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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER June 17, 1944
Saidor, New Guinea

June 17, 1944

Somewhere in New Guinea

Hello Ma:

      Since my last letter, I have received another package containing soap, more peanuts, athlete's foot powder, and some candy wrapped in cellophane. I am certainly glad that the candy was wrapped in a liquid proof cellophane bag, as if otherwise the candy would have spilled out and ran over all the other things. As the candy had melted and as there was no way for me to cool it so that it would solidify, I had to pour it into the trash can. Our post exchange for my squadron recently got some supplies in. Among the things which were available to us was candy and cakes.

      I guess by the time you receive this letter, Yvonne will have completed another school year. I received Yvonne's little letter with the drawing of the boat and airplane. It was rather cute. Tell her thanks. I passed the copies of the Baltimore Sun papers on to [John] Hutchins, who is writing a letter at the next table. I received Phus's "horizontally written" letter. No, I didn't have to lie down to read it. I hope that the operation was O.K. Enclosed are some pictures that did not turn out. If you want to, you can take a chance on getting maybe a few of the best ones copied. Maybe they'll turn out good enough to be able to see who's who. If any do happen to turn out halfway decent, you can send me one each of those.

      Well, nothing much is doing here worth mentioning - except that which wouldn't pass the censor. I am still an aerial engineer on a colonel's airplane. [This is incorrect. An aerial engineer is someone who assists the pilot during flights. In other letters, he says that he is either crew chief or chief mechanic. - Ed.] I took a couple of pictures of it, which I'll send you when they come back from being developed. Well, here it is in the dead of winter in New Guinea. Today at 10:00 o'clock in the morning, I glanced at the temperature gauge on the instrument board of my airplane. It was rather cool, too, the gauge reading 105°F. Yes, it's winter here. When I work on my airplane's 450-horsepower engine, I have to lay my tools down in the shade or else stick them in my pocket. A minute or two in the sun at times will cause the tools to actually become too hot to handle with ease. Everybody here has had his blood thinned out by the heat. Whenever we cut ourselves, the blood runs out real thin like water. [It is a myth that your blood is thinner in a hot climate. Other factors may give this impression, such as small blood vessels dilating so that the body can give off excess heat. - Ed.] I weighed myself one day last week. I weigh now exactly twenty-five pounds lighter than I did when I was down in Australia. That is a little under the average weight loss for my squadron. The big guys who did weigh about 200 pounds are down to 150 pounds or even lower in some cases. Dehydrated food isn't as good as the real thing, you see. No beer, no ice cream, no chocolate sodas, no etc.

      I got a letter from Fred [Roussey]. He didn't say anything - a couple of sentences - that's all. Well, I cannot think of anything else to say. So, until next time -



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.


This page established: November 11, 2018             Last updated: February 23, 2023

© 2018-2023 Earl P. Reinhalter. All Rights Reserved.