Medal of Honor, artifacts donated to WWII Museum

Derek Albert

St. Martinville — The legacy of deceased World War II hero Jeff DeBlanc is soon to be shared with the public.

Before his death in November, DeBlanc agreed to donate his Medal of Honor and other memorabilia to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Jeremy Collins, the museum’s Conference Programs manager, and Tommy Lofton, curator and historian, visited DeBlanc’s Martin Street home last Wednesday (Jan. 9) where family and friends gathered to witness the last time the panoply of prized possessions would be in St. Martinville.

The majority of the collection, that nearly filled an entire room in the DeBlanc household, has been in the family’s possession since Deblanc received the numerous photographs, books, wartime artifacts, framed war illustrations and other keepsakes.

Besides the medal, another piece coveted from the DeBlanc collection was a fishing spear that was given as a gift to DeBlanc upon a visit to Kolombangara island, where he was sheltered after being shot down over the Solomon Islands.

The items that Collins and Lofton chose from the extensive family collection will be displayed at the museum following a ceremony to be held on Thursday, Jan. 31.

For more information on the ceremony, contact D-Day: the National World War II Musuem, 945 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70130, (504) 527-6012.

Parishwide Praise

The St. Martin Parish Council, convening on Jan. 8, adopted a resolution proclaiming Friday, Feb. 15, 2008, (what would be Deblanc’s 87th birthday) as Colonel Jefferson Joseph DeBlanc Sr. Day. The council urges all parish citizens to “join in a fitting salute to Col. DeBlanc by commemorating this day with the proper observance and public tribute for his dedication to our country.”

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