Based on the letters of Earl Philip Reinhalter (1922-1953). Edited by his son, Earl Philip Reinhalter (1950-).

<- PREVIOUS LETTER January 3, 1943
Lockbourne Army Air Base, Columbus, Ohio

Jan. 3, 1943
Hello Ma:
      Don't send me anything else up here at Lockbourne, as I expect to leave here very soon. In fact, I may be gone before this letter reaches you. The captain said that we will go to a "Myrtle Beach" in South Carolina. This is right on the Atlantic coast. I had a plenty good New Year's celebration, although I drank only two beers in the way of alcoholic beverages. I left the base at 5:00 P.M. Thursday (New Year's Eve) and finally once again came back to the base at 11:15 P.M. Friday night. I had two passes. One ran from 5:00 P.M. Thursday until 8:00 A.M. Friday. The other ran from 5:00 P.M. Friday until 12:30 P.M. Friday night. So, you can see that from 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. Friday I had no pass. I was A.W.O.L. during that time, but as they didn't miss me, everything turned out O.K., lucky me! First of all, that New Year's Eve night, myself and another soldier went to the apartment of those college boys which I had told you about before. Here, as previously planned, we were to have our party. We all contributed to the cost. These college boys arranged for myself and my soldier friend to each meet a girl with which we were to celebrate the occasion with. The girls with which the two college boys were to have dates telephoned that they couldn't come. And, this left them with no girls. So, it was decided that we would all go out and then meet again later at the apartment for the eating and drinking. The two college boys went their way by themselves. My friend and myself went ours, with the two girls, however. We planned to first go to the movies, but they all had a long line waiting to get in. So, we skipped that idea. We went into a place and ate ice cream, drank Cokes, and just talked. We then returned to the apartment and started to get things ready for the proposed party. We took the two girls home in a taxi and then returned once again to the apartment. By this time, the college boys were feeling pretty good as they had between them finished up a bottle of whiskey. As the girl that I had been with didn't drink, I didn't either - except for two beers. I went to bed at the apartment at 2:30 A.M. Friday morning and slept until 3:30 P.M. Friday afternoon. At 4:30 P.M. that Friday (Jan. 1, 1943), I was eating breakfast. After eating this meal, the boys took us for a walk and showed us around the Ohio State college campus. After this my friend and myself once again returned to camp. Saturday night, I took that same girl roller skating. We had a pretty good time. Well, today is Sunday, and I am taking her to the movies tonight. She seems to be a nice girl, and as you know, I always have been particular with whom I associate. Well, so much for the holiday.

      I got my government driver's license, which permits me to drive a passenger car, ¼-ton truck, and ½-ton truck. I will probably drive a convoy truck when we move next time. I got the camera, magazines, candy, and Yvonne's calendar and drawings - thanks. I got another typhoid shot at 1:00 P.M. New Year's Eve. I only got a headache and stiff arm this time. I didn't get sick at all.

      Those extra clothes which I told you about last time were government issued (free). Since then, they have given me a field bag [photo below], a pair of galoshes, a cartridge belt and a cartridge case.

      One of the bombers exploded and crashed in Columbus Saturday night. The pilot was killed and a house which was hit burned down. You probably read about it in the papers.

      It was O.K. for Aunt Ginny [Virginia Kendall [née Oster] (1905-?). His mother’s sister. She worked as a nurse, and lived in Washington, DC. - Ed.] to take that extra picture. As far as money goes, I am doing plenty good. Did Yvonne like her Christmas presents? Incidentally, what is a kaleidoscope? I guess Buddy Oster is glad that he didn't have to go into the Army. Did Steve get his appendix taken out - or what? What camp is Clearance Engle in now and where is Lew Weiver these days? [Instead of "Clearance Engle," he might possibly mean Clarence Angle, who later married his sister Kitty. Lew Weiver was also spelled elsewhere as Lew Wieber and Lou Weiber. - Ed.]

      I got Phus's letter. No, I don't know when I will get that "first stripe." I received New Year's cards from Yvonne, Kitty, Phus and, of course, the one from you and Daddy, Ma. I also received your postcard with the picture of Polytechnic on the front.

      This is the reason that I couldn't come home on the holidays: I was only eligible for a three-day pass and a pass of this type restricts you to 250 miles. Naturally, Baltimore is much farther distant from Columbus than 250 miles. [The distance by road would have been over 400 miles. - Ed.]

      After I am in the Army four months, I will be eligible for a furlough, which consists of either five or seven days. Then I will be able to come home, if I am not overseas by that time.

      Well, until sometime later,


P.S. Too bad that the Christmas tree fell down.

Earl Reinhalter's field bag, a small knapsack. From the family archive.


The Kindle book includes the letters; all 23 issues of the unit’s wartime newsletter “The Squadron Pulse,” which was originally edited by Leonard Stringfield; all 12 issues of the “Pennant Parade” newsletter that Stringfield published while sailing home after the war; complete text of the U.S. government booklet “Pocket Guide to Australia,” which soldiers heading Down Under were given to read; more than 200 photos; pre-war and postwar family history; and over 700 explanatory endnotes.


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