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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER May 3, 1945
Floridablanca, Luzon, Philippines

May 3, 1945


Hello Ma:

      Yesterday, I had a day off because the night before I had stood guard duty. So, I and a friend ___________________ city. Boy! You should see all of the burned and wrecked bridges and buildings. The Japs really did a good job of it all right. This city [probably Manila - Ed.] was about as modern as _________ before the Japs destroyed it. I can tell you more about it when I get home. While there, I visited the new American Red Cross which has just been set up. After eating a sandwich and drinking some tomato juice, I went upstairs to listen to a soldier play a piano. On the nearby tables were books. In these books, the soldiers sign their names if they want to. Each state has a separate book of such blank pages in which to write. Well, I found the one for Maryland and began looking through it. From Irvington, I came across two names. One was that of Thomas J. Reitz. I think that maybe his father is the florist in Irvington. Also, there was an Earl W. Smith. I don't know him. Maybe Kitty does. Well, I signed my name directly below the name Gilbert A. Yates of 30 Benkert Avenue. He is in the Navy. I don't know how long ago it was that he was there. It seemed kind of funny to find his name there. Oh well - just a coincidence.

      Received your letters of April 15th and 18th. Thanks for the five pictures. They were nice. I showed them to Sgt. [John] Hutchins. He liked them, too. No, I haven't received the polo shirts yet. There haven't been any packages received by the squadron since we arrived at our new camp. I ate supper in town last night. It cost me $4.00 even [$58.08 in 2020 dollars - Ed.]. That was comparatively cheap. One dollar was for ice cream - two 5˘ dips normally in the States. There seems to be a shortage in ice making machines and cream. That's what makes it so expensive. The watermelon season is about over now. The wet and rainy season is beginning.

      Enclosed is a little Mother's Day card. It isn't much of a card, but they do not have anything any better here. Also, I think that you should find the issue of the Squadron Pulse very interesting. [See the April 28, 1945 issue. - Ed.] Everything in it is true. The story about the paratroopers is true in every detail, except that a lot was omitted that, of course, would not pass censorship. I will tell you the whole story when I appear in person at 4408 Frederick Avenue [his home address in Baltimore - Ed.] sometime in the future.

      Well, that's all for this little letter. So, until later -


Damaged buildings in Manila, 1945. According to Wikipedia: "It was the second most devastated city in the world,
after Warsaw, during the Second World War. Almost all of the structures in the city... were destroyed."

More war-damaged buildings along the river in Manila, 1945.


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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