Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – June 27, 1943
Sunday, June 27, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa
June 27, 1943 Diary Page
Another Sunday and it seems like only yesterday was Sunday. Time is rolling by faster than it can be kept track of. Today it was as hot as I have ever seen it in my life. That is I think it was as we have not seen a thermometer since we left the states. What has happened the latter part of this week I don’t know but each day has developed a bit hotter until today has been almost unbearable. The breeze that ordinarily keeps us fairly cool seems now like a blast from a furnace. I hope we don’t have much of this as it has me sick. I can’t find out what is the matter. I have lost all energy and my stomach has a touch of nausea that is not bad enough to throw up but enough to keep me in misery all the time. It gets a little worse each day. This afternoon Enright and I took off and went over to Janette’s house. It has gotten so I really look forward to these visits now and I hope they continue. I like M. G_____________ better each time. He’s a pretty sharp old gent. Our conversations I dare say lagged only once or twice during the entire visit. We talked of everything and I sure have learned a lot of French at least in comparison to what I knew originaly (sic). Janette had a friend out who also knew a little english (sic). She was pretty attractive also. We left about nine as it was getting dark and I was feeling pretty bad. This is beginning to worry me now. I’ll let it go one more day and if I’m not better I will go in sick call.
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The Day That Was: June 27, 1943
|• The salvage vessel, USS Redwing (ARS-4), was sunk by an underwater explosion in the North African 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: 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