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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER May 26, 1944
Saidor, New Guinea

May 26, 1944

Somewhere in New Guinea

Hello Ma:

      Since my last letter, I have received two of the packages. One containing the Ivory soap and the two rolls of films in the tin mustard can. The other package was made up of some more soap, foot powder, and the three containers of peanuts. Thanks. Haven't received the chocolates as yet. Also, received a "V-Mail" dated May 8th and an airmail letter dated April 16th from you, in addition to another letter from Phus dated April 20th.

      That picture showing our mess hall had a sign reading exactly as you managed to make it out as being, "Third Airdrome Squadron's Enlisted Men's Mess." [See photo below. - Ed.] The small print said, "The best food in the southwest Pacific." To show you just what we think of that last line of print, one boy was given extra duty as punishment for smearing slimy mud over it with his hand. No, that clipping showing the laundry was not taken at my base. Up until recently we did our own laundry in a nearby mountain river which empties into the Pacific. If that is a picture of George Harmening, he certainly must have changed a lot. Too bad about Robert Kornmann being placed in the 4-F class, or is it? That picture A Guy Named Joe was shown at this base a couple weeks ago, but I didn't get time to see it. Neither did I get a chance to see Around the World, which was likewise shown here. No, we don't manage to hear the Walter Winchell program. I just passed the clippings showing the Jap propaganda on to [John] Hutchins. Also, gave him some of the copies of the prints which were enclosed in your letter. Has Kitty found a new job yet? Too bad about Miss Casciero leaving. I saw a ghost story The Uninvited at the show the other night. It was pretty good. No, I cannot think of any books that I would like to have at the present. The poem about Mrs. Roosevelt was pretty good and it expresses our opinions very well. Did Daddy get his bottom plate yet? I wish that you would take the money which I sent home and pay for it. This can be Daddy's birthday present from me. [His father's birthday was May 6th. - Ed.] Now, I am not saying that for something to say. Without you giving me any stories about me needing the money myself, as you have always done in the past. Nothing makes me madder. It's senseless.

      Enclosed are three pictures. [See below. - Ed.] One is of the city of Tokyo [photo later mentioned as having been withheld by the military censor - Ed.]. If you take a magnifying glass, you will be able to read some of the Jap lettering on top of one of the buildings at the right of the picture. The picture beside the airplane shows Phyllis Brooks painting a 500-pound bomb with Gary Cooper (with white polo shirt) and two soldiers looking on. The other picture shows a group of Polynesians. This was taken at an island near New Guinea.

      Well, I have a new job now. I am now the chief mechanic in charge of the maintenance of an airplane belonging to a colonel. It's a rather responsible job, as the plane cost the government about twenty thousand dollars [$297,049 in 2020 dollars - Ed.]. I took a couple of rides in it yesterday. I don't know how long the job will last. The airplane has a top speed of about 190 miles per hour and carries five persons. Later on, I'll send you a picture of it. I guess that Yvonne's school is just about over for the season and I guess that she is plenty glad too.

      Well, that's about all for just now. I hope Daddy makes out with his teeth all right. So, until next time -


Mess hall for the 3rd Airdrome Squadron's enlisted men in New Guinea.

Actor Gary Cooper (in white t-shirt) and actress Phyllis Brooks signing 500-pound bombs in New Guinea.

Native girls in grass skirts, possibly the Polynesians mentioned in this letter.


A Guy Named Joe (full movie)       Around the World (excerpt)       The Uninvited (trailer)


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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