Boe honored with framed Eisenhower picture
Published 1:07 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015
LAPLACE — O’Neil Boe of Reserve was doing his job when he stopped and listened to a speech from General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
It was June 1944, and Boe and other members of the 82nd Airborne Division were preparing to parachute behind German lines the day before D-Day.
Boe is depicted in a famous photograph where Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, is wishing the men success prior to their departure.
This photograph can be seen today at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans in a large version on one of its walls.
On Feb. 21 American Legion Post Sgt. At Arms Bennet Robicheaux hosted a gathering of members of the 82nd Airborne Division at his home. They were there to honor Boe, who was presented with a framed and matted picture of that famous day with Eisenhower.
Boe explained his many ordeals during his service in Word War II, and those in attendance included 82nd Air Borne past members Jay Ory of the Vietnam War and Curt Drum from the Gulf wars, along with veterans from various conflicts and branches of service.
Boe was born June 22, 1922, one of eight children to Jean Baptiste Boe and Josephine Klibert. O’Neil grew up in St. John the Baptist Parish and attended Leon Godchaux High School before leaving school to help support his family in the workforce.
After first failing a vision test, military officials told him they were forming a new division, called the paratroopers, and asked if he wanted to join.
Boe entered the service at the age of 19 and completed basic training at Georgia’s Camp Wheeler. His unit was moved to Fort Benning to complete airborne training. He was assigned to the 507th Parachute Infantry, Company B.
Commander Dave Gatt said honoring Boe was a rare opportunity for Legion members to honor one of their Post members who served in a war so long ago.
The gathering was also sponsored by Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers of LaPlace, which provided lunch.