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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER September 19, 1944
Saidor, New Guinea

[Editor's note: This letter was written vertically on two sheets of Japanese stationary, starting at the bottom right corner of the page, reading up from the bottom. Below is a standard transcript.]

New Guinea

Dear Ma: I hope that you can read this letter, which is written on Japanese stationary. I received two letters from you dated Sept. 3 and 5. Enclosed were four snapshots. Two were of Yvonne on her bike. Also, one of Daddy and one of Kitty. Thanks. In one of my previous letters, I told you that I do not have an airplane to take care of anymore. Well, I now take care of a one-billion candlepower searchlight. We light at night to act as a beacon for incoming planes. I hope that the job does not last too long, as I have other things which I would like to do, such as going to the movies whenever they have them. Every weekend on our day off, we make a trip by jeep up the coast to a native village. Here, we trade cigarettes and tobacco for bananas. We hang them in the tent until they turn yellow. Last week I ate about five dozen. Pretty good, too. Sunday I and some other boys made a short trip down the coast, where we went fishing. We used sticks of dynamite and infantry land mines, which we set off with an electric battery and wires. I took some pictures with my movie camera of the blasts. We got quite a few fish, but no sharks. In salt water, the dead fish float to the surface. The boys then just swim out and get them. On the trip down the coast, we passed an abandoned Japanese headquarters. Last year at this time, the Japs were making use of it. There were some foxholes and a few small pillboxes near it. There were a lot of bomb and shell craters all around it. Enclosed, you fill find a few pictures to add to the book. I just mailed two Yank magazines off to you. It probably will be quite some time before you receive them. Well, this just about finishes up another letter. So, until next time. - Earl


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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