Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – February 1, 1943
by Alison Harder (02/01/09).
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, Ginny, 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 1, 1943 Diary Page (click to enlarge)
Transcript of diary entry February 1, 1943
Monday, February 1, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
We are getting more & more fed up each day with this business of sitting around. The men as well as Ray and myself are getting restless. I wish we would either go now or stay here and set up a shop. We will get stale sitting around like this. This morning five of the men took our trucks up to the shop and worked them over good. These trucks certainly did needed it. The rest of the men had lectures and drill for the morning. They are losing all enthusiasm for this work and I don’t like it. Its all I can do to keep their interest up. This afternoon we went over to the Gym as usual and played basket ball then did some wrestling. They don’t even do that like they used to. The way things go on this field you no more than make friends before you lose them. A month is the longest they stay at this school. Bob Blake the boy I flew with this past week is leaving tomorrow for his 2nd plane training. I wrote three type written pages home to Chick. I hope I didn’t do too much preaching but he needs some any way. I wrote he could put a year in the army then go back to the farm. It would do him good. Im staying in tonight to write some and get in a little reading.
• The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed of Americans of Japanese ancestry, was activated by President Roosevelt, who declared that “Americanism is not and never was, a matter of race and ancestry.” (http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2007/Jun/17/ln/ln01a.html)
• The U.S. Army’s Signal Intelligence Service, a forerunner of the National Security Agency, began a small, very secret program, later code-named VENONA. The original object of the VENONA program was to examine, and possibly exploit, encrypted Soviet diplomatic communications. These messages had been accumulated by the Signal Intelligence Service (later renamed the U.S. Army Signal Security Agency and commonly called “Arlington Hall” after the Virginia location of its headquarters) since 1939, but had not been studied previously. American analysts discovered that these Soviet communications dealt with not only diplomatic subjects but also espionage matters. (http://timeline.demesnes.net/1943/02/)
• A Japanese force of 20 destroyers, en route to evacuate 13,000 troops from Guadalcanal, was attacked by motor torpedo boats and aircraft from Henderson Field. (http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm)
• The destroyer USS De Haven (DD-469) was sunk by dive bombers in the Solomons. The Japanese destroyer Makigumo was sunk by a mine off Doma Reef, also in the Solomons. (http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm)
• Three hundred soldiers appeared in Irving Berlin’s “This Is the Army” at the San Francisco Opera House with Berlin making a personal appearance. Proceeds went to the Army’s Relief Fund. The show was made into a motion picture starring Ronald Reagan and George Murphy. (http://www.sfmuseum.net/war/43.html) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036430/fullcredits#cast)
A program from Irving Berlin's "This is the Army," which played at the San Francisco Opera House on this day in 1943. The show included a cast of more than 300 active-duty soldiers and sailors and a personal appearance by Berlin himself, singing “How I Hate to Get Up.” (Quakertown Heirlooms, http://www.goantiques.com/detail,irving-berlins-army,1342662.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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