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 #: GLC09620.066 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: March Field, California Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 15 December 1943 Pagination: 2 p. ; 24.9 x 18.1 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad + Bee." Hasn't received any mail from his parents lately, probably because Don Stone was home on leave. He enjoys the men he's flying with, but was upset to find out that all passes from "Post" have been canceled, especially as the schedule is very rough, with six-hour training flights. He has discovered that he will be heading to the Pacific Theater, most likely, as "an R.T.U." [Replacement Training Unit]. He asks for a new pen for Christmas, and apologizes for the late presents this year as he was going to go shopping before the passes were taken away. The letter is written on "March Field, California" stationary with images at the top of men in uniform. A typed copy of this letter is included with GLC09620.067.02.

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]
Wednesday Dec. 15th
Dear Dad and Bee-
It seems like ages since I last heard from you, but I guess you've been pretty well occupied with ...Don being home. I too have been mighty busy with a very full schedule of ground school and flying.
The crew continues to be swell and Hap is a very able pilot. Incidentally "Whitey" has turned out to be an A-1 gent, contrary to the hasty first impression.
Our schedule here is even rougher than in the Cadets and we have even less time to ourselves. Our flying schedule is gruelling cause we're in the blue six hours a day or night, every day. That's a long time to be up there at one clip.
We've taken some rotten deals out here and as yet we haven't left the post. We were to go on a 24 hour pass starting tomorrow but this

afternoon they cancelled all passes until further notice. It's really rough when you think that we'll be in combat in less than three months and there we won't have any place to go on passes. Incidentally, according to all information we'll be sent into the Pacific theater. We're in an R.T.U. (Replacement Training Unit) not O.T.U. which means that we will not be sent as a large unit but rather as single ships joining a large unit as a replacement.
Before I forget, I hope you'll understand and excuse a delay in any Xmas presents but since we won't be getting [inserted: off] tomorrow I won't have a chance to get anything to any of you by the 25th. I hope you'll understand but it's not my doings.
Speaking of Xmas Bee, you mentioned that I might like a "Parker 51" pen. At the time I said no but since then my pen got broken. If you can get one, I'd love a medium in black and silver. It's just a suggestion if the offer still holds good. I'd love one, cause I've had to borrow a pen ever since I broke mine.
No more now, except let's hear from you cause mail is really welcomed way out here.
Lots of love -
See More

People: Stone, Robert L., 1921-2009
Stone, Beatrice Hecht Marks, 1901-1962
Stone, Jacob, fl. 1894-1985
Stone, Don, fl. 1925

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

Subjects: World War IISoldier's LetterMilitary CampMilitary ServiceAir ForceAviationMilitary EducationHolidays and CelebrationsTranscript 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