Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) to Jacob Stone, Beatrice Stone, Don Stone, Jim Stone, Barry Marks, and Ken Marks
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.113 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: At sea Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 July 1944 Pagination: 3 p. : envelope ; 27.3 x 19.4 cm.
Addressed to "Dad, Bee, Don, Jim, Barry + Ken." Says this is a tough letter to write due to "rigid restrictions." The ship he is on is overcrowded, and the poor enlisted men are packed in like sardines. The first day was "really rugged" and 75% were sick. He's been lucky to keep everything down, but it was "dubious at times." Life is quite dull as they can either sit on the hurricane deck or play poker in the mess hall. He's had very little in the way of duties and so far has only had to censor the enlisted men's mail. He thanks his father for treating him to a "last fling in L.A." He asks that they continue sending regular mail instead of V-Mail and that his parents send around his letters.
The letter is marked as "Somewhere at sea" and the postmark is dated July 20, 1944. "Letters in a Box" notes the date as July 8, 1944, however two V-Mail letters, GLC09620.114-.115, are dated as July 11, 1944 and July 12, 1944 and reference this letter. As it is his second day at sea and GLC09620.114 is also marked as "Somewhere at Sea," this letter is most likely July 11.
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.
[Draft Created by Crowdsourcing]
Somewhere at Sea
Dear Dad, Bee, Don, Jim, Barry & Ken -
This is going to be a tough one to write due to the rigid restrictions on what we may say. None the less I want to have a letter to mail as soon as we hit our destination to let you know that I am well and fine.
Our accommodations on the ship aren't too good due to a great overcrowding. Most of the officers have small staterooms that are adequate. The poor enlisted men are jammed into the hold like sardines.
On shipboard we eat only twice a day. Once in the morning and then again late in the afternoon. The chow is quite well prepared and our extreme hunger makes it exceptionally tasty.
Our first day at sea was really rugged. About 75% of the passengers were horribly sick. The crew said that it was the roughest day they'd had since they'd been making trips across. It was really hell for the first day at sea. Luckily enough I was able to keep down my
food although on several occasions it was dubious. The following day the sea was smooth again and everyone felt lots better. We saw faces on deck that we didn't know were on board until then.
Life on shipboard hasn't been too dull although this hasn't been a pleasure cruise. During the daytime we spend most of our time up on the hurricane deck enjoying the sun or else down in the mess hall playing poker. There is a tremendous amount of gambling on the boat because of no other entertainment.
So far on shipboard we have had very few duties. In fact the only work I've done so far is censor our enlisted men's mail. We have to censor all of their mail before we hit port and believe me they've written a lot.
I'm running low on news so I'll close here by saying that I hope I have some mail waiting for me upon my arrival. I got two letters from you and one from Pam before I left the coast - they came to my APO number. By the way, many thanks for the check treating me to a last fling in L. A., Dad.
Speaking of mail, please write straight mail as much as possible because I really
prefer that to V-mail. If regular mail takes too long in reaching me, I'll let you know and you can start using V-mail. Please be sure that all my letters make the rounds, Dad, because I doubt if I'll be able to write everyone individually. Be sure, however, to tell everyone that I really will appreciate a lot of mail.
My very best to everyone and my love to you all.
P.S. Say hello to the Hilsons for me.
Lt. R. L. Stone 0-696041
APO 16280 AS (19)
San Francisco, Cal.
Lt. Comdr. J. C. Stone
375 Park Avenue
New York City
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