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Veteran’s Day Lecture features retired captain

By Jennifer Dettwiller
On November 14, 2017

Retired Captain Richard Moran presented his lecture “The Louisiana Maneuvers 1940-1944: The Anvil that Shaped the United States Army,” in Pottle Auditorium. Jennifer Dettwiller/The Lion’s Roar

The department of history and political science hosted a Veteran’s Day lecture for the World War II series. The lecture, “The Louisiana Maneuvers 1940 – 1944: The Anvil that Shaped the United States Army,” focused on maneuvers during World War II.

Curator of the Louisiana Maneuvers and Military Museum in Pineville and Retired Army Guard Captain Richard Moran was the speaker in the Pottle Auditorium on Nov. 9. He spoke about his knowledge on Louisiana’s part in World War II that not many people know about.

Department Head of History and Political Science Dr. William Robison explained why Moran was chosen to be the speaker.

“We are doing a whole series on World War II in Louisiana this year in conjunction with the exhibit in the World War II museum ‘Pelican State Goes To War’ and he and I were both on the advisory committee for that,” said Robison. “He also was interviewed in the film ‘Louisiana during World War II’ with Jerry Sanson, from LSU at Alexandria, who was also on the advisory committee. So he was kind of a natural to include, I ended up finding as many people on that committee as possible because they bring something World War II related to the table. In his case, he is both a veteran and someone who also probably knows more about Louisiana Maneuvers than anyone in the country. And he’s a good guy. That always plays in to it for me.”

Moran gave the reasoning behind why he covered this part of World War II in his lecture.

 “This is a topic I normally cover with the museum because no one has really heard about the Louisiana Maneuvers even though it involved so much of our state, and so that was the topic and of course Dr. Robison asked me to speak on that,” said Moran.

The lecture focused on what the United States did before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and why it should be important to Louisiana residents.

“Well number one if you’re from Louisiana it’s a part of Louisiana history and I love what the World War II museum came out with,” said Moran. “They said that Louisiana punched above its weight during World War II. We had a huge role to play and most people only think about World War II as the war began Dec. 7, 1941, but there was a whole bunch of things that happened prior to that time that involved our country. That is what I emphasize at the beginning of the lecture then of course cover throughout the war.”

Moran discussed why he chose to cover this topic. 

“From a personal level, I grew up in an area where most of this transpired, and I had a grandfather and great-uncle that were part of it. Never knew the magnitude of it until I started researching it, and it’s such a topic that no one knows about it, and I always like to try to in a way debunk the idea that the United States was ill prepared for World War II. That’s like saying there’s a professional team that doesn’t have a playbook on the offseason. We had a plan, and we started implementing the plan.”

Moran explained what he hopes the audience will take away from the lecture.

“Well, it will give them insight into, one, something that that most people are totally unaware of and two it should bring in my opinion a sense of pride and understanding of what our state went through much less our forefathers and how they put their shoulder to the wheel, how it helped us to reestablish our self as a word power, an implement for peace as well as war and that even after the war we implemented things like the Marshal Plan,” said Moran. “This was our time to step up to the plate as a lot of the other countries had done before.”

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