Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – March 10, 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.
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.
Wednesday, March 10, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
March 10, 1943 Diary Page
This morning I got the letter from Virginia that I’ve been dreading. It has me nearly sick and I don’t know what to do about it. I think she is as bewildered if not more so than I am because I know pretty well how I feel about it and she doesn’t. As far as I’m concerned I’m hopelessly in love with her and always will be. I don’t mean that I can’t love another woman or that I won’t marry another but I don’t think I could ever love another as I do Virginia. I haven’t lost her yet and I’m going to try every trick I know to keep from losing her. This is one letter I’m enclosing in the diary because it tells the story of us so clearly. I know full well that if I could see her for just a few minutes that everything will be alright again. Ive begged her to come out but thats nearly impossible so don’t expect her to. I’d marry her tomorrow if she would. I won’t be foolish and say that I can’t go on with out her, but it will be a loss as serious and as lasting as the loss of an arm or leg because she has been so much a part of my life the last two years that it’s almost impossible to believe she might not be any more. Why is this have to happen when you are in a position where you can’t even fight. If I could just see her for a few minutes. Please God just this one.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: March 10, 1943
• In Tunisia, an Axis attack, with air support, on the Free French outpost at Ksar Rhilane, southeast of Mareth was defeated by Gen. Jacques Philippe Leclerc’s troops. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f10mar43.htm)
• In Burma, the Chindits were operating in several columns. They crossed the Irrawaddy River in two places, at Tagaung and Tigyaing farther north. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f10mar43.htm)
• It was announced in Washington that Gen. Claire Chennault was promoted and his command in China was to be enlarged and named the 14th Air Force. Chennault was the former head of the “Flying Tigers,” the volunteer fighter force in China. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f10mar43.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