World War II Army Adventure (112) – Dear Dad And The Rest Of You State-Siders (2) – A Tour Of Manila – September 12, 1945

This is the other half of the letter I posted yesterday – a  4-page letter from Dave to the “State-Siders” in Trumbull.


Now I shall take you for a tour to a few spots in Manila.  In order to tell you what I am going to tell you tonight, it took me a number of days, and a very heavy work-out for my leg muscles, but I enjoyed it.

World War II Army Adventure (109-2) - St Agustin Church, Manila

St. Augustin Church (This is how the name is printed in the back of the picture)


I’ll start with St. Agustine’s Church. I believe I mentioned it before, but this time I’ll tell you some more of it.  The church is probably the best preserved structure in all of Intramuras.  Almost every other building is without any sort of roof – just the walls.  Do you remember the newsreels of “Coventry”? Well, that would be just a warmer-upper compared to the way Intramuras looked.  But somehow, St. Augustine’s Church stood through it all.  But I’m not too surprised when I realized that the same building stood through


five earthquakes – all the other churches in Intramuras were destroyed by one of the five – and also made it through the English Invasion of Luzon in 1606.  I talked to a Spanish woman in front of the church one night and she said that they had lived inside the church for 6 days.  When the Americans came, the Japs lined up the women and children in the court in front of the church, and the Japs stood behind them.  This was supposed to have protected them from Jap bullets.  This Spanish woman that I talked to showed me where she was standing.  She said they didn’t dare move for fear the Japs would shoot them.  They stood for three hours – she was standing beside a dead body which she said smelled pretty bad.  When we tell the people here that we were on Okinawa, they seem to be very interested – because the fight was so rough up there.  But I didn’t see 1/8 of what these people did of war and suffering.  Almost all of the families have lost 3/5 in the family.  No one can imagine what war is like ’til they have seen it.  I can’t get a good picture of it myself, with the little I’ve seen.  These people have seen and felt it – but there carrying on wonderfully well – in spite of inflation and rubble.  I don’t think the Americans could have done so well if the States had been invaded.  One thing, for instance, is that the girls here haven’t lowered their moral standards – even after being under the Japs for three years when Rice was a delicacy.  Of course, there are a number of them that got on the wrong path – but the majority of them kept their heads.  I don’t think the average American woman could have done so well.

One day I went out to the east of the city and jotted down notes as I walked along.  Here they are: worked midnight to 8 AM, dressed into Suntans, went for walk east of city.  Outskirts of city untouched by war – almost.  Saw civies (civilians)  in old warehouses, etc., – they had been turned out of homes down-town,  when the Japs had set fire to the city.  Stopped to watch a monkey that belonged to a soldier play with a dog.  The monkey was getting the worst of it and finally quit.  Spanish, Chinese, American architecture stand side by side.  As one passes these buildings, various aromas hit his nostrils.  The Chinese have a very pungent, peculiar odor emitting from their homes.  Went over Santa Mesa Blvd. – eight-lane Road with Esplanade in middle – not paved too well.  Saw three young white girls that talked perfect English – could be American – too bashful to stop and ask (you can believe that or not – but it’s true.)  Passed rice paddies with Flips (Philipinnos) cultivating same with help of carabaoes – mud up to their knees – stopped on bridge to make a drawing of Chinese architecture. (The drawing is enclosed – the real reason I stopped was to rest. I was pretty tired of walking). Passed a number of homes from which piano music was drifting out. It made me homesick. Many homes are running distilleries out here in the outskirts. That isn’t written up very well, and I could go into detail, but this is heavy paper and I don’t want this letter to get too long. Anyway, you get the general idea.

Today, I went down the seawall south of the city.  There are some beautiful homes along the shore, some burned, but most still in fairly good condition.  Passsed the Manila Hotel.  Saw a schooner out in the bay.  Got a big kick out of the surf and salt air.


DPG - The Manila Club - American Red Cross

I think this war will bring about a more open-minded view of racial distinction.  I was up at the Red Cross (they have a very nice three-story building down-town) a few days ago, listening to a dance band.  A Negro was sitting beside me and I started to talk to him.  He was from Eastern Texas and we started talking about the Negro and white.  He said that down there, they don’t treat them too badly, he said it was in Alabama, and in Louisiana that it was bad.  He said he had as many white friends as he has Negro.  He told me he plays the guitar.  No sooner had he said that than the orchestra took an intermission and some of the soldiers who knew how to play took over some of the instruments.  He took the guitar.  Then they had a little jam-session.  The drummer, a PFC, took a short solo, then the sax player, a CPL., and then all the guys there started yelling for the Negro to take a solo.  It surprised me – maybe it shouldn’t have, but it did.  All throughout the Army, I’ve seen more tolerance of the Negro than I did even in the north at home.  I hope it carries over into peace-time.

I’m going to enclose some pictures which I bought at the Catholic Service Center.  The first is the Legislative Building (missing) which is across from the City Hall. We were bivouacked near it on the first night.  This is the way it looked before the war.  Number two (missing) shows how it looks now.  It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.  As you can see from picture one, it would fit very nicely into Washington, D.C., but now it’s in terrible shape. 

World War II Army Adventure (112) Manila tipped building, Sept. 12, 1945

CU UN JIENG BLDG, ESCOLA ST. (printed on the back)

Number three shows a building down-town.  It just sits on top of all that rubble and looks like it would fall.  I bought the picture because the actual building is the only one in town that has been tipped in one big piece like that.  Number four is Saint Augustine’s Church (see above) which I have been talking so much about.  It is really a very beautiful church. 

Trumbull - Dave is in Okinawa - (4) Letran College, Manila - June, 1945

Letran College

Five is Letran College, also in Intramuras.  It has stood pretty well too.  So you can imagine what the others look like.  Six is City Hall. (see above)  Way over to the left, just out of the picture runs the road that the Water Works Building is.  I’d say this picture was taken just about opposite the Water Works Building – but across the square. 

Trumbull - Dave is in Okinawa (4) - Sto. Domingo Church - Manila - June 7, 1945

Santo Domingo Church

Seven is Santo Domingo church, in Intramuras.  The whites were put in a Pill-Box next to the church and then the Japs through grenades in.  Then they sealed up the Pill-Box and left the people crowded in there to die. They escaped the third day and made for the hills, that is, those that were left. 

World War II Army Adventure (112) - Manila From a plane - September 12, 1945

View of Manila from a plane

Eight is a shot of Manila from a plane.  That’s what it looked like to me, from the air.  Also enclosed is a newspaper put out by one of our operators on the Sheliak the day we started landings on Okie – Easter to you.

Guess that’s all this time.  See you ‘ere long.


Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian have been married for almost a year and are still in Pomona, California, where Lad is training mechanics for the Army. Dan is in France. Ced is in Alaska, Dick in Brazil and Dave is still t Camp Crowder in Missouri. Grandpa is at the Trumbull house with Jean (Mortensen) Guion, (Mrs. Richard), and Grandpa’s Aunt Betty.

)Judy Guion



World War II Army Adventure (112) – Dear Dad And The Rest Of You State-Siders (1) – The Most Eventful Week – September 12, 1945

Trumbull - Dave Is In Okinawa (3) - June 7, 1945

Manila City Hall

September 12, 1945


Dear Dad, and the rest of you “State-Siders” –

Yesterday I celebrated your birthday by receiving my first pieces of mail since leaving Okinawa.  It was the best present I could have gotten on your birthday.  Come to think of it, you use to celebrate your birthday by giving us presents – well I got mine, even this year.  I have lots to tell in the way of experiences here, but first there are some things to comment on in your letter.

This is the letter which he wrote at the end of probably what will have been the most eventful week of all times.  The Atomic Bomb had been dropped on the Japs and they had taken the “hint” and decided to quit.  It also contained the news that there was a possibility that Lad was in New York at the time.  I hope he was – and I hope that because of the way things have been going, that he doesn’t have to come over here.  However, if he is going to come to the Philippines, it might be a good idea to tell him how to see me.  I only hope that if he does come out here, that this letter gets home before he leaves there.  Here it is.  I am connected with GHO in Manila.  The headquarters building is now what used to be the City Hall.  Anybody in Manila can tell you where the City Hall is, but just for the record, it’s just west of Intramuras, the Walled City.  From there you ask for the Signal Communications Building which used to be the Water Works Building.  They will tell you it’s around the corner and down a side street.  It is only about as far from the City Hall as Kurtz’s store is from our house.  Once in the Water Works Building, you take the stairs going up right in front of you till you get to the third floor, turn left, and you’ll walk right straight ker-plunk into XXIV Corps Rear Echelon Signal Center.  There are only seventeen of us here, and we’ve all been together a long time.  Just ask for me – and then they’ll probably tell you I’m down in the tent. Soooooo, you go down the stairs, out the door, turn right, and proceed down the road which you just came up.  You will notice that right beside the building there is a bivouac area (it isn’t completed yet, but probably will be by the time Lad gets here).  The tent I am in is the first one (on the road) in the second row.  The Orderly Room is across the road, and if they don’t know any more about us than they do now, better not inquire about me there.  When you get to my tent, and ask where I am, they’ll probably tell you I’m out exploring the city and won’t be back ’til supper time.  So, to save you all the trouble in the first place, I’ll give you our phone number and you can call here and have me call you back, or maybe they could find me downstairs.  Here’s the phone number – ask for Manila City Hall, 28 – that’s us.  So much for that.  I hope you don’t ever get the chance to use the information because they kept you in the States, but if you ever get out here, at least you’ll know how to find me quickly.  You really shouldn’t have any trouble.

I had forgotten that I had said anything about being convinced that we would all be home a lot sooner than most people thought – but I might as well take advantage of it – “I told you so”.  In answer to your question to when I get home – your guess is as good as mine.  They’re making all that information public – points etc.  All I can tell you is that as of V-J Day, I had 30 points and will be accumulating 2 every month I’m over here.  You can follow events with that information and draw your own conclusion.  I don’t know any more than that myself.  It does look, though, that I stand a very good chance of being home before the September ’46 mark that I had set a week ago.

I’ll tell you one of D. P. Guion’s post-war plans – submitted here for your approval.  I am sending home $50.00 a month (by the way, are you getting those checks? They should have started with my pay for June – that would be $150.00 to date) and I won’t have enough to buy a car when I get home – even if I wanted to spend my money on getting one.  So, I thought that I might take your car off your hands – use it during the day for business – and at night for – – – – – –, well, use it at night.  You don’t like to drive, so I would do the driving and pay for the entire upkeep on it – tires, gas, repairs, grease-jobs, etc. What do you think?

I liked Mr. Senechal’s letter.  It should be preserved.  (Don’t reprint the following) – it reminds me of some scenes in “Where Do We Go From Here”, a movie in which a 4-F finds a magic lantern and rubs it – a genie appears, asks him what he would like, and tells him he has three wishes.  Well, this guy has his heart set on getting into the service, so asks for the Army.  A cloud of smoke – and he finds himself with George Washington at Valley Forge – something has gone wrong with the time machine which the genie used.  After some hilarious experiences, he found himself with Columbus, and finally, he found himself with the Dutch in Neiow Yourk.  They kept talking there, putting their subjects and predicates, and adjectives etc. in the wrong place.  Mr. Senechal’s letter reminded me of that – very quaint.

I also received a short note from you, Dad, in which you expressed joy in that I hadn’t met with misfortune during the war.  It was a nice note, Dad, and it only proves more the things I wrote in my last letter to you – you’re really A-1, and then some.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter which takes us for a tour to a few spots in Manila. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Marian Writes About A Move – September 14, 1944

Another letter from Marian to Grandpa keeping him up-to-date on the activities of the Lad Guion’s in Jackson, Mississippi.

MIG - Two From Marian In Jackson - On The Swing Shift - Sept., 1944Wednesday –

Jackson 9/14/44

Grandpa’s writing

Dear Dad: –

We’ve moved again, but not out of Jackson. Our new “home” is very much nicer than the first one, and we have kitchen privileges, so we don’t have to eat out. And from what we’ve sampled of Southern cooking, we are just as glad! Somewhere along the way I’ve been sadly misinformed about Southern cooking. (That’s not the only dissolution – I imagined sitting on the porch, sipping mint juleps and sniffing magnolias and honeysuckle! Something is definitely wrong! Mississippi is as dry as can be, and beer is a poor substitute for a mint julep!)

The couple who own the house where we are staying are very nice, and the house is furnished very nicely – Both of them work so we have the house to ourselves during the day.

For we are on the swing shift. Lad’s classes are from 3:00 in the afternoon until 12:30 at night. Consequently, he gets home at 1:30 or so and doesn’t have to report back to Camp until to the next afternoon. Although night classes are a little hard on the fellows, the day schedule would be worse, for he wouldn’t get off until 5:30 or 6 and would have to be back at Camp at 1 AM. So we are hoping the present schedule continues. He gets home every night and has from 12:30 Friday night until 2 PM Monday afternoon off. So far, at least – which is very nice indeed.

Our new address is 303 Longino, Jackson – but I think you might as well continue to send your weekly “morale – builder – uppers” to Lad at Camp. They are certain to reach us that way.

In case you are still wondering, the “we” I referred to in my letter written coming across the country, there were two of the wives who came with me and a two-year-old boy. We all lived at the same place in Pomona, so we decided to stick together and come here, too. We are living in a different part of town than they are, but it is very convenient to hop a bus now and go see them. ‘Cause afternoons and evenings give us a lot of spare time.

You are probably wondering what happened to the photograph we promised you. We have it with us and are sending it on to you. We’re sorry to say that they did too much re-touching, and that the proof was really a much better likeness than the finished product. But maybe you can hide it in some dark corner – at least, we tried – but we are not satisfied as yet – and will continue to try to get a better one taken – some time. And that’s a promise!

With all our love –

Marian and Lad

P.S. Lad tells me that September 11th was a very special day in your life. Please forgive our tardiness. Our best wishes for you are just as sincere and heartfelt as if we had been there to wish them in person.


Tomorrow and Sunday,  a very long letter from Dave – four pages. I’ll post about two pages each day. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean – Sitting On A Time Bomb – July 31, 1944

                          Lad and Mariam at Pomona

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean,

Here we go again!  Life in the Army is very much like sitting on a time bomb. We never know whether we will go off in the next minute, or whether our precarious seat will prove to be a dud.

The fellows have been told that they should have some technical training, so beginning tomorrow,  Lad is going to be teaching a course on the finer points of the Electrical System of Diesel Engines. This should last about two weeks. Actually, it means absolutely nothing, beyond the fact that it will keep the fellows busy! So, the way things stand now, we should be here for another two weeks, but just as soon as I put that in writing, the Army will change our minds for us! Consequently, you now know just about as much of our future plans as we do, and as to their definite-ness – your guess is as good as ours!

Life goes on pretty much the same these days, in all other respects. Lad is back at the Pomona Base now, and doesn’t have to report for work until 5:45 AM. He’s keeping busy, but is not working as hard or as long as he had to when he was at Camp Haan.

We thought we were going to be able to send you another addition for the ”Rogue’s Gallery”, but we were not satisfied with the finished product, so the photographers are going to see what they can do about it. But it will take another two weeks to get the pictures back. But you’ve waited this long for a picture of us together, so it shouldn’t be too hard to wait that much longer.

On the next cool Sunday, when you have nothing else to do, will you look in the top shelf of Lad’s trunk that is in the attic and see if his flashlight is there? It has a black, hard rubber case, with the red tab on it which says, “Approved by Underwriters Laboratory” on it. It is a gas proof and waterproof one, and Lad would like to have it with him if it is there. If you can’t find it in the trunk, contact Babe Mulllins, and see if she knows where it is.

Aunt Betty, I’m sure Ced has been using his most persuasive powers to get you to Alaska. But don’t forget that there might be some question about your being able to smoke those cigars of yours up there. Families, you know, understand these things and make the necessary allowances, but strangers are apt to raise their eyebrows at such goings on. And I’m sure the natives wouldn’t understand at all. They might think you were on fire, and  bury you under an avalanche of snow. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. Besides, who’s going to help me shovel a path to the garage if I come to Connecticut this winter?

With all our love,

Lad and Marian

Tomorrow, a letter from Dan, written from Normandie, almost two months after the D-Day invasion. A fascinating look at that part of the world through Dan’s eyes.

Judy Guion


World War II Army Adventure (82) – Dear Folks – I Don’t Have Much Time – January 31, 1945

David Peabody Guion, taken when he was in Trumbull around February, 1944

31 Jan 45

Dear Folks –

I don’t have much time – but I’ll try to scribble this off.  It will probably be my last for a while.

Enclosed, I hope you will find a money order for $75 – I still owe you $50.  I think I’ll be able to send about $50.  A month home – but I’ll have to see where I’m going first.

I guess you know that Air Mail to men in service overseas is 6 cents.  I didn’t know it ’til yesterday.

They’ll hold this letter with a money order in it ’til I go – so when you get this I’ll be in the cool calm Pacific.  So long – I’ll be back before you know it.



P.S. ——- Morale ——— Excellent !

Tomorrow another letter from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (80) – Dear Folks – This Is It – January 29, 1945

29 Jan 45

Dear Folks –

Well – “this is it”.  It came so fast I still don’t believe it myself – but as you can see by the address it’s true.  Naturally I can’t say anything.  A little over a year in the Army now – I’ve learned more in the past year than in any other year of my life – and now they tell me I don’t know a thing.  I don’t know where I’ve been, where I am, or where I’m going – but all kidding aside – I don’t feel any dumber.

Did you get a letter from Bernie Arnold?  I asked him to write because I knew I wouldn’t get a chance for a few days.

I guess from now on mail won’t be coming from me too regularly either – but at least you’ll all know that I’ll be thinking of you.

So long for now –


P.S. Did you get the package?  Just put it all in the trunk in the attic, please.

Tomorrow, another letter from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (69) – The Complete Story – October 19, 1944

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

October 19, 1944

Dear Folks –

I guess it’s about time I told you the complete story here.  I don’t remember now what I told you and what I haven’t – but this is it anyway.

First of all this is a 40-man team.  There are five Sig. Cen. (Signal Center) Chiefs, five officers, sixteen clerks, and the rest make up the Crypt (Cryptography) section.

Most of the fellows who are on the team are the ones I went to Sig. Cen.  School with – Peck, Marlowe, Arnold, Hensley, Rundle – and more.  Then there are more fellows who I got to know after I got here – Anderson, Schwebel, Maher – and more.  You’ll probably hear a lot about these fellows from now on.  Hensley is about 30 yrs. old – used to travel with one of these western road shows.  He’s a great talker and a swell guy.  Arnold is a former advertising man – he’s got a good head on him – and he’s a good egg. Peck is a good-old Conn. man and pretty nice guy.  Hensley and Arnold, although they are both almost old enough to be my father are probably my best buddies.

I truthfully can’t think of a better bunch of guys to go across with.  And the size of the team makes it sound awfully good.  There are rumors that we’ll have just two more weekends in Crowder – but who knows.  I want you to know that my morale at present is higher than it’s been at any time since I was home last June.  I’m really pepped up over the situation.

There is plenty of chance for advancement – in fact my name – along with some others – is right now up at Bn. Hq. (Battalion Headquarters) for a possible T/5 rating.  I think the next time I write it will be as a Cpl. – but as it isn’t offered yet – I’d like to have you keep it a secret until you hear from me again.  If I get a T/5 I’ll start bucking for a T/4.  There are four T/4 ratings open – which will go to any of us who get the T/5’s.  Lt. Greenberger, who is the C.O. of the team, seems to be satisfied with me and told me that there was plenty of room for advancement.  He also mentioned Crypt.  – And asked me if I thought I’d like it.  Maybe I’ll be a Crypt. Tech. yet.

On my three-day pass – after I left Ft. Smith, I went to Fayetteville as planned – but – I ran into a little Arkansas lass – and this wasn’t planned.  Last weekend I went down to see her again – she’s really pretty nice and makes good company.  Nothing serious in all this of course – but it gives me something to do with my off time.  I think I’ll go down there again this weekend and then next weekend I’ll try to make connections with Paul (Dave might be referring to Paul Warden, the husband and father of Katherine Warden and her two children, who are renting the apartment at the Trumbull House).

Well – until you hear again –

Love –


P.S. Lorene Ennis is name of the Fayetteville girl.  I told Eleanor all about her.

Tomorrow I will begin posting two letter written at the end of May.  The first is a letter to lad from the owner of Trumbull Coach Lines, Inc., Lad’s former boss. the second is a four-page letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion