Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

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

Order a pdf of this item here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.059 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Salt Lake City, Utah Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 November 1943 Pagination: 4 p. : envelope ; 26.2 x 16.7 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad + Bee." Just arrived in "Salt Lake" [City, Utah], after a scare where four "fellows" were bumped off the plane to make room for more gas due to bad weather. It was a rough trip, but they made it to a "very beautiful place." This town has things to do, including theaters, stores, and hotels. Met up with a few fellows from Childress who had already rented an apartment, and reported to fill out paperwork, before leaving post again. "It's absolute bedlam" as a lot of fellows are reporting, and "no one knows anything about anything as to shipping." They are eating like pigs, getting lots of sleep, and watching movies. They went up to see "Utah play Colorado" and he's hoping to get a chance to go skiing if he gets a chance. He closes the letter by thanking his parents for a swell leave and asks that they pass around his letters. The letter is dated as "Sunday Nite." "Letters in a Box," dates the letter as November 7, 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]
Sunday Nite
Dear Dad & Bee -
Since you last heard from me, quite alot has happened. Arrived here alright after a rather eventful plane trip. Just ...after I wired you from Denver, I was given a scare when four fellows were bumped off the ship. Both of those kids from Childress were removed. You see they had to put on more gas since there was a possibility we couldn't land at Salt Lake City due to bad weather but would have to fly 300 miles further on to Boise. From Denver to Salt Lake we had a very rough trip and as a matter of fact they had us leave our seat belts fastened and couldn't serve lunch. It was [inserted: an] extremely bumpy trip over the mountains but on arrival at Salt Lake the visibility was O.K. and we were allowed to land.
Salt Lake City is a very beautiful place located in a valley with a wall of high snow-capped mountains surrounding it. It's really lovely! The city is swell with many theaters, lots of nice stores, and several really good hotels. To say the least I was most pleasantly surprised.

[2]
Upon reporting Thursday I was told to return the following day. I went to town, which is only ten minutes from the field, and met up with a gang of kids from Childress. Had a good dinner and a movie and stayed in their apartment that they had already rented - darn nice place with lots of beds and an icebox and kitchenette.
Returned to the field the next morning where I had to fill in alot of papers etc. Was assigned to a barrack with all the gang. Incidentally my present address is -
Lt. R. L. S. 0-696041
Provisional Squadron F
18th Replacement Wing
Salt Lake City, Utah
Again I left the post and haven't been back since. We've lived the life of kings in town without even bothering to report to the post at all. It's absolute bedlam out there with loads of pilots, bombardiers, and gunners all reporting in. It's been like old-home-week running into kids I haven't seen for 10 months since Nashville days. I got my biggest surprise when I

[3]
Page 3
bumped into Bink Humphries, a friend of mine from Williams.
Have no idea when or where I'll be shipped. Some fellows have been here for over five weeks and no one knows anything about anything as to shipping etc.. The only thin [struck: k] [inserted: g] I do know is that I was classified for heavy bombardment in either a B-24 or B-14. I hope it's the latter.
So far we've gotten lots of sleep, eaten like pigs, and seen lots of movies and in general had a swell time. Went up to the University Saturday to see Utah play Colorado. It wasn't too good a game although it was lots of fun being out in the fresh air and wandering on a college campus. Incidentally it's been quite cold here and already there is wonderful skiing up on the mountains. If I'm here any length of time I'm going to look into it and possibly go skiing some week-end.
Really can't think of any more for now except, again many thanks for such a swell leave. I only regret it was so short. Please be sure to send my letters around to all the boys so that I won't have

[4]
to write everyone individually.
S'long for now.
With lots of love -
Bobby
P.S. Has my ring or the pictures come yet?

[envelope]
Lt. R. L. Stone 0-696041
Provisional Squadron F
18th Replacement Wing
Salt Lake City, Utah

Lt. Comdr. J. C. Stone
375 Park Avenue
New York City
N. Y.
See More

People: Stone, Robert L., 1921-2009
Stone, Beatrice Hecht Marks, 1901-1962
Stone, Jacob, fl. 1894-1985

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

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

Sub Era: World War II

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources