Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – February 28, 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, 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 28, 1943
Sunday, February 28, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
This morning I had to get up early. Something seems to always mess up my sleeping Sunday mornings. Today it was pay day and I wanted to get the paying done before church as I’m going to try to go each Sunday. Last Sunday was the first time in seven or eight months that I had gone so I’m going to see if I can do something about it. I got off in time and the sermon was fine. This afternoon I intended to write some letters. Well I lay down to read a couple stories first then fell asleep only to wake up a few minutes ago. Before I started to read though I did overhaul a couple electric razors for some of the officers here in the barracks. By the way Sgt. Sanders came back yesterday. His wife is coming along fine which I was glad to hear. He says “never again” will he ever have another baby. He lost twelve pounds in those twenty days and looks tired. Last night the boys caught him packing his field pack and blankets at midnight. He was sound asleep and didn’t know what he was doing. They say he looked silly as hell when they woke him up and he saw what he had been doing. I’m going to see he gets some rest. I had a date tonight and saw “Arabian Nights.” It was good.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: February 28, 1943
• The SS United Victory, the first Victory ship, was launched. This class of transport proved to be crucial in hauling men and supplies across the oceans. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_World_War_II_(1943))
• Following the successful raid on the heavy-water plant Telemark, Norwegian commandos executed another successful attack the heavy-water plant Vemork. A team, led by Joachim Ronneberg, descended into a 200-foot ravine, forded an icy river, climbed the steep hill on the far side and followed a single railway track straight into the plant area without encountering any guards. The saboteurs then placed explosive charges on the heavy-water electrolysis chambers and attached a fuse allowing sufficient time for their escape. A British submachine gun was purposely left behind to indicate that this was the work of British forces and not of the local resistance in order to alleviate reprisals. The explosive charges detonated, destroying the electrolysis chambers. All 10 commandos made good their escape. Six of them skied 400 kilometers to Sweden, and four remained in Norway for further work with the resistance. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gunnerside#Operation_Gunnerside)
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