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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER December 19, 1942 (letter)
Lockbourne Army Air Base, Columbus, Ohio

Saturday Dec. 19, 1942
Hello Ma:
      Well, I still don't know whether I can come home over the holidays. It snowed all day Thursday, but it only got 2" deep as it was very fine. I received all of the Christmas presents Friday. All of the gifts are useful, especially the sweater, socks, scarf, sewing kit, and clothes brush. I wore the sweater when I went out that Friday night. I bought a bottle of ink and used the fountain pen today. Over half of the Hershey bars are gone already. No, I didn't eat them all myself. Tell Kate and Ben thanks for the handkerchiefs. [Kate and Ben were his aunt and uncle. This would be Benjamin Joseph Reinhalter (March 4, 1889 - June 1, 1969), his father’s brother, and his wife, the former Katherine F. Lohman (April 8, 1882 - August 9, 1960). Second photo below. - Ed.] I finally got my pictures after waiting 13 days. I am sending them to you to distribute as you want. [See photo below. - Ed.] You can give Mr. Wheeler at Martin's a picture if you want to. I didn't have time to buy anyone any Christmas presents - so, if it isn't too late, how about you buying them for me, using the money in my desk drawer? I sent some Christmas cards out which I bought here on the base. They didn't have much of a selection, but I picked the best that I could. I haven't had time to start to read the book which Phus sent me. I received the cards from Phus and Kitty - thanks. Ma, I got your letter. No, I didn't sell my school ring. I guess Aunt Edna was real surprised when she saw my picture in the paper. [Aunt Edna was Edna Reinhalter [born Edna Loretta Menadier] (March 17, 1898 - April 28, 1982), wife of his uncle, Jerome Reinhalter (November 28, 1899 - September 26, 1978). - Ed.] I am still on the mail orderly job and haven't started school yet. We all are just marking time, waiting for things to commence, if they ever do. Most of the boys are beginning to get disgusted because of the inactivity. How is Gordon making out? Is Buddy Oster in the Army yet? Did Pappy get that job yet? Well, in case I don't get home over the holidays, "a merry Christmas and a happy New Year."

Late 1942 studio portrait.

Uncle Ben and Aunt Kate, with Earl Jr., circa 1953.


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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