Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – February 10, 1943
Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary Project and Recap: 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.
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, Ginny, 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 10, 1943 Diary Page
Transcript of diary entry February 10, 1943
Wednesday, February 10, 1943
Gowen Fieid, Boise, Idaho
This morning I got up a little earlier and went over to check the supply records before the Colonel got here. Everything looked in order. Well he came and we covered everything from top to bottom. We got in a report that O.C.S. applicants would appear before the board which gets rid of five of our best men if the are sent to school before we leave here. Also three more men were put on limited service. This meant three more replacements. Well we had six men from another outfit who were over in strength, come over and we interviewed them. We picked three men that look pretty good. The Colonel finished up with us about five o ‘clock and we let out a sigh of relief. He’s a swell guy but sure misses nothing. I think we made a pretty good impression but he doesn’t talk much so I found out little of what he thought. I went over to the gym for a short work out then came back to the office and wrote a couple letters. Tonight I saw an Orson Welles picture. He has a way of dramatizing every incident so that it holds you completely. I didn’t say I like his pictures but I always make it a point to see them. Why? Tonight I should try to write some letters. I’m getting so I dislike the job immensely. I used to like to write.
The USS Thatcher (DD-514) was commissioned on this day in 1943. The Thatcher would be heavily damaged by Japanese kamikaze aircraft on July 19, 1945, off Okinawa. (U.S. National Archives)
To view previous diary entries, click here.
The Day That Was: February 10, 1943
• USS Thatcher (DD-514), built by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, was commissioned. In April and May, Thatcher served as an escort for trans-Atlantic convoys before it was transferred to the Pacific in June where she operated with the fast aircraft carriers during their late-August raid on Marcus Island. She then went to the South Pacific where she participated in the assault on Bougainville at the beginning of November 1943. (http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/514.htm)
• Robert M. Underhill, the secretary of the regents of the University of California, and UC President Robert Gordon Sproul accepted a letter of intent from the Manhattan District of the Corps of Engineers (MED) to operate Project Y—the Los Alamos Laboratory in the development of the atomic bomb. It was similar to another agreement with the university for “certain investigations to be directed by Dr. J. R. Oppenheimer” at a cost of $150,000 covering the period Jan. 1, 1943, to July 31, 1943. (http://www.mphpa.org/classic/HISTORY/H-06c11.htm)
• The German submarine U-519 was sunk by Army aircraft northwest of Spain. (http://www.blountweb.com/blountcountymilitary/wars/ww2/timelines/1943_ww2.htm)
• B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and B-25 Mitchell medium bombers dropped bombs on the enemy camp area at Kiska and on installations at North Head. Seven float-type Zeros were observed on the water, but no attempt to intercept was made. All U. S. planes returned. (http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/comms/1943-02.html)
Diary transcription: Kathleen Long
Diary photos: Claudia Forbes
Video production: Alison Harder
Narration: Mountain VIsta H.S. Theater Department
Jeremy Goldson, Department Chair; Sean McGill – voice of Lt. Reichard