Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary Project and Recap: 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.
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.
Transcript of Diary Entry February 23, 1943
Tuesday, February 23, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
This morning I rolled out of bed at seven and ate breakfast then went over to the office to get things ready to go out on the range. Today was just a practice course and the men fired as they wanted. I’m not such a hot one on this target business because shooting at a still target is something they will seldom do in battle. I found one good practice that taught them more in an hour than shooting at a target all day would. There was a hill about two hundred yards across the creek that was the home of quite a few gophers. They would come out of their hole and run like hell for another and we would try to get them. It taught the men snap shooting and they were right good at it. A gopher is not as big as a rat so offer very little target. We got a few though. I also fired my course over and made 194 of a possible 200 which was quite a jump over the last one. Sgt. Frazier’s kid brother was out here so we took him along. He’s 17 and a husky one. I showed him some neat tricks with a jeep climbing hills and jumping ditches. He had a lot of fun. We got back about five. Tonight I wrote a long letter home and then went up and saw the boxing matches. They were right good. Well it’s time to turn in.
• Two days after a hard drive by the Germans through Kasserine Pass, the weather cleared enough for the 27th and 94th squadrons of the 1st Fighter Group to strafe through the pass, encountering heavy anti-aircraft fire, from both friendly and enemy forces below, level with, and even above the P-38′s low flight path. Of the 12 aircraft sent, eight came back. Two planes went down in the pass, and two more crash-landed behind Allied lines north of Kasserine. Nearly every plane was hit. (http://www.1stfighter.org/history/1943.html)
Diary transcription: Kathleen Long
Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain Vista H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Sean McGill – voice of Lt. Reichard
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