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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER June 29, 1943
Brisbane, Australia

June 29, 1943

Hello Ma:

      Well, what follows is the continuation of another letter.

[next page]

      While I was at my first Australian airfield, I went to town [Brisbane - Ed.].

      English, Australian and American soldiers don't mix well. In fact, we were advised to travel around town in groups consisting of our own men when going around town. Of course, all traffic travels on the left side of the street. The streetcars, or "trams" as they are called here, are rather unique. They are of the "fresh air type," there being no sides. When you want to get off or on, the tram doesn't bother to completely stop; no, it just slows down and at the right moment you jump - either off or on. There is a narrow walkway (like a running board) around the outside. So, if the tram is crowded, you just hang on the side. In fact, I did this all the way back to camp the second night in town. A lady conductor comes through and collects the fare. Well, so much for that.

      Oh yes, about the girls: The first night in town, I made a double date with two girls for the following night. Well, anyway I didn't understand my girl's mother on the telephone and there was a misunderstanding. So, I didn't go. The other boy went in to town, but met not only his girl but mine also. He said he felt like two cents. I wasn't there. There he stood stuck with two girls. Well, anyway, my girl must have been rather mad because she wouldn't go out with some of the other boys who were present, but went directly home. I never had time to follow this up further, as I left and came to the new field where I am now. Maybe she is still waiting for me to call again. Who knows?

      This language over here is rather queer. It is reported that whenever you talk to a girl, you never know when you are apt to be slapped. It seems that there exists over here various interpretations of certain words which would be of everyday common use in the American language. So, I have more or less been avoiding conversations until I learn the "ropes" better.

      The movies over here are about six to twelve months behind those in the United States. Pictures that I saw in Columbus, Ohio, are now playing here. The popular songs are likewise behind. The "rage" of this section is that "very very new" song (ironically speaking), "Green Eyes." Also, "White Christmas."

      Did Yvonne enjoy her birthday? Sorry I couldn't be there. Maybe I will be home for her next one. Ma, has your job become any more interesting than at first? Too bad about all those Sundays of work. Maybe they will change that later. Say hello to everybody for me. I hope you can get the pages of this letter organized. [Editor's note: Erased text appears to say: “I am not allowed to number them at the top like I used to do.” The pages were in fact numbered. So that rule was obviously rescinded.] Incidentally, your mail is not censored before it reaches me. Only my mail is censored.

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


P.S. Haven't seen any kangaroos yet - must be a joke.


“Green Eyes” (Helen O'Connell/Bob Eberly/Jimmy Dorsey)         “White Christmas” (Bing Crosby)


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.

High-Contrast View of Page 4 Erasure:

The erased text appears to say: “I am not allowed to number them at the top like I used to do.”
Obviously, this rule was rescinded.


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