World War II Army Adventure (111) – Dear Dad – Things Happen Every Day – September 4, 1945

September 4, 1945


Dear Dad –

Here I am again.  Things happen every day which make it wise for me to keep you up on the news.  Today they stopped censorship of mail which gives me a chance to say some things which, until now, I’ve been afraid to mention.

The first you have probably already guessed.  That is that I was out in the harbor on L-Day at Okinawa.  That was Easter Sunday, a day I’ll never forget.  The fleet on the east side of the island came off at dawn and then at 8:30 the real invasion went ashore.  It was a beautiful, clear day and we stood on the deck watching the barges go by with the Marines in them.  On shore, we could see the little dots advance up the beach into the brush.  Later on, we watched the vehicles – tanks, etc., go in.  In the air over the island we watched American planes dive straight down out of sight and then come up again in a matter of seconds.  There was I haze over the spot.  They were dive-bombing Yontan Airport.

The other important thing I want to tell you is far more saddening to me.  A group of the boys went down to Shuri – I think it was the last Sunday in July – souvenir-hunting.  There were nine of them, I think. Shuri was the scene of hard, but swift, fighting.  Naturally there was a lot of explosive stuff left there by the swift advancing army; minefields weren’t cleared, and duds were still left lying around without being detonated.  The supply sergeant, who is a wild sort of guy, saw a Jap dud and raised his foot to kick it.  Al Rundel, who was in the class back at Crowder with Hensley, Zimet, Arnold, myself, and a lot of the other guys who were still with us up till the time we left for Manila, told him not to kick the dud, and when he saw him starting to kick it anyway, he fell to the ground.  Well, the dud went off, throwing shrapnel all over the place.  Bernie Arnold was in front of Sgt. Hamm, the guy who kicked the dud.  Bernie caught most of the shrapnel right in his stomach, and he screamed and fell to the ground.  He died about an hour later.  There were three of us who were quite good friends – Hensley, the one that I told you about who had been in a traveling show, Bernie, and myself.  Hensley was there and saw the whole thing.  He gave me the complete story which wasn’t very pretty.  I’ll never forgive Sgt. Hamm for the damned-fool thing he did.  If we’ve seen one training film on leaving duds and charges alone, we’ve seen fifty.  He escaped with a battered-up foot.  Some of the other damage done included leg injuries to one of the cooks, complete parallelization to one arm of the supply clerk, and other cuts and bruises to some of the others.  But, as usual, it was the best man of all that had to die.  Hensley was on a path just below the spot on the hill where the explosion occurred and saw the whole thing.


Naturally, I felt terrible about the accident and loss of Bernie.  I went to church that night and that helped, but not enough.  I felt pretty badly for a number of days.  All I could think of was the picture he had showed me so many times of him, his wife, and three-year-old daughter together sitting in front of the Christmas tree the year before last.  To top it all off, about two days later, I got a letter from Ellie, asking me to thank Bernie for the bracelet he had made from a Jap plane which I had sent to her.  Bernie was no longer there to thank.  He missed the end of the war only by a few months.  He was 38 and probably would be on his way home now.

I’m doing Crypt work here, or at least I will be when XXIV Corps get set up in Korea in a few days.  We will handle the communications between GHQ and XXIV Corps. I think the rest of the company will be in Korea.  We are no longer a monitoring company and now have reverted back to a plain service company.

When the rest of the company landed on Okinawa, Lt. Greenberger, officer in charge of message center (he’s the same one that had the DD team back in F-847 last summer), was going to give me the T/4 that was open on our team.  At that time he didn’t know how good Salamone was, and Mendendorp told him that Salamone was more deserving of the rating (which was very true – he’s really brilliant and anyway, he’d been in grade longer than I).  So Lt. Greenberger gave Sallie the rating and told me that when the chance permitted, he’d see if he could promote me.  That chance hadn’t come as yet, but right now I’m sweating out a T/4 on this team. Lt. Greenberger is in charge of this group here in Manila, so my chances are fairly good, I think.  All I’ve got to do is stay on the ball.  The only trouble is, it’s been so long since I’ve worked in a code room.  Up in Okie I was working in the compilation section – far from any code machine.  All I can do is to keep my fingers crossed.

Well, I guess this is enough for tonight – in fact, by this time, you should have enough for me to last two weeks.

All my love to your Aunt, daughter and yourself,


Tomorrow, I will be posting a week of letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian are in Jackson, Mississippi. Dan is in France, Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick in Santeliza, Brazil and Dave is at Camp Crowder in Missouri. I will post letters from Rusty Huerlin to Ced about an adventure he had and two letters from Marian to Grandpa, telling of their recent activities in Jackson.

Judy Guion


World War II Army Adventure (109) – Dear Folks – Comments On Letters Received – August 31, 1945


August 31, 1945


Dear Folks – 

I’ve got two letters hear from Ye Olde Homesteade that I shall try to answer at long last.  Things have finally settled down here and I am now able to spend a little time in getting caught up on my letter-writing.  The only thing that is impairing that now, is that there is so much to see in Manila.  So far, we’ve just stuck to the center of town and Intramuras, the old Spanish section.  We’ve yet to see the out-lying towns and villages, the president’s palace, Corregidor and but tan (by boat), and lots of other interesting things.  Enough of all this –

First, your letter written on August 5th. It’s long and full of quotes, so I should be able to find some things upon which I can comment.  Ced might be interested in knowing that I did know that Gen. Buckner was command in Alaska and that he had probably spent a good deal of the time right there in Anchorage – I just never got around to mentioning it.  However, I didn’t know that Rusty knew him quite well – but that wouldn’t have made much difference – I couldn’t have gone up to him and talked about Rusty and Anchorage – that sort of thing just isn’t done in the Army.

Lad sounds as if he might be on his way over here.  If so, there is a good possibility he’ll come to Luzon – everyone seems to be here.  – That is, everyone but MacArthur and some of his boys who left a couple of days ago for Tokyo.  Some of the boys in our outfit here saw MacArthur the day after we got here.  They said they saw him at his headquarters standing on a balcony without his hat.  They claim he’s bald – perhaps that’s why we always see pictures of him with his hat on.  Why I should mention this, I don’t know – there is certainly no crime in being bald – it’s just a little side-light – I guess.

Ever since I got this letter, I’ve been trying to figure out what made Dick write to you.  I think  now I’ve got the answer.  Jean was about to be with him again and he figured that she would bawl the daylights out of him for not writing to you for so long – so to avoid any trouble he wrote you a short note to clear himself.  Some one of these days I’m going to write you a letter, Dick, and then I’ll tell you what I really think of your correspondence in the past.

Along with this letter you sent an article about new raids on Okinawa.  I remember them, and it seems that they came as a final surge before the end.  In the same article there is mention of some 10,000 Japs left on Okinawa.  The next day that report was corrected to read 1,000 Japs still hiding out.

Tomorrow I will post the other half of this letter. 

Judy Guion 

World War II Army Adventure (108) – Neglected My Letter Writing – July 3, 1945

I believe this is the last letter that is of the chronological sequence. Next weekend, I will be posting letters from Manila.

July 3, 1945


Wull, heer I yam –

Guess I’ve kind of neglected my letter writing for a while, but I’m still here sitting on top of the world.

I got your letter of June 17th some time ago.  I might add that your letters are finally coming through fairly fast.  The cause – APO 902.

Dan’s letter was quite interesting.  I couldn’t help but notice how much his trip was like mine.  The payoff was when I read that a Jerry had come over and bombed his area one night – coming pretty close to his tent and putting shrapnel holes in the tarps and tents.  If you will recall, the same thing happened to me – and I was as scared as Dan (naturally).

I’m glad to hear Dan has so many points.  Rumor has it that the points may soon be dropped to 78 for discharge.  That would bring him to with in a few points below discharge status.  At the same time, I can’t help but wish he were here.  I know he’d get a big kick out of studying the customs of the people here.  They’re so different from the people of the Western world.  Europeans and Americans have a little more in common than do the Orientals.  I never had any desire to see any part of the Orient – but now I’m hoping to move on.  We may never go any further than here – but if we do, I’ll be ready to move on.

Another reason why I’d like to get out of here is that now that summer has set in, it’s unbearably hot and muggy.  This place would be hot enough for Lad, I’m sure.

I’m taking notes so that someday I can sit down and bang out a few short shorts on Okinawa. I’m getting my material from what I’ve seen myself and from some articles that Bernie Arnold wrote and is writing.

There is a fellow in our tent (Marv King) who is very bitter against the Japs.  He’s got a very simple mind and doesn’t see very far.  His theory is to destroy the Japanese race.  I’ve had long arguments with him – my theory being that as long as you try to keep peace with force, you’ll always have wars.  I keep telling him that the solution is to teach the Japs our way of living, to teach them Christianity.  He can’t see it – or rather – he won’t see it.  It’s for this reason that I was quite interested in Dan’s disapproval of the “non–fraternization” policy in Europe.  I didn’t know it existed and I agree whole-heartedly with Dan.  A directive came out of Tenth Army Headquarters to the effect that we were not to give the native children any candy or cigarettes, but that wasn’t because we weren’t to associate with them, it was just that the Okinawans were getting spoiled, and like dogs, wouldn’t do anything without payment in candy and smokes.  On the whole, were trying to build the good-will of the people here.  It sounds like a much better idea to me.

I was glad to find that none of my “travelogue” letter was cut.  I was a bit worried that it would be.

Today I got yours of June 24th.  Thanks for the clippings on graduation.  There are quite a few kids mentioned that I knew.

So Ced finally broke down and wrote, huh? Well, that letter was worth waiting for.  Boy, how I’d like to be up with him now.  Okinawa is slowly losing some of its charm.  It’s hot (am I repeating myself?),  I’ve seen most of the island and it’s no longer a wonderland to me, and it’s getting more and more like the Army in the States – which I don’t like as much as the field life.  Too many rules and inspections for me.  But, as I’ve already stated, I’m on top of the world and really don’t have cause for complaint.

Maybe Ced can take a run down here to see me someday if he can get past the airplane patrols without identification.  There is certainly enough land to put a plane down on here now.  I read today that Okinawan-based planes hit targets in Japan a couple of nights ago.  Sounds good.  Were only 350 miles from Kyushu Island.  Did I tell you that radio Okinawa’s motto is “A stones throw from Tokio.”  Very appropriate.

Well, it’s July 4th now – being twenty minutes to one – so I guess I had better get to bed.

Good night and all stuff like that there,


Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in the summer of 1945. The big story will be Dan’s wedding to Paulette Van Laere in Calais, France. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (107) – Dear Marian – No Use Trying To Hide It – July 20, 1945

July 20, 1945


Dear Marian –

I guess there’s no use trying to hide it, this is really a letter to Lizzie (Aunt Betty), Pop, and Ada (Ada Jean (Mortensen), Mrs. Richard Guion)  as well as you, but then, I do have some things to say that will be directed more to you than to the rest.  Guess I’ll start off with those things.

It concerns the V-Mail which I received from you today, along with Dad’s package of mosquito netting, popcorn, candy, and gum.  (Thanks, Pop).  In your epistle you said, and I quote, “Sounds as though (pardon me – you said ‘tho’) you aren’t having too bad a time.  If we can depend upon those cheerful letters you’ve been writing – you are mighty convincing anyway even thou (pardon me – you said ‘tho’) it isn’t quite as nice as you picture it.  (At this point in the quote something is said about we boys doing all the fighting and keeping up the morale on the home front at the same time.  Because I am such a modest fellow, I shan’t, quote it directly).  (Here there (sounds funny doesn’t it, but I guess it’s correct) is some more flattery about my description of Okinawa (by the way, we, in the Army, have a little phrase which I almost used instead of saying flattery – but because I know Aunt Betty has such faith in my character, I refrained from using it) (golly, I’m not getting far with my quotation, am I – – let us proceed) (got to go back and find out where I left off) (this is a good way of making a short letter long, isn’t it) (leave us go on) (can’t find out where I left off – one moment please) (Oh, now I have it – it’s a new paragraph)  (Wait ’til I move the carriage back, double space, indent, and go on)

(I’m once again quoting) – “(pardon me, I was wrong – it isn’t a new paragraph – However, I shall continue anyway) “…. (Indicates I’m picking up in the middle of a sentence) and I love your blithe remark (here I quote you quoting me ‘Don’t worry – the dangers all over here'(at this point you put in parentheses which

-2- (little out of line isn’t it!)

enclose – just a minute, the papers in crooked – that’s better, don’t you think?  – Let’s see – Oh, yes, — which enclose an original “Oh, yeah”?)

At this point you may get out a piece of paper and write down what I’ve just written leaving out the irrelevant (don’t know if it’s spelled right – but it’s a big word and would cost a lot of money if the servicemen weren’t given special consideration) (note to Pop – No, the beer hasn’t arrived in the island yet, so that isn’t the cause of this long discourse – in fact when I started out – it wasn’t going to be anything like this.  I’ll have to quit soon and I still won’t have said what I started to say – much less, all the other things I was going to say – – sounds like old times, doesn’t it?)  Parts.  (That parts looks awfully lonesome, doesn’t it?  It’s supposed to be connected with the irrelevant that appears nearer the top of this page)

Anyway, the whole point is this – what I have written in my past letters have had so little coloring added to them that they may actually be taken as written.  However, I can paint a more war-like picture, but it will take more coloring (drab colors) then my past letters have contained.  For instance, I can tell you of the typhoon we had last night.  I can make it sound really bad, but the truth is, – I slept like a log all through it, waking only once from the pelting of the wind-driven rain on our tent, – keeping perfectly dry, and when I woke up this morning, I found that there had been no damage done.  Actually, it wasn’t a real typhoon.  I say “typhoon” because one was supposed to hit us last night – but I guess it just phizzled down to a hard rain with a driving wind.  I could also tell you of our rat trap which catches a rat or mouse every night – it might sound bad, but it really isn’t.  They aren’t in your blankets when you go to bed at night – so it’s okay.  Then there are huge spiders – two of which we caught alive – that have a wing-spread of at least  6 inches.  explanation: we gassed both of them with an “M-1 mosquito bomb” and after they had joined their ancestors (in the Oriental fashion) we spread their legs out and the diameter of the circular pattern which they made on the ground measured about 6 inches.  The body of these “Frankenstein’s” are about the size of a large grasshopper.  We stuck a small stick in front of one of them as he lay in a helmet (this was before we gave him the “gas treatment”) and he quickly (like a bolt of lightning) (sounds poetic, doesn’t it) (okay, I’ll quit sticking in these quotes – as much for the sensors sake as for yours) snatched at it with a pair of claws or pincers he had at his head.  The wood was soft pine and the pincers dug right into the wood.  He seemed to emit some sort of juice – whether or not it was poisonous or not, I don’t know.  I didn’t ask him nor did I stick my finger down there to find out.

So there you have it.  The typhoon was harmless, and if you keep away from the spiders, they’re harmless, too.  The Japs seem to have gotten over the joy of coming down here to see where our anti–aircraft guns are and how accurate our gunners are.  They have come to the conclusion, and rightly so, that we aren’t playing games and that they lose about 99 out of every hundred planes and pilots they send down here.  As you can see, it isn’t very profitable for them.  We had a couple of scares concerning Japanese parachutists – but nothing ever came of it.  They tried a couple of counter-invasions but found that they lacked the Yankee technique or equipment.  At any rate, the invasions didn’t get very far.

Tonight Aunt Betty will dream of all sorts of things that will look like a Dali surrealist “picture”.  A maze of rats with Japanese faces, huge swirling typhoons, coming out of the exhaust of Nipponese planes, and (pardon me, but at this point one of the guys sneaked up behind me and went “Ahg-gh-gh” – I guess you know, he scared the wits out of me.)  Soldiers coming out of the sea riding on huge spiders, and over the top of the whole thing will be a huge parachute with a pair of claws hanging from the base slowly descending on our hero (that’s me).  What will actually be happening is that all be sitting at an outdoor theater under a beautifully clear semi-tropical sky, with a Coke in one hand, and an “Oh Henry” bar in the other, watching Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall go through a rip-snorting love scene.

See how silly it all is?  I still claim I’m safer here than I would be at the corner of Main and Fairfield in Bridgeport.

Anyway, Dad will vouch for my honesty (don’t let me down, Pop)

I was going to talk about other things, but now it’s too late so I’ll have to put it in another letter.

So now I’ll quit with the fleeting but sincere “Thanks” for the package, Dad.



This letter is pure Uncle Dave – no filter – everything and anything he is thinking comes out of his mouth or get’s written down on paper. I hope you enjoyed these random thoughts of a 19-year-old overseas during World War II.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in the fall of 1944. Lad and Marian have just been moved to Jackson, Mississippi, Dan is in France, Dick is in Brazil, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska and Dave is still at Camp Crowder, Missouri, getting advanced training.  

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (106) – Island Officially Declared Secure – June 21, 1945

As I pulled out the letters for this weekend’s post from my 1945-1946 binder, I discovered that there were several letters out of chronological order.  These letters shed some more light on the situation during the last days of the war on Okinawa, so I have decided to post them out of order.

There is no salutation or date on this letter.

On Thursday afternoon, June 21st at 1500 Okinawa time, the Island was officially declared as being secure.  All organized Jap resistance had ceased, and only the mopping-up of the island was left to be done – at the South end of the Island but there were still snipers – hiding in the caves – harassing the victorious American forces.

At 1000 Friday morning, in the Tenth Army HQ.  Area, Old Glory was raised on a beautiful tall, white flagpole.  A Marine division band played a few selections before the ceremony started.  Someone made a speech to open the ceremonies – who made it or what they said – I don’t know.  I was across the street out of hearing distance.  After the speech, a bugle sounded and a six-man color-guard marched up to a position in front of the pole.  A high-ranking officer stepped forward, gave some commands to the color-guard, turned and stepped back.  The two center men in the color-guard advanced to the pole, and put the flag in position.  When all was set, the band played the first majestic strains of the national anthem.  All the soldiers and officers present snapped to attention and presented arms.  Flashbulbs and cameras clicked so that this moment of victory would be preserved and go down in history.  It was the bloodiest of all the Pacific battles to date.  The Japs were strong and the terrain was suitable for the island’s defense.

The ceremony was simple and short.  But it was thrilling.  Man had fought and died and suffered so that this moment would become a reality.  Now the flag is flying every day – beautiful and bright.

In passing the area one can’t help but notice the flag.  On the island everything is drab in color – dark green foliage, brown dirt, odd clothing, Brown tents, OK tin cans, brown roads, all the same.  But standing high and fluttering in the breeze stands one bright symbol – the American flag – America herself – red, white, and blue.

The inhabitant of Okinawa is a cross-breed between the people of China and Japan.  They are short in stature and not very handsome.  As is the case of most Orientals, their age is very hard to guess.  And Okinawan has to be either very young or very old if one is to fathom his age closely.

Okinawa was originally inhabited by the Chinese but later, a few hundred years ago, Japan conquered the Island and a number of Japanese migrated there.  Thus there is a cross between the cultures of the two races.

The Island is approximately 60 miles long, and anywhere from 2 to 8 miles wide.  Because of the Japanese Current, the island’s climate is semi-tropical.  Pine trees, palms, and bamboos grow side by side.  The terrain is uneven, having rolling hills, and fertile valleys.  Every inch of land suitable for cultivation has rice, grain, or vegetables planted on it in well-laid-out plots.  Irrigation is needed in some parts of the island – especially where there are rice paddies.

The old Chinese custom of burying the dead in vaults is practiced throughout the Island, and the hills are studded with these crude concrete and stone structures.

Small towns and villages cover the island, but only two settlements are considered as cities: Shuri (,_Okinawa ), with 14,000 residents and Naha, ( ) with 65,000, Naha is the capital of the Ryukyu group.

Tomorrow a letter from Dave dated July 20, 1945, again from Okinawa, addressed to Marian. I believe the family really enjoyed this letter because it is written just as if Dave was talking to them. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (101) – Dear Dad – Okinawa Has Lost It’s Quaintness – July 24, 1945


David Peabody Guion


Tuesday, July 24, 1945

Okinawa – Shima

Rec’d. 8/1/45

Dear Dad –

Got your letter written July 8. I’m glad to see you’re giving thought to this business of seeing the world.  About having someone take care of the house.  I guess I’ll have to get married.  Would that solve the problem?

if all the boys moved off to other parts of the world with their families, I could stay there at “Ye Olde Homesteade” with you and the business, and we could keep things going.  Then, no matter what may happen, there’d always be a home to come back to.  My vote is to keep the house by all means !! If, on the other hand, one of the married factions of the family should stay on in Connecticut and want to live in the house, you and I could set up house in another place.  As far as I can see, there are no problems.

One thing I’d like to have, Dad, is a camera.  I suppose that’s an impossible item to get back there – that’s why I’ve put off asking for one ’til now.  I’ve been hoping to get my hands on one here, but it seems to be hopeless.  I don’t want a good one – just any old thing that will record the places I’ve been and seen.

Yesterday I saw Naha for the first time – what a mess !! The whole countryside down there is torn up.  You’d never know that Naha was as big as it was.

I enjoyed all three of the clippings you sent – I just got in touch with John Vichioli.  He says he’ll be home soon.

So far we haven’t seen anything in the way of typhoons.  We get reports of them every so often.  For instance, we had a report of the typhoon that hit the Naval Force off Japan.  It was coming up from the south – but missed us.

The article on Air Force Engineers doesn’t apply to us.

Okinawa has lost a good deal of its quaintness.  Native buildings, and in some cases, whole villages are gone.  New, well-made roads have been cut, and as the article stated – air-fields are going up all over.  It seems every time they find 3 square feet of flat land, they start to build a strip on it.  I saw my first B-29 at Kadena Airfield the other day.  Are they beautiful!! On the side door in the rear of the monster these words were inscribed: “Through These Portals Pass The World’s Best Pilots”.

I got a letter from Howard Mehigan yesterday in which he says he’s finishing up his flight training for the Navy – and hopes to be out here soon.

Okinawa, having lost it’s quaintness in my eyes, is becoming less enjoyable to me.  It’s been awfully hot and I’d welcome cooler weather – even at the expense of meeting the Imperial Emperor at his home – provided, of course, that Gen. Stillwell is right in front of me.  Don’t try to read between the lines and guess I’ll be moving soon.  We’ve received no orders.  But just in case I should ever stop writing for a month or so – you can expect the letter following the elapsed time to be full of new sites in a new land.

Well, I want to get off a few more letters this afternoon, so –

Adios ’til the next time –


After thought –

In July 9th issue of Time magazine, there is a picture of a landing spot on Okinawa.  It’s a scene of LST’s and equipment on the beach.  This is the point at which I came into Okinawa.  I thought it might be interesting for you to see this spot.  The picture was taken from what was then a narrow, winding, dirt road.  At the time I landed there wasn’t as much equipment on the beach as the picture shows, however.

The picture is an article about reconversion under Vinson, whose picture appears on the front cover.

If you’d like, you could save some pictures of Okinawa.  As I don’t have a camera, maybe I could tell you something of the island through the pictures you save.


World War II Army Adventure (100) Here I Am Again (2) – Kids Are The Same The World Over – July 21, 1945

David Peabody Guion


I wanted to mention again that kids are the same the world over.  You’ve got to be awfully careful how you treat the youngsters because they are the tomorrow – and you’ve got to be awfully careful how you treat the older ones because they are the ones who form the minds of the younger ones.  If you lorded over those you have conquered, they won’t like you any the better for it.  The kids here, and I’ve no doubt it’s true in Europe, run to see the big implements of war roll down the dusty country road or wiggle through the narrow streets.  It’s all new to them and they are inquisitive.  And who in this world doesn’t like to get a smile and a wave from a stranger as well as a friend?  These Okinawans will never forget the American soldier.  They’ll never forget what the Japs told them of us and they’ll never forget how wrong the Japs were.  They were told we were pirates, killers, and pilferers.  The Okinawans emerged from their hide-outs in the caves and found the American soldier with his carbine on his shoulder where it wouldn’t harm and his hand out-stretched with the palm upholding candy and cigarettes.  They found him with a smile on his face.  They found him with wonderful equipment that saved the lives of Okinawans who would ordinarily have died if the Japs had been here.  True, the invader had brought terror with him, he had burned the houses, had ruined the high farmland, had veritably destroyed every bit of quaintness on their island – but after it was all over, he brought food, medical supplies, protection – not only for himself, but for the natives also – he shared what he had.


Now tell me, Dad, who are the children going to be that remember the smile; and who are the ones that are going to remember what he imagines is a cruel eye and a poker face.  You will be able to see this island, Dad, after the war is over – you will be able to see all the things I’ve written about, hills, valleys, customs, streams, and people – you will be able to say one of my sons fought the Nip here and in return you will get a smile from these simple folk.  But will you be able to say the same thing in Europe?  Will you get a smile from those people when you say that two of your sons came over and fought on their land?  – Truthfully, I can’t answer these questions, because I don’t know just how far this non–fraternization policy is going in Germany.  But somehow, I don’t think you will be as welcomed in Europe as you will be here when you say your sons were in the war.  I only hope we can treat the Jap the same way as we’ve treated the Okinawan.  I, for one, will have a smile for the enemy if I ever get up into his home territory.

One little anecdote concerning my theory of teaching Christianity to the conquered peoples.  You’ve seen and heard immigrants in Bridgeport talk about the United States.  You found that they have a better appreciation than we do of what is in the U.S. Well, I saw something similar two weeks ago in a native village when I went down to an Okinawan Christian home with the tenth Army Protestant Choir.  Al Mendendorp invited me to go along.  He’s in the choir.  After the American chaplain had preached his sermon to the natives, and after it had been translated into Okinawan, the chaplain asked for questions.  An elderly fellow got up, and in his hand he held a Bible written in Japanese and one written in English.  He knew a little English and had compared the two Bibles.  He had nosed through them so carefully, that he’d found one passage in the American edition which had been left out of the Japanese addition.  Now to have found that one little phrase missing in one of the Bibles, he must have really studied the two of them.  How many so-called Christians ever studied ANY Bible that well. This gentleman, by the way, was a Japanese and not an Okinawan, because when one of the boys took a picture of him, he asked that it not be developed because he was supposed to have committed Hara-Kiri when the Americans had the Japanese down at the southern tip of the island.  He was afraid that the picture might get into Japanese hands, and if it did and he were identified, his family back in Japan would be put to death.  Kind of interesting, huh? Anyway, I’d say that man was a real Christian.  And I think the rest would be better Christians then we – it would be new and wonderful to them – they delivered more than most of us do.  – Boy – this turned out to be longer than I thought it would.

Comment on yours of the 24th of June.  Thanks for the articles on graduation at Bassick (High School, where Dave had been a student and had graduated the previous year because he happened to be home for legal reasons when it took place) I saw lots of names I know.  Yes, it does seem like a long time ago that they gave me my diploma – a lot has happened since then.  That’s all I can glean out of that letter.


Yours of July 1st was really interesting when you turned back the pages of time and related to us what had happened one year ago at that time.  How about going back two or three years?

You tell of Nelly (Nelson Sperling), and Charlie Hall and others coming out here to the Pacific.  If you run across any of the addresses of anyone I know out here, don’t neglect to let me know.  It’s a big world – but there’s always a chance of meeting someone you know.  Did I tell you that Jim McClinch was out here in the harbor for a long time, and then when I finally found out how I could get out to see him, I learned that he had left here for spots unknown?  Also, today I found out that our supply sergeant, George Wisely, is a first-cousin to Percy Hart from Long Hill.  You know the Harts, don’t you?  I don’t (know) any of them personally, but I’ve heard of them and I thought probably you must know Percy because he was connected with the Advertising Department of the G.E. (General Electric Company in Bridgeport) and was quite active in town affairs, according to George.  So you see this isn’t such a big world after all.

I thought of things I need from time to time, but I neglected to write them down and soon forgot them.  One thing I’d like is some Ipana Toothpaste, and another is a bottle of Phillips Milk of Magnesia Tablets*.

Well, this is page 5, I’m making a lot of typing errors because I’m tired of typing, and it’s almost chow-time, so I guess I’ll quit.  Of course my morale is still good and every day I become a little more convinced that the war will be over soon, so I’m keeping pretty happy.

Love to all,


*As soon as possible – C-Rations don’t always agree with me – however chow is getting better.

Forgot to mention “50 check – first 50 – along with 75 sent from Seattle – clears my $125 debt to you.  The rest you may do with what you consider wise.  Mail comes through pretty well now.

Tell Denny I’ll write him if I ever get a chance.  Tell him I still hear from Vin in Calif. and tell him I haven’t forgotten him or the rest of the gang, please.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1939.  Dan should be making his way back to Trumbull and Lad seems to be enjoying his work with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.  He is working as a Maintenance man for the diesel engines running their oil pumps out in the field. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (100) – Here I Am Again (1) – Somewhat The Same Pattern – July 21, 1945

David Peabody Guion

Saturday, July 21


Here I am again —

Today I think I am more able to write a letter which is understandable.  I’m afraid yesterday’s didn’t say much, but few laughs out of it.  The ribbon on this mill is kind of sad, but it’s the best I can do.

You(r) letter written June 10, as usual, was very good and full of those things which we all like to hear – but alas, there seems to be nothing in it which makes good commenting material – so I shall go on to the letter written on June 17.

Having re–read yours of the 17th, I again find little room for comment.  Dan’s account of his life over-sees was really interesting.  I was surprised to see how our lives seemed to follow somewhat the same pattern.  First, the fact that both of our letters containing our lives up to the time of writing, were received by you the same week.  Second, but not so surprising, we seemed to encounter the same things on the voyage across, – hot holds, crowded decks, practice firing, etc.  But all in all, I think my trip was more eventful, having been longer, with more stops.  Then, when he got in France, he began running into French natives in the fields trying to carry on, in spite of the war – here, it is the same, except that the people are Okinawans.  Dan’s landing on France, however, seemed to be a little more quiet than mine.  Because of censorship regulations, I am still unable to tell of the landing, or when it was I got to Okinawa.  But I promise you, I didn’t come in with a contingent of WACS.  Because of enemy aircraft, Dan came to the conclusion, as did we, that pup tents aren’t the best thing to protect one from flak and shrapnel.  One fellow in Dan’s crew found a hole in his tent and a gash in his carbine from flak – one of our boys found holes very similar – however, instead of being caused by flak, it was caused by shrapnel from a Jap bomb.  Dan mentioned going to the bomb shelters in the Kew billet’s and sitting and waiting.  I did the same thing out in the harbor before we came in to shore.  We used to go down in the hold and sit and wait.  It’s awful not to know what’s going on above – especially when you know the suicide planes are up above you and that your front hold has enough ammunition to blow you and the ship half way back across the Pacific if a bomb or plane should crash into the deck at that spot.  The point at which our two stories seem most to  coincide was where Dan told of being bombed one night at the Kew billets.  A string of five bombs in close order.  The ones that dropped near him were heavier – but he was in a shelter.  Ours were only twenty-five pounders – but we had nothing but makeshift fox-holes covered with pup tents which I’ve already said aren’t very good at stopping shrapnel.  Dan was scared – but maybe you don’t think this boy was!


Dan’s description of the V-1 reminds me of the Japanese “kamikaze” (not sure of spelling), or suicide planes.  The effect is the same, but, as it carries a pilot, it is more accurate.  Dan told of his first sight of a V-1.  I’ll tell you of the first suicide plane I saw.  Compare my story with Dan’s.

One day I was down at the beach and the air raid sirens blew.  “Hit the dirt!!” I dove for a concrete wall that stood in front of one of the numerous tombs on the island.  I looked up and saw flak mushrooming all around a fly speck in the sky.  All of a sudden, it started to fall.  “They got him!” someone yelled, and all the guys started to clap as though the guy that was carrying the ball broke through the line and went over for a touch-down.  Later we found out that the plane hadn’t been hit – but instead took a nose-dive into the hospital ship.  I think I mentioned that the hospital ships are painted white, have big red crosses on them, and look like a dollar-line steamer.  No other ship looks anything like it out here.  No one will ever convince me that the Jap flying that plane was trying to hit any other ship in the harbor but that hospital ship which, by the way, was not empty.  – Now you see why I was so surprised to find Dan leading the same life in many respects as I did.

I was glad to see that my letter home wasn’t cut up any.  It gives a fairly complete picture of how I’ve been living since I left the states.  There is lots more to tell, some things I can say, others I can’t – but I’ll “tell all” when I get home, if I can find someone that will listen to me.

Now the letter from Dan written on June 4th. this letter contains Dan’s objection to the “non–fraternization” policy.  Of course there are two sides to every story and this is no exception.  But I think I can agree whole-heartedly with Dan and do it with as much contempt and doubt as to how well it will work.  Although we don’t have anything exactly like it here, we have been asked not to give the natives candy and cigarettes.  The reason I think rather amusing – it seems that, like animals, they don’t want to work for the Americans without candy and cigarettes – rewards – in addition to their regular pay.  But outside of that, we are allowed to talk and wave to the people.  Just this morning I was up at a QM laundry where they have a bunch of Okinawan girls working (by the way, they get whiter every day) and there was one G.I. there teaching two of the girls how to write the English alphabet and how to pronounce each letter.  Both teacher and students were having a good time.  And I got a big kick out of it myself.  The girls are friendly, but awfully bashful (this I say not from experience, but from observation).

We’ve had quite a few discussions in  our tent along the subject of how to avert another war.  My theory I think is the only sure way and the best way.  The only pit-fall is that it is an immense job – but I think if it will stop wars, it should be done.  That is, rather than to play “Superman”, as Dan so aptly put it, the only way to stop all wars is to teach the other peoples of the world to live as we do.  If you teach them the sin of killing, if you teach them Christianity, if you teach them and make them follow the theory of doing unto others as they would have others do unto them, I think – I know – it will stop all wars and make the world a better place in which to live.  As I said, I know it is an immense job, and almost impossible.  When I presented this theory to the guys in the tent, Marv King promptly asked me if I’d spend my life in Japan teaching the Japanese our way of life.  He holds such contempt for the Japs that he thought that would corner me, but I told him that if my theory were carried out on a wide enough scale so that it really (would) do some good, I’d be glad to spend the rest of my life in Japan or any other place in the world trying to accomplish this goal.  And I would, too, because I’m thoroughly convinced that it is the only way to have peace. World courts are no good.  Do traffic courts, or even any other court in the United States or other countries stop crime?  However, do children who are brought up to be good Christians and who are taught that they should treat other people as they themselves want to be treated, go out and kill or steal?  I don’t think you’ll find it happens very often.  What about the old adage (spelling?)  “All men are created equal” – how can there be equality if one group of nations rules another?  Maybe I’m not looking at this thing with a broad enough scope, I realize that there are a lot of things to be taken into consideration, but I think in time – a long time, I’ll admit – we could avert all wars.  Who is it that start these wars?  It always seems to be a group that starts off their party business by denouncing Christianity.  Well, guess I’m getting a bit off the subject.

Tomorrow I will continue with the rest of this letter from Dave. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (99) – Response To Letters (2) – June 20, 1945

May 27 –

In this letter you quote mine of the 14th, you made no comment on my mention of Mrs. Rubsamen.  Did you get what I was driving at?  It doesn’t make any difference now anyway.  I told you that I got the package in one of my recent letters – at the time I wrote I hadn’t as yet received this letter.  Only comment I can make is on the second of my letters which you quoted.  The comment is this – I use a hell of a lot of “Hells” in my letters, don’t I??

June 4 –

Big news!  Sure hope Jean goes to Brazil!  The only sad spot is – and I read between the lines to get it – that Dick must not be figuring on getting home very soon.  Is it true that he has made a Staff? Your wondering why the congratulations in my letter makes me wonder if he did get those stripes.  In this letter you quote the letter in which I made explanation of why I congratulated Dick, but you didn’t acknowledge the fact that my congratulations were well founded.  What’s the story?

Dan’s account of VE Day in Belgium was very interesting.  Here, VE Day was very quiet, except that the pounding of Naha was still going on and we could hear the rumble and everyone seemed a little happier and brighter, and of course that was the main subject for a few days following.  Hope the news about Erwin is true – is there anything wrong with him, or have they just decided that he’s done enough and deserves a discharge?  Thanks for the info on the folks in the apartment.  I want to meet them.  I got a kick out of your mentioning Dan’s and Lad’s points.  Why?  You should see the big number I rolled up – at tops, the most I can figure on is 29 – kinda stinky, isn’t it?  That’s all I can say on this letter and it’s the last I’ve gotten.  I’m still getting these letters with APO 18397 – it takes a long time for those to get through – I wish you’d change it to 902.

I got a letter the other day saying that Bill Stevens is hospitalized with T.B. I think it would be nice if you write him a letter.  I don’t have his present address, but his home address is: 3094 Old Town Rd., Bpt. (Bridgeport) I assume you remember him even if he didn’t work at the office very long.

It’s surprising how matter-of-fact everything is in a war zone.  I already mentioned how quiet all was here on VE Day.  And another thing that didn’t cause much of a stir was the death of Gen. Buckner, it was big news for a day – but then they buried him, replaced him temporarily, and forgot about him.  I don’t know as they’ve forgotten about him at headquarters, but you don’t hear about him here anymore.  Three weeks ago last Sunday in church, I stood just a few feet away from him.  He looked pretty old, but rugged.  I still don’t know if he was generally liked or not.  I’ve talked to some who worked with him that liked him and others that didn’t.  Of the ones I’ve talked to, the ones that didn’t like him out-weighed the ones that did.  But then, you don’t find many enlisted man that fully appreciate high-ranking brass.

Getting back to things causing a very little stir, I guess it’s only the things that directly concern the boys that makes things a buzz.  The most publicity any subject has gotten so far that I know of is the one about the ending of the war.  One day one of the boys had been up to Yontan I-R Field and came back with the story that the pilots up there bet the war would be over in 45 days (July 15).  There was a lot of speculation on that subject – and there still is – and there will be until July 15 comes and goes.  I think it’s quite possible – but not probable enough to suit me.

Sorry, but I’ve got to go to work tomorrow and it’s late so as of now, I quit ’til the next time.



Tomorrow, I will begin posting week of letters from 1945. Dan’s wedding date is fast approaching and Lad is still in southern France.  Ced remains in Alaska working as an airplane mechanic and Bush Pilot, Dick is in Fortaliza, Brazil, and Dave is is still in Okinawa. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (98) – Dear Dad – I Just Got Your Package – June 10, 1945

June 10, 1945


R 6/18/45

Dear Dad –

This is just going to be a short note.  I just got your package of candy, gum, tobacco, scissors, Kleenex, etc. Everything was needed and wanted except the shoe-polish.  There is absolutely no use for shoe-polish out here.  But I’ll hang on to it – where I go from here – who knows?  But I may be able to use it there.

I also got your letter of April 29.  It got held up someplace.  Maybe it was because of the APO 18397. That stuff sure is slow coming through.


How is Aunt Elsie now?  All better and on her feet again, I hope.

I received her V-Mail written on May twenty second, today also.  I’ll write her when I get the chance – but I don’t know whether to address it to N.Y. or home.  My guess would be New York.

I hope you change my address to APO 902 – it speeds the mail up when the address is correct.

There’s not much to say from this end.  The weather has cleared up finally – after two weeks of rain. Japs here (both on land and in the air) are getting pretty scarce.  Maybe it won’t be long before I’m home again.



P.S. – Don’t worry – morale is still plenty high !!!

It was actually another year before Dave made it home. He was sent from Okinawa to Manila, Philippines.

Tomorrow I will post another letter from Dave to his Father from Okinawa.

Judy Guion