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1954 Shreveport plane crash DVD to benefit local history scholarship

Kate Archer Kent

The Shreveport Historic Preservation Society has produced a one-hour DVD about the 1954 Wallace Lake plane crash that killed 12 Shreveport businessmen who were returning from a south Louisiana duck hunt.

The DVD features Shreveport historian Ernie Roberson concludes in presentation by reading the transcripts of ground control at Shreveport Regional Airport attempting to establish connection with the pilot of a Grumman G-73 Mallard that crashed on the north shore of Wallace Lake in 1954.

“49 Nectar, this is Shreveport Tower, 49 Nectar do you read?”

The society’s Agatha Fertitta-McCall says 60 years later, there’s keen interest in what happened that icy night when community leaders perished.

“Shreveport had what was a turning point of the city because we lost 12 prominent businessmen who would have been the leaders of this city, as far as oil and gas industry, airline industry, and different, important things that were needed to make the city grow,” Fertitta-McCall said.

Preservation Society president Winston Conway Link says proceeds from the DVD will benefit a scholarship in the history department at LSU Shreveport. He says more research of this caliber needs to be done on a variety of topics concerning Shreveport.

“Whether the plane crash actually changed Shreveport with the death of these important, influential businessmen, we don’t know for a fact. It’s just speculation. But we want to get it out there. We’d like to have more people doing research,” Link said.

Link hopes the scholarship will help students publish more papers focused on the history of downtown Shreveport. The DVD is available for purchase at Fertitta’s Delicatessen, 1124 Fairfield Avenue, and C C Hardman, 3309 Line Avenue, for $20.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.