Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – February 2, 1943
Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary Project and Recap: 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.
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, Ginny, 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 2, 1943 Diary Page (click to enlarge)
Transcript of diary entry February 2, 1943
Tuesday, February 2, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
This morning when I woke up it was snowing and coming down thick. It will be pretty deep if it keeps up this way tonight. However now its turning a little warm and Im afraid it won’t be here long. I cant understand these warm spells that always follow a snow storm. Today we had a machine gun to tear down and we spent most of the morning showing the men how to do it. Ray has just about got a deal cooked up so we can have the Range on Thursday. We could use the practice. This afternoon we went out and had a battle royal in the snow. It was a lot of fun. Then the athletic officer called up and said he had that Jiu Jitsu instructor and wanted me to bring the men over. Well we came and saw. I learned more about dirty fighting in the two hours we were there then I have the last 20 years. I sure hope no expert ever works out on me if hes mad. Its plain murder in a million different ways. If I had know there were so many ways to murder a man with your bare hands I would have started a very long ago. If I learned all those tricks Id be afraid of my self. I talked my way out of putting on a show before the officers on the post this evening. The boys are getting a little tired of showing off and so am I. I stayed on the post again tonight and wrote some letters then went to a show near the hangar. It was fair. Dorothy is hinting about coming up. Im going to start ducking. I wish Ginnie would come out and get married.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: February 2, 1943
• The Battle of Stalingrad ended, and Axis forces were eradicated. Perhaps the bloodiest battle in human history, casualties were estimated at between 1 and 2 million. (http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/1943)
• Rommel retreated farther into Tunisia, establishing his troops at the Mareth line. Within two days, Allied troops moved into Tunisia for the first time. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_World_War_II_(1943))
On this day in 1943, Afrika Corps commander Field Marshal Irwin Rommel, in preparation for an Allied advance, retreated farther into Tunisia, establishing his troops at the Mareth line. (Public Domain)
Diary transcription: Kathleen Long
Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain VIsta H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Sean McGill – voice of Lt. Reichard