Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 75,000 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 #: GLC09620.077 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: March Field, California Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 January 1944 Pagination: 1 p. : envelope ; 25.3 x 17.0 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad + Bee." He writes that his lack of letters is due to their very routine days and it's hard to write sometimes. Their flying hours increased as their class hours dwindle down. He recounts a miraculous accident another crew got into. They ran out of fuel and most of the crew bailed out, while the two pilots landed the plane in a field. One soldier broke his leg, but the two pilots escaped the wreckage unharmed after their crash landing. The letter is dated "Sunday 24," and as he is still in March Field, it can be assumed it is still 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]
Monday 24th
Dear Dad & Bee -
Have nothing in the way of news but I received your letters today saying you hadn't heard from me in ...some time. Our days are so routine that it's hard to write often.
The flying continues as usual and lately they've cut down on our ground school classes. The other day a crew in our flight had a miraculous escape from danger. They ran out of gas about 90 miles from here. First one engine quit, then another, and finally all four. The pilot gave the order for his crew to bail out which they did. All eight of them got down O.K. although one kid broke his leg. The pilot and co-pilot landed the ship (without power) with the wheels up out in the middle of the desert. The ship was demolished beyond repair yet neither of them were even scratched. It was a miraculous accident, with nobody being seriously hurt. All of the kids who jumped were petrified and just hated it.
No more now - write soon.
Love -
Bobby

[envelope]
Lt. R.L. Stone 0-696041
399th Bomb Group
Squadron 607
March Field, California

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 EducationTranscript 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