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Spotlight on History

80th Anniversary of D-Day

Louisiana's Experience: World War II


June 6, 2024, marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, which proved to be a turning point during World War II.  Louisiana citizens played important roles throughout the war effort, both on the front lines and on the home front, and D-Day was no exception.  The landing craft used during this pivotal operation were manufactured at Higgins Industries in New Orleans.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower later stated that the Higgins boats were “the boats that won the war for us.”  Learn more about the important contributions made by Louisianans on D-Day and throughout World War II:   



World War II Veteran Sam Broussard


Sam Broussard Interview (1982)

In this interview from En Français, the New Iberia native discusses sitting in on General Eisenhower’s top-secret briefing on the plans to invade Normandy on D-Day.



World War II Veteran Louis Picard


World War II Remembered (1984)

Watch WWII veteran Louis Picard of Lafayette discuss his trip to Normandy, France, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of D-Day in this interview from En Français.




D-Day Plus 50: Louisiana Remembers


D-Day Plus 50: Louisiana Remembers (1994)

See Louisiana veterans recounting their first-hand experiences of D-Day and participating in the 50th anniversary events in Normandy, France.




Historian Stephen Ambrose


Louisiana Honors Its Veterans (2000)

View LPB’s live program honoring the World War II service of Louisiana veterans and previewing the opening of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Watch part 2 here.


Builders, Heroes, and the Boats that won the war



Builders, Heroes and the Boats that Won the War for Us (2000)

Learn more about the history of the Higgins Boats and watch a group of World War II veterans and volunteers construct an exact replica for the D-Day Museum.



The National D-Day Museum in New Orleans


National D-Day Museum Grand Opening (2000)

Watch LPB’s coverage of the grand opening of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, which is now known as the National World War II Museum.




World War II Veteran Frank Walk


Louisiana’s Experience: World War II (2007)

See Louisiana veterans recounting their D-Day experiences, including Frank Walk, who served as the only traffic control officer on Omaha Beach on D-Day.



World War II Veteran James Cole


James F. Cole (2007)

In this oral history interview, Cole shares his experience in the Army Air Corps during World War II, including loading bombs onto planes on D-Day.



World War II Veteran Luke Falterman



Luke C. Falterman (2007)

In this World War II oral history interview, Navy veteran Falterman discusses his first-hand experience of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France.



World War II Veteran John Fox



John F. Fox, Jr. (2007)

In this World War II oral history interview, Fox discusses his time in the Army Transportation Corps and their role in fueling boats off the beaches of Normandy for 57 days after D-Day.




To see more stories on World War II, click here. You can also check out the complete Military topic.