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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER May 10, 1944
Saidor, New Guinea

May 10, 1944

Somewhere in New Guinea

Hello Ma:

      Since my last letter, I have received a "V-Mail" from you, a card from Phus, and a letter from Fred Roussey. In a previous letter, I told you that I did finally receive the other roller skate and the cablegram. Maybe you didn't receive that letter - lost or something. [His last mention of a roller skate, March 21, 1944, said: “I still haven’t received that one roller skate.” So, as he suggests here, a subsequent letter was lost in the mail? - Ed.] Received Yvonne's handmade Easter card and spelling paper. If you remember, in that last set of pictures that I sent you, there was a picture of me in the tent. [See photo below. - Ed.] If you look closely, you will notice some sandbags piled up. These sandbags are stacked around the edge of my foxhole. The hole measures two feet wide, three feet long, and the deeper the better. From the bottom of the hole to the top of the three layers of sandbags is about four feet. At one time, I had a foxhole 6˝ feet deep, but as it was too close to my bunk, I had to move it. Stumbling over the sandbags and falling halfway into a foxhole every night became rather irking after a while, you know. I haven't had to make use of my foxhole in over a month and a half. There are so many cobwebs in there now that they would probably support my weight if I were to attempt to get in the thing. Excuse the scratched out dates in the beginning of the letter. I had to visit four tents before I found someone who could tell me the exact date. All of the dates that I was told that were thought to be right, ranged over a period of one week on either side of the correct date. At least all agreed to the same month - almost everyone anyway. I am glad that you received the Mother's Day present. I wish that you would spend it on yourself. I don't know what you think that I can use it for up here. Enclosed is another money order. You can buy all of the dresses and shoes that Yvonne wants for her birthday. If you do happen to have any left over, you can put it in the bank or use it yourself. It makes no difference to me anyway. You will find a few more enclosures with this letter that you might like to have. You can forget about looking for that canned beer. Beginning in August, there will be issued a ration of 24 bottles of beer per month per man - at this base. But I hope that I am not still here at that time. Things as they are now are plenty boring. All of the enemy action has ceased in this part of New Guinea. And so, every day is like the one before, etc. We know when it's Sunday because we get a half day off. Speaking about the newspapers, I would rather just be reading the headlines than making them. I guess that we have stayed at this base too long - longer than at any previous base - the States included. [At this point, four months. He was at Brisbane for nearly four months - longer if you include Officer Candidate School. - Ed.] Well, I got my engine to run. I still have to install it on my boat yet.

      I told you in a previous letter that I had stopped writing to Margie because she was starting to get too serious. And now you tell me that Kitty wants to start writing to her. When I was a civilian, my personal affairs and business was run, if you remember, very willingly by Uncle Ben. And now it starts all over again. I am perfectly capable of handling my personal affairs myself without the help of anyone, friends or otherwise. It would please me very much if you would refrain from making any attempt to handle my love affairs. What the heck are you trying to do? Get me married or something? I have not lost my mind yet. I have other plans for the future and I do not want my ambitions hindered by any added burdens of responsibility. You can expect to find in all of my future letters no references or articles concerning girls. Both those of the past that I have known and those of the future that I may by chance meet. Do you blame me? If it results in as what has happened as I clearly showed you above. Also, as it will be almost impossible to answer Kitty's letter without mentioning girls, I don't absolutely promise an answer. Maybe you can understand my feelings and maybe you cannot. It matters not to me -


Earl in his foxhole in New Guinea.


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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