Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – February 11, 1943
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 11, 1943 Diary Page
Transcript of diary entry February 11, 1943
Thursday, February 11, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
Ye Gods what a dull day this one was. Its a cinch that excitement won’t kill me here. This morning I went over to the office where Pvt. D________ meets me and asks me if he has the measles. I take one look, say yes, and get the hell out of there in a hurry. I came back here to wait and see what action would be taken. He went on sick call and he has them alright. One good thing about this field is they don’t quarantine an outfit when some one comes down like that. Well at nine thirty Ray took the men over to the gas chamber and ran them through. When he came back he left his clothes in the office and soon the office seemed like a gas chamber. We were all crying like a bunch of babies. Some people don’t have any sense. This afternoon I went in town and sent a dozen roses to Virginia for a valentine. Lord, what I would give to deliver them in person. This evening I went in town and over to Rays to play cards for the evening. We played until about twelve then I came out and went to bed. I can’t stand many evenings like that because I’m too restless. How in the hell I’m ever going to settle down after this war is more than I can see.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was selected to command the Allied armies in Europe on this day in 1943. (U.S. National Archives)
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: February 11, 1943
• Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was selected to command the Allied armies in Europe. Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced in the House of Commons that as the British 8th Army passed into the American sphere, it would be subject to Eisenhower and that Gen. Harold Alexander would be deputy commander in chief. Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder, RAF, was to command Mediterranean air operations (as well as the air forces in the Middle East) and be responsible to General Eisenhower. Royal Navy Adm. A.B. Cunningham’s command was extended to comprise all cognate operations in the Mediterranean, and the commander in chief of the Mediterranean would become commander in chief of the Levant and the Red Sea. General Alexander would be succeeded in the Middle East by Gen. Sir Henry Maitland Wilson. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/events/1943.html)
• It was announced that Sir John Dill, representing Prime Minister Churchill, and Gen. Henry H. Arnold, representing President Roosevelt, had concluded a series of conferences with Gen. Chiang Kai shek in Chungking and with Sir Archibald Wavell in India. Subsequent conferences were held between General Wavell and Gen. Douglas MacArthur. (“A complete accord was reached in coordination of offensive plans and signifying the united determination of the powers concerned to insure full cooperation and mutual assistance against the Japanese,” it was reported in the Times of London. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/events/1943.html)
• Japanese submarine RO-102 was sunk by naval aircraft, the light cruiser USS Helana (CL-50) and the destroyer USS Fletcher (DD-445) in the Coral Sea. (http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm)
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