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.

Army Air Forces [Distinguished Flying Cross Ribbon]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09620.418.01 Author/Creator: Army Air Forces Place Written: s.l. Type: Object Date: 1945 Pagination: 1 ribbon : cloth : blue, white, and red ; 3.4 x 14 cm.

Distinguished Flying Cross Medal Ribbon. Awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement while flying for the armed services.

Robert L. Stone was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1945 for a mission where all of the bombs dropped hit the target area.

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.

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