Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – April 9, 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.


Friday, April 9, 1943 through Thursday, April 15, 1943

Riverside Farms, Westover, Maryland

(Editor’s Note: After a great deal of uncertainty, Lt. Lawson Reichard was able to obtain a furlough home. In the spirit of any great vacation, he enjoyed the company of home, family and friends and did not write any journal entries. Throughout the next week, we will continue to highlight The Day That Was: A look at events around the world during the time of the lieutenant’s journal. We hope you will continue to check in with our accounts of April 1943, or take the opportunity to go back and read any missed diary pages. Please let us know your thoughts on this three-year project.)

To view previous diary entries, click here.

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The Day That Was: April 9, 1943

• Exterminations at Chelmno concentration camp ceased. The camp was to be reactivated in the spring of 1944 to liquidate ghettos. In all, Chelmno would total 300,000 deaths. (http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/the-holocaust/the-holocaust-index-1943.htm)

• The Japanese destroyer Isonami was sunk by the submarine USS Tautog (SS-199) off Celebes. The rank of commodore, U.S. Navy, was re-established. (http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm

april-09-1943-chelmno-gas-van A gas van in Chelmno extermination camp. Exterminations at Chelmno were temporarily halted on this day in 1943.

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.