Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – August 1, 1943

Sunday, August 1, 1943

Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa

Aug. 1, 1943 Diary Page

Aug. 1, 1943 Diary Page

The captain has an idea. That is we don’t have breakfast until nine on Sundays so I slept until eight thirty. It was a nice cool morning and I thoroughly enjoy the extra time in bed. Finally I crawled out and ate breakfast then came back to my palace and started into the much put off job of answering a dozen people’s letters. I’m getting so I distinctly dislike writing letters and that is unusual for me because I like to write. Of course the trouble is that I have said about all there is to say about this country and I’ve run out of anything to talk about in my letters. It gets pretty tiresome trying to improvise all the time. About eleven I made the rounds of each shop and checked tools and general police. Sunday is a good day to get everything in order for the following week. About four this afternoon I went to Tunis to remind a witness in the Smith trial to be here Tuesday at 4:30 then went out to Radez (Rades?) The boys had gone swimming so I met them there. There has been so many ships in the harbor recently that the water is too dirty to enjoy. Janette came out about five thirty and we sat on the beach until about 7:30 when we went to her house for dinner. Tonight we had steak and Italian spaghetti and it was delicious. They have plenty to eat now but are very worried about this winter. I don’t know where the food will come from then.

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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