According to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Department, on Thursday, May 28, 2021 at approximately 8:53 a.m., the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office advised that a gray Dodge Charger with Mississippi tags driven by a black male should be entering Bienville Parish via I-20. The driver had purportedly shot an 18 wheeler which was westbound on I-20 in Lincoln Parish.
Deputies located the vehicle travelling westbound on I-20 at mile marker 69 and made a traffic stop. The driver Javis Dixon of Vicksburg, Mississippi gave deputies consent to search his vehicle which revealed marijuana, scales, drug paraphernalia, a box of 38 ammunition and a 38 revolver. Additionally $2300 was found in the vehicle and another $1141 located on Dixon’s person.
Dixon is being held in the Bienville Parish Jail in lieu of $165,000 bond. His charges include illegal carrying of a weapon, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery (felony).
Arrest warrants were also obtained in Lincoln Parish for attempted first degree murder, aggravated criminal damage to property, aggravated obstruction of a highway and illegal use of weapons. Bonds on those charges total $550,000.
On Memorial Day, we honor the armed service members, both male and female, who died while serving in the U.S. military. Each day, visitors to the Bienville Parish Courthouse walk by, but rarely give the Veterans Memorial more than a passing glance. While the Bienville Parish Veterans Memorial gets far less numbers of visitors in a year’s time than the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. gets on a stormy day, each of the nearly one thousand names affixed to its granite walls is equally as important. This is the story behind just one of those names.
In the first week of September of 1940, eighteen-year-old David “Zack” Andrews, Jr., a recent graduate of Gibsland High School, enlisted in the Navy. He and many other sailors were immediately transferred to the naval training station in San Diego, California. Zack’s occupation in the Navy was as a pharmacist.
Following his training, Zack was stationed aboard the USS Houston (CA-30), a Northampton-class heavy cruiser with 8-inch (203 mm) main guns. The Houston was powered by oil-fired steam turbines and was capable of traveling at faster speeds for a longer period of time than its predecessors. In addition to the main guns, the Houston boasted other improvements which included above deck torpedoes and more effective 1.1 inch (75 mm) anti-aircraft guns. Shortly after Zack arrived on the Houston, the ship became the flagship of the Asiatic Fleet.
On February 4, 1942, several allied ships including the Houston searched for Japanese ships which were reportedly at Balikpapan, a seaport city in Indonesia. 36 Mitsubishi G4M1 “Betty” and 24 Mitsubishi G3M2 “Nell” bomber aircraft attacked the allied fleet. The ensuing battle became known as the Battle of Makassar Strait. Houston’s gunners shot down four Japanese planes, but one bomber evaded the barrage of anti-aircraft fire. With pinpoint precision, the bomber dropped a single bomb which struck the deck near the rear gun turret. The ship shook violently from the explosion. 48 crewmen died as a result, and the rear guns were destroyed. Without fighter protection, the allied ships were forced to withdraw. Zack had survived uninjured.
On February 10, the Houston escorted a convoy of seven ships which carried reinforcement troops from Tjilatjap, Indonesia, to Timor, an island in Southeast Asia. Within hours of their departure, allied sailors noticed a Japanese plane flying toward the convoy. The plane dropped its load of bombs, but none hit the allied ships. Before noon on the next day, Japanese aircraft attacked the convoy in two waves. The Houston put up such a barrage of anti-aircraft fire that, as one witness reported, it was “like a sheet of flame.” The Houston shot down seven enemy planes. Allied forces learned that a Japanese fleet which included aircraft carriers and several other warships was lying in wait for the convoy. The allied ships returned to Tjilatjap.
Admiral Karel Doorman received reports that a large Japanese invasion force was approaching Jawa, an island in Indonesia. Admiral Doorman sent the Houston along with four other cruisers and ten destroyers to attack the Japanese convoy of four cruisers and 13 destroyers. In the late afternoon of February 27, 1942, cruisers of both fleets opened fire in the Battle of the Java Sea. The Japanese launched torpedo attacks in two waves. Within minutes, the Japanese fleet had sunk two allied destroyers and a heavy cruiser. In another torpedo attack, another allied destroyer was sunk. Having exhausted their torpedoes, the Houston was ordered to withdraw. The Battle of the Java Sea was the largest surface engagement since World War I.
On the following day, February 28, the Houston and the HMAS Perth, a Royal Australian Navy light cruiser, reached Tanjong Priok, an Indonesian port city, for fuel and to restock their ammunition and other supplies. With no fuel or ammunition available, the Houston and Perth were ordered back to Tjilatjap for supplies. The two cruisers were supposed to be escorted by a destroyer, but it had been delayed. To get to Tanjong Priok, the ships had to pass through the Sunda Strait. Intelligence reports indicated that the Sunda Strait was free from enemy ships, so the Houston and Perth departed without the escort.
Just after 11:00 p.m., a lookout on the Perth spotted an unidentified ship in the strait. Once the crew realized it was a Japanese destroyer, the Perth began firing. In the darkness, several Japanese warships surrounded the Perth and Houston. The Perth tried to force its way through the destroyers, but the ship was hit by four torpedoes and sank within a few minutes. Crewmen aboard the Houston carried shells from the disabled rear main guns to the forward guns. A torpedo struck the Houston and the ship began to lose speed. Three more torpedoes struck the Houston in quick succession. Among those killed in the three-torpedo attack was Houston’s Captain Albert Rooks.
The damaged and burning ship came to a full stop. Japanese destroyers closed in on the Houston and used machine guns to mow down sailors on the deck of the Houston and those in the water near the ship. Minutes later, the Houston slowly rolled over and sank in the Sunda Strait. Of the 1,061 sailors aboard the Houston, 368 survived only to be captured and held prisoner by the Japanese for the remainder of the war. 77 of the sailors who survived the Battle of Sunda Strait died in captivity.
On March 16, 1942, Zack’s father received news from the naval department that Zack was missing following the sinking of the Houston. Within days, newspapers in Louisiana began reporting that Zack, listed as a seaman second class, was among the sailors reported missing from the Houston following its sinking in the Battle of Sunda Strait. In its official report, the Navy noted that “the classification ‘missing’ covers those who can not be accounted for, some of whom may be prisoners, some of whom may have been rescued at sea and landed at isolated spots and have no opportunity to communicate with the United States naval authorities. In brief, the term ‘missing’ does not mean that the person named is dead.”
Later that month, children at Gibsland High School purchased a war bond called a “Memory Bond” in honor of Zack. Zack’s younger brother Billie Ray Andrews held up the “Memory Bond” along with a photograph of his brother for photographers.
Zack’s family in Gibsland spent years in a sort of limbo state. The Navy was unable to confirm whether or not David had died. A little over three years later, David’s family found new hope when they read an article in the Shreveport Times in which Lieutenant Colonel Nicol Smith said that “anyone having relatives on the crew of the Houston can be very optimistic.” Approximately 300 survivors from the ill-fated Houston had been located in a Japanese prison camp in Thailand.
When the survivors of the Houston were liberated from the Japanese prison camp, Zack was not among them. None of the survivors could recall seeing Zack after the ship was struck by the three torpedoes. The Navy eventually listed Zack as killed in action during the Battle of Sunda Strait. Zack was posthumously awarded the purple heart. A bronze plaque was placed above an empty grave in Gibsland Cemetery in memory of David Zack Andrews Jr.
David Zack Andres, Jr. is just one of the nearly 1,000 names on the Bienville Parish Veterans Memorial. If you know of a Bienville Parish veteran who is not yet included on the memorial, contact Eddie Holmes, Clerk of Court. There is a small fee to have the plates engraved and affixed to the monument.
Do you have information, photographs, etc. about a veteran who resides in or has resided in Bienville Parish? If so, please contact the Journal at BPJNewsLA@gmail.com
Sources: 1. The Monroe News-Star, September 5, 1940, p.10. 2. The Shreveport Journal, December 9, 1941, p.6. 3. The Shreveport Times, March 17, 1942, p.7. 4. Tensas Gazette (Saint Joseph, Louisiana), March 27, 1942, p.1. 5. The Shreveport Journal, March 31, 1942, p.3. 6. The Shreveport Journal, March 17, 1942, p.11. 7. The Shreveport Times, May 15, 1942, p.1. 8. The Shreveport Times, August 29, 1945, p.1. 9. The Shreveport Journal, August 25, 1961, p.30. 10. Hornfischer, James D. Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the Uss Houston, Fdr’s Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors. New York, New York: Bantam Dell, 2006. 11. “David Zack Andrews Jr.,” Find A Grave, accessed May 24, 2021, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/53227992/david-zack-andrews.
Last year, Gloria Church, an ambassador in Girl Scout Troop 1512 in Natchitoches, began working on her Gold Award project to acquire a state historical marker at Briarwood Nature Preserve for Caroline Dormon. She began a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.com, and raised $3,865 from 80 backers. Backers who donated $20 or more received an enamel 1.25″ by 0.9″ pin with a picture of Caroline Dormon.
Gloria said “I chose to do my Gold Award project on Caroline Dormon because she is underrepresented in the local community considering her great amount of accomplishments. By establishing a state historical marker, not only does it share the history of Dormon, the sign will attract people into Briarwood Nature Preserve to see her legacy. I believe that women who had smaller, but important, accomplishments in local regions are not given the credit they deserve. The sign is a small step, but a push into encouraging other girls to represent historical women in their local regions.”
The Louisiana historical marker was recently placed near the entrance of the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, which is about a mile south of Saline on Highway 9.
Text on front of marker: The botanist, artist, author, conservator, and pioneer, Caroline Dormon, was born at Briarwood in Saline, Louisiana on July 19, 1886. Established by Dormon’s grandparents, Harietta and Benjamin Sweat, in 1859, Briarwood was originally a cotton plantation. In 1921, she became the first woman employed by the U.S. forestry Department, and she took a major part in establishing Kisatchie National Forest in 1930. Dormon researched and studied a variety of native irises.
Text on back of marker: President Roosevelt appointed Dormon as the La representative on the Desoto commission in 1936; she was the only woman to serve on the board. Dormon wrote several publications about wildlife and the environment. She conserved La wildflowers for landscaping and on highways. Dormon was awarded with an honorary doctorate from L.S.U. in 1965 for her work in botany and horticulture. Caroline Dormon passed away on November 23, 1971 and was buried at Briarwood Baptist Cemetery.
Summer Reading Program Registration begins and the first performance is: Animalogy. They kick off our 2021“Tails and Tales” Summer Reading Program with a bark, squawk, squeak, maybe a hiss, and lots of giggles!
What is Animalogy? It’s an educational wildlife outreach organization that teaches the next generation about the natural world. Human and Animal Ambassadors will give an up-close view of domestic and wild animals, and how we can protect wildlife habitats. Below are the program times for each library:
Thursday, June 3rd Arcadia at 10:00 a.m. Ringgold at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, June 4th Castor at 10:00 a.m. Saline at 2:00 p.m.
Traditionally, summer reading programs are designed to encourage elementary-aged children to keep reading during summer vacation. Last year, our Summer Reading Program was entirely virtual, with Children’s Librarian Cheryl Hough reading stories and presenting crafts through our Facebook Group page. This year we’re returning to our regular program schedule with live performers! Children, parents/guardians and older siblings can now visit the library, pick out their own books, and start collecting their “brag tags”!
WHAT ARE BRAG TAGS?
This is a new Summer Reading Program reward and there are ten brag tags to snag! When you register your children for the Summer Reading Program you’ll pick up all the materials they’ll need to get started, and “snag” their first brag tag! Preventing the “summer slide” continues to be the main objective of summer reading programs. This new reading incentive gives your reader extra motivation to read and collect all ten tags. It will impress teachers with how many books/pages they read during their summer vacation!
The 2021 Summer Reading Program is designed to help:
Children be more motivated to read.
Children develop positive attitudes about reading, books, and the library.
Children maintain their reading skills during summer vacation.
Children have access to experiences that further their sense of discovery.
Children have access to experiences through which they can learn to work cooperatively.
Most of all – HELP CHILDREN HAVE FUN!
Look for the Pull & Post Fridge Flyer in the Bienville Parish Library Event Guide for dates, times, and list of performers. You’ll also find all you need to know at your Bienville Parish Library and in the Summer Reading Program brochure!
The national Click It or Ticket safety campaign has begun in Louisiana. Through June 6th, you will see an increased presence of law enforcement in our communities reminding everyone that a seat belt could be the difference between life and death.
Please Buckle Up in the front seat and rear seat, Every Trip, Every Ride.
Seat belts have been proven to be one of the best ways to save your life in a crash. Yet, many still don’t buckle up.
What would you do with an extra $100? Sign up for a free email subscription to the Journal and you may be the lucky winner.
Registering for the giveaway is easy. No purchase is necessary.
Bienville Parish Journal does not share your email address with anyone.
If you already receive the Journal in your email, you’re already signed up for the giveaway. Be sure to tell a friend.
The winner will be selected at random on June 1st and contacted via the provided email address. If the winner fails to respond within 72 hours, another name will be drawn. The winner will be announced in the Bienville Parish Journal.
If you have any questions, please email the journal at BPJNewsLA@gmail.com or call the editor at 318-332-0558.
Instructions: ZCIRPZCI is EINSTEIN In Cryptoquotes, one letter stands for another. In the example above, Z is used for two E’s, I for the two N’s, etc. Single letters, double letters, apostrophes, the length and formation of the words are all hints. The code letters change with each puzzle.
With more anglers on the water today than in the previous 20 years, one thing has become very apparent. A lot of anglers cannot find their own fish! Now let’s address the main problem…overcrowded lakes. It is insane, the number of boats on our area lakes and waterways compared to twenty years ago. The recent pandemic is also a major contributor to this issue as well. Boat’s sales soared in 2020 with many people not working and schools being shut down. A big majority of Americans all across the country took to the lakes and outdoors which is a great thing! Nothing bad can come of getting folks, old and young alike, out in the great outdoors. I mean what’s the worst thing that can happen?
Well let me give you an idea and a few examples. First, overcrowded boat ramps! It amazes me at how seven days a week, you have to wait in line just to launch your boat. Just two short years ago, you could go to any boat ramp Monday thru Thursday and NEVER have to wait to launch or worry how far you’ll have to park your truck and trailer after you launch your boat. Many of today’s lakes, especially Sam Rayburn or sometimes at Toledo Bend, it might be necessary to request an Uber just to get back to the ramp after parking your truck and trailer. Several times this past year I’ve seen people parked almost a mile from the ramp they launched at. It’s insane!
Now that we’re on the water and ready to go fishing, now let’s crank our motor and head to our favorite spot. Oh wow… guess what, after you run 5 miles up the lake dodging jet skiers and pleasure boaters who have not had a boater safety course, you arrive at your favorite spot, and someone is already there. It’s the same person who saw you yesterday catching fish there. Shocker…but that’s exactly how it is today. There are more people scouting and spying on other anglers like detectives trying to solve a murder mystery. I mean I’ve seen guys using binoculars and watching other anglers at a distance only to wait until they move and then swoop in and mark that location with their electronics so they can return on another day. Tournament anglers are especially targeted and it’s even worse if you have an advertising wrap on your boat. But one thing I’ve done several times just to throw off would be scouts and detectives, is to fake hook sets and I’ve gone as far as to pretend I just caught a fish by leaning over the side of the boat and acting like I’m releasing a fish. It’s quite amusing to watch who moves into the area I just left. I think anyone who has a pair of binoculars in their boat is pathetic.
Next, are what I call “GPS robbers.” These guys are the worst and most unethical anglers on the water. If they see a well-known angler, guide or pro, they will ride up and down the lake looking for these good anglers and will shut down and idle towards the area they are in and hit their GPS button on their electronic units to mark the spot so they can come back later after the angler leaves. While I have never shot anyone before, this is the one thing that I might consider as a consequence for anglers who practice this technique.
Bass fishing is hard enough today with so many anglers competing for a limited number of fishing spots. It just makes an angler mad when you have people on the lake spying on other fishermen and looking to raid their best spots, especially the guides who work very hard to build a reputation for catching fish. This is how they make a living, and it affects their pocketbook when other anglers pull up on their best spots and catch fish. If you are one of those who needs help finding fish, hire a guide and let him show you how to read your electronics so you can find your own fish. It’ll be the best money you ever spent and well worth your time. Till next time, find your own fish and don’t forget to set the hook!
Steve Graf Owner/Co-host Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show And Tackle Talk Live
585 BC – A solar eclipse occured, as predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes was battling Cyaxares in the Battle of Halys, which led to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
1431 – Joan of Arc was accused of relapsing into heresy by donning male clothing again, which provided justification for her execution.
1533 – The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared the marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn valid.
1742 – First indoor swimming pool opened (Goodman’s Fields, London).
1754 – French and Indian War: In the first engagement of the war, Virginia militia under the 22-year-old Lieutenant colonel George Washington defeated a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in what is now Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania.
1802 – In Guadeloupe, 400 rebellious slaves, led by Louis Delgrès, blew themselves up rather than submitting to Napoleon’s troops.
1830 – U.S. President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which denied Native Americans their land rights and forcibly relocated them.
1889 – Édouard and André Michelin incorporated the Michelin tire company.
1923 – US Attorney General said it was legal for women to wear trousers anywhere.
1928 – Dodge Brothers Inc. and Chrysler Corporation merged.
1929 – The first all color talking picture “On With the Show” was exhibited (New York City).
1937 – Volkswagen, the German automobile manufacturer was founded.
1937 – Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened to vehicular traffic.
1971 – Paul McCartney released his second solo album “Ram”.
1972 – White House “plumbers” first broke in at the Democratic National Headquarters at Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C.
1977 – In Southgate, Kentucky, the Beverly Hills Supper Club was engulfed in fire, which killed 165 people inside.
1987 – A West German pilot, Mathias Rust, who was 18 years old, evaded Soviet Union air defenses and landed a private plane in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia.
1996 – U.S. President Bill Clinton’s former business partners in the Whitewater land deal, Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, and the Governor of Arkansas Jim Guy Tucker, were convicted of fraud.
1999 – In Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Last Supper” was put back on display.
2002 – The last steel girder was removed from the original World Trade Center site. Cleanup duties officially ended with closing ceremonies at Ground Zero in Manhattan, New York City.
2018 – Coca-Cola launched its first alcoholic drink, Lemon-Do, on island of Kyushu, Japan.