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Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) to Jacob Stone and Beatrice Stone

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.013 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Nashville, Tennessee Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 5 March 1943 Pagination: 4 p. : envelope ; 27.8 x 19.6 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad and Bee." Finished up his "pyschs" this week, but has not written to anyone for a week. The first day was an eight-hour multiple choice test to determine placement, followed by "penny arcade day" where his coordination was tested with a variety of contraptions, the next day was "ARMA" or "adaptability relative to military aeronautics," followed by an interview with a psychiatrist. He mentions that most of the fellows "wash out" at this point. The following day he had a "complete going-over" and they thoroughly tested the eyes by looking at depth perception and prism divergence and convergence. He had only one recheck at the end for his leg which has a metal plate in it. He describes the jury of medical officers who ruled him "not guilty" to say he did not have to have the plate taken out. He was cleared to go for classification and now he is anxiously awaiting the answer. While he waited, over a thousand men have been shipped out for further training. Wash outs are increasing daily, but they get an automatic three-day pass. Visited with Phil and Lois, and had "one super meal" that Lois prepared. The weather is dismal with temperatures around zero and they are in "crummy barracks." Describes guard duty as a twenty-four hour position with two hours on and four hours off. Recieved his first typhoid and tetanus shots, which the army "dishes out wholesale." Asks Dad and Bee to send his letter around as he does not have the time to write to everyone. The letter is written on stationary with "U.S. Army Air Forces" written in blue at the top of the letter, with the blue U.S. Army Air Forces logo.

Background Information: Robert "Bob" Stone was a Bombardier in World War II and served in the Pacific Front. These letters, were compiled by Bob's wife, Sheila M. Stone, and Ali Adair into ...a book named Letters in a Box. This book details Bob's service to his country, and his life after the war. Bob's letters were donated to the collection by his wife, Sheila M. Stone, in 2017. It contains a variety of letters, postcards, patches, pins, photographs, and scrapbooks that relate to Bob's training and combat missions. See More

Full Transcript: [Draft Created by Crowdsourcing]
Friday Nite
Dear Dad & Bee -
I imagine you've given me up as a lost soul since I haven't written for so long. Last week, however, ...I was tied [inserted: up] with all my tests etc. and so for this week they've kept us on the hop with constant details and duties.
Last monday I started off with a day of written psychs that lasted for eight hours. It was the multiple choice type based on everything imaginable. Nobody is ever washed out as a result of this part of the test and it's merely used to help in your classification. The next day we took our individual psychs that can best be described as "penny arcade day." They have the damnest contraptions with lights and levers and buttons to push on and off. These tests were very interest [inserted: ing] [strikeout] and are used to test your coordination. The next day and the most important I took my "ARMA" (adaptability relative to military aeronautics). This was an interview with a psychiatrist in which he asks a million and one different questions. This is the part of the tests that the majority of the fellows are washed out on. I really had fun talking with my fellow and I think I did quite well. The following day the actual

[2]
Physical came. Never have I had such a complete going-over. The most extensive thing is the eye test in which they give you depth perception, prism divergence and convergence, as well as a number of other things. I went through the whole exam without a recheck until I came to the last room where I got a recheck on my leg cause they wanted to have it x-rayed. Had this done right away and took the pictures and the report to the captain who is the orthopaedic surgeon. He said he thought that the plate would have to come out not because anything was wrong with it but because if anything ever happened to my leg it might cause complications or some such rot. Then I reported to the flight surgeon who told me to come back the next day which I did. Went to the original captain who had eight medical officer sitting in his office like a jury. He told them about my leg etc. and the verdict was rendered not guilty - i.e. that I didn't have to have it out. Then reported back to the flight surgeon who said my papers were o.k. to go on to classification and that was that. As yet no word has come through but it's not too bad a sign as some fellows have had to wait as long as two weeks to get any word as it's a long procedure. Waiting anxiously for some word one way or the other is absolute hell but there's not a darn thing you can do about it.

[3]
Page 3
On friday a big shippment [sic] of several thousand men went out as pilots and Pete was among them. We've heard from them already from Maxwell Field, Alabama. Right now another bunch of pilots and navigators are on orders to leave any time, destination unknown. Slowly but surely most of my friends are taking off and I'd certainly love to join them.
The number of wash outs is increasing daily and some of the kids are really broken up. After being reverted to a private they get an automatic three day pass as well as open-post every night until twelve - hardly worth it, though!!!
On wednesday I went to Lois and Phil's apt. for dinner. Lois really outdid herself and cooked up one super meal. I was so surprised to find she was such a wonderful cook. I hadn't eaten so well in a month. It's certainly swell to have them around to visit with on open-posts.
Don't know if I've thanked you or not but many thanks now for the hanks, underwear, towels, sneakers, and cookies Bee. The last of which will be muchly appreciate any time [inserted: again.] Also, thanks Dad & Bee for your letters that are more than welcomed.

[4]
The last week or so the weather has been absolutely miserable in this hell-hole The temperature has been down around zero and it's most uncomfortable since we have such crummy barracks. Last night it snowed like anything and today we have a good four inches on the ground - no kidding this place really stinks and I'll certainly be glad to leave it.
Had a taste of real drudgery a week ago when I was on guard duty. It's a 24 hour propos-ition with two hours on and four off. Believe me it's no fun to be up most of the night pounding a beat all alone out in the cold - not my idea of a good time.
Last Sunday I had my first typhoid and tetanus shots. They really dish them out wholesale. You roll up both sleeves and you're hit from both sides [inserted: at once] by a needle - most unpleasant!
I hope by now my watch is about ready as I'm lost without it. Please send all my letters to the boys at Deerfield as well as to Don and Ken so I won't have to write everybody seperately [sic] cause I just haven't the time.
Keep your fingers crossed that my classification comes through alright and that I get by. I'll let you know as soon as anything comes through.
My love to you all -
Bobby

[envelope]
A/C R. L. Stone 12120188
Squadron D-4
Nashville Army Air Center
Nashville, Tenn.

Lt. Comdr. J. C. Stone
375 Park Avenue
New York City
N. Y.
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People: Stone, Robert L., 1921-2009
Stone, Beatrice Marks, fl. 1900-1950
Stone, Jacob, fl. 1894-1985

Historical Era: Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945

Subjects: World War IISoldier's LetterNashvilleMilitary CampMilitary ServiceFamilyTranscript AvailableCrowdsourced Transcript AvailableTranscript Project: Robert L. Stone's World War II letters

Sub Era: World War II

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