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, Beatrice Stone, Don Stone, James Stone, Barry Marks, and Ken Marks

Order a pdf of this item here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.127 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Oahu, Hawaii Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 September 1944 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope ; 27.6 x 19.4 cm.

Addressed to "Dad, Bee, Don, Jim, Barry, + Ken." He apologizes for the lapse of mail, but he is now the "proud possessor of a very impressive diploma" as school sped up massively, but he's done. He is now flying all the time, and the next time he writes he might not be in Hawaii. He can't write about it, but tells his family to follow the "7th AAF Liberators." He tried locating Barry, but with no luck. He hopes to bump into him soon.

The letter is dated as "September 1, 1944." "Letters in a Box" dates the letter as September 1, 1944.

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]
Oahu, Hawaii
September 1, 1944
Dear Dad, Bee, Don, Jim, Barry, & Ken -
I hope you'll all excuse the lapse with no mail from these parts but life has taken up a speedier tempo [inserted: of late.] Gunnery school is over and I'm now the proud possessor of a very impressive diploma. At the moment we're back in our tents at this mosquito ridden paradise.
Our daily (and nightly) schedule is [inserted: a] mighty full one right now. We're flying all the time and have a few classes between times. We've been concentrating on bombing and long navigation missions, and we're just about ready to try our luck with the Nips. In fact by the time you answer this letter I doubt if I'll still be here in Hawaii. I can't tell you much about my future destinations but you can best follow my whereabouts by reading the activities of the 7th AAF Liberators in the daily papers.
Incidentally that stuff about the B-29's is completely false. I never even mentioned to Ronnie anything about our flying and I have no idea where she got the notion

about my changing to B-29's - not that I wouldn't like to!
Yesterday I made several phone calls in Honolulu to try to locate Barry but it was to no avail. I'm afraid he'll have to contact me through my mailing address. It certainly would be swell if we could get together.
That was certainly swell about Tommy getting his promotion. Tell his Dad I had written him before I heard from you and I'm writing him again today to congratulate him - in his last letter he was still a first. Out here promotions seem to be unheard of, and to think I'll be in grade for a full year next month. The air force has certainly backtracked from their policy of two or three years ago.
That's about all for now except to say that your letters are coming through fine and I hope you'll all keep writing often.
Love to you all -

Lt. R. L. Stone 0-696041
VII Bomber Command (Heavy Training. Det.)
APO 953 ? Postmaster
San Francisco, Cal.

Lt. Comdr. J. C. Stone
375 Park Avenue
New York City

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources