We were told about how good the World War 2 (WWII) Museum in New Orleans was, so we put it on our to-do list. I was about 10 years old during the war, so I remember many things, like all the young men going into service and the stars the people displayed in their windows to show someone in the family was serving. But, everyone was serving in one way or another. I remember the shades in the houses were black, so no light would show outside at night; and the cars with the headlight’s half blacked out and rationing. Everything was rationed, gasoline and food specifically. The government issued stamps to allocate what people could purchase.

They literally showed all this at the museum. Germany attacked France in 1940, and the war was on. We tried to stay out of it, but the Japanese made it clear we were in it when they bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. We were at war. The United States Military was among the smallest of the nations at war. We had to gear up. They did that by inviting women into the factories and “Rosie the Riveter” was born.

We stayed in the hotel across the street from the WWII Museum called the Higgins Hotel. It was named to honor Andrew Higgins Boatbuilders. They came up with the LCVP – landing craft, vehicle and personnel. This was used extensively for water landings by the Allied military. It changed the way we fight a war. Now, the big ships could carry everything and go to any beach. They would launch the LCVP, load combat military or vehicles and run it up to the beach. The LCVP was 36’ long, 10’ wide and had a 3’ draft. It had a crew of three, and it could carry 36 combat-equipped men, with a top speed of 12 knots. They had a LCVP on display at the museum.

Operation Overlord was the code name they used for the planning of the invasion of Normandy. This was a do or die operation. There were no contingency plans made. General Eisenhower was elected supreme commander by the leaders of this group. It involved, and I quote, “More than 11,000 aircraft, 6,000 naval vessels and two million soldiers, sailors and airmen from 15 countries.” These numbers are staggering today, but even more so in 1944. It was a costly battle, but General Eisenhower took full responsibility for the order to start the invasion when they did. The Germans expected the invasion to occur just north of the Seine River in the Calais region where the English Channel is the narrowest. Normandy was a complete surprise. 

The WWII Museum is housed by many buildings. It is hard to see everything in a day. So, we came back for the second day. I grew up with airplanes, and they had a building with all the planes of WWII except the B29. It was just too big. But, the B17 did most of the strategic bombing during the war, and they had one on display. In fact, all the planes were in a flying position, hung on cables. It was an awesome sight. I would recommend visiting the WWII Museum.

Here we are in New Orleans, and we haven’t seen the French Quarter yet. We rented a cab and went to Decatur Street and started shopping. That bottle of liquid spice gave us problems at the airport. It exceeded the four-ounce maximum permitted on the plane. We had to go back and check our bag to bring this with us. Good for security for picking this up. 

Decatur Street hasn’t changed. It seemed like all the tourists gathered there. We did have a fantastic local dinner at the restaurant which was made up of Jambalaya, Beignets and Shrimp Creole. We finished with Creole Pralines. It’s hard to get any better if you’re looking for a taste of the area. 

New Orleans is a great town, and the WWII Museum is the number one attraction. You don’t want to miss it.


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