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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.031 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Ellington Field, Texas Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 June 1943 Pagination: 3 p. : envelope ; 27.3 x 18.9 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad, Bee, Jim, and Barry." He owes everyone a letter as he hasn't been able to write. His classes are finished, and he did well above average. They don't mean too much, as the real scores come in during Advanced Training. Briefly walks through the basics of Advanced Training which is 12 weeks long. Only one-third of the group will move on, and he should get preference as a Cadet Officer. He feels like "such a heel" for not responding to all of the letters and asks his parents to thank O'ma, Pam, and others for him. He apologizes as he will have less time to write in the future. Classes are finished, so he'll "loaf" a bit, but the next level will be harder. Went to the range for gun practice, had a gas drill where every type of gas was thrown at them, and this week they'll be going into the pressure chamber to determine if they'll fly at low or high altitudes. The letter is not dated, except for "Monday" in the top right corner. "Letters in a Box" notes it was written on June 14, 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]
Monday
Dear Dad, Bee, Jim, and Barry -
This will have to be one of those long joint affairs because I owe everyone letters, and I ...just haven't had time to write.
Classes have just about come to an end and I really outdid myself by finishing up with a real set of grades. In Chemical Warfare, Ground Forces, First Aid, and Code we didn't get a grade but merely the notation of "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory." The following, however, make up actual courses and we get a numerical grade in each. Math 95, Naval Forces 95, Aircraft Identification 98, Maps and Charts 95, and 85 in physics. In the physics final I really delivered the goods and got a 98 to pull up my first test which was below seventy. Although these grades are well above average, they don't mean too much because the real thing comes at Advanced. What you do at preflight doesn't count too much unless you're on the ball at Advanced. There we have twelve weeks of training most of which is spent in actual bombing. The first three weeks we're on the ground going to class and then we sprout wings. Advanced is one heck of a tough proposition and the wash-outs are numerous - all I can do is hope for the best.
A week from this Wednesday the first fellows

[2]
in our group will go to Advanced. There's only room for about 1/3 to go and so they have to pick the lucky ones. I ought to be picked as they always give preference to Cadet officers. The remaining 2/3rds go to gunnery school for seven weeks. The ones who go to Advanced first go to gunnery later as officers.
Before I forget it, please thank O'ma for her sweet letter and explain to her that I just haven't had time to write and will have even less in the near future. I feel like such a heel not answering letters but I have all I can do to write you folks and Pam occasionally as it is. Please don't forget to tell O'ma.
Many congrats on making "Cum Lousy," Barry. I really think it's swell. Also, nice going Jim on the varsity "D." It must feel funny to have the last of our long line of Deerfielders graduated.
There's not too much in the way of news from here because I've spent most of my time with the books, even on the week-ends. I have been up to Galveston a couple of more times but nothing much besides that. I did use my [inserted: officers] open post to go to town last Wednesday night for dinner and a show. Think I'll go in again this week cause I have nothing else to do.
Last week we went out on the range and fired a few rounds with a .45. We also had a day

[3]
of gas drill where they threw a sample of every known gas at us so we'd know what it's like.
This week we'll go up in the pressure chamber to determine whether we'll be high or low altitude bombardiers. It's supposed to be quite something and I'll write you all about it after I've been up.
The weather continues to be unbearably hot and I hate to think what it'll be like when summer comes, because it's really miserable now.
Can't think of any more to write cause all we're doing now is loaf. We go to a few movies and demonstrations each day, but otherwise nothing cause classes are all over.
Let's hear from you.
Lots of love -
Bobby

[envelope]
A/C R. L. Stone 12120188
Bombardier Wing
Group 21, Squadron D
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, Jacob, fl. 1894-1985
Stone, Beatrice Marks, fl. 1900-1950
Stone, James, 1926-2007
Marks, Barry, 1926-1983
Hecht, Gella Stern, 1868-1947

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

Subjects: World War IISoldier's LetterMilitary CampMilitary ServiceAir ForceAviationMilitary EducationTexasTranscript AvailableCrowdsourced Transcript AvailableTranscript Project: Robert L. Stone's World War II letters

Sub Era: World War II

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