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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER December 16, 1942
Lockbourne Army Air Base, Columbus, Ohio

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1942
Hello Ma:
      The sun is shining brightly right now for, I believe, the first time since I have been here. It snowed all day Saturday, but as it was very fine, it only got 2" inches deep. When I came out of the movies Tuesday night, it was snowing again. It didn't last long though. I received the Martin Star and the Martin Mercury. [These were in-house publications from his former civilian employer Glenn L. Martin Company. The Martin Star was a magazine, Martin Mercury was a newspaper. - Ed.] Do you remember the pictures of the girl from Texas who was made the first supervisor at Martin's? Well, I used to be her boss. I also received two cards from Yvonne, one from "Pop," and the one from you and Daddy. Thanks. I am glad you liked the record. I saw the picture of me in the paper which you sent. I am sending it back for you to keep. [See scan of newspaper article below. - Ed.] The pictures which I had taken are not done yet. One of the boys got a new camera and tried it out. These pictures did not turn out, but anyway here in this envelope are the results. You can throw them away if you want to. [See photos below. - Ed.] When I got my picture taken about two weeks ago, if you remember, they made two proofs. Also, in this envelope you will find the one proof of which I did not select for having printed. The photographer has the proof which I selected for enlarging and printing. How about sending me my camera and some films? The films can be as a Christmas present. I can take some good pictures then. I got Phus's letter. Tell her that I finally read the Reader's Digest. How did Kitty and Dorothy [Hammer] like ice skating? I still don't know whether I can get off Christmas. You can send me Christmas presents now if you want to. I weigh 137 pounds now.

      Boy! Have I got a good job now! This job will last until I go to school. I am assistant mail orderly. The good part about it is that it is plenty easy and the hours are perfect. I sleep until 10:00 A.M every morning. I work from 10:15 A.M. until 10:45 A.M. Then I am off until 12:25. I work from 12:25 until 1:05 P.M. Then I am off until 3:00 P.M. I work from 3:00 P.M. until 3:30 P.M. Then I am off again until 4:30 P.M. I work from 4:30 P.M. until 4:50 P.M. and then that is all for the day. You can see that I work a total of about two hours all day, and I wear my dress clothes all the time. The captain who is our commanding officer selected me and another boy for this job. I won't get K.P. duty anymore as long as I am on this job. The other boys are either shoveling coal, doing carpenter work, K.P. duty, or firemen duties. It seems that we are stalling and spending time until they can find a place for us to go to school or until they can place us.

      The Army reminds me very much of school. The boys never get done playing tricks on each other. Our beds are of the type which have the legs which fold under. While some of the boys are out at night, the others "fix" the barrack up. If a boy finds himself on the floor with a collapsed bed under him, he knows that someone "sabotaged" his bed. Another thing which they do, is to unhook all of the springs which hold the mattress except the four corner springs. When a boy jumps into a bed which has been fixed like this, he usually doesn't stop sinking down until his "bottom" hits the floor. It's funny to watch them pull themselves out. Sometimes the boys can't take a joke and get mad. When they do this, the bed which is closest to him is usually turned upside down with some innocent bystander in it. Then a pillow battle usually starts and we all join in. Gee! One boy was surprised one morning when he woke up to find his locker full of Coca-Cola and beer bottles, boxes, and other trash. Some boys have their beds sprinkled with cracker crumbs. One boy awoke to find his socks full of corn flakes. Some of the toes of shoes are packed tightly with paper, and the boys nearly break their toes in the morning when they try to put these shoes on. Some of the boys are hard to get out of bed in the morning. We usually set a radio close to their heads and then turn it on full volume. This gets them up rather quick. Another trick which they do is this: Get a bottle full of water with a cork in it. They put this bottle in someone's bed. They sew the cork stopper to the bed sheet by running a needle and thread through it. When the boy goes to climb into bed at night, he feels the bottle. He naturally pulls it out from under the covers. Since the cork is sewed to the bed, it is pulled out of the bottle. This, of course, releases all of the water. The rest of the night, the boy either spends cussing or sleeping in a very wet bed.

            Well, until sometime later,




Private Carroll J. Scherer, Jr., of 1502 Henry street, is stationed with an outfit at Fort Jackson, S. C.

Charles L. Stottlemyer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Stottlemyer, 5917 Carter avenue, is in the Coast Guard.

William R. Smith of 421 Cambria street is a fighting Marylander on duty with American forces stationed in England.

Private John F. Principio of 127 South High street is serving with an Army outfit on duty in the tropics.

Ensign Thomas W. Leggett, 640 North Augusta avenue, is a flight instructor at a Navy air base.

Lieut. Edward J. Samski, 724 South Lakewood avenue, is a fighting Maryland officer on duty at Camp Stewart, Ga.

"Top kick" of the Army outfit he serves in is First Sergeant John H. Smith of 421 Cambria street.

Sergeant William L. Belleson is a fighting Marylander who has won three stripes serving in an Army outfit.

On duty with an outfit stationed on the West Coast is Private Louis Bachman, whose home is at Severn, Md.

Sergeant Raymond Armstrong, 3509 Virginia avenue, is at Drew Field, Fla.

Pvt. George W. Gosker, Jr., 1808 South Aisquith street, is serving with the Marines.

Louis William Irvin, Catonsville, is serving with the bluejackets at Little Creek, Va.

Serving his country overseas is Private Robert L. Sherr, of 1506 Moreland avenue.

George Shriver, whose home is at Sparrows Point, is with the bluejackets at Gasque, Ala.

On duty at Camp Polk, La., is Pvt. Wilson Harman, of Masonville.

Serving with the A. E. F. in England, is Corp. Lawrence Malone, 2706 West North avenue.

James Shriver, 782 Carroll street, is a fighting Marylander on duty in North Carolina.

Private Earl Philip Reinhalter, 4408 Frederick avenue, is at Columbus, Ohio.

Bluejacket Earl Haesloop of 868 Park avenue is at Jacksonville, Fla.

Serving with the Air Corps is Albert A. Erdman of 3509 Virginia avenue.

On duty with the Army in Ireland is Sergeant Robert M. Vogel, 3607 Grantley street.

These may have been the photos that he sent home with this letter:


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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