Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – March 17, 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 17, 1943
March 17, 1943 Diary Page
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
This morning when I woke up it was snowing a blizzard and it was cold as hell. The snow soon let up as did the cold but when I got to the office it still looked bad. A break in the Southwest made up my mind for me so we took off for our camp site. The men were marching except for the cooks and a few necessary to making camp. We set up the bivoac on an island in the Boise River. The river has a hard sand bottom so the trucks ______ it easily. We had camp nearly complete and a hot meal filling the air with a delicious aroma when the outfit marched into the area. They looked hungry and were. They ate then set up their tents and bedded down. The afternoon was taken up with demonstrations of what a truck could do also found out what it wouldn’t do. We put ________ shields on the front and pushed her up and down the stream with the water almost coming in the cab. She hit a soft spot and stuck until the body was under water in one corner. It took us three hours to get her out and don’t think I wasn’t a little worried. The men got a world of experience out of it though. This evening we posted guards then sat around a huge fire of railroad ties and had a bull session over the days events. It was a gorgeous night with a full moon and a million stars. Of course I had some fun sneaking up on the guards and scaring the hell out of them.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: March 17, 1943
· The German occupation authority closed Lithuanian schools of higher education and the Academy of Education. (http://timelines.ws/20thcent/1943.HTML)
· During the night of March 16‑17, Liberator heavy bombers carried out minor attacks on Japanese positions at Munda and Vila in the central Solomons and at Kahili and Ballale in the Shortland Island area. Results were not observed. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/comms/1943-03.html)
Diary transcription: Kathleen Long
Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain Vista H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Bryan Smith – voice of Lt. Reichard