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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.075 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: March Field, California Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 January 1944 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope ; 26.5 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad + Bee." The plane his crew flies had an engine fail when they were in the air and the next time they flew it was on the "fritz," so they landed after circling their base. The first day they were flying out over the ocean and broke formation to land at a small airport outside of Fresno. He thinks the plane should be fixed the next time they fly. They didn't celebrate New Years Eve as flying six-hour missions on oxygen is exhausting and they were all in bed by 9:30PM. He is very happy that the call request he thought he canceled went through and he was able to speak to his parents. Reiterates that he "most certainly do[es] like his crew!" and they're a "swell bunch." The letter is dated "Saturday Nite." "Letters in a Box" notes the letter dated as January 1, 1944.

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]
Saturday Nite
Dear Dad & Bee-
As you can see we're still here at Hammer Field tonight. We took off at 3:30 this afternoon and circled the field ...twice and had to land again because one of our engines was still on the fritz. Consequently, we won't try to leave again until tomorrow afternoon when the ship ought to be all fixed up.
Yesterday we were flying in a big formation of the IV Bomber Command up to San Francisco and Sacramento when one of our engines failed. We had to leave the formation and head for the coast (we were flying out over the ocean) and land at the nearest airport, which turned out to be at Fresno. It's a fairly nice field located about nine miles from Fresno, which is south of Sacramento in the San Jaquin [sic] Valley.
We didn't do any celebrating for New

Years Eve because we were so darn tired. When you fly for five or six hours at 20,000 ft. with oxygen you get mighty fatigued. Consequently we were in bed by 9:30.
It was so swell to talk to you last night. I had been waiting for the call all evening at the officers club but finally cancelled it, or at least so I thought, and went back to my BOQ to bed. About twenty minutes after I was in bed the orderly called me to the phone. Evidentally the operator didn't realize I'd cancelled the call and kept working on it - I was glad she had!
I misunderstood Bee on the phone. I most certainly do like my crew! We've got a swell bunch of kids and our new pilot is aces high! Our whole crew, both officers and enlisted men, are tops.
Enough for now cause I must be off to bed. Write often.
Love -
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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 EducationTranscript AvailableCrowdsourced Transcript AvailableTranscript Project: Robert L. Stone's World War II letters

Sub Era: World War II

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