Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – July 30 1943
Friday, July 30, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa
This morning I got a phone call from H.Q. and was told to go down to III SAC to see Col Thomas. I got dressed and hopped in the “Ginny G” and took off. I had been wondering what kind of a fella Col Thomas was for quite some time. Well he turned out to be quite a nice fella and we had a short chat. Well there was a deal where an American officer had traded a French Capt. a Jeep for a sedan which is decidedly against regulations. I was to go out to Korba on the Cap Bon peninsula and pick up said Jeep and bring it back. It was a nice trip and, about 80 miles, and came to the dump where I was to find Capt Mekville only to discover he had not come out today. I got his address and went back to Korba and found him. I explained the situation to his interpreter and showed him the orders. I got nowhere with him at all. He finally said he would have to go through his Colonel so I got the address of said Colonel and took off back for Tunis. I told H.Q. the set up and came back to camp. I sure wouldn’t like to be in the American Officer’s shoes when he is found out. They frown definitely on deals like that and the Colonel is hot as hell about it. The rest of the afternoon I spent in camp. Tonight I got a letter from Russel Potts. The old gang is still down in the S. Pacific although they have moved. They seem to have a much better set up now. I sure would like to drop in on them for a couple of days and talk about old times. I guess that will just have to wait until, “________” I hit the bed fairly early tonight.
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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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