Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – May 28, 1943
Friday, May 28, 1943
Casablanca, North Africa
May 28, 1943 Diary Page
Today was a busy one although all my efforts were in vain. I sure hope that no other outfit is sent overseas minus their equipment as it is nearly impossible to pick any up here. Of course they tell us that we will be able to pick it up when we go up to the front, but I wonder. We tried to get a truck mounted with a machine gun and found they had the same answer to that. I wonder if I will live to see the day when we get as well equiped (sic) as we were back at McClellan Field. It makes me sick every time I think of it. I got a haircut in town today and had a time. It’s a French shop, naturally and they know less English than I do French so my trying to tell them how it should be cut was a _____________. They did a darn good job on it though and it was as nice a shop as I’ve seen in the states. It cost me 6 Franc’s which is 12 cents. That’s the cheapest I’ve yet gotten. I saw a gorgeous french (sic) girl in the adjoining beauty salon and that was one time I really wished I knew French. She smiled but what could I do. “God, give me strength.” I went out to Ray’s camp and he has a pretty decent set up. He now has orders to prepare for overseas. That must mean England. I wish I were going along.
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The Day That Was: May 28, 1943
|• In Italy, the US 15th Air Force attacks oil refineries at Livorno. (http://www.feldgrau.com/may.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.
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