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

Photo Highlights: NEW GUINEA - notable planes

The plane belonging to America's top flying ace, Major Bong, in New Guinea, 1943-44.
You can see 27 "kills" painted on the side of the plane. He ultimately reached 40.

Neel Kearby's plane "Fiery Ginger" on the runway, probably at Saidor Airfield. The 22 "kills" painted on the side of the plane was
his total for the war. If that's him in the cockpit, this might be one of his last photos. He was himself shot down on March 5, 1944.

Colonel Neel Kearby's P-47, named "Fiery Ginger" after his wife Virginia. One of the top flying aces of the Pacific
Theater - notice the 22 "kills" painted on the side of his plane - he was himself shot down on March 5, 1944.
Pictured above is "Fiery Ginger IV," his final plane of the war.

Another photo of Neel Kearby's "Fiery Ginger" plane. The 22 "kills" marked on the side of the plane was his total
for the war, before being shot down himself. So these may have been the very last photos taken of his plane.

A soldier in New Guinea poses with the P-47 flown by Dick Rowland. This was "Miss Mutt II / Pride of Lodi, Ohio," the second of several
"Miss Mutt" planes that Rowland flew. See this blog article for more background. "Miss Mutt III" is the next photo below.

"Miss Mutt III" / "Pride of Lodi Ohio" - a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt - on the runway in New Guinea, circa 1943-44. This was
the third "Miss Mutt" plane flown by Dick Rowland. The eight "kills" painted under the cockpit was his total for the war..

This Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was the personal plane of General Robert Eichelberger. Originally called "Cap'n & the Kids," the general renamed it "Miss Em"
after his wife Emaline. Eichelberger's excellent war memoir Our Jungle Road to Tokyo makes frequent mention of trips he took to battle fronts in this plane.
See the next photo down for a close-up of the nose art and combat "kills."

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress called "Miss Em" (previously "Cap'n & the Kids") had 12 "kills" (Jap planes shot down),
8 boats sunk, and 89 bombing missions. See more info at the Air War - World War 2 blog.

Planes on runway in New Guinea, 1943.

Soldier and plane ("My Texas Gal II") on runway in New Guinea, 1944.

Actor Gary Cooper (in white t-shirt) and actress Phyllis Brooks signing 500-pound bombs in New Guinea, 1943.
There's also a photo of a "Twin Nifties II" plane at The spelling is different,
so it might not be the same plane. According to that site, it was a B-24 Liberator.

Earl in New Guinea, 1944. The plane "Hairless Joe" is possibly the C-47 belonging to Dick Cole, who had taken part in the
famous Doolittle raid on Tokyo in 1942. Cole explained the name in an interview: "I was a big comics reader. One of
our assistant crew chiefs, Maurice Roberts, thought I looked like a character by that name in the strip Lil’ Abner."

Planes on the runway in New Guinea, 1944.

Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bombers on the runway, probably in New Guinea.

Earl and a plane on the runway in New Guinea, 1943.

Earl as crew chief in New Guinea, 1944. The plane was a Beech UC-43 Traveler,
a slightly modified version of the Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing.

Earl sitting in the cockpit of a plane in New Guinea.

A crashed Jap plane in New Guinea.

More Photo Highlights:

STATESIDE (late 1942 - May 1943)
AUSTRALIA (June 4, 1943 until December 1943)
NEW GUINEA (December 1943 to Oct/Nov 1944)


The Kindle book includes Earl Reinhalter’s World War II 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: April 14, 2019             Last updated: February 22, 2023

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