Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – June 28, 1943
Monday, June 28, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa
June 28, 1943 Diary Page
I thought yesterday was a schorcher (sic), but today was twice as bad. I have been in misery throughout the whole day and this evening went over to see the doc. He wasn’t in so will go back in the morning. Another thing. Today I shaved off my beard. It was a lovely one and I hated to do it but the heat just made it unbearable. If we ever get to a cool climate I’ll start over again. We had a meeting this morning of all C.O.’s at headquarters. We were told that tonight & tomorrow night we could be sure to expect paratroopers in our vicinity and that we were to double the guard. It looks like we might see a little action yet. I called the men together and told them what the situation was. We wear our side arms all the time now. Today as far as we were concerned was just another busy day. We have a truck here for a motor overhaul and it looks like we will have it for a couple of weeks while we are waiting for the crankshaft to be torn down. The rest of the supplies we are having little difficulty getting. Of course we are working on priority trucks which helps considerably. There is quite a change in the men now that they have something definite to do. I wish I would get a letter. It’s funny how important it becomes after a little while to get one yet it becomes foremost in your mind as you would do almost anything to get one. It has been 23 days since I received my last. Maybe today we will get a whole bunch in and I can spend the whole day reading.
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The Day That Was: June 28, 1943
|• Cologne Cathedral was badly damaged in a raid. (http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/war-in-europe/european-air-war/european-air-war-index-1943.htm)
• Army Mitchell medium bombers and Navy Ventura medium bombers attacked Japanese positions at Kiska and Little Kiska. Because of weather conditions, complete observation of the results of the attacks was not possible, but hits were reported on houses at Little Kiska. All U. S. planes returned. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/comms/1943-06.html)
Cologne Cathedral during WWII
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