She asks me every day if I have received a letter from home.

(Comment: Tell your little girl, Dan, how delighted I am at the news of the expected arrival, which would be doubly good if you could now write that all arrangements had been made for all three of you to stumble over said milk bucket. In the famous words; “Don’t give up the ship”, means either the airship or an ocean liner, whichever can get you over here in the best, quickest and safest way. In other words I am not taking your decision as final. The only thing that will make me bow to what will be considered in this instance as inevitable, is Paulette’s wishes in the matter, but outside of that, let neither of us quit struggling. I WANT YOU HOME BY CHRISTMAS. I want this year to put on a combination French-American Christmas celebration and she has got to be here to help with it)

I trust from the few hints I have given above that you may surmise I will stop at nothing that is legally and humanly possible to reverse your again  “stay in France” decision for the new Guion family, and I shall expect you to call upon me, in case I have not already made that fact clear, to do anything I can to make such a denouement possible.

For your information, I am attaching two additional copies of the American addition of the Guion wedding announcement. It never entered my head to send one to the Senechal’s although I should have done so, I can now see very plainly. I asked you for a list of people, friends of yours, rather than of the family, to whom you might wish a copy sent but this, along with other questions I have asked from time to time, has been blithely overlooked. I have a few more copies left. To whom do you wish them sent? Respond se vou plais. – Or words to that effect. And I still don’t know whether the Senechals like their coffee ground, course or fine or underground in bean form— third request. You will just have to get daughter Paulette to write me in American to give me these mundane details which a person who has attended Oxford and is a candidate for the Sorbonne, scorns to mention. Next you will be writing me you are taking a course at Leipzig instead of attending courses at the University of Trumbull. Es weiss nicht was sol les bedauten das Ich so trauig bin. There, that will hold you for a space.

Well, children, that’s the story for this week. The whole Guion family affairs laid out flat like the contents of Colgate’s toothpaste tube— comes out like a ribbon, lays flat on the floor. I wish I could get some order out of this post-war chaos. When will Dick and Jean be home, or won’t they? What’s going to happen to Lad’s furlough? How soon can MacArthur spare Dave? When is Ced flying home? Will I have a French or American grandson? Any information leading to the arrest of any of the above rumors, dead or alive, if stretched end to end, by the authority vested in me by the State of Connecticut, I pronounce you man and wife. I don’t know— I’m all mixed up. When somebody please straighten me out?

Your distracted


Tomorrow and Friday, a Birthday letter to Dave from his ever-loving father.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (4) – News From Dan And Dick – July, 1945

In Grandpa’s all-inclusive letter, we now come to one from Dan and another from Dick. Dick’s letter is rather short, but since he is rarely heard from, all the more noticeable. 

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

Letter from Dan dated Drancy, July 9th

I received the money order the day before yesterday. It came too late for direct action but I was able to borrow enough to buy a camera (German) at a bargain and sell it at an amazing profit. My conscience almost bothers me! I have sent home two money orders during the last two months and another is enclosed herein. I cannot send it all at once because of suspicious Army regulations that cry “black market” at the drop of a peddler’s cart. The Sears Roebuck catalog arrived and already has been eagerly perused by all my roommates and it has wrought  on me the mischief of avarice – – or to say it more in my favor – – acquisitiveness – – a condition that has been chronic with me ever since my delicate little hands first violated the pages of Sear’s 1922 catalog. I expect that the reactions in Calais will be even more violent, since these European natives have, during the past five or six years, lost any natural immunity they might have had to sales aggression. My moments of protoplasmic functioning, and even my less lucid (the word is “lucid”, not “lurid”, see?) moments are monopolized these days by the approaching wedding, at which I am billed for one of the two major roles. I shall leave Drancy on July 12th, planning (with the connivance of the Army) to spend a week in Calais. The wedding will be on the 17th. We are still in

page 5 ( continuation of Dan’s letter)

Category II and planning to return to U S A before setting out for China.  Personally, I should rather stay here for a while. “Chiche” won’t be able to travel to the U.S. for a matter of months at least, unless commercial travel is resumed, so I would do better to occupy Germany until Hirohito loses his shirt. As soon as I am safely married, I shall suggest a transfer to an occupational unit. Incidentally, being in Category II automatically bars me from attending the special university courses. I am not even eligible to apply. What a “sale guerre”! But with that almost pristine optimism that has always been my particular charm  (well, waddaya know!) I close this letter with the hope and faith that everything is going to be so oh-so-frightfully O.K.


Richard Peabody Guion

Letter from Dick dated July 24th

I just received your weekly news letter in which you devoted a page or so to each of us individually. Evidently, it has inspired me to unaccustomed effort. (Here he describes his office personnel as shown on a snapshot which accompanies the letter, and which would be meaningless to quote without the picture to go with it). He also encloses a print of himself, and writes: I am wearing a pair of pants that were issued to me in Miami more than two years ago. I am also wearing the same face that was issued to me in N.Y.  more than 24 years ago. That explains absolutely nothing and might even lead to your asking, or better still, passing a harsh remark at some later date, concerning the addition under my nose. That definitely was not issued but came to be very near and dear to me. That squint in my eyes is not a pose but a necessary or unavoidable reaction from the bright sun. I’m quite well, Dad. I don’t gain much weight but neither do I lose it. The job I have with its responsibilities has given me a sense of confidence in myself – – a feeling in me that was always a little slow in developing. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are doing a good job  – – that people are depending on you. Give my love to Aunt Betty and say “hello” to all the rest.

Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa’s youngest son, Dave, in Okinawa,  full of news and personal opinion. On Saturday and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (3) – News From Lad in France – July, 1945

Grandpa’s letter continues with a copy of Lad’s letter from somewhere in Southern France.

APG - APG at D_____ ______ a_____, 25 June, 1945

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad), in France

Copy of letter from Lad, Southern France, rec’d July 31

Due to restrictions, just where I am is a secret. I have gone swimming in the Mediterranean, but where we are allowed to swim, there are numerous jellyfish of the stinging variety and the wind has a habit of blowing most of the time, so that you get stung in the water and chilled out of it. And besides, I prefer fresh water. We do have a canal near enough to go in for a dip, so that is where I go. Speaking of canals, there is a system of them here, like roads. They probably were built long, long, years ago when wheeled vehicles were unknown or at least scarce, and by the use of gates, reach almost all cities and towns of any size at all – – quite complex and complete. Due to the constant tread of feet and trucks, the sparse vegetation here is even scarcer, and in conjunction with gusty winds, the dust which is almost always present in some degree is very, very bad. At times it is hard to see the person just a few feet from you. There is a cloud of dust, like fog, which the wind keeps in the air so that it never disappears. I don’t think we have had even one day without sun and it sure is hot. Very similar to Venezuela except that it is warmer at night, and not so pleasant. I would rather be in S. A. than here.

And now your letters.

May 13th. In answer to a question of Aunt Elsie’s, there are birds here, but nothing like in Trumbull. Maybe in other parts of France they are more plentiful. They are very scarce here and very limited in “makes and models”. Did Biss ever get her pocketbook? And Aunt Betty as Aunt Elsie’s nurse sounds just like her – – never happy unless she’s helping somebody else regardless of self-inconvenience. And tell her, as I used to tell her, before I went into the Army, she really is a good cook.

May 20th. Dan’s comment upon Holland as “like the City Trust Co.” is very descriptive, isn’t it? Just the same I’d like to see it.

Page 4 (continuation of Lad’s letter)

I hope Dan answers at least some of those questioned you referred to. I inserted the word “honestly” in the question about your health for just the reason you reached. Thanks for your answer, and don’t try to “beat an auto at its own game”. Of course you are bound to worry, but as you’ve told us innumerable times, worry doesn’t accomplish anything except the ill effect on the worrier, so please try to keep it at a minimum.

May 27th. You mention only four flowers. Did you leave out tiger lilies and skunk cabbage purposely, not wishing to cause Biss and myself undue embarrassment? And I owe Ced a letter, so thank you for the reminder of his birthday. I’m still “too damned healthy” to suit me and about as happy as I could be here. There’s no reason for being otherwise.

Now back to your letters. In the many years which have passed since the “goat days”, I wondered once in a while just why you bought those goats, and at last I found the reason. It is possible that you’ve told me before, but if so, I’ve forgotten it. In the same letter you have a quote from Dave which is really rather humorous in a couple of spots, now that you know he is actually in Okinawa. I understand that one Al. Peabody (Lad himself) may be there too. Maybe Dave will be able to look him up.

Alfred Duryee Guion

Jean (Mortensen) and Dick Guion

June 3rd. Dick and Jean are very fortunate. That is one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of the occupational forces over here. The prospects of getting out of the Army were very slim. Here is my set up on discharge points as of May 15th – – the end of the time for calculation. 36 months in the service, six months overseas and one battle star, (36, 6 & 5) a total of 47, just a little over half of the 85 points necessary. Dan’s vivid description is very good. I wish I could have been someplace in a little larger town then Langres at the time. I ‘d have enjoyed it immensely, I’m sure.

June 10th. Not much to comment on here.

June 17th. Tops all others as far as news is concerned. It is really nice to receive a letter written with no thought of censorship and it must be even more fun to write. I never do so without thinking of the regulations, which greatly curtails the little interesting things which make a letter so much fun to read. Those letters of Dave’s and Dan’s have been read by a number of the fellows here and are still in circulation. With the exception of the end of the Japanese war on July 15, all the other predictions have passed unnoticed. As far as I’m concerned, any day, whether predicted or not, will be a good one for the war to end – – the sooner, the better.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue with Grandpa’s copies of letters from Dan and, will wonders never cease, Dick. On Friday, a letter from Dave and Grandpa’s final comments.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dan’s Trip Abroad (5) – (July, 1943 – May, 1945) – Buzz Bomb Bombings and Close Calls – May 13, 1945

This concluded Dan’s first-hand account of action from 1943 to 1945 when he first arrived in London, traveled to France and several other places in Europe.

Daniel Beck Guion on the job in Venezuela @ 1939

Daniel Beck Guion on the job in Europe – 1945 – 1946                           

Continuing from yesterdays end:

But from that night on, never a moment of the day or night was free from the threat of the V-1.

I saw my first one on Wimbledon Common where we went to practice surveying on that first morning. Anti-aircraft began firing. Quickly flashing across the sky appeared an unusual-looking plane, making a very loud roar. Puffs of AA fire followed harmlessly in its wake. Suddenly a flash of fire lit up its tail and the motor conked out. The plane drove straight to earth. A loud explosion and a pall of smoke marked the precipitate conclusion, and the AA battery on Wimbledon claimed a direct hit. They had seen the fire in the tail! But when every strange plane went through the same tactics it became clear that the “planes” were robot bombs and that night, upon seeing them flash across the sky, you realized that they were jet-propelled. There began a night-mare of nervous tension that became worse as the buzz bombs increased. A fire bell system in the billets chimed every time a buzz bomb came near, keeping us awake all night and keeping us nervous all day. Added to the local din was the roar of the approaching bomb, sounding like a whole fleet of heavy bombers passing close and shaking the air. Then the motor would speed up, cut dead, and shortly thereafter would come the distant (or close) boom and the characteristic pall of smoke drifting upwards. Things got so bad after a few days of this that we were sent out every day to assist in moving bombed-out families. We saw damage at first hand, and it wasn’t pretty. In the movies, whenever the soundtrack omitted a noise resembling a roar, people would become fidgety, wondering if it might not be a buzz bomb on his way. Richmond was hit. Wimbledon was right in line, as was all of South London. That was why we were glad to set off for the peace and quiet of the Normandy bridgehead. Later we learned that a buzz bomb had made a direct hit on the Kew billets, killing three and wounding many.

3 – Beachhead bombing. While we were near Isigny, the field next to ours was hit by a bomb one night. A fire was started but soon extinguished. No one was killed. We all settled back to sleep. Some minutes or hours later, while it was still dark, I was startled by a loud explosion from the same field across the road. We learned next morning that the belated explosion was a delayed-action bomb which killed several men.

Those are the only times I have been in danger.Some of our outfit were near Liege during the Arnheim Bulge last winter and suffered from a great number of buzz bombs, but none of our company has been killed by enemy action. I saw one of our officers killed in a truck accident back in Normandy. I believe he is our only loss by death. As is so frequently the case, he was our best-liked officer.

At this point in 1945, Dan is working for the Army surveying American Cemeteries throughout Europe. He will be marrying Paulette Van Leare of Calais, France, in July. The family is getting quite involved in the whole process.

At the present we are living in Maastricht in southern most Holland. Our billet is a Franciscan school — part of a convent. Our work takes us to Belgium and Germany quite frequently.

During the past two days many Dutch “slave laborers” have come to Maastreicht from Germany. For the most part they are from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which cities are so badly damaged that they cannot yet handle their displaced citizens. Truckload after truckload of dirty and decrepit but cheering and smiling man, and even women and children, have arrived in our neighborhoods to be billeted temporarily until homes can be found for them.


Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure as his embarkation moves closer.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dan’s Trip Abroad (3) – (July, 1943 – May, 1945) – On The Continent – May 13, 1945

This section of the letter tells of Dan’s activities and war experiences in his first few months in France.

Dan Guion

Daniel Beck Guion



We arrived on Omaha Beach on the afternoon of July 14th. Our first home was an orchard in Egreville, near Valognes. Almost all the towns in Normandie were gutted by the war. Valognes was a ghost town that first night we drove through. By the time we left (in Sept.) it was getting back to life but not to normal. From an orchard headquarters we went on several field jobs. I went first to a place near Isigny ( ) . It was close to the main landing beaches (Cherbourg was not yet in working order) and Jerry came over every night to mess up the shipping. Pup tents, we learned, don’t breed confidence as flak shelters. One of our men found a hole in his tent and a gash in the stock of his carbine where a piece of flak had stopped in for a visit. On the first night we had a poison gas scare. I had just left our field to look for fresh eggs when a G.I. truck came careening down the road, dust flying. A soldier was standing up yelling “GAS! GAS!” as loudly as possible. I came back to my tent and got my mask, although it seemed ridiculous that Jerry would try to drop gas on open fields several miles behind the lines. That night we heard waves of rumors that kept gas rattles buzzing. Carbines were being fired. We had orders to sleep with our masks on but later the order was made optional and off came my mask. Later we learned that the trouble had begun when some officer had mentioned that the weather was favorable for a gas attack!

My next field trip was on the Brest Peninsula. We did a job in Granville and another in St. Briene (?). People in St. Briene were overjoyed to see us. Their town had been spared destruction by the Jerries who evacuated several hours before the Yanks arrived.

In Normandie I did some local work in the vicinity of St. Couvour la Vicoute (?). On Sundays I visited Cherbourg.

In the middle of September I left for Paris and stayed for about a month after which I went to Calais (Bonningues les Calais, 6 miles south of Calais). Our only excitement there was our proximity to Dunkirk where we could hear bombs and artillery at infrequent intervals. Calais was bombed accidentally by the RAF one evening about 5:30. We heard the explosions at Bonningues but thought it just another series of demolitions that had been going on for months. When we drove to town that night we learned that one of the main sections of town had been blasted with a toll of 100 people killed and many hundreds wounded! For a town the size of Calais the toll was frightful. Paulette’s mother was visiting friends in that quarter. A bomb landed about 50 meters from her! She was not injured but was quite upset as you might imagine.

Tomorrow I’ll post the first of two segments on the dangers Dan had to deal with during his time in England and France.

Judy Guion 

Army Life – Dan’s Trip Abroad (2) – The Trip to France – (July, 1943) – May 13, 1945

This is the second part of a very long letter Dan wrote in May of 1945 recounting his initial trip to Europe during World War II. He was a Civil Engineer and Surveyor who probably worked on the creation of maps that were critical for D-Day.


Dan-uniform (2)

This is the second portion of a letter written by Dan in May of 1945 which includes a letter returned to him by the Censor concerning his trip from London over the English Channel to Normandie.

(The trip to France is told in the letter I wrote last summer in Normandie. The Censor sent the letter back to me, but I have saved it and here it is only a year late) –

No, I am not writing from a muddy foxhole but our living conditions are quite different from those we enjoyed in London. I am in fact, writing from an orchard surrounded by newly-raked piles of hay while the farmer and his entire family from little Josette to la Grand’mere, toil through long hours to gather hay for winter fodder. About a five minutes walk down the hill a brook winds through the fields and each evening after supper, curious passers-by can see a cluster of American soldiers performing their customary ablutions, almost “au natural”.

The saga of our journey from London is not marked by any outstanding event, although the mere circumstances sufficed to make the trip a kaleidoscope of thrills, ennui and hectic intervals. We were rather glad to leave London as you can rapidly imagine (buzz-bombs). We went first to a marshaling area where final preparations were made for the channel crossing. Two days later we were sent to the port of embarkation (Southhampton). The crossing was calm and the beach landing (Cannes) was effected without getting our feet wet. It was just another routine crossing for the Navy but to us it represented one of the biggest events of our lives. We saw many of the places that had played a role on D-Day, and even the fact that a contingent of WACS came across on the same convoy did not destroy the significance of it all.

From the beach we went to a “clearing area” where we “feasted” on K-rations while awaiting transportation to our new quarters. It was dark when we finally set out and we could see flashes and hear guns from the front. We arrived at our destination when it was still dark and curled up on the dew-soaked grass until dawn. Now we are well met up in our orchard home and next time I write I shall tell you how we get along with our new French friends.

Tomorrow, another segment of this long letter dealing with his activities from landing in July to the middle of August. The rest of the week will include segments  on various dangers “your little Dan has run (from) during the war”.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Pop, Old Boy – Lad Writes About Christmas, 1944 – May 6, 1945

Lad is currently in Marseilles, near the southern coast of France, with his Battalion.


Alfred Pebody Guion

6 May 1945

Pop – Old Boy !-

How are you honestly feeling? I’ve had a cold which I got some time last week, but it is diminishing in severity each day, and today I feel better than yesterday. In about a few days (that’s pinning it down, isn’t it?) it should be nearly gone. Maybe all gone.

Received a letter from Dan last night which he wrote on 19 Apr. so possibly by now you’ve already heard from him. Just in case, I think I’ll send the letter on and if you don’t want it you may give it to Marian. This week has been very much like one in March. Snow, rain and cold wind. A little sun. The first couple of days we had snow but since then, rain.

No letters from you this week, so I’ll probably get a couple during the coming week.

You remember, of course, the Ardennes break-through on Dec. 17th. That was a big factor in effecting our Christmas Cheer. Plans had been made for a party and a few of the fellows had made arrangements to eat with French families around here. At the time it happened, of course, we couldn’t write about it, and afterward, I decided to wait a while before telling it. Sometime after the break, paratroops landed in our vicinity, and all festivities were canceled, even to the point of limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages, which you can understand, I think, and that condition existed until after New Year’s Day. The most probable time of attack, naturally, was Christmas Eve or December 25th. Therefore, although we were outwardly cheerful, there was an undercurrent of strain and depression which killed all happiness during that time. I think most of us feel that Christmas – 1944, never arrived, in the modern sense of the word. I’m regretful, but happy, that an attack never materialized. But we were ready. It’s time to eat dinner, and I’ll have to check the generators before I go so – – keep your chin up, Dad, and take care of yourself. Until the next – “au revoir”.


Tomorrow and Sunday, more from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad (2) – Lad’s Comments to His Dad – April 29, 1945


This is the second half of a letter Lad wrote to his Dad from France. He makes comments on each of Grandpa’s letters that he has received.

APG - Al and Mike Hennigan, Langres, France, March, 1945

Lad and Mike Hennigan

in Langres, France in March, 1945

I wonder how you are able to write such a light-hearted letter in view of the conditions. You had a cold, the water heater had a leak and the furnace was out. All I can say is — “That’s my Pop”!!!

April 1 – Not much to mention about Ced’s letter other than, as usual, it is very interesting. And the box –Wow! Some box  !!!

Think I told you I’d received Paulette’s photo and I like her. Dave’s letters are both good and apparently were written before he hit Hawaii. He’s really getting to be a young man but it is hard to picture him. As I see him, he is about 12 or 13. Gee, I’m glad Erwin is


going to get a chance to come home. He was one of the few thousand boys who were caught unsuspectingly. To me, Easter Sunday was no different from any other day. I went to work and quit at the same times as usual.

April 8 — it’s funny, but bring up that little Spring House Cleaning bug produced quite a pang of homesickness. It’s odd to see what queer things remind one of his home and loved ones. Frequently they may have absolutely no material connection at all. Our speculations about us and China are not cricket – so, no comments.

April 15 — For having no letters to quote, according to your first paragraph, you did very well with this one. Dan’s letter is most interesting and although I’m nowhere near as


near the front as Dan is, we still frequently see bombers flying north or eastward and later returning to their bases. Really, it is quite a sight. So Benny Slawson has been decorated. I’m glad to hear that, but, my gosh, doesn’t time fly. I still can’t believe that he is 25. And Harold Kircher — at least he came through the sickness O.K. and received his commission. Did you make Hamden to see the wedding? Give him my regards if you see him before I do. As to hiding behind a technicality in forgetting my letter, your vindication is complete. As to expressing or “exhibiting any of the tokens of esteem” you so desire, just your weekly letters are entirely sufficient. Receipt of a box from home is more of a satisfaction


of desires, as far as I’m concerned, then a “token of esteem”. I know, in my mind, that you always desire to do something for me, and just that knowledge, even without any action on your part, is all I ask for and need. A concrete example is unnecessary. But if you must do something, write your letters, weekly, and that should and will suffice.

I certainly don’t intend to let Ven.-Pete (Venezuela-Petroleum)or Socony Socony-Vacuum Oil Company) forget me until I know what I want, so I’m writing occasionally. Thanks.

Give my love or regards to everybody, and keep your fingers crossed, knock on wood or anything else, and maybe we’ll all be home before too long (ingly).



Tomorrow I’ll be posting a letter from Biss to Ced, who has been living and working in Anchorage, Alaska for almost 5 years. I don’t believe he has made a trip to Trumbull since he and Dan drove to Alaska in June, 1940.

Judy Guion