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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.135 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Marshall Islands Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 8 October 1944 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope ; 27.4 x 19.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad, Bee, Don, Jim, et al." After three months in Oahu, they are finally "down under." The base is "kinda makeshift" as the island took a pounding from the U.S. Air Force. The men of the squadron all seem great, and they range from "old veterans" finishing up their last few missions, to those who have only been there for a "short while." It takes six to eight months to complete the thirty-five mission requirement before they can return stateside. After fifteen missions they will get a break for ten days. He doesn't know when they'll fly their first mission, but they'll start local. He asks that they keep their fingers crossed and praises the pilot.

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]
Kwajalein, Marshalls
October 8, 1944
Dear Dad, Bee, Don, Jim, et al -
Well at long last we're down under after spending three months on Oahu. We came ...down by A.T.C. stopping off at a small navy base overnight. Surprisingly enough we're allowed to tell the name of our base here. I won't try to tell you too much about this atoll because there's not much here to tell about. The island took such a pounding from the U.S. air force that there isn't a live tree on the island. The place is absolutely flat and completely devoid of any plant life. All of the buildings on the island are very crude and kinda makeshift.
The fellows down here are really good gents. We arrived yesterday afternoon and by supper we had met most of the boys in our squadron. They are all very friendly and have done everything possible to make us feel at home and a part of the outfit. Some of them are old veterans finishing up their last few missions while others are have only been out here a short while. The way it is now you have to fly thirty-five missions before returning to the States. Usually it takes around six or eight months to finish up. After each fifteen missions you're sent on a rest leave for ten days on Oahu.

As yet I don't know when we'll fly our first mission but I imagine it will be fairly soon. As far as I know we have to fly a few local missions and then we'll be ready for our first strike. Cross the old fingers and keep 'em crossed until number thirty-five is under my belt. We have a pretty good crew and if anybody can, I'm sure ol' Bill will get us back somehow. He's a darn fine pilot!
Can't think of any more for now so I'll close here. Please be sure that you pass my new address on to Don & Jim.
With all love-
Lt. R. L. S. 0-696041
431st Bomb Squadron (Heavy)
APO 241 ? PM
San Francisco, Cal.
Lt. R. L. Stone 0-696041
431st Bomb Squadron (Heavy)
APO 241 ? Postmaster
San Francisco, Cal.
Mr. J. C. Stone
375 Park Avenue
New York City (22)
N. Y.
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People: Stone, Robert L., 1921-2009
Stone, Jacob, fl. 1894-1985
Stone, Beatrice Hecht Marks, 1901-1962
Stone, James, 1926-2007
Stone, Don, fl. 1925

Historical Era: Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945

Subjects: World War IISoldier's LetterMilitary CampMilitary ServiceAir ForceAviationCensorship

Sub Era: World War II

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