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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.016 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Ellington Field, Texas Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 3 April 1943 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope ; 26.3 x 19.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad and Bee." Now at Ellington Field, Texas, the men are kept to a strict routine starting at 5:30AM. They eat breakfast, go to calisthenics, and then go to classes with a lunch break. There is one more hour of drills, supper, and lights are out at 10:00PM. Talks briefly about the tough classes he must take now, even though he has avoided them in college and prep school. The weather is brutally hot, and asks for salt tablets to be sent. It's even tougher as he came from a cold climate. The food is terrific, and rivals that of restaurants in New York City. Warns that he won't be writing during the week as he has to study if he hopes to get by. Asks that the letters continue to come, even if they don't hear from him. Post-Script: Asks that his letters get passed on to his brothers. The letter is written on stationary with "PreFlight School, Bombardier, U.S. Army Air Corps, Ellington Field, Texas" printed in dark blue at the top of the letter, with the flyers' wings. The date is written as "Saturday Nite" but "Letters in a Box" notes the letter was written on April 3, 1943.

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]
Saturday Nite
Dear Dad & Bee -
After my first few days, Ellington seems to be a swell place. Our routine here is really something. Every day ...we get up at 5:30 and make up our bunks etc. and go to breakfast at 6:15. Then we go to calisthenics for an hour after which we go to a class on military science. Next comes lunch followed by four hours of classes. Then we have an hour of drill and then supper. You don't have a free minute all day and in fact you can't sit on your bunk from 5:30 till 5:00 in the afternoon. Lights go out at 10:00 but believe me you're glad to get to bed because you can't help being completely exhausted.
If I ever get through the courses here it will be a miracle because all of them are subjects I avoided taking at college and was weak on in prep-school. I have maps and aerial photography, arithmetic, code, and physics which is a stinker. The math and physics look as though they'll be tough as heck because they have to cram alot of college work into a very short period of time since they try to rush us through.

[2]
So far the weather has been brutally hot with a bright sun shining down all day. Several times I almost blacked out while marching. Would you be good enough to send me some salt tablets, Bee? I tried to buy some on the post and can't, and we won't get to town for the next three weeks.
Today all of [inserted: the] cadets in both the bombardier and navigator wings had a big parade and we passed in review before all the top-officiers[sic] of the post. It was really tough in the boiling sun. I hope that I get used to it soon because it really takes it out of me right now coming from a cold climate.
The food continues to be terrific! Today we had a large steak for lunch plus our choice of four vegetables etc. I have never had such meals before even at Deerfield. It's just like going to one of the best restaurants in New York. When we have eggs and hotcakes, they're hot because they take them off the stove as you come by in line.
From now on I doubt if you'll hear from me at all during the weeks because we have no time to ourselves except for a few hours at night when I'll have to be studying if I ever expect to get by. So, don't worry if you don't hear from me, and please you write cause mail is always swell.
My love to all - Bobby

P.S. Please send all my letters on to Don and Jim as I haven't time to write them too. Please don't forget.

[envelope]
A/C R. L. Stone 12120188
Group 20 Squadron D
A. F. P. S. (Bombardier)
Ellington Field, Texas

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 LetterMilitary CampMilitary ServiceFoodTranscript AvailableCrowdsourced Transcript AvailableTranscript Project: Robert L. Stone's World War II letters

Sub Era: World War II

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