Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – March 15, 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.
Monday, March 15, 1943
March 15, 1943 Diary Page
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
You never know what to expect in this war. Russia has been pushing the Germans back steadily for a long time and it looked like they were going to keep it up. All of a sudden the Germans turned and now are retaking some of the country they have just lost and things are looking pretty darn serious. Now, while Germany has so many of her reserves concentrated in the East, is the time to start our second front. If we don’t relieve that pressure it may turn out a lot more serious than we reckon on. The forces seem to be so evenly matched that it may enter into a stalemate which means a war lasting for five or maybe ten years.
Today we went out on the rifle range. Snow flurries really messed up the day but most of the men fired over their usual and got a much better score. I didn’t do so hot. I can’t understand why some days I can make a wonderful score and others I can’t do a damn thing. I was disgusted. We came in about five. Carl and I were supposed to have dates and he didn’t turn up so I went over to his place and found his outfit in a meeting. That sergeant of his can talk the leg off a bull. He kept it up steady from 7:15 to 9:30 so we got in town about quarter of ten. I had called the girls so they weren’t too sore. We came out about one.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: March 15, 1943
• On the Eastern Front, German forces completed the recapture of Kharkov after the last Soviet defenders of the tractor factory withdrew. Meanwhile, to the north, Soviet forces captured Kholm and Zharkovskiy, to the north and east of Velikiye Luki, as the German Army Group Center continued its withdrawal. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f15mar43.htm)
• In the Pacific, the U.S. 7th Fleet (Adm. Arthur Carpender) was formed to control naval operations around the island of New Guinea. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f15mar43.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