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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER July 15, 1943
Brisbane, Australia

July 15, 1943

Hello Ma:
      I received letters from you dated June 13th, June 20th, June 25th and July 4th. Received two letters from Phus, one being of the V-Mail type. A letter from Kitty. Also, cards from Yvonne, Daddy, Phus and Kitty. Also, I received a letter from Fred Roussey and another from his mother.

      Well, I am now back at my original Australian airfield, sleeping under six blankets and an overcoat at night, and in the day sometimes walk around with our shirt sleeves rolled up. I am still working on airplanes. It's a good day's job for one man to change spark plugs when you realized that there are a total of 56 plugs in a two engine bomber. At times about five or six airplanes of different types take part in a simulated dogfight over the field. Even one ______________ [captured Jap Zero? - Ed.] is flown in these make-believe fights. I think that the pilots choose up sides before they go up. A week ago, a small plane nosed over and broke its wooden propeller. The other day another light plane did a flip flop and landed on its back when the pilot put the brakes on too quickly. The two pilots kicked their way out of the sides of _____________. On the radio during the past week, I have heard Bob Hope, Kate Smith, Charlie McCarthy, Fibber McGee and Molly, and several musical bands. These programs were all relayed to us from the United States. We also heard the Hit Parade [official title Your Hit Parade - Ed.] and the National Barn Dance programs. We had an Australian air force mechanic make us a transformer for the radio. We had to reduce the voltage [from the power outlet to the radio - Ed.] from 220 to 110 volts. Every morning, I buy a newspaper so that I can keep up with what is going on. On the average of about two nights a week, there are arguments concerning the war. They sometimes become "hot" when the descendants of Italians, Greeks, Jews, Germans, Polish, and the English who are in my squadron all get into the same discussion. It reminds me very much of how it used to be at Duffy's at times. [He is referring to Duffy’s Restaurant and Bar on Frederick Avenue in Baltimore. There was also a popular radio show called Duffy’s Tavern, which he listened to. - Ed.] I usually keep quiet and just listen in. Whenever there are discussions concerning airplanes or flying, then I participate. We had two arguments last week of that type. Since I have been in Australia, I have had three bottles of ale. It's rather bitter. I average about two quarts of ice cream a week; that is, so far.

      Maybe Uncle Ben could find out what Mr. Wheeler's address is so that I can write him a letter. [Referring to S.J. Wheeler of the Hull Inspection Department at Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Co. The February 18, 1943, letter lists Wheeler’s address at the Martin plant, so it is unclear why it is being requested here, unless he was transferred, retired or joined the military. - Ed.]

      Well, right now, while I am writing this letter, I am confined to my tent with a sprained ankle. I was playing football the other afternoon and while I was running, I stepped into a hole and turned my ankle. So, the next day, I went back on sick call. I took a ride in an ambulance to town and had two x-rays taken. When I came back again, they heated my foot with a machine having about eight electric light bulbs in it. After this, they taped my ankle all up. Tomorrow, I am supposed to go back to the dispensary to see what the x-ray report shows. I don't think that any bones were broken though because the swelling has started to go down and I can walk much easier now. Just as soon as my ankle gets O.K. again, I am going to start working on the warrant officer business again. That's all for now -


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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