Lake Pontchartrain, LA Army Boat Overturns, Dec 1943
25 SOLDIERS DIE AS BOAT OVERTURNS.
CAUSE OF ACCIDENT NEAR NEW ORLEANS UNDER ARMY PROBE.
New Orleans, Dec. 18. (AP) -- At least 25 soldiers wearing life preservers died yesterday when their 60-foot, cruiser-type vessel overturned in Lake Pontchartrain in one of the worst marine disasters here since the turn of the century.
The cause of the accident was not disclosed and a board from the New Orleans port of embarkation was investigating. It was believed that most of the dead were trapped beneath the overturned boat or by a canopy overhead.
Capt. T. F. Reece, public relations officer at LaGarde General Hospital, said 65 soldiers and three civilians who operated the vessel were being treated for injuries suffered in the capsizing or in rescue operation. Four of the soldiers were said to be in serious condition.
The names of the soldier casualties were not announced.
The soldiers aboard the stricken vessel were members of companies A and B of the Second battalion, Transportation corps, Reception Center, Camp Harahan, Capt. Reece said.
The public relations officer said about 72 men were aboard when the boat capsized. They were en route to Camp Salmen, Slidell, La., along with about 250 other soldiers in six other boats for maneuvers when the accident occurred.
Lowell Sun Massachusetts 1943-12-18
25 SOLDIER DEATHS LAID TO HIGH WINDS.
New Orleans (UP) -- Sudden gusts of wind were blamed Saturday for the drowning of 25 soldiers in Lake Pontchartrain when a crowded naval motor launch capsized.
Nearly 100 men were riding in the boat, one of several vessels crossing the lake to Slidell, La., Friday in combat training maneuvers, when it overturned.
Public relations officers at Lagarde General Hospital, said 68 soldiers and sailors and three civilians were rescued but that several members of the crew were unaccounted for. Several of the rescued men were injured seriously in the accident.
Charleston Daily Mail West Virginia 1943-12-19