Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – April 12, 1943

Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary Project : 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.

Friday,  April 9, 1943 through  Thursday, April 15, 1943

Riverside Farms, Westover,   Maryland

(Editor’s Note: After a great deal of uncertainty, Lt. Lawson Reichard was able to obtain a furlough home.  In the spirit of any great vacation, he enjoyed the company of home, family and friends and did not write any journal entries.   Throughout the next week, we will continue to highlight The Day That Was:  A look at events around the world during the time of the lieutenant’s journal.  We hope you will continue to check in with our accounts of April 1943, or take the opportunity to go back and read any missed diary pages.   Please let us know your thoughts on this three-year project.)

To view previous diary entries, click here.

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The Day That Was:  April 12, 1943

•    German radio announced that 4,150 Polish officers that were deported by the Russian authorities in 1940 have been found in mass graves near Smolensk. (

•    The 8th Army took Sousse, to the East of Kairan in North Africa, and claimed that 20,000 Axis prisoners have been taken in Tunisia since the March 20. (

•    German troops of Heeresgruppe Mitte (von Kluge) evacuated Vjasma. (

april-12-1943-sousse AFS ambulances delivered patients from the front to a Polish dressing station behind 8th Army lines near Sousse. Camouflage nets protected the dressing-station tents during enemy plane attacks

1943 Diary Recaps

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.

March 1943 Recap: March brings uncertainties in weather and daily life to Gowen Field.  Still no word about overseas orders, the outfit must now share quarters with another unit. There is now time to begin a photo album, collecting pictures from times with the outfit.  Letters from Ginnie are becoming more infrequent but there is no shortage of dates with the local girls in Boise.  March comes to an end with everyone in the outfit anxiously awaiting word of upcoming furloughs.

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