Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (1) – Trumbull, Connecticut, to Ayer, Massachusetts, to Aberdeen, Maryland – May 18, 1942

This is the first page of 11, a long letter to Grandpa telling him of all of his adventures after leaving Grandpa at the Railroad Station in Shelton/Derby, CT, on May 14, 1942.

APG - First letter to Grandpa from Aberdeen Proving Grounds - May 18, 1942

Pvt. A.P. Guion

Co. B 14 Bn ORTC

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Md.

May 18, 1942

Dear Dad: –

We left Derby on time and stopped at Ansonia. Here a second car was filled, and after a stop at Waterbury the third car was filled and our next stop was Hartford. Here we detrained at a few minutes before nine and walked about 1 ½ blocks to the Induction Center. There were so many of us that the complete inspection was not over until 2:45. The actual inspection per person was not more than 30 or 35 min., if that much. At 3 PM the 88 who had passed the examinations out of 169, were put into a separate car and in a few minutes a train coupled onto the car and we were off. The train stopped nowhere until it got to Worchester, Mass. Here a switch engine hooked onto our car and while the train went on, we were switched back and forth, and ended up on the track going in the opposite direction. Here another train picked us up and again we were off. Our next stop was in Ayer, Mass., where there is no platform of any kind. The tracks run through the backyard of Camp Devens. Here, with our baggage, we were again given a short march and after a little discussion concerning behavior in the camp we were issued raincoats and a barracks bag, another hike to Co. B, 1st Bn., and we were issued blankets. Incidentally, we detrained at Fort Devens at 5:40, 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Then came supper and bed making instructions and we were more than glad to turn in at 9:00.

Friday we rose at 5:45 A.M., policed the barracks and fell out for breakfast. Immediately after that we were taken to Q.M.C. and issued our uniforms. What a system. It takes about four or five minutes from the time you start, stark naked, til you emerge at the other end very well fitted from the skin out, and in six complete uniforms with two complete changes of everything else. Then came an Aptitude test – lunch – and a private interview. Back to the theater to be shown a film on the evil side of sex, a couple of short welcome speeches – supper – a couple of fallout calls to advise some of the men that they were leaving early Sat. morning and then to bed.

Sat – up at 5:45 and out for reveille where 10 fellows and myself were told we would be ready to leave at 7:15. A rush to breakfast, again to the medical section for injections and a vaccination, back again for clothes and we fell out at 7:21 for the trip to wherever it was. We were marched out to the same lot at which we detrained when we first arrived and here we were told to wait for further orders. We waited until 8:30 and then were assembled and marched back to the road again, a distance of a couple of hundred yards and were put onto a truck. By truck we were taken a few miles to Fitchburg where we again waited and at 9:21 a train pulled in. At the rear was a special car and we were loaded into this. By now we numbered 44. A sergeant was in charge. He would give us no information as to where we were going, not even if it were a long trip. However with spirits undaunted, we had a good time. At Greenfield, Mass., we were shunted again and changed direction of travel from west to south. Our next stop was at Springfield where we were put onto a siding and taken into the station for lunch. After lunch we boarded the car again and in a couple of minutes another train backed up and again we were off. We stopped at Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford and Penn Station. We were ordered not to mail anything or make phone calls until we arrived at our destination, so I could not write anything to you. A half hour stop in Penn. Station, while a Penn. Engine was put on in place of the New Haven, during which time we ate a box lunch, and then began a real ride. On the New Haven road we had made good time, and only a few stops, but the track was quite rough and I don’t think we traveled better than 45 or 50 M.P.H. The first stop on the new leg was at Newark and then began a fast non-stop trip. The only times we slowed down below 75 M.P.H. (according to my figuring – the mile posts were going by every 44 or 45 seconds) was when we switched from the local track to the express or vice versa. On this trip we passed two freight trains, two locals and one express. All of them moving. It took about 2 ½ or 3 miles to pass the express, but we did it. Our next stop was Philadelphia, then Wilmington and then Aberdeen. Here, to our surprise, we all got off and were taken by truck, in the rain, to our present location (see the letterhead). We were issued blankets, assigned to barracks and were glad to go to bed even though it was only 9:30.

Sunday we had nothing to do, and also being in quarantine for a two-week period, we could do nothing. I acquainted myself as well as I could with in our limited grounds, about 2000 x 1000 feet, and made a few purchases at the PX (Camp store – Post Exchange) which we are lucky enough to have within grounds and again retired.

Monday began our training and was spent in learning marching fundamentals.

Today, Tuesday, we heard from a few of the Big Shots on the duties of the Ordnance Dept., and this afternoon, more drilling. Just now we are having an inspection of all equipment issued to us. And so will end today. And, believe me, we are all glad to hit the hay at 9:00 P.M. when the lights go out.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter from Lad to his Dad, my Grandpa, all about his first experiences in and with the Army after his induction. Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home: Ced in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic; Dan, being trained as an Army surveyor in Pennsylvania and Lad, who has just been inducted and is at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Judy Hardy

Army Life – Dear Everybody – Lad Arrives in Texarkana, Texas – January 9, 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad and Marian)

As you may remember, Lad received orders to report to Texarkana, Texas, before Christmas and only one month after getting married to Marian in California. They had a quiet and early Christmas just before he left on the 21st. This is his first letter to Grandpa and the Home Guard in Trumbull.

Sun. Noon  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Everybody:-

I’m sorry, but my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian, and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance. However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense, decreased. I still think of all of you, constantly, but time has been very lacking. In fact I’ve had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week. Here is the reason, en todo:-

Lad - 1943

Lad, my Father

On December 18th I was told that I was to go to Texarkana or Flora, Miss. On the 21st I learned definitely that it was Texarkana and that I had to be there by December 25th. Some Xmas present. By noon on the 21st I was on my way via the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. As I wired, I got in on Sat., December 25th and that’s ”B.S.” in the message should have been “By”. The Texarkana W.U. (Western Union) also made a mistake in the one to Marian. Until Jan. 3rd we worked hard getting a group of men ready for basic training, which really amounted to nothing of consequence and we really didn’t need to arrive here until Jan. 2nd. That first week was just a waste of time. Then on the 3rd we started training our men in earnest. From Santa Anita 25 good men were sent here as the parent cadre for the 3019th Co. 142 Bn. We are an engine rebuild company attached to the 142 Bn. which contains two engine rebuild Cos., one powertrain rebuild Co., one Hq & supply Co. and one base depot Co. We will work as a unit, always, the five companies being in close contact at all times and performing 5th echelon or Base Ord. work. I am one of the barracks sergeants and am responsible to see that my 23 privates passed a P.O.E. examination. If they pass, we are scheduled for overseas shipment sometime in June or July, and there seems to be no kidding about that. Due to our type of work we should always be at least 300 miles from the front lines. That, at least, is one consolation. This past week (and I imagine that the next five also) has been the toughest one I’ve spent since my induction in May, 1942. I am teaching these boys (most of them have at least one child, some three or four or five) the same training I received during my first five weeks in the Army. They have all been in the Army less than one month, and all were inducted just a few days before Christmas. I’ll never understand why the Army does some of the things it does. It is very disheartening, and produces a lot of resentment, even in myself.

The weather here is terrible after Southern California. Today is the fourth day of sunshine we’ve seen in over two weeks. It is cold enough to freeze and we had snow for two days. It is impossible to keep warm and well in the cold, wet rain we’ve had here. I’ve got a very slight cold, but other than that and cold feet, I’m well.

Marian is coming out by train, I think, soon after February 1st and will come to Trumbull with me when (?) I get my furlough. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Christmas, naturally, was quite a quiet affair, and the same with New Year’s Eve, and not being able to wire anything I had to use “the best of everything” in my telegram. However, the thoughts to you all were there nonetheless.

I got your gifts, thanks, via Marian and the mail, and was extremely pleased with everything. This is my last sheet of paper until I go to the PX so I’ll quit with the very best wishes for the new year and a sincere desire that your numerous wishes come true.

Lots of love, etc.

Laddie

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Amazing Adventure (29) – Ced’s Plans for Coming Home – September 1, 1934

Ced is on his way home, with a few stops on the way. This will be a much quicker trip, First, because Ced has seen almost everyone he wanted to see or meet, and second, because he is anxious to get home and see the family.

Cedric Duryee Guion

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Sat. Sept. 1

Dear Dad:

I saw Vivian and Aunt Anna before I left Star Prairie and they gave me five dollars to “have a good time on”. I got good rides all the way down to Madison Monday and Tuesday headed for Chicago and found cousin Rudolf there where he is staying. I spent Wednesday at Chicago with him and we went to the fair Wednesday night and saw The Black Forest and the “Standard Oil Line Power Show” and then went to the Ford building and saw their movie which was excellent and then we heard the Ford Symphony band.

I started for Cleveland Thursday morning expecting to get there by night but I didn’t get a ride until four o’clock in the afternoon. I had a terrible day of it and first went to bed on the road at 3 AM. I made Cleveland at three o’clock yesterday and here I am at Chagrin Falls. We are going to the air races tomorrow and I will leave for home on the third or fourth and probably won’t arrive home until the seventh or eighth or maybe the ninth.

I am anxious to get back home again and see you all and am glad to hear that Alfred is going back to school.

Packard and Mack

A Packard and Mack (short for Mackenzie, named after the river in Alaska.)

The next line, about the 1934 Packard, makes me wonder if the Packard that Lad drove was a 1934. This picture might have been a ’37 or ’39 Packard. I know the family had at least those three. Here’s a picture of one of the Packards. Can you tell? If you have any information, please leave a comment.

On the trip from Madison to Chicago I rode in a 1934 Packard, what do you think of that? I have lots of things to tell you when I get back and hope I can remember them all. There are so many that I’m afraid many of them have gotten lost back in my mind but I guess they’ll come out in the wash. It will certainly be nice to get home and until next week, goodbye.

Lots of love to you and the kids.

Ced

Tomorrow, another letter as Ced moves closer and closer to Trumbull and the old homestead.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Marian Heading to Texarkana, Texas – January 10, 1944

This letter was written only a few days after the last one. Things are moving very quickly for Lad and Marian, thanks to the U. S. Army.

              Marian (Irwin Guion, 1943

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Monday

(January 10, 1944)

Hello Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean –

I am so excited that I don’t know whether or not this is going to be a legible letter – but I know you’ll understand when I tell you that I have my train ticket and am leaving on February 2nd to join Al in Texarkana. Isn’t that wonderful !?! That’s all I’m living for now, practically, and so, of course, time is just dragging by. I’m sure they’ve put some extra days in the month of January, too, this year. I haven’t heard from Lad about a definite place to stay – he just got my letter saying when I was coming so I’ll probably hear about it this week. I don’t care if we have to live in a barn, or park in the Buick! At least I can talk to him, and see that wonderful smile of his, and see him – period. Even though we are so much luckier than so many others, I still miss him terrifically, and I’m practically ready to take off from our highest mountain peak, all by myself! But I wouldn’t leave before I had a chance to see Ced. I am so glad he is planning to stop here on his way north. I’m really looking forward to meeting him very much, Dad, I know I’m going to like him.

And incidentally, Dad, I look forward to those weekly letters of yours as eagerly as Lad does. Believe me, a very nice part of my week would be missing if I didn’t hear from you.

A matter of business, Dad. I have written to the War Dependencies Commission asking them to send my allotment check to you – when it comes will you forward it to us, please? We might be moving quite often so I wanted a permanent address to give them.

My love to all of you,

Marian

By the way, Dad – my husband tells me he sent me this stationery for Christmas – but I know you must have had something to do with it too – anyway, I like it very, very much.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will post more of Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Marian Writes to Ced in Alaska – January 1, 1944

This is the start of a new year, literally, and in the rotation. Lad and Marian have been married for about six weeks. They celebrated Christmas on Dec. 21st because Lad was sent to Texarkana, Texas, leaving Marian back in South Pasadena, California. She plans on moving to join him as soon as possible.

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

Lad and Marian (Irwin) Guion at their wedding, November 14, 1943

Cedric Duryee Guion

Saturday 1/1/1944

Dear Ced –

How wonderful it must be to be home again, after three years, isn’t it? I know that it has been grand for your Dad to have you home, particularly at this time of year, and we envy you the good time you must be having. But not too much, however, for you certainly deserve it.

Lad and I enjoyed your telegram and letter so very much. It is going to be a grand day for me when I can meet all of you in person, for Lad has spoken of you so many times that I feel as though I’ve gotten a partial start toward knowing you. And your friendly letter helped, too.

Your letter mentioned that you would like to have suggestions for a wedding gift for us. If you haven’t gotten anything yet, may we have a rain check on that request until we know a little more definitely what our future plans are to be? I haven’t the slightest idea what Texarkana is like but I imagine that when (and if) I go to join Lad, that I will put our things in boxes and send them home for mother to keep until after the war. At that time we’ll be able to make our plans a little more definite. Thanks, though, for your offer and good wishes. All of you have made me feel so much “at home” that I feel as though I’ve known you for years. Best of luck to you, Ced, on your trip back to Alaska. Hope it won’t be so long next time before we see you again. Write to us occasionally, if we light long enough for a letter from way up there to catch up to us!

Very sincerely,

Marian
Tomorrow and Wednesday, we’ll have a letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock in Alaska, California, London, Brazil and Texarkana. He just keeps using more carbon paper and making more copies ! I will finish out the week with two letters from Marian to Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Mr. Cedric D. Guion, D. L. W., Anchorage, Alaska (1) – Dan’s Visit Home – April 13, 1942

Judy_0003

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn.,   Apr. 13, 1942

Mr. Cedric D. Guion, D. L. W.,

Anchorage, Alaska.

Dear Sir:

If you are possessed of normal curiosity you will be wondering what unknown degree has been awarded you in your long absence from civilization (if you can term what we are now living in by the term of “civilization”). Is it some scholarly recognition of your penetration of the far north to repair planes atop of glaciers? No. Is it perchance for proficiency in snoring, which, according to the reports of one C. Huerlin, has reached a high degree of proficiency in your case? Again no. And it can have nothing to do with an Eastern Railroad which has not yet extended its rails to Alaska. Then, by heck, what is it? It is a long overdue and well merited degree in delayed correspondence signifying in all its pristine simplicity, “Delay, Linger and Wait”. That you have fairly won this award none will dispute, and if Chapters III and IV of the Saga of Plane Glacier, are as long arriving as Chapter II, it may be that by Christmas of 1943 we may be nearing the final chapter. All of which is by way of mention, as you may have suspected, that we have not heard from you of late.

Yesterday as I returned empty-handed from a trip to the P. O. Box 7 to see if there might possibly be an airmail letter from Alaska, I ran into Tiny Sperling who informed me that Nelly (Nelson Sperling) was married to a girl from Boston, having taken the step upon being made Sergeant, was at an army camp in Florida, in charge of mechanical work on automotive equipment and would shortly start for Australia.

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

During the week I received a letter from Dan asking for funds so that he might have available cash to purchase a railroad ticket home, and instructing that it be sent to his new camp in North Carolina where he expected to be before the end of the week. Of course I complied with his request. Last night a little after 10:30 the phone rang and a voice informed me that “Your son Daniel is at the Bridgeport R.R. station”. Hastily donning a few clothes and gently leading the Buick out of its stall, I vaulted lightly into the saddle and Paul Revered it up to Plumbs, placed Barbara (Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend)  on the handlebars and raced for Bridgeport. From Dan I learned he had not yet left for North Carolina, had of course not received my check, but through a combination of borrowing from one of his buddies, talking the ticket agent into advancing him cash out of his own pocket, and selling some postage stamps back to the U. S. Government, he finally reached Bridgeport with enough left over to make two telephone calls. He is leaving in about an hour to go back to Fort Belvoir (Virginia) and expects that surely this week he will make tracks for North Carolina where the rumor is he will be on a surveying crew. His application for officers training is still pending, but as this is said to involve mostly combat training, he may, after finding what the life in the map making branch is like, prefer the latter. It all depends on what develops. He looks fine, is apparently enjoying himself and doesn’t appear to be suffering from ill health.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter with updates on various family members. The rest of the week will I post another letter from Grandpa to Dan and Ced, the two sons away from home.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Amazing Adventure (26) – Ced’s Travel Journal – Chicago to Star Prairie, Wisconsin – August, 1934

Ced has been writing a diary of his trip and he sends sections of it home to Grandpa for safe keeping. The following are pages 10 – 14.

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion 

Thursday

(August 2, 1934)

Dear Dad,

I am staying with Uncle Kenneth, Aunt Nora, and their three children; Allan, Joyce and seven weeks old Muriel, at Star Prairie, Wisconsin. I arrived in New Richmond Tuesday night and Uncle Douglas met me there.

I believe I left off on the “letter diary” at my arrival in Cleveland, therefore I will begin there. The first day at the Fair I started at the 12th St. Gate and then went through the park parallel with the islands, very thoroughly during the day, and also through the island. I looked at everything and went inside everything that looked interesting. There were many interesting things but nothing outstanding.

The second day I went into Old England where I met a friend of the Draz’s which they had told me about there. That evening I saw the Chrysler track where Barry Oldfield and his “hell drivers” put on a demonstration with Plymouths. They took two Plymouths and ran them through some sandpits where they certainly did some wonderful tricks. I saw the Ford building that afternoon and in it were some wonderful old carriages and autos, some of the most interesting I put on the inside cover of the diary from the railway booklet which I sent you with the other junk.

CDG - Of interest in the Fird Exhibit

Of  Interest at the Ford and Chrysler exhibits

I took another big section that day and the next day finished up with the trip through the Fairgrounds. I saw the Drama of Transportation which was quite a lot like the Fair of the Iron Horse, which we saw in Baltimore. I was supposed to start Monday morning of this week but I dropped Alfred’s watch on the tile floor in the shower and broke the balance wheel staff, and had to wait to have this fixed. I got started about noon and walked almost out of Chicago before getting a ride. This man carried me about 2 miles and then I walked a mile or so and was carried another 2 miles. I walked about half a mile and was carried about a mile, than I walked another half-mile and rode a mile and then got a ride for two blocks, then I got a 5 mile ride and walked about a mile on a wrong road, but I got a ride to the right one very quickly. Next, I walked 2 miles rode two, walked one, rode two, walked one, rode one, walked one and got a ride in a Ford V-8 truck for almost 100 miles, about that time it got dark and I walked along a little traveled road for about 5 miles when a model T picked me up and took me into Madison, Wisconsin, where I was going to look up Rudolph, but at a drugstore they told me that he was not in the same house and they called Harold’s home and found that Rudolf was in Chicago studying for a higher position   and Harold was in  Wabeno, Wisconsin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabeno,_Wisconsin) for his hay fever but a cousin of theirs was at Harold’s place, and they invited me out for the night. Fred Shaken (the cousin) was there with two classmates and they are all going to the University of Wisconsin. I left early the next morning with Star Prairie as my goal. I walked about 2 miles and discovered I had left my bathing suit but decided not to go back as the house would probably be locked anyway and then the first crack off the bat a 1934 Chevrolet came along and picked me up, the driver decided not to be  the driver and so I took his place. We stopped and he got a glass of beer and gave me a bottle of root beer, then we arrived at the Dells, Wisconsin (a state scenic place in case you don’t know),  (https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/mirrorlake/recreation/camping    he had me drive in and he showed me all one could see from a car and then we went on to his destination. Then I walked about a quarter of a mile and was picked up and carried about 6 miles. I walked another mile and a 1934 Studebaker picked me up. I walked through a small town and was carried about a quarter of a mile and then walked another quarter of a mile when a Packard picked me up and carried me about 3 miles. That I walked about 2 miles and a Ford picked me up. I was going all the way but suddenly the fan pulley broke off, the generator stopped working and the broken piece broke one of the fan blades and caused a big hole in the radiator  (the motor had only been driven 1200 miles since repairs and there was no cooling system) so we limped into a garage with a very hot motor and I went on alone again.

I got a ride in another 1934 Buick and for the first time in my life, much to my sorrow and discomfort, we came upon a very horrible accident, a boy on a bike had been struck and apparently very badly hurt. The one hitting him had apparently evacuated and left the boy to die. The new Buick I was in went on to the next town for a doctor and we did 85 and 90 all the way  (about 4 miles).

Next Saturday I will finish this long letter to Grandpa telling of Ced’s walk/ride from Chicago to Star Prairie, Wisconsin.

Tomorrow I will begin posting letters written in 1942. Dan is in the Army at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, for his Basic Training. Lad is classified 1-A and expects to be called up any day. The rest of the family attempt to live a normal life but things have changed.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Amazing Adventure (24) – A Quick Note From Ced in St. Paul, Minnesota – August, 1934

Ced continues with his Amazing Adventure meeting more family members and enjoying a variety of experiences.

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion

cdg-letter-from-st-paul-1st-page-july-1934

cdg-letter-from-st-paul-page-2-july-1934

Here is the list of the Peabodys, in birth order. It might help as Ced mentions various members of the family that he meets.

  1. Putnam Burton, b. 28 July 1856, Alden, Wisc.
  2. Sarah Ester, b. 4 April 1858
  3. Helen Sophia, b. 17 Nov 1859
  4. Kemper, b. 2 Aug, 1861, Sheboygan, Wisc., m. Anna Charlotta Westlin (Grandma Peabody) (Father of Arla Mary Peabody, who married Alfred D Guion, Grandpa to me)
  5. Lloyd, b. 31 Aug 1863, Alden, Wisconsin
  6. Mary Brown, b. Sept, 1865
  7. Ellen Marion, b. 6 April 1867
  8. Eunice Diantha, b. 15 Nov. 1868
  9. Douglas, b. 12 Sept. 1871
  10. Francis Cornet, b. 3 July 1873
  11.  Norman Rex, b. 29 June 1877
  12.  Margaret Smith Osborne, b. 3 Sept. 1879; d. 7 April 1880
  13.  Kenneth Foster, b. 17 Nov. 1881

St. Paul
1736 Laurel Avenue

Dear Dad:
I am fine as usual and hope the same for you and the kidlet’s. Last Sunday Muriel was baptized (in Star Prairie, Wisconsin). Uncle Frank and Aunt Mary came up to get Barbara and brought Uncle Lloyd along. John Dale came with his family and Francis and Mercedes came over from Uncle Douglas’s. Uncle Burton presided and Barbara acted as sponsor. When the St. Paulites came back they brought Francis and me along. Monday night we went out to Robert’s house and saw his wife and little boy. Tuesday we went and had dinner with Uncle Lloyd, Aunt Mary (his wife) and Evelyn. Yesterday (Wednesday) we went down the Mississippi on a rear wheeler River steamboat to Hastings and down through a lock (The whole trip lasted seven hours.) As we came into St. Paul dock coming home, the piano player from the dance orchestra played a regular calliope on the pilothouse roof. It made a lovely trip, if I may call it that. Don’t know what we will do today but there is a boy next door to Uncle Frank’s with a 1927 Harley-Davidson and I have already made his acquaintance.
Lots of luck and love to all.
Ced

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in February of 1940. On Monday, a letter from Rusty to Ced and for the rest of the week, two letters to Lad in Venezuela.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home This Christmas (4) – Ced Is More Than Halfway to Anchorage – December 23, 1945

This is the fourth section of a 4-page letter, dealing mostly with Ced’s day by day flight back to Alaska. He is a bit more than half way and this is as up-to-date as Grandpa is at this point. 

Cedric Duryee Guion and his Taylorcraft airplane at the Monroe, Connecticut Airfield before leaving for Anchorage, Alaska

And in the last mail yesterday received letter dated Lethbridge, Canada, Dec 19th. ”Straightened up everything in Great Falls, Mont. yesterday. Bought a funnel, blanket, weather strip, etc. Went out to the Army Field (East Base) and was “briefed” for Alaska, received strip maps from the AAF, saw a couple of P-80 jet jobs which were to leave for Fairbanks, Alaska, at 3 yesterday, but they canceled out, don’t know if they got out today. Also cleared customs and then I went back out to the field, insulated the cabin on the ship (temperature rising) and was all set to get off early this A.M. On arising, found a Chinook wind blowing 40-50 mph and all my plans went to kingdom come. After doing some odd jobs around the plane and bothering the weather Bureau all morning and afternoon, and sweating the wind out, it finally moderated and I took off for Sheffield. Radio transmitter worked O.K. today and then couldn’t hear Lethbridge answer, but they heard me. The gassing and oil change finished at Sheffield, I took off for Lethbridge at 3:35 p.m., arriving at Lethbridge at 5:56, 35 minutes after dark. Tower called me and said I was supposed to have filed a flight plan from G.F. (Great Falls) to L. (Lethbridge), but when I explained no one had told me to, they said it was ATC fault then, and after I went through customs I came into town. Hope to leave early tomorrow for Edmonton, but weather forecast is for snow and poor visibility. Hope they’re wrong. I’m very tired so will quit.”

And there you have the saga to date of young Lindbergh Guion. Having battled through beyond the halfway mark, I have an idea the worst is behind him. Besides my love he holds my respect and admiration. The attempt by a reckless person would be good enough, but in this case it called for real courage and self-confidence. Happy landings, Ced.

Tomorrow, the final segment of this letter which contains quick notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not Be Home This Christmas (3) – Ced Continues His Journey – December 23, 1945

Made out fine to Lewiston where I intended to stop for gas, but it was an Army set-up so I landed in an old landing spot adjacent to the Army one, put in the 4 gallons I had in one of those spare tanks and took off again after a hard run at it. There was a good deal of grass sticking through the snow. It was beginning to get dark but there were beacon lights along the way so I plugged on for Great Falls. As I came near the Lewiston radio, I tried to raise them on the receiver, a process repeated at every station I had been near since leaving home, before and after having it checked at Plymouth, Ind., with nary a nibble. Much to my amazement I got my first answer, and I was so excited I couldn’t understand what the girl was saying. At last we got together and between forgetting to give my call letter nearly every transmission and straining my ears to catch what the gal was saying, we did pretty well and I felt much better about the radio. The receiver has been fine, giving me an extra method of checking my flight path with reference to the beam. As a matter of fact, I rode into Lewiston about 50 miles “on the beam” with no visible landmarks to speak of at all.

Page 3   12/23/45

Arrived over Great Falls after dark and the city was beautiful below with lights and beacons all around. As the field was marked “Army”, I was afraid I would have to land at a small airport N.E. of town and so I tried to contact the gov. field tower to find out if I could land there. I never received a reply and so as I neared the field they saw me and gave me a green light. I landed and nearly cracked up on a drift as I was taxiing back to the Administration Bldg. in the dark, but I finally made it o.k. In the excitement I had slightly delayed a Northwest Airlines plane on take-off and while stuck on the snowdrift, a couple of fellows from N.W. Air came down to help me, in a car. By the time they got there I had gotten free so they went ahead and showed me the way. They were extremely helpful and called all over the place to see if I could put the ship in the Army hangar (the Army had moved nearly all its planes to the AAF field at the east end of town). First the answer was “no”, so the fellow who had been the most helpful went out with me, got a shovel, broom and ropes and drove over to the hangar to look for the tie-downs outside. Just as we got in the car again, a fellow came out of the Ad. office and said the ship could be put in the hangar. Now mark you well. This wasn’t just a hangar. It was big enough for C-54’s. Two mammoth doors rose overhead electrically and it was as warm as a hotel room, and there wasn’t a single ship in there. Tomorrow I am going to try to get a color shot of the ship in there. One thing about plane traveling – – everyone is so darned helpful. Everywhere you stop they ask your name, destination, is it a new ship, where are you from, etc. And everyone seems willing to help in any way possible. This fellow tonight hit a high, tho’ come to think of it, one fellow at Plymouth, Ind., about equalled. May stay here all day tomorrow, getting things ship-shape.

Tomorrow, the final chapter of Ced’s travels back to Anchorage, Alaska. On Friday, quick notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave.

Judy Guion