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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.153 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Mariana Islands Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 31 December 1944 Pagination: 3 p. : envelope ; 26.1 x 19.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Addressed to "Dad + Bee." He prays that the New Year will bring his family together again and end this "damn war." As holidays don't mean much, they had a couple of warm beers and "dynamite" coconut whiskey to celebrate New Years Eve. He hopes his parents enjoyed their holiday at Williamstown, and asks if they stayed up there for New Years. He has fifteen raids to his credit and his crew's new slogan is "twenty-five in forty-five!" They've had a couple of close calls with tough opposition, but they've come in on a "wing and a prayer." His crew is assigned to a "fairly old jalopy" called the Flying Jenny. They inherited the plane after their ninth mission. He's seen Barry a few times and hopes to get a photo of the two of them soon. He thanks his father for the various news clippings [not included] and for passing the mail on from the other boys. The letters are a welcome treat especially after a tough raid.

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]
The Marianas
December 31st, 1944
Dear Dad & Bee-
Well here's your Pacific correspondent back at it again to bring you up to date on the latest from out this way. ...Christmas and now New Years Eve is going by the boards and we're about to launch on a new year, which I hope and pray will bring us all together again and put an end to this damn war. Out here among the palm trees holidays don't mean much and so our New Years celebration [inserted: merely] consisted of a few [struck] warm beers and some native coconut whiskey, which is dynamite! I hope you had a pleasant visit at Williamstown over the 25th and that your Christmas [inserted: was] as much of a festive occasion as possible under the circumstances. Did you stay up there for New Years too?
To start off 1945 I have fifteen raids to my credit and our slogan is "twenty-five in forty-five"! It will be a long haul to complete twenty-five more missions, but as time passes the missions add up. Recently we ran into some fairly tough opposition and had a couple of close calls-a wing and a prayer really hits it on the head, but as long as you make it back that's all that matters. [2]
To answer a couple of your questions, Dad- Up until our ninth mission we flew a different ship each time. Since then, we were assigned a ship that belonged to a crew that finished up its missions and went home. They had the name "Flying Jenny" painted on and so we had to leave it. The name is quite appropriate because it's a fairly old jalopy but somehow it seems to get us there and back.
Barry was down here a few days ago waiting for me when I got back from a mission. We had dinner here and I drove him back to his camp. He's fine as ever and seems enthusiastic about his new work. When we get together again I'll try to have a picture taken of us to send you. It's kinda hard though because you're not allowed to have cameras or take any pictures on the island, but I'll see if I can arrange something.
Say Dad, I want to thank you for the various clippings you've sent me. Please continue to send any clippings of the 7thAAF because it's fun to see what they write about the work we're doing. Thanks also for passing on the mail from the various boys as they come to you. You're a regular clearing house! [3]
Still the package Bee sent to APO 953 has not arrived but there's still a chance that it may come through. It's such a shame because you mailed it so very early. I did receive the box from Robert Day Dean's and the box of cookies from 375, both of which I thanked you for long ago. Of course, they were mailed to APO 241 and got through alright.
Many thanks for all of your various letters which help to make life more bearable out here. You'd be surprised what a lift it is to come back [inserted: from a raid] cold, hungry, and possibly a bit banged up, and dead tired and have a few letters from your family, friends, and loved ones waiting for you. It really makes a difference.
Must run now to go get our ship loaded up. A very, very happy new year to you all.
Best love-
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People: Stone, Robert L., 1921-2009
Stone, Jacob, fl. 1894-1985
Stone, Beatrice Hecht Marks, 1901-1962
Marks, Barry, 1926-1983

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

Subjects: World War IISoldier's LetterMilitary CampMilitary ServiceAir ForceAviationCensorshipHolidays and CelebrationsLeisureFood

Sub Era: World War II

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