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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER December 11, 1942
Lockbourne Army Air Base, Columbus, Ohio

Dec. 11, 1942
Hello Ma:
      Well, I finally managed to get out of the M.P. Squadron and am now with the other boys in the Third Airdrome Squadron, as I wanted to be. Some of the sargeants and corporals who were in charge of us were transferred elsewhere. We still don't know what's going on. It seems that we have to put in a certain length of time in what they call "basic training." All soldiers get this. I am not sure, but I guess it will be all right if you send me some of those things which you have been holding for me. I don't have any idea how long that I will be here at Lockbourne. I may be sent somewhere next week, and then again I may still be here three months from now. It's all a mystery to me - and to the other boys, too. I applied for a three-day leave at Christmas, but I don't know whether I will get it, as Baltimore is over 250 miles distance. All of the married men have been ordered not to have their wives come to Columbus over the holidays. I don't know why. Maybe they are planning to ship us somewhere soon. Monday and Tuesday nights, I stayed in and rested up because Sunday night I drank some beer - too much I guess - 14 glasses to be exact. I was still O.K. though and I came back to Lockbourne by myself - on time, too. Do you know that Pabst Blue Ribbon beer costs 25˘ a bottle [about $3.84 in 2020 dollars, more than twice the going rate - Ed.] up here? Expensive stuff that. Wednesday night, I pressed my pants and shirt (one of the boys bought an iron). After this, I went to movies and saw Bob Hope in Road to Morocco. It was rather funny.

      We got paid Thursday at long last. I received $38.50. I don't know how they figured it. I guess they took out the $6.50 insurance, but what else I don't know. Provided that I get those three days off Christmas, I will buy a round-trip ticket by train. I don't have any idea what the cost is. Being paid Thursday, naturally, that night was really a night out for the boys of the Third Airdrome Squadron. Three of us went to the V.F.W. here in Columbus. I, remembering the previous Sunday, only drank six beers and stopped. The other two boys continued drinking beer and later, not being satisfied, switched to "shots." I watched them make fools of themselves. Later, I showed them the way back. I had quite a time getting them out of the shower room when they wandered into there by mistake.

      Well, here it is now Friday - "the day after the night before," and so far (it's 3:00 P.M. now) we haven't done a thing today but lie around. It seems that the sargeants in charge of us had quite a time a last night, too. One of them is now taking a shower, trying to "straighten" himself out. Next Friday, I will be able to get those pictures which I told you about and then I will send them to you. Did you get that record yet? I hope that you will be able to understand it. As I said before, I talked plenty fast. The other day, about ten of us helped move the Red Cross office equipment to another building. When we finished, they gave us each a pack of cigarettes and matches. Since then, I have been supplying the other boys with cigarettes. I don't smoke the stinking things.

      I received Phus's letter - thanks. It's too bad about Lew Wieber [spelled elsewhere as Lew Weiver and Lou Weiber] and Clarence Engle. [He might possibly mean Clarence Angle, who later married his sister Kitty. - Ed.] I also got the card from Yvonne with all of the kiss marks on it - thanks. This snow is all gone now and it's like early spring today - it's plenty muddy. There are some old postcards in this envelope which I had left over from Camp Meade and Middletown. Of course, I cannot send them out from up here, so you can have them. I haven't written to Buddy Yates yet. I got a card from one of the boys at Martin's who went to Poly with me. I sent him a letter back. There is another boy up here who graduated from Poly with me and then worked at Martin's as an inspector. There are about 10 to 15 boys from Baltimore up here. A couple are from Walbrook - over on North Ave.

      Well, I cannot think of anything else to write, so - until sometime later,

MOVIE TRAILER: Road to Morocco


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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