World War II Army Adventure (33) News of a Furlough – June 3, 1944

My Uncle, David Peabody Guion, enlisted in the Army and was sworn in on January 15th, 1944. He is currently at Camp Crowder, Missouri, but as this letter and postcard state, he will be arriving home on a furlough that happens to coincide with the reading of his Grandmother Peabody’s will and his Graduating Class Ceremony, which he hopes to attend. He is guardedly optimistic about the whole thing.

 

 

 

COMPANY D, 36th SIGNAL TRAINING BATTALION

Army Service Forces Training Center (RTC)

Camp Crowder, Missouri

June 3, 1944

Mr. Alfred D. Guion

871 Main Street

Bridgeport, Conn

 

Dear Sir:

In reference to your request for a furlough for your son, Pvt. David P. Guion, 21409102, of this Organization.

This matter has been taken care of and I will see to it that your son will have a furlough in such time as to allow his presence in court on the 21st of June, 1944.

Further correspondence on your part will not be necessary.

Sincerely yours,

 

GILBERT D. STARNES,

Captain, Signal Corps,

Commanding

rbc/GDS

 

 

 

Dear Dad —

Will be home by the 21st. I don’t know anything except that my application went through. (over)

I actually can’t be positively sure until I’m on my way — so please don’t say too much about it ’til I get there — but as things are now — I’ll see you on the 21st.

Tomorrow, another letter from Dave asking for a box of stationery and the fact that El (his girlfriend, Eleanor Kintop) was belittling the Army Organization 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The Traveling Clan – Aug, 1943

Blog Timeline - 1941-1943

We continue the story of the Traveling Guions in 1943. Both Dan and Dick are apparently overseas, Lad is coming home on furlough and Grandpa’s sister, Elsie, has come up from New York to celebrate her birthday.

Trumbull Conn.

August 22, 1943

Dear Travelers all:

There is something that tells me that now two of the Guion clan “have sailed the ocean blue”, and while no evidence has yet reached us that they arrived on foreign shores, the absence of all word from Dick and Dan over so long a period seems to tell its own story, as for us back here —

A life on the ocean wave,

A home on the rolling deep,

Where the scattered waters rave

And the winds their revels keep.

Like an eagle caged, I pine

On this dull, unchanging shore.

Oh, give me the flashing brine,

The spray and the tempests roar.

I suppose it’s not permissible for the folks back home to know just where Uncle Sam has ordered you boys to be stationed, whether in Sylvia’s native land, or Woolard’s birthplace or the land of Kathryn Wharton’s ancestors, but where ever it be, I hope you arrived safely without excitement more than enough to make the journey interesting.

This seems to be the travelingest family! A letter from Lad, and a right welcome one to, reveals that his furlough has at last been verified and unless something unforeseen occurs, he starts on Friday, September 3rd  and comes by train, arriving four days or so later. He has to be back on September 17th, which doesn’t give him a chance to get fed up too much on home routine. He gives some interesting routine that fills his days, and how he does fling time about. Why, years mean absolutely nothing to him. Imagine being on duty since 1730! You’d think the generals like Washington or Grant or Pershing would see that a fellow got a better break than that. It positively makes me feel old to think of a son of mine serving that long at a stretch. Oh, well, if things keep up at their present pace, the war will be over before so very long (I’m still holding out to my original guess that 1943 will see the end of the European struggle), and by that time maybe the Japs will have seen the wisdom of sneaking away from other places besides Kiska.

Marian Irwin - 1942

Marian Irwin – 1942

Thanks Lad, for the picture of Marian. Too bad she can’t get a furlough too and pay a visit to Connecticut.

And Dave, too, is fixin’ to do some land traveling. He had a brainstorm the other day and for the past week has been busy with plans on dolling up the old Waverley electric, putting in a motorcycle motor, locating, if possible, some old model T tires, etc. Privately, I have my doubts but Harry Burr and Arnold (Gibson) think it is possible to make it run. Anyway it will keep him out of mischief and enlarge his knowledge of mechanics. He plans to travel with it to Westport when it is in running condition and call on James Melton who has an exact replica, if pictures published in the Sunday papers are to be believed.

It’s almost 3 weeks since any word has come from traveler Ced. Maybe he’s miffed because for the last several weeks letters have been addressed to him as Dangerous Dan McGraw Guion, Fearless Fosdick Guion, Little Orphan Ceddie, Invisible Scarlet O’Neil Guion, etc., which may give Alaskan postal authorities just an inkling of what we think of him back home. Of course, again, I may have him completely baffled and nonplussed at his failure to think of any names quite so clever to get back at me with, but shucks, Ced, don’t let that stop you.

And now dear children, I have quite a pleasant surprise for you. As you know, August 22nd  is Elsie’s birthday (Incidentally Ced, I never have any trouble remembering your PO Box number on this account). She is making a personal appearance. It gives me great pleasure to introduce …..MISS GUION.

Thank you, thank you, Maestro Guion and howdy Lad, Dan, Ced and Dick. To make this an extra special occasion for myself, I came up Friday night and caught the 10:30 bus. No, I’m not celebrating my birthday anymore! But my brother did in his usual, expansive style.

My home life remains the same as usual – going back and forth to the Shop. I suppose I’m doing my bit by staying on the job, but I’d feel better if the commodities we deal in and were vital to the war effort. I’d feel better if I was riveting something or working on airplanes with the possibility of being sent overseas to do something there or preparing to work overseas in the postwar period. I hate to think of the war coming and going without my having put my finger into the war itself somewhere or somehow.

I’m still at the Tudor and trying to get along on less and less – what with increasing taxes and the increasing cost of food. Restaurant food is so high and the quality so correspondingly low that we try to eat home as much as possible but the heat of summer makes it impossible to keep perishable things without ice. A young woman comes to us every day and helps us until about 7:30 P.M. she comes at 5:00 P.M., after her daytime job in an architect’s office. On Sunday she goes to New Jersey and on Monday brings us nice ripe tomatoes, string beans, squash, etc. Not all at once, of course. But we enjoy the fresh vegetables. It’s a rare treat.

Just now Aunt Betty and I and Smoky took a walk up to the ol’ swimmin’ hole. It looks deserted – weeds are overgrown all around, there’s not too much water running on account of little rain lately, and it looks forgotten. Smoky barked a cow out of her afternoon nap, splashed in the water several times and was the only one to show real activity.

Well, here’s wishing you and you and you and you the best of good fortune in the days ahead. I wish I were on the seas going places. So long,

Elsie

Jean has been spending the last few days at Fairfield Beach with Barbara and some other girls. I think the cottage is owned by Helen Berger. Anyway, she is one of the party. Jean lives in hourly anticipation of hearing from Dick. I had definite instructions to call her anytime of the day or night if word should come from her M.P. (Married partner), but to date this has not been necessary.

Things go on here in the regular routine. Everything, both inside and outside the house, remains about the same. Meantime, Ced, the little blue boats in your room continue to sail on their interminable journeys to unnamed ports, awaiting the day when you will, to the haven of Trumbull from distant Alaska appear, and plop will go the anchor for a bit of shore leave. Until that time, keeping the beacon light burning bright will be the job of your old lighthouse keeper (and cook),

DAD

I won’t make you wait. We’ll stay right here in August and September, 1943, until Lad had come and gone on his furlough. Come back tomorrow for more of this special time in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Writing Thefts – Aug, 1943

Blog Timeline - 1941-1943

In this week’s letter, Grandpa admits that he doesn’t have much local news to share so he includes excerpts from letters he’s received from his sons who are scattered around the country. We hear from both Lad and Ced.

Trumbull Conn,

August 8, 1943

Dear Sonny: (That means YOU)

In one of Washington Irving’s delightful little essays (from The Sketch Book, I think) there is a fanciful tale of authors whose principal writings consist of thefts from the works of others. As I sit down this afternoon to do my weekly stint, there seems to be so little news to relate that most of this letter will probably consist of extracts from letters received from Lad and Ced – – no word having yet reached us from the other progeny, presumably en route to axe and axis.

Ced in Alaska

Ced in Alaska

You will be interested in Ced’s “Statement of Views”, “I still wish we had been able to avoid this war, but as one looks back now, it seems as though the groundwork for the present conflict was laid in the peace settlements of the previous war. Although diplomatic action for peace is theoretically best, I see now that things had gone so far by 1940 – 41 for it to work successfully. With this fact so obvious today it is only common sense which leads me to feel that applied military action was the only method which could achieve a favorable condition for a settlement of the worlds and our problems. Therefore, should the Selective Service call me now I would go into it to do the best I could, though not with joy. Allied victory now appears to be the only road to a pleasant and secure future. My fervent hope is that when victory does, past experience will make Allied leaders wiser and thus prevent another bungling of peace terms and postwar adjustments. For myself, I still hate the thought of killing another man, and hate to think of being partly responsible for the suffering which others would have to undergo at my hands, yet when you figure it out, by fighting and winning the war, there are probably fewer people who, in the long run, would have to suffer. All the above leaves me idealistically unchanged but willing to discard some of this idealism temporarily as a means to an end, which it is hoped will make it possible for all to live in a more peaceful and secure state throughout the world.”

Lad says: “I guess I never told you that my camera and all equipment (about $600) and my portable radio were stolen. I sort of miss both things. My car, however, is O.K., except that a couple of weeks ago I had to put in a new front-end ($23) and as soon as I can get $38 more will put in a new clutch.”

Which reminds me, Lad, that the clutch on my Buick seems to be slipping. Is it possible to have it repaired, do you suppose, or will I have to spend $38 also? The opening comments in your letter regarding the difficulty you are having finding a suitable pen leads me quite naturally to ask, “Why do you not use the pen I sent you? Is it lost, stolen or don’t you like it, or didn’t happen to have along with you?”

I want to say right here and now I know I’m going to like Marian. In fact you can tell her for me that she is a girl after my own heart. Besides being attractive and good

Marian Irwin

Marian Irwin

company as you have formerly stated, she is evidently kind, generous and thoughtful of others. Too bad you lost your camera or you might send me a snapshot of her. Your letter also mentions that Junior goes to Maryland in three or four weeks and you will probably get your furlough shortly after. As I figured, that will mean the latter part of August. As soon as you know any more definite date, don’t wait for Marian to suggest your writing to me. What an A-1 birthday present it would be if you could be here on September 11.

Butch and Marty both have Whooping Cough, but because of the inoculation, will get off easy. Grandma and Dorothy are still with us but Grandma expects to get a new pair of glasses Tuesday or Wednesday and will not move to New York until after that happens. Do you remember Harold La Tour? He is back from South America and now is with the daily news.

Ta ta for now.

DAD

Tomorrow I’ll be posting another segment of A Tribute To Arla, where we learn more about the Mother of the children we’ve been reading about. After that, we’ll have another letter from Lad before moving back in time to find out what’s been going on in 1939, both in Trumbull and in Venezuela.

Judy Guion