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 and Beatrice Stone

Order a pdf of this item here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.155 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Mariana Islands Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 January 1945 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope ; 26.1 x 19.4 cm.

Addressed to "Dad + Bee." He hopes that Bee is feeling better after being sick over the holidays. He thinks that Don is still stationed in England rather than Belgium, even though the Christmas card was a picture of a Cathedral in Belgium. He thanks his father for sending along the book "Is there a Santa." and hopes that he'll be reading it to everyone next Christmas. The missions flown by the "Pacific Strategic Air Force" are the ones he and his crew are flying. He writes that any time they read about "Liberators raiding the Bonins and Volcano Is. you can be sure it's one of our outfits." He asks them to keep writing and sending news clippings.

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]
The Marianas
January 7th, 1945
Dear Dad & Bee -
I was sorry to receive your letter saying that Bee was ill over Christmas. It was a shame that you couldn't get up to Williamstown over the holidays. I hope that you're feeling fine again, Bee.
In your last letter you said you thought Don was in Belgium. I think you're wrong and he's still in England, because I receive [sic] that same Christmas card - it was a picture of a cathedral in Bruges, Belgium. I imagine he just happened to get ahold of them but I doubt if it had anything to do with his present location.
Many thanks for sending along "Is there a Santa". I too hope that next Christmas you will be reading it to us in person. You asked about the "Pacific Strategic Air Force" that it spoke about in the papers - I believe that is a new command (in name only) but the missions that you read about are the ones we fly. Any time you read about Liberators raiding the Bonins and Volcano Is, you can be sure it's one of our outfits. Please continue to send along any clippings you see, pertaining

to the raids we're on. It's interesting to see what they cook up for the public as opposed to what actually happened.
I'm afraid I didn't have much news after writing a couple of days ago but I did want to say I'm sorry to hear that you've been ill, Bee. I trust by now that you're fine again.
Best love -

Lt. R. L. Stone 0696041
431st Bomb Squadron 11th Group
APO 246 ? Postmaster
San Francisco, Cal.

Mr. J. C. Stone
375 Park Avenue
New York City (22)

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources