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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER June 7, 1943
Brisbane, Australia

June 7, 1943
Hello Ma:
      Did you get my cablegram yet? I guess you were probably surprised to hear that I was in Australia.

      Did you get those pictures yet? [These are posted with the May 6, 1943, letter. - Ed.] While I was at my former camp, I took pictures and used up one roll of film. I was having these developed when it came time for me to leave. As these pictures were not done, I left your address with the people so that they would know where to send them. Four copies of each picture were ordered because a couple of the other boys wanted a set also. [John] Hutchins (he is still in the squadron) ordered a set. He lives at 264 South Loudon Avenue. Maybe you or Kitty or someone could take that one set over to his family. At least that's what [John] Hutchins asked to be done with his. You can send another set to me, so that I can give them to one of the other boys. You can keep the other two sets.

      In regards to this ____________ where I am now: There are ____________ including even some of those small ____________ like we used to see at the Baltimore airport. ___________ sometimes fly over also. I have seen two disassembled _________________ [Jap Zeros? - Ed.] which have been captured. I believe that I will get plenty of aircraft experience here unless; that is, if we don't move again too soon. These pilots down here are plenty ________. Before landing they _____________ that is, they come _____________ across the field at _________________. When _____________________ it makes quite a racket too. It is illegal to do this in the United States - too dangerous. [He is apparently talking about “buzzing,” the practice of flying a plane dangerously close to the ground. - Ed.]

      My squadron is temporarily living in a large hangar. In a few days, we may move into tents. The food here is better than I ate in the U.S.; at least, I think so. In fact, I like this base as a whole a whole better than any that I have been to yet. The conveniences are much better than those of a few precious camps (I am not allowed to name them).

      I haven't been to town yet. I may go tonight. Passes are good until seven o'clock the next morning at roll call. I haven't yet completely learned to use the money system and it will take me a long time to get used to this "queer language." The automobiles, some being of American make, all drive on the left side of the street. A lot of bicycles are used here. Even the dogs are unusual looking. Saturday is like a holiday to the Australians, with horse racing and rugby being it seems the main sports.

      While I was on the boat, I was given a booklet about Australia to study and also a letter from President Roosevelt to read [see below]. I am sending both of these to you. Whether they will get to you or not is questionable. Maybe they will not pass through the censors. I don't know.

      The sunburn that I got when we crossed the Equator has all peeled off of my arms now. It seems rather funny having hot weather when you had cold and now it is the exact reverse. It's winter here in Australia, but rather mild. The North Star and the Big and Little Dippers cannot be seen from Australia.

      Tell Yvonne that I hope that she has a happy birthday [June 9 - Ed.]. Ma, how is your new job? I guess school will close soon and Yvonne will pass to the next grade.

      Well, that's about all that I can think of just now to write; so, until sometime later -



      You are a soldier of the United States Army.

      You have embarked for distant places where the war is being fought.

      Upon the outcome depends the freedom of your lives: the freedom of the lives of those you love – your fellow-citizens – your people.

      Never were the enemies of freedom more tyrannical, more arrogant, more brutal.

      Yours is a God-fearing, proud, courageous people, which, throughout its history, has put its freedom under God before all other purposes.

      We who stay at home have our duties to perform – duties owed in many parts to you. You will be supported by the whole force and power of this Nation. The victory you win will be a victory of all the people – common to them all.

      You bear with you the hope, the confidence, the gratitude and the prayers of your family, your fellow-citizens, and your President —

            [signed] Franklin D. Roosevelt


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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