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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER August 14, 1943
Brisbane, Australia

August 14, 1943

Hello Ma:

      Since the last time, I have received two letters from you and one from Phus. Also, I have received a letter from Kenny Snyder. He is here in Australia, too, and I can tell by his A.P.O. number just where. He likewise knows where I am. He said that he has seen plenty of kangaroos. I read those "moron" jokes which you sent me and showed them to the other boys. They were pretty good. Enclosed is an Air Corps insignia which we wear on our sleeves. This one replaces the old type which we used to wear (like the one you have framed with my picture) and it represents the Fifth Air Force. [The Air Corps and Fifth Air Force are two different things, so it is unclear what patch he sent home. Scroll down to see examples of their patches. The first patch is the Air Corps insignia, and the next one is Fifth Air Force. - Ed.]

      Well, as for warrant officer, all of the quotas are filled. But there are openings for Officer Candidate School. So, I am now filling out an application for this. Classes begin the first of next month. A lot of the boys are applying for this O.C.S., and since only a certain number are allowed from one squadron to go, my chances are not as good as they would be otherwise. Anyway, my educational qualifications will probably help me a lot. Also, I am going to try to use the same physical examination report which I took for warrant officer last April, and I am sending along my picture and letters of recommendation which I still have with me. Well, so much for that.

      Ma, you always seem to worry about whether I have enough money to spend. Well, right now, the middle of August, I have in my pocket about £13 ($41.60) and have owed to me about £6 ($19.20). [That's about $625 and $288 in 2020 dollars. - Ed.] So, you can see that there is no need in worrying. Also, you can use that allotment money yourself. I probably won't ever need the money anyway.

      I guess Fred [Roussey], George [Hummel], and Gus [Fetting] were pretty lucky to all get a furlough. We had a little bit of excitement the other day. One of our pursuit planes couldn't get the retractable wheels down while flying so the pilot landed by skidding along on the plane's belly. My squadron is repairing the plane now. The pilot thought it was a big joke. Some of the stories that the pilots bring back from combat are rather exciting to listen to.

      I am getting plenty of aircraft experience. Lately, my crew chiefs have been letting me run up the engines of pursuit planes. This is ground testing. It's quite a racket sitting in the cockpit with a 2,000-horsepower engine turning a three-bladed propeller about 17 feet in diameter at anywhere up to 3,000 revolutions per minute.

      The other night, one of our tents burned down. Everything was saved except one gas mask. The boys who lived in that tent were on K.P. duty at the time. They were quite surprised when they got off of duty that night and returned to their tent, or at least what had been a tent. Bad electric wiring caused it.

__________________ again and took pictures of it from a Flying Fortress. It was rather funny watching a Flying Fortress and a ________________ [captured Jap Zero? - Ed.] together. Well, that's all for now. So, until later -


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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