Trumbull – To The Guions Who Will Not be Home For Christmas (4) – Ced is More Than Half Way – December, 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. 

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, weatherstrip, 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 nswer, 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. Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home For Christmas (3) – More Flying Adventures – December, 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.

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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

Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home for Christmas (2) – Ced’s First Few Days – December, 1945

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Supporting documents are as follows: Postal, Thursday, 13th. “Dear Dorothy Dix: my weather beats me constantly and is rarely friendly when I go out with it. It starts out in a friendly manner, but as soon as we are away from the house it turns on me and makes my days miserable. What can I do to win it back to the sunny side as it used to be? I am about 20 miles south of South Bend. Disgusted.”

A newspaper clipping from the Draz’s local paper headed “Correction, Please!” A story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer entitled Airplane Here to Stay, on Wednesday, told about an airplane landing in Bainbridge Township during the snowstorm. We go on to state that it landed on Paul Frohring’s farm and the pilot made a call to Cleveland Airport from the Thomas home. Upon receiving notice that it would snow all afternoon, the pilot, who turned out to be a friend of the Draz’s, said he couldn’t wait for the snow. Enlisting the help of youngsters, he turned his ship and took off in a foot of snow for the Chagrin Airport where he had his ship defrosted and then took off for Norwalk, Ohio. Oil City, Pa., was his starting point and he just dropped in on us. Thus it can’t be said the airplane “was here to stay”.

Postal, Sat. Dec. 15th from Minneapolis. “Journeyed from St. Paul to Minneapolis today (20-mile trip). I had a pair of skis installed on the plane, also a floormat. Bought some weatherstrip and frost shields, and before you know it I’ll be in Anchorage. Temperature went to -15 last night with a 20 mph wind. Ohhhh. Stayed last night at Uncle Frank Peabody’s in St. Paul. The night before at Plymouth, Ind.. Wed. night at Larry Peabody’s (they are all fine and want to be remembered to you) where I gave Alan his first plane ride. The night before that I spent at Draz’s in a snow storm.”

Letter Dec. 17th, Great Falls, Mont. ”Left Minneapolis at 10 A.M. Sunday morning. Weather perfect. Stopped at Willman for gas at 11:30 and went on to Aberdeen for more fuel. Took off and flew till nearly dark and then as my reserve tank top was on backward, I couldn’t get the gas to drain into the main tank so I landed on a lake (frozen) at McIntosh. Fixed the cap and went the next 20 or 30 miles to Lemmon, S.D.  where I tied up for the night. A typical Western town on one main street. Some fellows from the airport came in just behind me from a coyote hunt. They had one and had killed another, but it had been too late to pick it up. They (the coyote, I mean) looks like a police dog. As the fellows told me to be ready to go with them to the airport at 6:45 A.M., I got up at six and hurried around, got over to the grill at 6:45 — and it wasn’t even open. Guess what. When I went back to the hotel I found my watch was an hour fast. The time had changed back about 125 miles. The temperature at this wee sma’ hour was -20. Well, I fooled around until 6:20 then went and ate at the grill. At 7:15 the guys finally picked me up and we drove out to the airport. It was so cold that the engine would hardly turn over, and as they had started warming a Waco for an emergency hospital case, I had to wait until nine put heat on mine. Gassed, oiled and running, I finally took off at 9:55. The first stop was Miles City and here I bummed a ride into town for lunch. Had the dicken of a time moving the ship up to the gas pump, as there were large gravel areas which the skis hung up on. At last we were ready and off again at 1:50.

The rest of the week will be filled with the remainder of Ced’s travels and quick notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – To the Guions who will not be home for Christmas (1 of 5) – Ced’s Travels – December, 1945

 

 

Trumbull, Conn., December 23, 1945

To the Guion’s who will

not be home this Christmas:

Notice is hereby given that while you’re being AWOL this year is excusable, no alibi will be accepted for Christmas, 1946, and you absent ones, to wit, Dan, Paula, Ced and Dave, are hereby summoned to appear in person on or before that day or sleep in the doghouse where, if and as located. And there’s no use paging Smoky, either.

Perhaps due to a persistent cold which is made me feel rather listless and unenthusiastic about anything, the Christmas season has snook up on me this year without evoking or arousing the customary holiday spirit, or maybe because it isn’t a 100% representation, or possibly the lack of children, or it may be just advancing years. Anyway, I have been content this year to leave everything to Lad and Dick and Marian and Jean and it is sort of nice to relax and know they will keep the banner lifted high on this first peacetime Christmas in so many years. The size Elsie, as usual, Aunt Anne phone that she and Don and Gwen would be up so it doesn’t look as though things might be a whole lot worse. Due to the one-man office to ration the usual Christmas rush of business, I again this year have not felt able to send out Christmas. Next year of course will be different. I do not feel any to happy either about the lack of Christmas gifts this year emanating from yours truly. This is not solely due to the temporary financial circumstance but primarily to the utter lack of decent merchandise at any where near reasonable prices for the quality of the offering. My Scotch blood rebels in discuss at throwing money away on trash, so that I would rather forgo the satisfaction meeting the Christmas in favor of some future date when I can get what I want or rather what I think you want in suitable quality at a reasonable price. So if you, Dan, Paulette, Ced and Dave are looking for those Christmas packages, swallow hard and grand because as far as that is concerned, there ain’t no Santa Clause, at least this December.

The topic, if truth must be told, that is occupying my waking moments to the exclusion of most else, is the progress of our bird man. Good Queen Isabella could not have followed the progress of Columbus with any more interest than we have been noting the day by day progress of the Taylorcraft westward ho. I’ve got a map all pin-pointed like I imagine they do in the Army, showing various stops and dates there of as far as I can ascertain that. It looks something like this:

Left Monroe 10th  of Dec.

Arrived Oil City, Pa., 11th

Larry’s (Larry Peabody) on the 12th

Draz’s on the 13th

Madison, Wisc. 14th

St. Paul  15th

Lemmon, S.D. on 16th

Great Walls, Mont. 17th

Lethbridge, Can. 19th

Tomorrow, I’ll post supporting documents and Ced’s letters home telling the tale. For the rest of the week, I’ll continue with news of Ced and Grandpa’s letters to Dan, Paulette and Dave.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick (1) – Details of Ced’s Trip Back to Alaska – December, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 12, 1943

Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick:

A letter from Ced:  “ Dec. 2, Seward, Alaska, aboard S.S. ALASKA. Well, I’m on the way. Don’t expect me till I get there tho. It may take me all month the way people talk. I’m set to get to Seattle via the above, but from there ?????  The previous plans fell through as passage out of Juneau couldn’t be booked until Jan. 10th. I may still go up from Seattle to Vancouver to take the C. P. (Canadian Pacific) east, but I’ll decide that after talking to various agents in Seattle. I’ll take anything on rail or by air that will get me East, and even a bus if it comes down to that. I guess one of the railroads will have an empty seat before very long.   The last two weeks have been hectic, what with trying to dispose, loan or otherwise get rid of all my stuff and in collecting clothes, etc., for this trip. Restrictions have been relaxed considerably and all I had to do was to get a permit to depart and return from and to the Territory of Alaska, and on the boat we only need to check our cameras, electric razors, flashlights, binoculars, etc. Baggage isn’t checked otherwise. Seward is sure lots prettier with its post-fire construction. They have very modern fireproof buildings attractively designed. Food is somewhat cheaper and of better quality than that obtainable in Anchorage restaurants. We had a swell trip down in the train today and apparently there are a good many pleasant people making the trip south– many of them friends and acquaintances from Anchorage. My ”cell mate” is a fellow from Anchorage Market whom I’d seen but never had met. He is pleasant seeming and will probably be a good travel companion. He has been up here for 13 years running and hasn’t seen his wife in all that time. The S. S. ALASKA is somewhat smaller than the McKINLEY, but is not too bad a boat. Our stateroom is at the tail end and will probably be plenty rough if we get into any kind of a swell on the Gulf. The McKINLEY, incidentally, is now aground in the Aleutians and has been for over a year. It is gradually disintegrating if it has not already succumbed to the Aleutian storms. Dan and I had a peach of a trip on the poor old boat and I shed a sincere tear for her as she fades out of the picture of picturesque Alaskan transportation. Saw Rusty last week and of course he wanted to be remembered to everyone. I had Thanksgiving dinner with the Morgans and friends at Chuck’s and Florence’s apartment. Keep a candle burning for me. Bon nuit, Ced”. That we will, Ced, old son, and we will fervently hope it won’t have to be a leftover Christmas tree candle, either.

Dan has made the headlines again. A copy of the London ARC bulletin shows on the front page a picture of Dan pointing out to two buddies the stone decorations on the entrance to the service club he so eloquently described in a recent letter. His letter says he is nursing a cold which stubbornly hangs on (Steer shy of that fine germ, Dan, which we are told is quite prevalent in England these days), is restive under what seems rather foolish censorship rules, and ends:  “I have been naughty again. I left my carbine cocked, which is very wrong when the gun is not being used. To emphasize the importance of my offense I have been restricted to quarters for two nights– which interfered with my educational progress at night school, besides bruising my delicate pride.” Cheer up, Dan, maybe the extra sleep will kill the cold.

I’ll be posting the rest of this letter tomorrow. It includes a discussion of mail service and news from Lad and Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Gang – Ced has Arrived – December, 1943

Judy_0003

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 19, 1943

Dear Gang:

Well, if old Ponce de Leon had ever found the Fountain of Youth and imbibed a draught of the elixir of life, I would have known just how he felt when, after sitting up last Sunday night figuring out when Ced might possibly arrive home after receiving an airmail letter dated Calgary, in he walked about eight A.M. Tuesday morning, having stepped off the Montréal train at Bridgeport at 7:45 and hopping in a taxi (which incidentally couldn’t make our driveway). The candle, which as per my promise, I had kept burning for him the night before, was badly guttered in the holder as it stood on the electric stove just inside the back door, as he marched in with his hands full of baggage — the same old towering Ced. He looks about the same except that we all agreed he has filled out a bit, at least as far as his face is concerned. His trip from Seward to Seattle was uneventful except for the blackout Friday and Saturday (the first and second days out) after five P.M., and the gulf being a bit rough. Stops at Juneau, where, as usual, it rained and at Ketchikan where, for a wonder, it was clear and sunshiny, were enjoyed. On his arrival at Seattle chances for a plane trip East were so indefinite that he finally decided to retrace his steps as far as Vancouver and take a Canadian Pacific train to Montréal, which he did. It was bitterly cold at Montréal – much colder than in Alaska, but as related he reached Trumbull safe and sound and weren’t we glad to see him! Needless to say, I was late to work that morning. Since then we have been learning all about Anchorage first-hand. We were all invited over to Ives for dinner Thursday night and had a most enjoyable evening, supper followed by movies of their Hatian trip and scenes from Trumbull. What a comfort to have Ced home again and to know he will be here about a month. His plans are to leave here around the middle of January and return via Los Angeles in order to visit the newlyweds. Carl came home last night for a short visit and Ced went over to see him this morning. Tomorrow Ced is going to Bridgeport with me and plans Tuesday, to go to New York with Aunt Betty to see Grandma, etc. He brought a host of things from Alaska in the way of gifts for us all, which of course we are eagerly awaiting to open on Christmas.

No letters this week from either Lad, Dan or Dick, which may not mean they have not written but merely that the Christmas mail is slowing things up. Oh, yes, this morning for breakfast we had real Alaskan sourdough pancakes prepared by Alaskan Ced himself, with enough of the batter left over to form the nucleus of another batch for later consumption.

We have not shown yet any of the Alaskan or South American movies, none of which Ced has seen, but probably will, if not tonight, soon, as Ced also has some slides which he sent home and are now, according to reports, awaiting him at the railroad station.

There is much more to write, but I’ll cut this letter short here as there is so much to do and here and talk about and right now they are awaiting me in the kitchen (I hope). Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be charitable and forgive my not writing more under the circumstances. I only wish you were all here too.

DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday, another letter from Grandpa. I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Marian to The Gang in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Chillun (1) – Ced Starts for Alaska – December, 1945

 

Trumbull, Conn., December 16, 1945.

Dear Chillun:

Having been confined all day in my cell entertaining some streptococci firgidarius (cold germs to you), and not feeling in much of a mood to write anything to anybody, this letter will probably follow the pattern set by those of the last few weeks and be divested of that sparkling quality found occasionally in my correspondence and in Mumm’s Extra Dry, more frequently in the latter.

This old house of late has taken on a strong resemblance to the Grand Central Station with arrivals and departures following one another in rapid succession. Among the departures this week are two. The first was Ced, early last Monday morning accompanied by his brother, Lad, autoed over to the Monroe field, (Lad) watched him stow away his belongings in his little plane, waiting a bit for him to get the latest weather report from New Haven, and finally take off in the northwesterly direction, quickly losing sight of the little dot in the sky but hearing his motor for a surprisingly long time afterwards, so much so in fact that the proprietor of the landing field at first was of the opinion he was coming back again. A few anxious days passed and then on the 12th (Wed.) A letter dated Dec. 10th, written 8:30 P.M. from Oil City, Pa., brought the following good news: “I had a very poor day as you will guess by this letterhead. I bucked a bad headwind all day, had to sit on a field for a couple of hours waiting for the snow to quit and in general fighting the weather ‘til I could cuss. At least this is a nice clean town, as different as day from night compared to Alliance, Ohio. The hotel is clean and respectable and all the stores seem clean and attractive; the restaurants decent. It is on the Allegheny River between high mountains and at the fork of two rivers. Prices are reasonable and the air is clean and clear. The promise of good weather tomorrow and I shall take off about nine A.M. I hope that Danged wind will quit, tho. It is moaning outside the window right now.”

While Ced didn’t make Larry’s place at Milan (near Sandusky) Ohio, he came pretty close to it. Friday night he had reached St. Paul which is the last we have heard to date. The news today is that a cold wave is blanketing the country, which probably means clear weather for his on-to-Alaska continuation. When he left he was not sure what his route would be from St. Paul on so I’m hoping we’ll have a postal or something soon which will further enlighten us. Good luck to you, Ced, eat plenty of carrots so you can spot those landing fields, and happy landings always.

As for Dick’s departure, before we can get rid of him in proper shape, we’ve got to get him here first. That happened soon after I answered the phone and heard a voice (disguised) asking for “Al”. Said Al soon thereafter departed to get some “beer” and came home with Dick. You can figure that one out yourself. Hardly giving us time to seeing him around again, this morning he and Jean started off in the Chevy for Camp Westover which is in the vicinity of Springfield, Mass., and where he is supposed to report before five tonight. If things go according to schedule he wil,l by Friday, have discarded his Army career and return a plain Mr. The dinner table today seemed rather “minus” without Jean and Dick. If it hadn’t been for Lad and Marian it would have indeed been similar to the Grand Central at 3 A.M.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue this letter and finish it off on Thursday. On Friday, two more Christmas cards to Ced.

Judy Guion