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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.178 Author/Creator: Stone, Robert L. (1921-2009) Place Written: Mariana Islands Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 30 April 1945 Pagination: 3 p. : envelope ; 27.6 x 19.5 cm.

Addressed to "Dad + Bee." He received a number of packages and thanks his parents for the film and canned treats. He sends a "million thanks for the bay rum" which he almost threw out as it was concealed in a mouldy bread loaf.

Oahu is overcrowded and he and his crew are stuck in the Mariana Islands. He's "as red as a lobster" because he's been lounging in the sun getting the "so-called forty-mission tan." He went to an officer's house and believes some "strange enlisted men" stole $170 out of his wallet. He's not too upset because he used most of his luck to complete forty missions.

He heard reports that Germany surrendered, but the reports proved false. He believes it won't be long before they're begging to surrender.

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 30th, 1945
Dear Dad & Bee-
The last couple of days have found me the glad recipient of a number of packages. Many many thanks for the five rolls of film which came through in fine shape. It came in the nick of time because I'm all out and have no way of acquiring any down here. The various canned delicacies really hit the spot. The chicken is particularly good for making tasty sandwiches. Our chow has been at a fairly low ebb, and so we usually supplement with a [strikeout] snack between times.
A million thanks for sending the "Bay Rum," Dad. You don't know how close I came to throwing it out because I thought it was a loaf of bread that had gotten moldy. All of us got a real kick (both ways) out of your ingenious [strikeout] job of concealment. It was swell and arrived unbroken-many thanks, Pop.
The last couple of days we received some bad news as to our immediate return. Oahu is so overcrowded that we'll have to remain down here for an indefinite period of time. The crew that finished right before [2] us got by alright but we're stuck. There are five crews of us waiting to return and we just sit around. There are twenty-four new crews in the squadron making a total of ninety-six officers, none of which we know. We feel like strangers down here when actually the new crews are the strangers.
At the moment I'm as red as a lobster all over my body. We've been lounging around in the sun getting the so-called "forty mission tan." Had a rotten experience down at the beach two days ago when I had $170 stollen from my wallet. All the money was removed except a travelers check and two Philipine bills. Except for all my money being removed, the wallet was left intact. Needless to say I'm fairly well irritated about the whole thing but I haven't a chance in the world to recover it. It was at an officers beach house, but there were a couple of strange enlisted men wandering around that day and that's that!
I can't get too darn upset because we [strikeout] still all feel wonderful about finishing our missions. I guess I used up all my good luck on a couple of close calls [3] we had during our forty. There were half a dozen times I'd have given lots more than $170 just to get back home safely after [struck: being] [inserted: our plane had been] shot up over the target.
Yesterday we heard alot of reports that the Germans had surrendered but later [strikeout] [inserted: they were] proven untrue. From the sound of all reports it won't be long before they'll be down on their knees begging for mercy. Frankly, it can't end too soon to suit me!
Well folks, that's the news for now. Keep your letters up and I'll write as soon as I hear anything new on our returning to Oahu and from there home.
Best love-
Bobby

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