Based on the letters of Earl Philip Reinhalter (1922-1953). Edited by his son, Earl Philip Reinhalter (1950-).
Thanks to my father for writing the letters, and to his mother for saving them. Thanks to his sister, my Aunt Yvonne, for giving them to me, along with the album containing photos that he sent home. She also provided much background information about the family.
Thanks to my step-brother Scott Willits Sr., who retrieved my fatherís Army uniform and 1947-53 photo album from my motherís apartment after she died, along with hundreds of photos from her side of the family, and made sure that I got them. Scott and his wife Monica also provided details about my motherís final days.
Magnus H. Stender, Shersten Stender and Kevin L. Beard provided details about Yvonneís last days and interment.
My cousins Michaelene Fortner and Linda Ring shared their memories of family history.
Thanks to Leonard Stringfield for creating The Squadron Pulse newsletter. He not only served as editor and chief writer, but also had the good sense to save copies for his archive. Only three issues of the newsletter that my father sent home remained in the envelopes with his letters. I subsequently tracked down seventeen additional issues from LancasterHistory.org. Finally, I located Stringfieldís grandson, Erich Stegmaier, who was kind enough to scan the issues that I did not already have, plus all twelve editions of Pennant Parade.
Frederick V. Roussey provided background info about his father, Frederick Allen Roussey, who was mentioned frequently in my fatherís letters.
Evita Corby and Kristi Smart assisted with photographing my fatherís uniform jacket and decorations.
Anna Frick at Airshow Mastering greatly improved the audio quality of my fatherís voice recording from December 1942. The record was in bad shape to begin with, but she was able to remove most of the background noise so that more of the dialogue could be understood. She also improved the audio of the 1985 phone call with my grandmother, removing tape hiss and a loud hum that persisted throughout the recording, enabling me to make a more accurate transcript.
Paul McCardell at The Baltimore Sun took the time to send me an example of the wartime ďservice editionĒ of the paper, and Stan Piet shared an issue of The Martin Star magazine that was published by the Glenn L. Martin Company. Neither publication could be included here due to copyright restrictions, but with these examples I was better able to describe them in notes.
Dennis Charles kindly sent me a scan of the ďTrip Ticket HomeĒ example from his copy of Stars & Stripes that appears with the May 27, 1945, letter. I had previously found a low-resolution version online and was grateful to upgrade this image.
The Air Force Historical Research Agency supplied a trove of documents from General Ennis Whiteheadís archive, which helped fill out some of the history.
Google and Wikipedia made it possible to research the people, places, historical events, and pop culture titles that were mentioned in the letters and newsletters. Through them I was also able to find definitions for military words, phrases, abbreviations and acronyms that were not part of my regular vocabulary.
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This page established: October 10, 2020 Last updated: February 22, 2023
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