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Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) to Mildred Hilson and Edwin Hilson

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.156 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Mariana Islands Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 10 January 1945 Pagination: 2 p. ; 26.1 x 19.4 cm.

Addressed to "Mildred and Eddie." He thanks Mildred and Eddie for the "assortment of eats" which will be "hungrily devoured." The food doesn't compare to the Waldorf, so the treats are very welcome. He mentions that the holidays came and went with only a turkey dinner to show for it. He now has seventeen missions under his belt and they've been flying regularly. He's hoping to be finished up soon as "the business of combat flying isn't my idea of a very practical career!." He should be going on leave soon and he's excited to "live like a human being again." He wishes them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

A post-it note with the collection notes that while this letter was sent to the Hilsons, it was given to Jacob Stone to keep.

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 10th, 1945
Dear Mildred & Eddie -
Due to my changes of address, it took until today for the Pony Express to catch up to me with your Christmas present. Many thanks for the assortment of eats, which I can assure you will all be hungrily devoured. Our food situation still doesn't compensate to the meals at the Waldorf, and so a few canned treats certainly hit the spot. As always, your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.
I trust that the family have kept you fairly up to date on my recent doings. Life goes on about the same as always. Christmas and New Year came and went the same as any other day, except for the turkey dinner. Out here, one day is the same as the next and holidays don't mean very much.
At present, we now have seventeen missions to our credit with a mere twenty-three yet to fly. It's a long, hard pull and will take a lot of good luck for us to finish up all our raids. Lately the missions have come fairly regularly, and we've put in a lot of flying time. Frankly the sooner we complete our missions the better I'll like it - this business of combat flying isn't my idea of a very practical career!

Before too long our crew ought to be going back on rest leave to Honolulu. After about three months of combat flying they send you back for a ten day rest leave. It will be a real treat to enjoy a few good meals and live like a human being again for a while - I doubt if I'll know how to act!
I certainly hope that you had as merry a Christmas as possible and will have a very happy new year. Let's hope that it is a year in which we will all return home again.
My very best to both of you and to John and Mary.
Fondly -
P.S. Many thanks for [inserted: the] exceptionally vivid (or should I say lurid) Christmas card!

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