Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – July 15, 1943
Thursday, July 15, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa
July 15, 1943 Diary Page
Well for the final time in over six months I pulled an O.D. Over here that is a duty that takes up many little of your time and outside of the fact that you lose about three hours sleep in the middle of the night you never know that you were O.D. I got pretty sore at the Sergeant of the guard today because he came on duty about an hour and fifteen minutes late causing me to miss dinner but I don’t think that will happen again. I wonder more and more every day at what is expected of an M.M.Q. Co. in a theater of operations when you consider the work we were supposed to be trained for. If I hadn’t trained my men the way I wanted we would be of little use over here. Today we had 2 completely wrecked Jeeps brought in from which we are to make one good one. We also had a 6×6 _________brought to us with a bent frame to be straightened. Motor overhauls come in on an average of 3 a day and we don’t even have a valve refacer to ________ . I can’t. If only we had some of the tools like the refacer. It would be a pleasure. Of course that’s asking to much. Some poor sot sits down in Washington, works out a beautiful theory for maintenance then sets up a tool kit accordingly. Us poor suckers who do the work can send in suggestions until we are blue in the face but it does no good. The news reports are pretty scanty as we don’t rightly know what is going on in Sicily. From the numbers it sounds good. We got in a batch of mail today but it did me no good.
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The Day That Was: July 15, 1943
|The minesweeper USS Staff (AM-114) is damaged by a mine in the Sicilian area.(http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm)
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
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain Vista H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Bryan Smith – voice of Lt. Reichard