Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – May 25, 1943
by Lt.Reichard (05/25/09).
Tuesday, May 25, 1943 Casablanca, North Africa
May 25, 1943 Diary Page
Well by now we are getting used to this sort of life and don’t mind it. About the only way to spend what leisure you have is taking sun baths. With these you have to be very careful as this Africa sun is very strong and serious cases of burns are being sent to the hospital every day. I take it pretty easy and am getting a pretty nice tan. With a good tan and a goatee that is in the making on my chin at the present moment I might look like one of your old time Foreign Legion officers. Well now is about the only time I would be allowed to grow one of these things in peace. I wonder what mother and Virginia will say when (or if) I go home with a goatee. It was bad enough about the mustache and I’ve never been without that since I could shave. Today has been peaceful enough and we are pretty well settled. The office had its floor finished and a rail around the sides to keep the tent in place. It makes a right cozy place except that we can’t get away from the dust which is perpetually stirred up by the breeze. I don’t think the wind ever dies here. It reminds me more every day of the time I spend In Oklahoma. We got all of our tentage which is a miracle. I think we will set up our own mess as this situation we have now is far from satisfactory. We took our final Typhus shot this afternoon.
• Following the Trident conference between President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Washington, DC, the target date of May 1, 1944, was set for the invasion of Europe. It actually occurred on the sixth of June. (http://timelines.ws/20thcent/1943.HTML)
• There was a riot at Mobile, Al., shipyard over upgrading 12 black workers. (http://timelines.ws/20thcent/1943.HTML)
• The carrier USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) is commissioned at Quincy, Ma. (http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm)
• The German submarine U-467 is sunk by naval land-based aircraft (VP-84). (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.
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
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