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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.038 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Childress, Texas Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 27 June 1943 Pagination: 4 p. ; 27.6 x 19.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad, Bee, Don, and Jim." Starts the letter with a brief about his location. Childress is a small "church-run," dry town where they can't buy beer. Open-Post means nothing, as there is nothing in town. Says it's flat, dusty, unbearably hot, and the food is not great. Their session has changed from twelve to eighteen weeks and they're trained as bombardiers and navigators. He has heard the work is difficult and he knows he won't have much time to write. He asks that everyone continues to write, as mail is "especially welcome," and it's very lonely. He writes that they recieved their supplies, including things like a briefcase, a box of books, and a variety of gadgets. He asks that his father sends him photography film by sending it in an unmarked box as it is illegal.

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]
Sunday
Dear Dad, Bee, Don and Jim -
Was good to talk to you this morning and tell you about my whereabouts. Had quite a bit ...of excitement after I wrote you from Wichita Falls where we were held over for 9 hours due to a wreck down the road. We sat up all night and finally pulled into a cross roads on the tracks at around five the next morning. Upon inquiry we were told it was the town of Childress. It's a small place with a main street quite comparable to Bloomingdale. It's a dry town run by church people so that you can't even buy beer. No kidding it is really an incredible setup and I can't describe how miserable it is. Open-post means nothing here because we're restricted to 25 miles and so nobody goes to town, because there is really nothing.
Pretty soon some G.I. trucks brought us out here to the field which is really something. It's very flat desert country which is dusty as anything and extremely hot. We

[2]
live in single story barracks that aren't too hot. The food isn't comparable to Ellington but it's not bad. About the only good thing so far is the fellows. We have a class of about 120 and the're [sic] really great guys.
Starting with our class the course has been changed from 12 to 18 long weeks. We will graduate as "Bombagators" (Bombardier-Navigator). In fact, the first thing we take up is navigation which is meant to be mighty rough. The upper classes say that the work here is really tough and washouts are frequent. All our officers have told us the courses and flying are incomparable to anything we've ever done before. Incidentally are C.O. is a captain who's hard as nails and known to be a stinker. The discipline here is very strict since they turn out [inserted: good] officers as well as bombardiers.
Our course is so tough and keeps us so busy that we never have a minute to our self. This time I really mean it when I say you won't hear from me because I know we'll have no free time. I'd really appreciate it if you'd tell all my friends that I'll really appreciate mail but won't be able to write back, as much as I'd like to. Please ask everyone to write because it's really lonely

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Page 3
and mail will be especially welcomed. I hate to lose contact with everyone but writing will be an impossibility from all indications.
The day we arrived we were issued a lot of new equippment [sic]. Each man got a waltham wrist watch, a stop watch, a series of complicated computers and dials, bombing tables, a lawyers brief case, rulers and compasses, a drawing board, lots of tech manuals, and a box of books and small gadgets none of which mean anything to us. It was just like Xmas opening box after box of instruments etc.
Just had a thought. One of the boys has a camera here, most illegal of course. We thought we'd take some snaps and send them home but unfortunately we can't get film. If you could get us some "xx 828" Kodak film I'd really appreciate it. If you can send some, wrap it in a box that has nothing to do with photography because we'd be in a real mess if detected.
Guess I've told you just about everything that's happening so far. I hope you'll understand the setup here because it's going to be rough and getting through will be a real [struck: ly] accomplishment. Please write often because it's really lonely out here and I do mean lonely. Be sure to send any letters I write you on to Don

[4]
and Jim.
Lots of love -
Bobby

P.S In case my address is blurred on the envelope and you didn't quite get it on the phone.
A/C R.L.S 12120188
Class 43-13 Sqdn 7 Flight D
AAFBS
Childress, Texas.
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People: Stone, Robert L., 1921-2009
Stone, Don, fl. 1925
Stone, Beatrice Hecht Marks, 1901-1962
Stone, Jacob, fl. 1894-1985
Stone, James, 1926-2007

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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