Lt. Lawson Reichard’s WWII Diary – May 19, 1943
Wednesday, May 19, 1943
At sea – headed for Casablanca, Morocco
May 19, 1943 Diary Page
This morning when I went out on deck I had a welcome surprize (sic) in the form of a destroyer, just off our starbord (sic) bow. Also there was a PBY just leaving. That was probably the plane that we picked up last night. I’ll be forever grateful for this lovely cruise because it could hardly have been better under our time conditions. About ten o’clock we had a meeting of compartment commanders to discuss landing operations and of course we found out we were to have another boat drill at two o’clock. At eleven we had our ammunition passed out and a meger (sic) ration it was. Each man had fifteen rounds which sure isn’t much. I tried to get three clips full for each man which would total 45 rounds but, no soap. At two o’clock we had our last boat drill and it was pretty good. We finished it in an hour which was damn good for a group of air corps men. They couldn’t be soldiers if they tried because they have a bunch of boy scouts for officers and military courtesy is just a joke. We ate a delicious dinner at four thirty then I went down and had a talk with the men giving them the low down on what was to happen. We are supposed to pull in about seven thirty and unload at eight so a lot of packing is being done. After I finished I went on deck and enjoyed the most beautiful moon of the voyage. I miss Ginnie like hell.
To view previous diary entries, click here.
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The Day That Was: May 19, 1943
|• In Germany, Propaganda Minister Goebbels announces that all the Jews have left Berlin. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_World_War_II_(1943))
• In an address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country’s full support in the war against Japan. (http://timelines.ws/20thcent/1943.HTML)
|On this day in 1943, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels announces that all the Jews have left Berlin.
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.
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: Kathleen Long
Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain Vista H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Bryan Smith – voice of Lt. Reichard
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