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

Thursday, Aug. 12, 1943

Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa

Aug. 12, 1943 Diary Page

Aug. 12, 1943 Diary Page

This morning I took Frazer and went up to Mateur to see what we could do E.B.S. out of. As it turned out we got nothing. Of course that is not unusual as E.B.S. is not supposed to let us have anything. Then again we have been robbing them blind so we just keep on trying. Sometimes we came back with a truck load and sometimes nothing. I nearly forgot that I was on O.D. today and just made it back in time. This is one job I never could appreciate and am thankful it comes up as seldom as it does. The motor pool deadline is really being cut down fast. We had a deadline of 46 _______ when we took over and now it’s down to eight. I still can’t see why that other outfit could not keep it down especially as we were working along with them on their maintenance. I still say we have a good outfit even with the captain. This evening I wrote a long letter to Mother and talked over the G./R. affair. I’m anxious to hear what she says. I enclosed Virginia’s last letter to give her the G. side. Why it is I don’t know, but every time I’m on O.D. there is a serious accident. This time a kid was going like hell on a motor cycle (German) and didn’t have any light on it. The railroad gates in Djedeida were down and they never have lights. 2+2=4 so the kid is dead. Outside of Sgt Witt’s last fall don’t think I have ever seen a blondies beat up piece of flesh. It seems it’s more dangerous behind the lines than up front. They had another dance and braced up at HQ last night.

Good Night

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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.

April 1943 Recap: Last minute furloughs come through, and Lt. Reichard returns home to Maryland for some time with his family on the farm. He and Ginnie have a chance to talk things over and hopefully save the relationship. Just before leaving Boise, the unit gets orders that a move will come at the end of April. April comes to an end with the men spending a week in Stockton, California getting ready to ship out. But where they are going remains a mystery.

May 1943 Recap: The long journey begins by train as the outfit travels cross country to Camp Shanks, New York, where they will prepare to head overseas. Lt. Reichard now knows the destination: Casablanca, Morocco in North Africa. After ensuring that all the supplies are in order, the outfit boards the “West Point”, the newest in troop carriers and heads to sea. Lt. Reichard spends many peaceful evenings enjoying the time at sea before landing in Morocco. May ends with the outfit setting up camp and adjusting to the customs of Morocco.

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.

Production Credits:
Diary transcription: Shari Seippel Diary photos: Claudia Forbes

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