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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER November 22, 1944
San Pablo, Leyte, Philippines

Nov. 22, 1944


Hello Ma:

      We just had our first mail today since we arrived in the Philippines. I received a Christmas card from Mrs. Roussey. I'll write her a letter of thanks. Since my last letter, it has stopped raining about four times, each time for about two hours. Monday, I had a headache, sore throat, and a cold. Today, I only have the cold. The outfit isn't doing very much but eating and sleeping or gambling. Too much rain to do any kind of work. I took about 30 feet of movie film yesterday. Had several more air raids. Incidentally, how is the war coming along? We haven't received any news for over a week. We don't even know how the Philippine battle is progressing. No Japs have broken out of the trap lately. Consequently, we no longer take our rifles and hunting knives to be with us. We still have a double guard posted each night. Well, there goes another air raid warning, the third so far this morning.

      In my last letter, I asked you for some seeds. Well, in connection with that, I would like to add that it isn't necessary to make up a special package in which to send them. Just put them in an envelope with one of your letters. Most of the natives around here are farmers. We have made an arrangement with them whereby we give them seeds for which they in turn occasionally bring us some of the produce. The plan exists only among a few of the enlisted men and so far we haven't put it into operation. We are awaiting the seeds to come from home. The farmers are only too glad to do this, as the Japs practically robbed them of their chances of raising anything for the next few years. It seems that the Japs made the people (those that didn't take to the mountains) work on their airfields. This left them no time to work the farms.

      The natives really hate the Japs. If a Jap was killed by a guerrilla, the Jap officials would seize any natives who then happened to be near the scene. They would be shot with no questions asked. A Jap soldier could at any time walk into a house and demand food. If they would refuse him, the head of the family would then and there immediately have his throat slit. Any native found to be carrying even one bullet would be shot. The Japs had a bad habit of occasionally killing one of the natives' caribou. [He means carabao. - Ed.] This, they of course used for food. Then the natives hadn't any animals to pull their plows. Yes sir, the people were really glad to see us come. Every day, they walk over from their village to talk with us. Incidentally, as the Japs and these natives could not understand each other's language, they had to resort to the English language for conversation and the giving of orders.

      Well, there goes the "all-clear" signal. I guess that our planes drove the Jap air forces back again.

      It just stopped raining and now the sun is out real bright. Steam has formed under the roof of our tent.

      Well, that's about all for just now -



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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