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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER December 9, 1944
San Pablo, Leyte, Philippines

Dec. 9, 1944


Hello Ma:

      Nothing much has happened here lately worth mentioning. Saw another Jap plane get shot down. I received a Christmas card from Grandpappy. Tell him thanks. Haven't received any Christmas packages yet. And it probably won't be for some time yet. Well, it rained again last night, and so far today it has rained three times. Today, we received for breakfast a mixture of powdered and real eggs - what won't they think of next!

[Editor's note: Coming just days after a major Japanese paratrooper attack, his opening statement is ironic. As for his comment about seeing a Japanese plane shot down, it is likely that he saw quite a few enemy planes shot down in recent days. The Japs had originally planned two additional waves of paratroopers, but they never materialized, likely because so many of the transports needed to carry them had been shot down during the initial attack.]

      One night last week, another boy and myself were invited by a couple of girls to a caribou steak dinner at their house. [He probably means carabao, not caribou. - Ed.] Naturally, we went. For a side dish, they had rice and "tubâ." Tubâ is an alcoholic beverage made by distilling coconut juice. The natives raise their babies on it. It is supposed to be a court-martial offense if we drink it. Several nights later, I and three others (one was the first sargeant of another squadron) returned to pay the same natives a visit. We were rewarded with a chicken dinner. They are rather nice people. They all ask questions about the war and about the United States. Also, questions concerning the war in Europe.

      Well, that's about all for this letter. Hope you have a nice Christmas and New Year's holiday. 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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