Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – July 26, 1943

Monday, July 26, 1943
Tunis, Tunisia, North Africa

July 26, 1943 Diary Page

July 26, 1943 Diary Page

This may be a red letter day in the war. Mussolini finally decided to give up the ghost and let someone else assume the responsibility of all his mistakes. King Imanuel (sic)* is now head of the Italian government and it’s a headache I wouldn’t care for. It is said that the Allies have given him just 24 hours to make up his mind whether he will be pro allies or Nazi. I do know that there has not been a single formation take off in this area all day, so there must be something it is. Of course all this may have no effect what so ever on the war. I remember when Rudolph Hass took a powder there was a great deal of speculation on how it would effect the war. There were those who predicted that the Nazi regime was finally crumbling and that is would be only a matter of months until the war would be at an end. It is easily seen now that it had little or no effect on the Nazi regime and certainly none on the outcome of the war. This affair of Musso’s may turn out to be the same. I’ll just wait and see. It’s easier than trying to figure it out. Today or really last night we took over the motor pool. We spent all of today trying to get it organized and I think we have a damned good set up. Now we have the whole thing set up in three sections. The Pool, the deadline and the shop. Enright runs the pool and Buck the Shop. Each type of vehicle has its own spot so we know where to find them.

Good Night

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The Day That Was: July 26, 1943

•    Marshal Pietro Badoglio was appointed head of Italy by the Italian king after the arrest of Benito Mussolini. The marshal immediately excluded all Fascists from his new cabinet and dissolved the Fascist party.

•    In England, Mick (Michael Phillip) Jagger, musician and member of the Rolling Stones, was born in Dartford, Kent.

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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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