Lake Pontchartrain, LA Army Boat Overturns, Dec 1943



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



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


Lake Pontchartrain military accident

After pushing a lot, my Daddy wrote some of his military experiences down on paper for me. He wrote of being in a boat going across Lake Pontchartain for training. He said there was a storm and the boat that he was in turned over. He said he would have drown if someone hadn't grabbed him by the collar and pulled him into their boat.
Is the above article about the same accident or was my Daddy talking about a different accident. My Daddy has passed but he was Green Berry James. A name that someone may remember.

Lake Pontchartrain Capsize

I'm looking for anyone who Knew Harold Kindred. I think he was on that boat.

Corwin Black


Capsized Boat Dec. 43

I was on one of the boats headed for manuevers. I was a private taking basic training at Camp Harahan and later was assigned to the 717th Railroad Operating Battalion. I am now 91 years of age having spent over 20 years in the military and retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. On this Veterans Day I say a prayer for those men that lost their lives on that day. Art Gilmore

LA Army Boat

We these soldiers that were part of the 26th infantry division? Trying to learn if my father Charles Sanders was there.

Soldiers partying

Dear Mr. Libertuci,

My father did not talk much about war. My apologies for having these facts amiss. It was disrespectful to the dead and to the survivors, and I apologize.

My father was there. As you were a sergeant, you may remember Sgt. Warren G Wright from Idaho, probably not a Sgt. at the time. He drove an amphibious vehicle (duck) in the Pacific and was in New Guinea, the Philipines, and finally went to Japan with the occupation. I hope this finds you alive and well. My deepest respects to you and my heartfelt apology.

Jeffrey W. Wright
Boise ID

1942 La disaster

If you are going to use my name you should at least spell it correctly. I was in co.A 2nd battalion, but i was on scheduled latrine duty along with 3 others. When A company left the barracks they were heavily laden with backpacks and I assure you it was serious business and not partying as others suggested. I was not a staff Sargent as you suggested. I am 86 but my 86th birthday was October 2011. Joe Libertucci 85 yrs of age

Soldiers Partying

I was on those manuevers that night for amphibious landing manuevors. We al had on heavy backpacks and the weather was nasty. Berlieve me there was no partying going on that night. There is now way your dad was there that night. Joe Libertuci Company A 2nd Batalion Staf Sgt. 86yrs of age today.

My dad was on this vessel.

My dad was on this vessel. He said they were not on maneuvers, they were going partying, thus the overloaded boat.