Louisiana Honors Its Veterans: The Pacific »»»
Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans paid tribute to the men and women of Louisiana who served in the Pacific Theater during World II during a special live broadcast on LPB on Thursday, September 20, 2001. The program aired on all six LPB stations and WLAE-TV32 in New Orleans. The special also served as a preview of the Pacific wing of the D-Day Museum that was dedicated on December 7, 2001. The D-Day Museum opened on June 6, 2000 and this is the first addition to the facility in Downtown New Orleans since that time. During the broadcast, Louisiana veterans had the opportunity to get information on tickets for the opening of the Pacific wing in December and tell their stories about the war.
"This special program represents what is so good about public broadcasting. Louisiana Public Broadcasting is making it possible for people throughout the State to see and hear about our plans for the grand opening of the Pacific Exhibit on December 7," D-Day Museum Board Chairman Donald "Boysie" Bollinger said. "We had a similar call-in program on LPB last year before the grand opening of the Museum and more than 1,200 Louisianians called in with their veteran stories and to get more information about our grand opening. It helped put the National D-Day Museum on the map in Louisiana."
The special spotlights the contributions of such heroic Louisianians as General Claire Chennault and the Fighting Tigers and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Jeff DeBlanc of St. Martinville who shot down nine Japanese planes before being shot down behind enemy lines. Hosted by Bob Courtney, distinguished guests and panelists include:
- Gordon “Nick” Mueller Ph.D., President, D-Day Museum
Donald “Boysie” Bollinger, Chairman, D-Day Museum
Hugh Ambrose, Research Historian
Tom Czekanski, Collections Manager
Marty Morgan, Research Historian
Woodrow Wilson Morgan, USAAF, Indo-China/Burma Theater
Paula Ussery, Curator of Collection
Arthur Abramson, US Navy, Hellcat Pilot
Berel Wheeler, Engineer, Burma Theater
Jeff DeBlanc, US Marines, VMF-112
Annelle Henderson Bulechek, WASP
Wilbur Rogers, US Navy, USS Foote
Robert Bourgeois, USAAF, Dolittle Raid
Nolan Marshall Jr., US Marines, 1st Marine Division
Bob Harris, US Navy, USS Swordfish, USS Flying Fish
"We are pleased that LPB could play a part in giving this long overdue recognition to the brave people of Louisiana who fought so heroically in the Pacific," LPB President/CEO Beth Courtney said.
Underwriting for this program was provided by Texaco, Inc.