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Items from Japanese soldiers are on display at The War Room, a private collection of World War II memorabilia that is now open to public viewing at the War Memorial Civic at the USO building in DeRidder. (Special to the American Press)<br>

Items from Japanese soldiers are on display at The War Room, a private collection of World War II memorabilia that is now open to public viewing at the War Memorial Civic at the USO building in DeRidder. (Special to the American Press)

Beauregard unveils new WWII museum

Last Modified: Thursday, November 01, 2012 5:28 PM

Special to the American Press

The Beauregard Veteran’s Day Celebration will be held Friday, Nov. 9, at the War Memorial Civic Center at the USO building in DeRidder. The guest speaker is Captain Rachel Z. Smith of Fort Polk.

The unveiling of the War Room Museum display will be at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. there will be a free luncheon for all veterans and spouses.

The museum’s collection comes from artifacts collected by DeRidder historian Velmer Smith. Her large collection of military memorabilia from World War II had previously been a part of her private museum, The War Room, since 1996.

Artifacts at the exhibit include the top-secret Norden Bombsight, C Rations, a Heart-felt Bible, Buchenwald concentration camp items, captured Japanese items and a decoded German message dated Jan. 6, 1945, about the 21st Panzer Division planning to attack the U.S. VI Corps in “Operation Feuchtinger.”

On Feb. 25, 1946, the American Legion purchased the USO building from the U. S. government and donated it to the Beauregard Parish Police Jury. The building is now known as the War Memorial Civic Center, in honor of 47 young men from this area who were killed in World War II.

The museum is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturdays by special arrangements, excluding holidays.

The event is sponsored by Progressive, Waste Solutions, K&K Meat Market, and C&B Organization.

For more information, call Carlos Archield at 337-348-6054 or the War Memorial Civic Center at 337-463-7212.

The USO building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at the corner of Seventh Street and La. 27 southbound, across from the hospital.

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