Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – March 6, 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.

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Transcript of Diary Entry   March 6, 1943

Saturday, March 6, 1943

Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho

We found a little carelessness in the inspection this morning so some of the boys had to stay in tonight. We really made a stiff inspection and pull no punches. The men take quite a bit of pride in their preparing for it too and when a man gets gigged he really takes a ribbing. After the inspection I took some pictures of the company and took them down town after dinner to have them developed. I also took my leather jacket down to see if I could get it cut in. I always have a bit of trouble buying clothes because when I get them to fit the chest & shoulders they hang like a sack around my waist. No one would fix it because they don’t have the machines to work with leather. I came on out and went over to the gym for a work out then went to my room and wrote some letters. This evening I went in town. I saw “Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch” which was very good. Also Frank Buck “Jacare” and it was excellent. After that I went up to the Boise Club and had a couple drinks with the boys then came on out to the dance at the Field at the Officers Club. It was pretty nice and I met a couple girls that looked alright to me. I turned in about one thirty.

Good Night

To view previous diary entries, click here.


The Day That Was: March 6, 1943

• On the Eastern Front, Red Army troops captured Gzhatsk on the approaches to Vyazma, south of Rzhev.                                                            (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f06mar43.htm) 1943mar06-soviet-troops1

• In Tunisia, a major Axis attack on Medenine, mounted in the morning, was defeated. The attack was renewed in the afternoon, and again, it was ineffective. British and New Zealand troops noted the ineffective performance of their opponents. Fifty Axis tanks were lost, for no gain. The Axis forces had about 100 tanks left. Meanwhile, Rommel, commanding the Axis forces, favored withdrawing to Wadi Akarit. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f06mar43.htm)

• In Washington, President Roosevelt appointed a committee to investigate manpower problems in American industry. Among the committee members were James F. Byrnes and Bernard Baruch. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f06mar43.htm)

• In Burma, the Chindits executed a number of demolitions on the railroad between Nankan and Bongyaung. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f06mar43.htm)

• In the Solomon Islands, three American cruisers and seven destroyers bombarded Japanese airfields at Munda and Vila. Little damage was done. Two Japanese destroyers, however, were sunk in an encounter engagement. (http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1943/mar1943/f06mar43.htm)

•Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want” painting appeared in the pages of The Saturday Evening Post, illustrating one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms.” freedom-from-want1

Production Credits:
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