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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER December 7, 1943
New Guinea

      Dec. 7, 1943

Hello Ma:
      Well, in my last letter I told you that I had completed my furlough and was at a replacement center awaiting transportation back to my old outfit. Well, I am now located in another replacement center, "somewhere in New Guinea." Yes, at the original replacement center near my school down in Australia, I caught an airplane ride up to where I am now. At the present, I am awaiting another airplane ride so that I may continue on farther to my outfit. The airplane trip was uneventful. Nothing unusual happened. We left at 6:15 A.M. in the morning and arrived in New Guinea at 3:30 P.M. in the afternoon. We made only two stops. On the trip, I ate a Red Cross box lunch. Some of the boys played cards. I never thought that I would see a crap game above the clouds - 10,000 feet up. I slept for about two hours during the flight. We flew over a lot of water and coral reefs. Notice the address at the top of my letter. Use it from now on in writing to me. I was only allowed to carry fifty pounds in baggage with me on the trip, and so I had to leave some of my things back to be sent to me later.

      Well, it's 9:00 P.M. and outside pursuit planes and bombers are circling overhead. I didn't get paid this month, and as I just got back from furlough, I won't be able to send anything to you for Christmas. But I want you to do this. Take the last two or three allotments that I send each month and buy yourself, Yvonne, Kitty, Phus, and Daddy Christmas presents. There isn't anything over here worth buying as a present anyway. You can pick your own presents to suit yourself. I think that that will be the best way anyway.

      I haven't received any packages yet other than my magazines. I'll have to save my roller skates until I get another furlough. Of course, there is no place up here to skate. Besides it's too hot and humid for such strenuous exercise. Well, that's just about all for now, except that two warrant officers who were attending Officer Candidate School also dropped out.

      Well, I hope that you all have a good Christmas. Maybe, I'll be home again for the next one. So, until sometime late -


P.S. Received a letter from you dated November 9th. Too bad about Father Ryan. [Possibly referring to John A. Ryan, a Catholic priest who spoke out about social issues. He was an early advocate for a minimum wage and public health insurance, for example. Unknown why he may have been in the news in November 1943. - Ed.]


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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