STONE, USAF Retired, Lt. Col. Robert L.|
Lt. Col. Stone passed away on June 27, 2014 at the age of 93 in Austin, Texas. He was born in Clay County, Tennessee on February 18, 1921 to Wade P. and Bertha Brown Stone.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, John T. Stone and wife Nell; sister, Marie Holt and husband Larma; nephew, Larry Holt; step-son, Randy Wallin.
His early education began in a rural one teacher school. After graduation from Celina High School, he then attended Tennessee Tech. In August 1941 he enlisted in the Army Aviator Cadet Program. He completed his training and received his Pilot Wings and commissioned a 2nd Lt. in March 1942 at Ellington AFB, Texas. He then was assigned as a Pilot Instructor in Twin and Four Engine Aircraft. Later he was assigned to a crew in B245. They flew to Italy in November 1943 and became Lead Crew in the 451st Bomb Group. He flew 19 missions and engaged the Nazis all over southern Europe until he was shot down by flak and fighters over Ploesti Romania and held Prisoner until liberated of war by the Russian Army in September 1944. He again was assigned as Commander of Pilot Training Squadron training Latin and Chinese Pilots in B25 and B26 Aircraft. There were tours of duty in Guam and Washington D.C.; then to Aviano, Italy where served as Director of Operations during the Cold War. Other assignments were in Ohio and Bergstrom Air Force Base where he retired in December 1963. He was awarded numerous Medals and citations to include Purple Heart, The Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Presidential Citation, and Prisoner of War Metals and others.
Lt. Col. Stone is survived by his wife, Geraldine; daughter, Margaret Stone of Lakeway, Texas; son, Ronald Stone and wife Gloria of New Braunfels, Texas; brother, Billy Stone and wife Shelba of Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee; grandsons, Christian Moore, Matthew Stone and wife Liz; granddaughter, Rachel Stone; three great-grandsons; and numerous nieces and nephews; step-grandsons, Brandon and Robb Wallin of Austin.
We especially want to thank Dr. William McCarron, Dr. Roger Gammon, Dr. Steven Pickett, Dr. Jack Moncrief, Dr. Jose Garcia and Dr. Rey Ximenes for their excellent care given to Stoney.
Visitation will be held from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home 2620 South Congress.
Funeral Service will be held later at the Uptown Funeral Home in Celina, Tennessee. Burial will be at the Family Cemetery in Celina, Tennessee with Military Honors.
Memorials and guestbook online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from July 1 to July 3, 2014