Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – March 5, 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.
Transcript of Diary Entry March 5, 1943
Friday, March 5, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
This morning I got up around seven then ate and came over to the office to see that the men were getting ready for the hike. We pulled out about eight thirty and headed up for the dam. This time we went about ten miles back and climbed the highest peak around that section. It was a lovely day but cold as hell. We followed a gulch for about two miles then started up the side. It took us four hours of the hardest climbing I’ve ever done to make the top. It was about a 70° slope so you could only climb a few feet at a time then had to stop to get your wind. A rifle and full pack don’t help matters much. About three quarters of the way up we found a shelf so stopped and ate. We started on up in about half an hour. I was in the lead and didn’t notice about six who stayed back. They set up their tents and made themselves comfortable. I discovered they were missing when I got to the top. I went down after them and turned their tents over and the wind tangled them into one big mess. Sgt. W____________ didn’t know it was I so let out a yell and said “You yellow bellied S.O.B. of a ____________ (censored), then saw who it was. I would have given any thing to have caught the expression on his face with a camera. I made them all climb to the top. We made the trip back in an hour as we slid most of the way. It was a good workout. I am plenty tired this night.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: March 5, 1943
• The only jet aircraft to serve with the RAF in World War II, the Gloster Meteor, was flown for the first time. (http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/rafhistorytimeline1943.cfm)
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