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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER May 18, 1945
Floridablanca, Luzon, Philippines

May 18, 1945


Hello Ma:

      Well, we had a little party the other night in celebrating our two-year anniversary of you know what. We each received 12 bottles of beer, a half of a fried chicken, crackers, and there was cold sauerkraut for us of German descent to celebrate the fall of Germany. Also, there was the usual whiskey and mixed drinks for those who wanted it. Boy! What a drunken party. Of course, there was the usual line of entertainment; that is, the boys singing, mouth organ playing, and banjo playing. In all, we had a pretty good time. I wonder where the squadron will be next year this time.

      I am now eligible for four gold stripes. No one wears any ribbons, medals and such over here. There would be no sense to it. Everyone is in the same boat. Most of us are eligible to wear the same things. Anyway, I do not believe that the natives would be very impressed with all of the pretty ribbons and things. Occasionally, we wear our stripes. Usually we do not. Everyone in the squadron knows what each of the other boys have in regard to rank. Anyway, other than meaning more pay, rank in the Air Corps ground forces doesn't mean much. For instance, if a sargeant gives an order and a private or corporal doesn't like the idea, the sargeant himself proceeds to carry out the order. In my squadron, however, hardly is an order ever given. It is usually in the form of a request. More is accomplished this way. One is politely asked to do something and not commanded to do something. This creates less animosity among the boys. Besides, some of the boys in the lower ranks are much more educated than some of those in the higher ranks. Both sides realize that point. Hence, the easy-going attitude in performing duties. Well, so much for that.

      I have 69 points toward being demobilized - if that means anything. It is figured this way: One point for each month in the States (6). Two points for each month overseas (48). Also, five points for each of the three campaigns which I have been in (15). Incidentally, children would count 12 points each (up to three total) for the married men. So, you see, age doesn't have anything to do with getting discharged except if you are over 42.

      I received your letters of April 26th and 30th. No, I haven't received any polo shirts as yet. Tell Phus thanks for the subscription to Popular Photography. Yes, we still use powdered milk for our food. I haven't seen any fresh milk since Australia. We do, however, have canned milk for coffee and tea. The watermelons have gone with the coming of the rainy season. Some of these days, I may get to hitchhike to Uncle Ben's camp. Maybe, I may get a chance to fly down sometime. I told you about seeing Gilbert Yates' name in the book at the Red Cross building in the _____________ town. [Possibly Manila, as mentioned in the May 3, 1945, letter. - Ed.]

      Enclosed are two more copies of the squadron newspaper. [See the May 5, 1945 and May 12, 1945 issues. - Ed.] Well, that's all for just now -

      So, until next time -


                  Am O.K.


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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