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

<- PREVIOUS LETTER April 17, 1945
Floridablanca, Luzon, Philippines

April 17, 1945


Hello Ma:

      Today is the twenty-third anniversary of you know what. [He means the twenty-third month anniversary. It’s been 23 months since his overseas duty began. - Ed.]

      Things are running along here rather smoothly now. The last four nights, I have gone to town. Our squadron sends two trucks every night for those who want to go. There is a curfew of 10:00 o'clock in the town. It is about 29 kilometers (18 miles). We usually have trouble on the way back because the boys who are drunk always look for a fight. Four such battles took place last night. Nobody got hurt. Every morning everybody apologizes. Every night another fight. It keeps the monotony down a bit. We no longer have to stand ______________ has employed Filipino _____ to _______ our area. [He appears to be saying that he no longer has to stand guard duty at night because Filipino guerrillas are handling that task now, as mentioned in his April 29th letter. - Ed.] The food is better, at least comparatively so. Recently, the squadron mess sargeant traded a case of bully beef (everyone would rather give it to the Japs than eat it) for 200 ears of fresh corn. Everyone was satisfied to have had something to eat that didn't come in cans. During one week here (when there was only a few of us), we had steak three times. (I ate six steaks myself - three at one meal - they had some left over.) There are seven men in my tent and we ourselves consumed about 25 watermelons during a period of 10 days.

      The people here are much more educated than at my former base. The girls are much more harder to fool or kid than I expected. For example - last night I and some of the boys were visiting a family. I just don't know how we happened to be invited - in fact, the more that I think of it, the more I believe that we weren't. Anyway, we were in. This family, before the Japs came, was very rich. (Five of their houses were burned and they lost their furniture exporting business.) While the "bóhoys" [rowdy guys - Ed.] were engaged in tastefully drinking up the "old man's" liquors, I confined my talents to his 17-year-old daughter. After all, I don't drink - and I had to do something to pass the time, ha! Every time that I attempted to "smear on the old oil" with certain casual statements ("Gee! I like your hair" - or, pointing and saying, "Is that an accessory or did it come with you as standard equipment?" or "What's come over you? Me?"), I was stopped in my tracks with comments like, "You look like Errol Flynn" or "You don't look older than 19." Heck, she saw too many American movies. Bing Crosby, Shirley Temple, and James Cagney were her favorites. At one time when I was going along as per my self-styled tactics (mostly verbal, mostly), I was showered by her four-year-old brother with a handful of Jap invasion money. Daggonit, I had to start all over again. Another time, one of the boys filled his glass beyond the rim. Her little sister had an alcoholic rubdown. Ah yes, I suffered many such setbacks. (About this time, the boys were in a singing mood.) Another time when we were sitting on the floor (no chairs) in the corner (she and I) and things were getting real cozy like, her father (old eagle eye) shoved a plate of fried bananas in front of my face. So help me! I think that he had reserved that for just that moment! (By this time, the "bohoys" were in a staggering state and their songs had lost both tune and intelligible words; but the volume had increased by ten strained vocal cords.) I didn't have much trouble getting the boys back to the weapons carrier (truck), as they were still under their own control. They only lacked directional stability. Yes, I carried the bottles through and we made it back to camp. After being challenged by a _______ [Filipino guerrilla? - Ed.] guard, we hit the sack (went to bed). Ah yes, thus passed a day of hard fighting on the battle front (oh yeah). Well, in summing up this one of many thrilling incidents of the Army life of yours truly, I had a good time. They gave us a return invitation. Guess they thought that they may as well, as we would come again if we wanted to anyway.

      Well, that's all for now. I am O.K. -


Earl at Luzon. In his 10/1/1945 letter, he said that he was chewing gum.

Marketplace in Luzon, Philippines, possibly in the city of San Fernando, 1945.

A marketplace, probably in Luzon, Philippines, 1945. This photo seems to be at the same location as the one above.


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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