Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – May 27, 1943
Thursday, May 27, 1943
Casablanca, North Africa
May 27, 1943 Diary Page
So little happened today that I find it difficult to fill in this space. That was one thing I was sure would never happen once I went overseas. I wish our equipment would come on over so we could get set up and pull out for some place where we can be of some use. If the rumors we are getting here mean anything or have any foundation I think we will be needed rather badly pretty soon. The radio doesn’t give us any immediate hope for a big push which most of us feel is the only way to get this over with. If we let Germany get set then we lose all the advantage we have. That was the way she lost England and a similar blunder on our part may keep this war going for five or ten years because Germany is far from being whipped. Well Ray got settled in his new location today. He is only fifteen miles away. When he left, I had to go back to shaving out of my helmet as he had the generator I used for my electric razor. When Uncle Sam designed that helmet he had more in mind than just protection. We do everything but take a shower in it. Tonight I wrote Mother and Ginnie. I wish I would get a letter from Ginnie. Lord but I miss those letters.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
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The Day That Was: May 27, 1943
|• Jean Moulin presides over the first-ever unified meeting of the French Resistance at 48 Rue de Four in Paris, where Charles de Gaulle is unanimously recognized as the movement’s leader. A month later, Moulin is betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo, dying on his way to a concentration camp in Germany. (http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-europe/western-europe/western-europe-index-1943.htm)
• The first British “liaison” team is dropped into Yugoslavia to join up with Tito’s partisans. (http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-europe/southern-europe/southern-europe-index-1943.htm)
• Naval Station at Coco Solo in the Canal Zone is established. (http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm)
• U.S. Senate Committee on Naval Affairs hearing on the Navy’s current and prospective occupancy of Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. (http://www.sfmuseum.net/war/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.
April 1943 Recap: Last minute furloughs come through, and Lt. Reichard returns home to Maryland for some time with his family on the farm. He and Ginnie have a chance to talk things over and hopefully save the relationship. Just before leaving Boise, the unit gets orders that a move will come at the end of April. April comes to an end with the men spending a week in Stockton, California getting ready to ship out. But where they are going remains a mystery.
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.
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