Historic Military Sites
Military post established after the Louisiana Purchase for protection against border warfare between Spain and France. GEO Coordinates
Named after Lieutenant Joseph Orleck USN, the USS Orleck was launched on May 12, 1945. She served the United States Navy until October 1,1982 when she was decommissioned and transferred to Turkey serving as the TCG Yucetepe (D 345) for the Turkish Navy from 1982-2000. Donated by the Turkish government to the Southeast Texas War Memorial and Heritage Foundation in Orange, Texas to serve as a memorial and museum under her original name, USS Orleck. Hurricane Rita in September 2005 forced the vessels relocation to Lake Charles, Louisiana on May 20, 2010 where she is now as Naval Museum. GEO Coordinates
(Millspaw's / Jericho) According to the 1840 official survey by a joint commission representing the United States and the Republic of Texas, the bluff was then known as Millspaw's. The settlement there was called Jericho. Dr. Robert Caldwell Neblett settled in the area in the early 1830's and the site soon became known by his name. During the Civil War it was a gathering place for recruits and supplies for the Confederacy's Trans-Mississippi Department. There was also a military hospital there. Louisiana and Texas divisions of the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed a gray granite marker at the cemetery site as a memorial to the more than thirty men buried there. On January 7, 1966, the Lutcher-Moore Lumber Company conveyed a tract of thirty-one acres to Louisiana for future development as a historical state park. By the 1970s all that remained of Niblett's Bluff was a widely scattered rural community, a church and cemetery, and a few vacation homes. GEO Coordinates
Built in 1906 to be a modern ultimate hotel, bigger and grander than existing hotels in the area of the time. The Majestic hosted General Bradley and General Eisenhower at the time of Louisiana Maneuvers just prior to World War II. Surviving the Great fire of 1910 later to be demolished in 1965. GEO Coordinates
First military air field established in Louisiana. The US Army Signal Corps started training fighter pilots in November 1917. Noted for achieving nationally recognized accomplishments. Dismantled in 1921, only foundations remain a historical marker locates the site of this crucial military training site.
Former Officers Club/Gerstner Field
(now Christian Science Reading Room)
In August of 1918, the group's meeting place at 891 Bilbo Street was badly damaged in a gulf hurricane. Undaunted, they soon located this building at Gerstner Flying Field which was near Holmwood. This building originally had served as the Officers Club during World War I. In 1919 it was purchased and moved to its present location at the corner of Ford and Kirby Streets. GEO Coordinates
(Chennault Air Force Base, Lake Charles Air Force Station, Lake Charles Army Air Field) In June 1941 Lake Charles Municipal Airport was leased to the federal government by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury to build the Lake Charles Army Flying School. An advanced flying school for single-engine fighter pilots with two axillary fields for emergency and overflow landing and takeoffs it was assigned to the Army Air Corps Training Command, Gulf Coast Training Center. January 13, 1943 redesignated as Lake Charles Army Airfield a tactical bomber group training school. December 31, 1946 budget cuts forced inactivation reassigning the airfield to Air Technical Service Command for disposition and turned over to the City of Lake Charles on February 28, 1947. Lake Charles AFB was reactivated in July 1951 were a project was undertaken to bring the World War II facility up to SAC standards for operations. Lake Charle Air Force Base was renamed for Lt Gen Claire Chennault, commander of the famed Flying Tigers after his death on July 27, 1958. Officially inactivated on June 30, 1963 Chennault Air Force Base now operated as Chennault International Airport is a fully operational facility dedicated to business, general aviation, and aviation maintenance. GEO Coordinates
Avenue of Flags: Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery
The tradition began on Memorial Day 1983 with 50 flags hung on poles throughout the Cemetery to honor veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It has grown over the years into 1000's with the donation of deceased veterans casket flags given by their families. GEO Coordinates
("Ribbons of the Soul" / Lt. Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Wayne Yoakam / Leo Russell Keene III) Ribbon of Souls designed by local artist Susan Arnold, features a colorful circle of stained glass that surrounds the 9/11 Memorial. Each piece represents the life of a person who was killed that day. Two steel I-beams from the World Trade Center and a piece of limestone from the Pentagon that was damaged during the attack are engraved to honor the memory of two local men - Russ Keene who died at the World Trade Center and Kevin Yokum who perished at the Pentagon. GEO Coordinates
Veteran's Park includes a Memorial with a Star pattern of bricks representing each branch of the service, WWII Patton Tank, Vietnam era Huey Helicopter and First Lieutenant Douglas B. Fournet Memorial.
(Monkey Island/Leesburg) During the American Civil War on May 6, 1864 minor skirmish fought at the mouth of the Calcasieu River in southwestern Louisiana resulting in a Confederate victory. Two Union gunboats were captured by Confederates and later converted into blockade runners, Wave and Granite City. GEO Coordinates