Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – July 28, 1943
Wednesday, July 28, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa
This morning I went in town to see Lt. Ferguson about this trial. He gave me all the details and we soon got our business over with. He’s a pretty decent chap and we had quite a bit of talk afterward. I still can’t figure why so many of our soldiers bitch about the British. All that I have run across have been darn nice fellows and I’ve enjoyed them a lot. Afterwards I went over to the 58th Station Hosp. to see Sgt Dubard and give him some mail. Lord, but there is a cute nurse in charge of his ward. I think I’ll make it a point to go over there more often. Its not very often you see a good looking nurse over here unless you’ve been here about six or eight months so that anything looks good. I came back and had a talk with Smith to see if he wanted to changes his statement any and he didn’t. This afternoon I stayed here putting some finishing touches on the motor pool. Enright is doing a damned good job which leaves very little to be done by me. When we took over the pool there were nearly 400 vehicles in it so you can imagine the work involved. The deadline percentage was 46%. I don’t know whether this is the fault of the other outfit that was running it or not but I surely intend to cut it down a lot. It’s a cinch this country is hell on trucks but so are the drivers 25% of the deadline however is due to lack of parts, mostly main bearings and crankshafts. Tonight I wrote a long letter to Mr. C_____ and one to mother. I’m getting a little behind in my correspondence.
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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.
Diary transcription: Shari Seippel Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
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