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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER February 20, 1945
Tanauan, Leyte, Philippines


Feb 20, 1945

Hello Ma:

      I am still at the same place. Everything is peaceful as ever.

      Yesterday, I was talking to a war correspondent. With him was his wife, who had just been released from a Jap prison camp. She was a civilian nurse who was trapped in Manila when the Japs came. They both told us some pretty good stories. The Japs starved the prisoners. She looked only a little better than a skeleton, having weighed only 72 pounds. He accompanied the troops on their capture of the prison camp and, boy, he gave us first-hand information. Mr. Hewitt of the United Press was the correspondent. [Bob Hewitt of United Press International. Not to be confused with the Australian tennis player of the same name. - Ed.] They were both headed for the States - Virginia. Maybe you'll see his writings in the paper sometime.

      If you haven't already mailed me some three-cent stamps, don't bother. I managed to buy fifty today.

      Enclosed are some pictures - numbered on the back. (Total = 15 pictures) [See below. - Ed.]

      Picture #1 is a picture of Susanna Radaza. She was my Filipina girlfriend when I was at my first camp here in the Philippines.

      Picture #2 is Effie Radaza, Susanna's sister.

      Picture #3 shows my first camp area in the background. The girl at the right is Ulaine, a cousin to the girls of pictures #1 and #2.

      Picture #4 shows Carmen Espirra and her kid.

      The remaining pictures are other scenes and various photos of people.

      Today, at long last, the P-38 fighter which I had been working on for some time finally was test flown. Everything was O.K. We had to change an engine and gas tank among other things. Incidentally, the plane belonged to Major Bong at one time. It probably was one of his first, as it only had sixteen Jap flags painted on its fuselage. [Indicating the number of Jap planes Bong had shot down. His total for the war was 40. - Ed.] Anyway, another pilot was flying it when it landed here, shot up.

      Well, that's all the news for now -


      P.S. I am a sargeant now.

[Curiously, even after attaining the rank himself, he continued to misspell the word "sergeant." - Ed.]

Susanna Radaza.

Effie Radaza, Susanna's sister.

First camp area in the Philippines - Leyte, October 1944. The girl on the right is Ulaine, cousin of Susanna and Effie.

Carmen Espirra and child in Leyte, Philippines.


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.


This page established: November 11, 2018             Last updated: February 23, 2023

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