Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) to Jacob Stone and Beatrice Stone
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.072 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: March Field, California Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 29 December 1943 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope ; 25.2 x 15.8 cm.
Addressed to "Dad + Bee." Begins with a big thanks for the new pen that arrived and is sorry to hear that "375 is temporarily a sick ward," and hopes that both his father and step-mother feel better. The mail is "jammed up," so he hasn't received a Christmas package from home yet. They had a 24-hour pass, and he and two others had dinner and stayed the night outside of Beverly Hills. Their crew has a new pilot, who is an instructor. They're still flying a lot and doing bombing runs at 20,000ft.
The letter is dated "Wednesday." "Letters in a Box" notes the date as December 29, 1943.
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.
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Dear Dad & Bee -
First off, a million thanks for the beautiful pen that just arrived today. It's really just swell and writes so easily. I was sorry to hear that 375 is temporarily a sick ward. I hope both of you are 100% well again.
Xmas was a fairly sad day for all of us. We were up at 5:30 in the morning and had to fly until noon. Then we went to grounds school until six. It was just another day and quite unlike Christmas. Incidentally Bee, that box you said you'd sent some time ago has never arrived. The mails were all jammed up but it shouldn't have taken all that while.
Got off again on a 24 hour pass and I went in and stayed with Ronnie and Doug. I had dinner there and stayed over night. They have a darling house just outside of Beverly Hills. Was fun to [strikeout] see them again.
A few days ago Hap was removed as our first pilot. He took a raw deal and was sent away to another field. I'll tell you about it some time but it's too involved
to write. We were assigned a new pilot by the name of Jim Robinson. He's a first lieutenant who was a pilot instructor here. He's a swell egg and a damn fine flyer.
Say Dad, I got a ride into LA with a Captain in the air force who said he had a good friend who used to be a governor on the Exchange and is now a Lt. Comdr. in the navy. By any chance do you know a fellow by the name of Wardell?
Can't think of anything else except that we're still flying lots. We're doing high altitude bombing from 20,000 ft. It's really tiring to stay up there six hours at a clip.
I tried to reach you on Christmas day but of course the lines were so tied up that I was out of luck. Again a million thanks for the nifty pen.
Here's wishing you a very happy new year and that next year we will all be together again with this mess only a bad memory.
Lots of love -
P.S. Please address and mail the enclosed.
Lt. R.L. Stone 0-696041
399th Bomb Group
March Field, California
Lt. Comdr. J.C. Stone
375 Park Avenue
New York City
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