Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
The River for which the
USS Ponchatoula AO-146
is named after
Typical Louisiana River Photo
Ponchatoula is a small Northshore town East of Baton Rouge,
located in the Plantation Country Region of Louisiana.
Ponchatoula City History
Ponchatoula, a Native-American word for "falling hair", used to describe the "Spanish Moss" hanging from oak trees. Ponchatoula is best known for it's Strawberry Festival held yearly in April. Fresh sweet Louisiana Strawberrys picked fresh from the vines and sold at roadside stands
Ponchatoula is recognized as “America’s Antique City.” While farming and timber are still important to the local economy, many citizens travel local interstates to work at the numerous petrochemical plants located along the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge and in the New Orleans area.
The 2003 Reunion for
USS Ponchatoula AO-148
was held here
The Association members stayed at the Microtel
Inn where the crew were treated like royalty.
Dufreche organized an armada of Party Boats that entertained them with
a tour of the local waterways including the Ponchatoula "river". They
were then served a Crawfish Feast and the crew were taught the art (?)
of eating crawfish.
They visited Laura and Oak Alley Plantations. At the evening dinner Mayor Dufreche presented our Association with Keys to the City and also handed out Honorary Citizenship Certificates to the City of Ponchatoula to the members and wives of the Association attending the reunion
participated in a ceremony of lowering and again
raising the largest American Flag flown in the State of
The Association presented the mayor with an oil
painting of the USS Ponchatoula (AO-148). An attached plaque reads
"Presented to the citizens of the City of Ponchatoula, LA from the USS
Ponchatoula Shipmates Association, May 8, 2003". Mayor Dufreche
graciously accepted the painting on behalf of the citizens of
Ponchatoula and said it would be displayed in a position of prominence
in City Hall. See Photo below.
Each Association member was presented with a
Ponchatoula Reunion pin that had been designed for this reunion.The
group visited the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans and
walked through the French Quarter.