Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – August 4, 1943
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa
Aug. 4, 1943 Diary Page
This evening I received a letter from the Rotary Club back home. It seems they set aside an evening every now and then to write to the boys in the service. It’s a good idea. My “Marylander and Herald” are now coming in pretty regular and they sure look good. Clarance wanted to know why I’ve neglected the “Home & Abroad” column which consists of letters from the boys all over the globe. It’s a very interesting column giving quite a side light to the soldiers’ new paint on this war. My Readers Digest also put in its appearance so I’m happy. I think I’m more slap-happy than happy in the general sense of the word. This evening I went in Tunis to see Sgt. D. and take him his mail. We talked a while then I took off for Radez (Rades?) Janette was not at the beach but Suzanne and John were. John is her little boy. He is cute & redheaded and about 14 or 15 months old. Suzanne’s husband has been called back to active duty and is now somewhere near Oran so Suzanne and John are left with her parents. We talked, there on the beach for about an hour. She is trying to get me a brass plaque something on the order of a fruit disk. It is inlaid with silver and copper and is really gorgeous. They have several in the family and paid around 1000 fr. for them each. Well Suzanne was pricing some for me and now they are over 2000 fr. 700 (too) much so I guess its no go. We went to her home then after a short visit I came back.
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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.
May 1943 Recap: The long journey begins by train as the outfit travels cross country to Camp Shanks, New York, where they will prepare to head overseas. Lt. Reichard now knows the destination: Casablanca, Morocco in North Africa. After ensuring that all the supplies are in order, the outfit boards the “West Point”, the newest in troop carriers and heads to sea. Lt. Reichard spends many peaceful evenings enjoying the time at sea before landing in Morocco. May ends with the outfit setting up camp and adjusting to the customs of Morocco.
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: Shari Seippel Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
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