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Tour Itinerary

Day 1: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Viewing of Beyond All Boundaries
A 4D journey through the war that changed the world.

Welcome Dinner
Get to know the group while dining in the unique Museum environment.

Beyond All Boundaries

Day 2: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center
Explore the "Arsenal of Democracy" inside a pavilion dedicated to a nation mobilized for war.

Student Resource Center
View and analyze high school yearbooks from the war years showing student leadership on the Home Front through the Victory Corps, scrap drives, JROTC programs, etc.

Home Front Exhibits
View propaganda posters, images of industry and artifacts from Higgins Industries. Including a LCVP and LCP(L).

US Freedom Pavilion

Day 3: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Chalmette Battlefield
Visit the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans view a battlefield and understand the importance of terrain to decision-making.

Jackson Barracks Military Museum
On the site of the headquarters of the Louisiana National Guard, the Military Museum contains artifacts that date back to the American Revolution. Destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, Jackson Barracks has been rebuilt and restored.

New Orleans

Day 4: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Road to Berlin
Tour the Museum's newest exhibits focusing on the war in Europe.

Kushner Restoration Pavilion
Site of the restoration of PT-305, a war service Patrol Torpedo Boat. Students will learn the history of the project and see firsthand the work and planning involved in restoring a craft to its wartime appearance.

Student Resource Center
Students will view and analyze documents on African American roles in WWII. From the Tuskegee Airmen to the Montford Point Marines to the leadership of A. Phillip Randolph on the Home Front, the contributions from African Americans during the war years were significant and had long-lasting impacts.

Dinner and Quiz Night
Enjoy dinner and a fun night of trivia in the Museum's 1940s-inspired entertainment venue.

Kushner Pavilion

Day 5: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Bollinger Shipyards
Get a feel for what a bustling WWII-era shipyard might have been like with a tour of a modern, large-scale production facility.

Swamp Tour
View the terrain that mimics many areas of the Pacific Theater that was unfamiliar to most Americans going to war in the 1940s. This terrain is also indicative of the environment that led Andrew Jackson Higgins to develop his Eureka boats.

Jackson Barracks

Day 6: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Final Mission: The USS Tang Experience
This attraction places students aboard the most successful submarine in World War II for its fifth and final war patrol on 25 October 1944. They will relive the last epic battle of the USS Tang and feel a deeper appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of those who served in the intense, confined world of underwater warfare.

D-Days of the Pacific Exhibit
This exhibit begins at Pearl Harbor and ends with the birth of the atomic age. The images present a stark contrast in environment, terrain and perceptions of the enemy from those focused on Europe.

The French Quarter
New Orleans oldest and most vibrant neighborhood. Students will have a chance to see iconic landmarks such as St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square. A final dinner will honor the students and their achievements throughout the course and the Museum experience.

Final Mission

Day 7 : The National WWII Museum in New Orleans

Students bid farewell to New Orleans during an exclusive ride aboard PT-305. Fast and maneuverable, Patrol Torpedo boats were a unique and essential tool for US naval forces during World War II. See and feel the PT boat experience and learn about the service of the men who called them home with PT-305—the world's only fully restored combat-veteran PT boat in operation today!

Transfer to Louis Armstrong International Airport is included this afternoon.

pt-305 boat

What you will learn

Objectives & Academic Benefits

  • Explore the strategies and decisions that led to Allied victory in Europe and the Pacific
  • Identify and make connections to leadership traits integral to Allied victory in WWII that are relevant to college and career paths
  • Learn and develop leadership skills
  • Develop research skills through both primary and secondary source research
  • Write clear and concise content for a specific audience of peers and museum professionals
  • Improve presentation and debate skills by presenting to both their peers and museum professionals
  • Identify the major theaters of World War II (Europe, Pacific, Home Front)
  • Learn through the personal stories of those who were there

Experience the History of New Orleans and Its Unique Contributions to WWII

Not only will students have the unique opportunity to study WWII history at one of the world's top-rated museums, they will also venture out to historic sites in the community — including the Chalmette National Battlefield and NASA Michoud Assembly Facility (on the former site of the plant that produced the Higgins Boats used in the war) — and meet some of the men and women who experienced WWII firsthand.

Earn College Credit through Nicholls State University at One of the World's Top-Rated Museums

Students will complete this journey with a deeper understanding of history and the repercussions of decisions, as well as real-life experience to take them to the next stages of their lives. Students who participate in Student Leadership Academy are eligible to receive three credit hours from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The focus on leadership and decision-making provides the skills needed for success in college and career. Being able to analyze a situation, chart a course of action, and defend the selected plan will enable students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Summer Residential Program

Pre-Tour Preparation

Pre-Tour Preparation : Spring 2014

In preparation for their experience, students study throughout the spring with professors and historians, delving into a reading list of essential books on all theaters of WWII and into the Museum's world-class collections of digitized, online archives and oral histories. With the knowledge and insight gained from these explorations, students develop arguments — pro and con — for a variety of decisions made across the world by officers, leaders and soldiers on the ground.

History as Experienced by Those Who Were There

The Oral Histories of The National WWII Museum play a crucial role in the program. The perspectives of officers, enlisted men, women and African Americans add to the breadth of knowledge that students will gain. Segments of all of these oral histories emphasize examples of leadership and decision making in extraordinary situations.

Mr. Donald 'Mac' Showers

Mr. Donald "Mac" Showers, Admiral, United States Navy

Mr. Showers was assigned to Pearl Harbor after that attack and worked as a codebreaker trying to decipher Japanese codes. Mr. Showers relates the story of cracking the Japanese code that led to an American victory at the Battle of Midway. Showers is quick to credit the sailors and pilots with securing the victory.

Listen to Oral History
Mr. Daniel Inouye

Mr. Daniel Inouye, Captain, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Senator from Hawaii, 1963-2012

Mr. Inouye was a Captain with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT). The 442nd RCT was a Japanese American volunteer unit, comprised of men poised to defend their nation while some of their families were held in confinement camps on the basis of ancestry alone. The 442nd fought bravely across Italy and became the most-decorated American unit of WWII. Inouye received the Medal of Honor for actions near San Terenzo, Italy on 21 April 1945. Following the war, Inouye became involved obtaining statehood for Hawaii and served in the United States Senate from 1963-2012.

Listen to Oral History
Mr. Don Malarkey

Mr. Don Malarkey, Sgt. Company E; 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment; 101st Airborne Division

Mr. Malarkey was a paratrooper with “Easy Company” of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. Malarkey was present at the assault on Brecourt Manor, which is one of the best examples of a small unit working cohesively during the Battle of Normandy.

Listen to Oral History
Mr. Theodore 'Dutch' Van Kirk

Mr. Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, Major, US Army Air Force

Mr. Van Kirk was the navigator aboard the Enola Gay. His training at Wendover Air Field prepared him for the most famous bombing mission of WWII. Mr. Van Kirk discusses the flight aboard the Enola Gay and the skill it took to drop the bomb and quickly turn out of harm's way.

Listen to Oral History

Ms. Janice Benario, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES)

Ms. Benario volunteered for US Navy service during World War II with an interesting twist. She was given clearance for the highest level communication as a cryptologist. Ms. Benario read German Naval Command messages from the German High Command and U-boats. She discusses the special training she received in a secret cryptology class at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and the work that she did during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Mr. Vernon Baker, First Lieutenant, 370th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division

In 1997, Vernon Baker was the only living recipient among seven African American men who received the Medal of Honor after the US Army identified systemic racial discrimination in the awarding of decorations during World War II. Mr. Baker entered the service in June 1941, after first being denied entry due to his race. Mr. Baker discusses serving in Italy and the actions that ultimately earned him the Medal of Honor.