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Louisiana War Stories (2007)

Louisiana's Experience: World War II



Genre: Documentary

Place Covered: Louisiana, Washington, D.C.

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2007-12-2

Duration: 00:59:12

Subjects: World War II | Veterans | Military | Breaux, Charles Joseph, 1922-2010 | Ardennes, Battle of the, 1944-1945 | Cassin, Joseph | Bataan Death March, Philippines, 1942 | Prisoner of war | Babington, William Frank, 1922-2010 | Webb, Donald A. | Centenary College of Louisiana | Iles, John, Jr., 1920-2013 | Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 | Wayne, John, 1907-1979 | Christophe, Louis P. | Conant, John Overton | Arceneaux, Anthony | CREOLES | Discrimination | Louisiana Honor Air | World War II Memorial (Washington, D.C.) | Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Va.)


  • Whinham, Charlie Host
  • Whinham, Charlie Producer
  • Crews, Keith Photographer
  • Breaux, Charles Interviewee
  • Cassin, Joseph Interviewee
  • Babington, Bill Interviewee
  • Webb, Donald A. Interviewee
  • Iles, John, Jr. Interviewee
  • Christophe, Louis P. Interviewee
  • Conant, John Overton Interviewee
  • Arceneaux, Anthony Interviewee
  • Smith, T.D. Speaker
  • Thibodeaux, Nicrest Interviewee
  • Barcelona, Tony Interviewee
  • Gautreaux, Floyd Interviewee
  • Cart, Gus Interviewee
  • Cormier, Huey Interviewee
  • Breaux, Erwin Interviewee
  • Belleau, Herbert Interviewee
  • Broussard, Paul Interviewee
  • Dole, Bob Speaker


This episode of the series “Louisiana’s Experience: World War II” from December 2, 2007, features Charlie Whinham’s profiles of eight Louisiana World War II veterans. These veterans include: Charles Breaux of Krotz Springs, an Army sharp shooter who participated in the Battle of the Bulge; Joseph Cassin of New Orleans, a survivor of the Bataan Death March who served as a prisoner of war in Japan for over three years; Bill Babington of Franklinton, a B-17 bomber who served as a prisoner of war in Germany for fourteen months; Dr. Donald Webb of Shreveport, a minesweeper with the British Royal Navy and the president emeritus of Centenary College; John Iles, Jr. of Shreveport, a P-T boat captain who befriended John F. Kennedy and drove a P-T boat for John Wayne in the John Ford film “They Were Expendable”; and Louis P. Christophe of Natchez, John Overton Conant of Natchitoches, and Anthony Arceneaux of Cloutierville, three Creole veterans who faced discrimination as African American servicemen. Whinham also tags along on a trip with Louisiana Honor Air, an organization that sends Louisiana World War II veterans on a one-day trip to visit the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. During the trip, Whinham interviews several veterans, including Nicrest Thibodeaux of Crowley, Tony Barcelona of Chalmette, Floyd Gautreaux of Rayne, Gus Cart of Crowley, Huey Cormier of Indian Bayou, Erwin Breaux of Crowley, and Herbert Belleau of Church Point. Before returning home to a hero’s welcome in Lafayette, the veterans also meet with United States Senator Bob Dole at the memorial and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery.