Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – June 26, 1943
Saturday, June 26, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa
June 26, 1943 Diary Page
The days are flying by with more speed than a person can keep up with. I hope they continue as they have and we don’t have too many to let pass. If this war would only end in a year. Wishful thinking. Sometimes I find myself halfway hoping it doesn’t so that I can spend a little time in each section of the world and meet the people and learn their customs. I’m beginning to think this war may make a vagabond of me yet. If I knew of my future and it was relatively safe I could truefully (sic) say I will enjoy the next few years and look forward to them. If I were about six or seven years younger I would enjoy it despite what may happen. The only thing I’m afraid of now is that by the time I’ve finished this job I’ll be so old that I will have missed to (sic) much of building my future. It’s surprizing (sic) to me that I am so little afraid of not coming back. What I do worry about in a blue moment is how I come back. Today I must have eaten something not good as my stomach is raising a hell of a complaint. The weather here is gradually turning on the heat and it is becoming almost unbearable in the sun. However in the shade a breeze keeps it right cool. We thank God each night for the coolness of those nights. It is wonderful sleeping and keeps you feeling fine. The war news we get here is very meger (sic) so I hardly know what is going on. I miss our short wave set a lot as it pulled in N.Y. stations and we heard the latest. Germany now claims she is bombing N.Y.
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The Day That Was: June 26, 1943
|• During the early morning, a formation of Army B-24 Liberator heavy bombers attacked Japanese positions on Ballale Island in the Shortland Island area. A number of fires were started. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/comms/1943-06.html)
• Another formation of Army Liberators attacked Japanese positions on Poporang (south Shortland Island). Re¬sults of this attack were unobserved. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/comms/1943-06.html)
• Navy Dauntless SBD dive bombers and Avenger TBF torpedo bombers escorted by F4F Wildcat fighters attacked Munda, New Georgia Island, in the Central Solomons. At the same time, another formation of Navy Dauntless dive bombers and Avenger torpedo bombers escorted by Wildcat fighters attacked Vila, Kolombangara Island. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/comms/1943-06.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.
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: 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