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 Bunny Marks

Order a pdf of this item here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.176 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Mariana Islands Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 April 1945 Pagination: 1 p. : envelope ; 27.5 x 19.5 cm.

Addressed to "Bunny." He completed his fortieth mission and it's a real relief. It will be a while before he comes to the states, but he doesn't have to fly any more missions. He was promoted to first lieutenant and he asks her to say hello to Ken Marks for him.

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
April 22nd, 1945
Dear Bunny -
Just a couple of lines to let you know that I've finally flown my fortieth mission. It's been a rough grind all the way and a real relief to have it all over with. We had a number of close scapes but came out on top every time - thank God! Frankly, it's all been like a bad dream and it's great to wake up.
It will still be awhile before I get to the states but time doesn't bother me now as long as I don't have to sweat out any more raids.
A few weeks ago my promotion finally came through. I've been in grave for one heck of a long time now and it's about time I made 1st Lt. Promotions are a sure point out here because they are so slow coming through when back stateside all those behind desks get regular promotions. C'est la guerre!
That's about all for now Bunny, but I thought you'd like to know that I'd finally flown my long dreamt of fortieth. Say hello to kin the next time you write.
Love -
Lt. Robert L. Stone 0-696044
431st Bomb Sqdn 11th Group
APO 246% ? Postmaster
San Francisco, Cal.
Mrs. Kenneth Marks
1165 Park Avenue
New York City

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources