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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.173 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Mariana Islands Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 15 April 1945 Pagination: 2 p. : envelope ; 27.5 x 19.5 cm.

Addressed to "Dad + Bee." He completed his thirty-ninth mission. It doesn't mean anything until he flies his last mission though. He and his crew have been the flight leaders for the past ten to twelve missions and they're now the most senior crew.

He hasn't seen Barry for a while and expects he's already left for the states.

He heard of the President's [Franklin D. Roosevelt] death from a broadcast picked up in San Fransico. He writes that everyone feels a "definite sadness and a real loss at a time like this." He's grateful they have capable military leaders. They are now curious about [Harry S.] Truman and what he will be like.

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]
The Marianas
April 15th, 1945
Dear Dad & Bee-
Very little to write except that I now have thirty-nine mission under the old belt. They don't mean a thing until you've flown the all-important fortieth. I'm afraid that my letters are more like a serial story than anything else. I imagine though that you've wanted to keep apace as I complete my missions. Each mission has been like a major victory since we hit the thirty mark. For most of the last ten or twelve raids we've been flight leaders. As a matter of fact, we're now the senior crew in the outfit. It seems like an absolute life time since we first came down under and went on our first few missions.
Haven't been up to see Barry for a few days but I rather imagine that he's left for the states by now. Last time I saw him he thought his orders would be coming through very soon.
First heard the sad news of the Presidents death a few days ago when our radio operator picked up a broadcast from Frisco. I imagine his sudden death came as a real blow [insert: to] the American people. Everyone out here feels a definite sadness and a real loss at a time like this. I guess we can thank God that we have such capable military leaders to rely on. [2] Most of us are wondering what kind of a fellow Truman will be as president. Will he be kicked around like a rubber ball or will he assert himself in the right direction? I imagine only time will tell.
Keep up you're letters - they're swell. It really makes a difference to get mail regularly.
Best love-
Bobby

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