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Army Air Forces [Press Release Interview with Robert L. Stone]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.161 Author/Creator: Army Air Forces Place Written: Mariana Islands Type: Typed document signed Date: 17 February 1945 Pagination: 2 p. ; 34.0 x 21.3 cm.

A press release approved for publication by Public Relations for the Seventh Air Force. It is an interview with Robert L. Stone about a bombing mission over Iwo Jima where the Flying Jenny was separated from the squadron, attacked by Japanese fighters, and then able to drop their bombs on the target area before flying back to base.

Back of both pages has a press censor stamp on the back.

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]
DATE MAILED : 17 Feb. '45
FOR RELEASE: Immediate
ARMY AIR FORCES, PACIFIC HEADQUARTERS - In what Second Lieutenant Robert L. Stone, Scarsdale, New York, bombardier of the 7th AAF Liberator, Flying Jenny, termed "the best raid from the standpoint of results", Jap installations on Iwo Jima Island took a thorough pasting.
The Flying Jenny, member of a squadron of 7th AAF Liberators, first flew over the island and dropped bombs on airfield installations, airplane dispersal areas and gun positions, causing explosions and large fires.
"We sort of paved the way," said Lieutenant Stone. "The bombs we dropped created plenty of destruction, wrecking Jap olanes [sic] parked on the ground and setting them afire."
After Lieutenant Stone's squadron hit the target area along came B-29 Superforts to drop more bombs. Later another squadron of 7th AAF Liberators, excorted [sic] by 7th AAF P-28 Lightning fighter planes, continued the attack. Then, in the afternoon warships stood off shore and poured shells onto the installations.
"We've been pounding Iwo Jima to prevent the Japs from sending out planes to raid the Superfort base on Saipan," Lieutenant Stone explained. "We've kept the runways so punched full of holes that the Japs are unable to send up planes to threaten B-29 operations.
On another mission to Iwo Jima the Flying Jenny became separated from the formation in an overcast. It was so cold that ice formed on the plane. The Flying Jenny, on emerging from the overcast, was attacked by Jap fighters, escaped and dropped its bombs on the island and returned to base.
"It was about 14 below," Lieutenant Stone declared. "We picked up sheets of ice on the leading edges of the wings and the cowlings. The nose was iced up so that the gunner couldn't see out of it. We broke out of the overcast and there were three Jap fighters sitting and waiting for us.
"Each made a pass at us but did no damage. We dived back into the overcast to escape the fighters, and three or four minutes later popped out of it to find
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the island right below us. We dropped the bombs and headed back to the base."
Lieutenant Stone, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Stone, reside at 35 Cushman Road, Scarsdale, was graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1940 and attended Williams College. He has flown 22 combat missions to Yap, Haha Jima, Chichi Jima, in addition to Iwo Jima.
21245LEBAMvt
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