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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER December 17, 1943
Oro Bay, New Guinea

    Dec. 17, 1943

Hello Ma:
      Just a short note to let you know that I am O.K. Well, in my last letter I told you that I was awaiting an airplane ride at a base somewhere in New Guinea so that I could go up to my squadron. Well, I got that ride finally, but only to find that my squadron has from this place moved. So, I am now awaiting another airplane flight to take me still farther on to my squadron. Notice that my address has accordingly changed too. Before I left the last base, I went to town one afternoon and ate lunch and supper at a Red Cross center. The meals were served by natives, some of which understood a little English. The town itself reminded me very much of a summer resort. Coconut and palm trees were numerous. The white sand on the beach was the finest that I have ever seen. The grains were almost as fine as flour.

      And now, about my present location: The trees are about eighty to one hundred feet in height. Most of them have vines of one kind or another growing onto them. The brush and foliage, where not cleared out, is very thick. Ants are always present, some being the red kind. Wallabies (small kangaroos) hop around. Saw a large rat today. Must have measured fourteen inches. Saw several natives walking through camp this morning. I am writing this letter in the office of the camp chapel. The boys use this chapel for gambling among other things. This chapel was built by either the Japs or natives, as it has a thatched roof. The food is pretty good. This morning sometime, something got through the mosquito netting and bit one of the boys on the leg while he was sleeping. He didn't get a chance to see what kind of animal it was. Possibly a lizard. Of those, I have seen quite a few. One four foot long was caught not so long ago at the last base in New Guinea where I was at. One boy killed a snake eleven feet in length. He shot it four times. Still larger snakes have been known to have been killed up here. This morning after getting up, I noticed a group of little pit holes in the sandy dirt beneath one of the cots. Upon closer examination of these holes (about 25 to 50 in number varying in size), I noticed that the dirt was being thrown out of each hole. It was a very queer site. We dug up the ground around a few of these holes and found some unusual looking bugs about ¼ inch in length. That solved the mystery of the dirt throwing holes. Well, so far those are the things that I have noticed here. You might find them interesting. And so, that's about all for just now. There is supposed to be a movie shown here tonight, so I guess that there is where I'll spend some of all of the extra time that I have in which to do nothing but await another airplane flight. So, until sometime again soon -


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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