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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER July 24, 1944
Saidor, New Guinea

Somewhere in New Guinea

July 24, 1944

Hello Ma:

      Since my last letter, I have received two from you and one from Phus. Has Yvonne gotten over her poison oak yet? I didn't send any of my money to you this month, as one of my friends needed some money to buy a camera. I loaned him some. In a previous letter, I told you that I had received the notebooks and chocolates. The chocolates were in perfect condition. That was funny about Gordon and Ben riding to work together for a week before they realized who each were. The pictures taken at Yvonne's party were good. As I may lose them, I am mailing them back to you again. About the merging of the 5th and 13th air forces: It only affects my squadron in that it does allow us to continue on to Japan. The Fifth Air Force, as it was, restricted us to New Guinea and a few nearby islands. So, you see, maybe I'll not be spending all of my combat service in New Guinea. The 13th Air Force is headed by Maj. Gen. St. Clair Streett. If you remember, he signed that recommendation that I mailed home to you some time ago. Too bad about Oriole Park burning down. About the heat over here: Although the temperature is plenty high, the humidity is always low, except when it rains. I would rather be here when the temperature is 105°F than be in Baltimore when the temperature is 80°F and above. We always use blankets at night. The early morning hours are plenty cool. I have to smile to myself when you mentioned my fair skin. All of the boys are pretty sunburned. Where we are not sunburned, our skin is about as yellow as a Jap. The malaria-preventing Atabrine tablets, which in itself is a form of dye, gives us that yellow color. Now and then, a boy just from Australia or fresh from the States will stop at my base. Boy, they sure look queer to us. Like a ghost or something. We call them "pale faces." Did Daddy get used to his teeth yet? How is Kitty's sore back coming along? Ma, I sure am glad you like your job. Tell Phus that I haven't received any Reader's Digest magazines for over five months. Maybe it would be a good idea to inform them of my new address, if you haven't done so already.

      Well, nothing much is doing here, as usual. Some of the boys have in the past few days gotten ahold of a case of gin. Every night we have to put somebody to bed, it seems like. I got to feeling pretty silly myself one night. We haven't had anything in the way of alcoholic beverages for so long that it doesn't take much now to make us feel good. We should, if all reports are true, receive beer in a few days. Some of the boys went hunting today. Shot four small ducks down near the ocean. That was all.

      Well, this about finishes another letter. I didn't have anything to say when I started to write. Haven't done any flying lately. So, until next time -



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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