Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – April 24, 1943
Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary Project : On January 1, 2009, WorthPoint began a three year project following the life of a WWII soldier through the daily pages of his diary. To read about the inception of this project, or to add your own comments, click here.
Saturday, April 24, 1943
This afternoon I took off and went in town to send Ginnie some flowers. This was pretty late but it’s the first time I’ve had a chance to get away. I also wrote Ginnie and mother and told them I would not be writing any more for a long time to come. If it wasn’t for the situation between Virginia and myself I wouldn’t have any qualms at all about going. I just hate to think of getting that far away while someone is trying to cut my time.
Well from reports over the radio the situation in N. Africa is coming along in fine shape. The northern Tip of Tunisia from Bizerte up is all that is left to the Nazis and that should be cleaned up in less than a month. The enemy is pretty well fortified or it wouldn’t last that long. Rommell is reported to have left that zone and is working on the defensive maneuvers on the continent. I wonder when and where we will start the invasion of Europe. We can’t afford to wait too long so as to give the enemy time to get set.
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The Day That Was: April 24, 1943
|• In her “My Day” column, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt urged housewives to salvage “fat for the use of the government. Fats contain glycerine, glycerine makes gun powder, explosives and medicine.” (http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/displaydoc.cfm?_y=1943&_f=md056479)
• In Burma, 9 B-25s, escorted by 11 P-40’s, bombed the Namtu mines and railroad yards. Seven of the P-40s strafed the mine and smelter area. In China, 13 P-40ss intercepted 25 fighters near Lingling and shot down five. (http://www.pacificwrecks.com/60th/1943/4-43.html)
1943 Diary Recaps
January 1943 Recap: We first met Lt. Reichard in January, stationed at McClellan Air Base in Sacramento, where he was in charge of a motor pool unit. Expecting to be sent overseas, their orders were changed and they became restless to see action. Lt. Reichard’s sweetheart, Ginnie, would write frequently, and he would go to dinner and movies with local girls – Dorothy, in Sacramento, and Marie, when the unit moved to Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho. The men have spent their days in lectures, and physical demonstrations to try to keep sharp mentally and physically. But they are getting increasingly restless.
February 1943 Recap: The unit continues to be restless as they still haven’t any orders for overseas. The days are kept busy with lectures, physical demonstrations, and frequent hikes in the mountains above Boise. Lt. Reichard receives a promotion to Lieutenant First Class and continues to write to Ginnie back home, though her letters are becoming more infrequent. February 1943 comes to an end with the unit still feeling bored and discouraged.
March 1943 Recap: March brings uncertainties in weather and daily life to Gowen Field. Still no word about overseas orders, the outfit must now share quarters with another unit. There is now time to begin a photo album, collecting pictures from times with the outfit. Letters from Ginnie are becoming more infrequent but there is no shortage of dates with the local girls in Boise. March comes to an end with everyone in the outfit anxiously awaiting word of upcoming furloughs.
Diary transcription: Kathleen Long
Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain Vista H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Bryan Smith – voice of Lt. Reichard