Camp Gordon Johnston Days this weekend promises to be another exciting homage to the county’s World War II legacy, when thousands of American troops trained for amphibious warfare at the Carrabelle site.
Beginning on Thursday, March 7, veterans and their families can register throughout the day at the Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum, in the Carrabelle Municipal Complex at 1001 Grey Avenue.
At noon, there will be a formal dedication of the new addition to the museum. Finger foods, beverages, and treats will be provided.
On Friday, March 8, registration will continue throughout the day. Boat excursions to Dog Island, where many practice beach landings were held during the World War II training, will be provided by Towboats U.S. Passage for each participant will cost $25; there must be a minimum of three persons before the boat will leave. This is a sightseeing trip; passengers will not disembark on Dog Island. For reservations, call 697-8909 or 697-3360.
At 6 p.m., Friday, the Camp Gordon Johnston American Legion Post 82, in Lanark Village, will host a Southern seafood buffet. World War II veterans and active duty troops are especially invited to attend this event where they will be served first. Live music will add to the evening festivities. Cash bar.
On Saturday, March 9, all participants are invited to begin the day with breakfast at the Masonic Lodge, 108 NE First Street, in Carrabelle. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. at a cost of $6. Breakfast is free to active-duty troops and World War II veterans.
At approximately 10:45 a.m., on U.S. 98 in Carrabelle, the parade will begin, featuring World War II vehicles, tanks, and modern military equipment. Marching bands, active duty soldiers, civic groups, and re-enactors will participate in the parade festivities. The public is cordially invited to attend
Saturday evening beginning at 5 p.m. there will be a dinner and dance at the Carrabelle Municipal Complex auditorium, where prizes and awards will be given out. Live dance music will be provided. The meal will be your choice of either seafood or chicken at $17 per person. The public is invited to attend this event and sponsor dinner for a soldier. All active duty and World War II veterans eat free.
The CGJ Museum will be open for visitors on Thursday from 1200-1600 (noon to 4 p.m.); Friday 0900–1600 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.); and Saturday 0900–1500 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The museum is closed Sundays.
Some earlier press releases promised a tour of an army landing craft that has participated in the event in past years. American Legion Post 82 Commander Sid Winchester said he has been notified the craft is being repaired and not available for Camp Gordon Johnston Days this year.
New in this year’s parade are a model of the battleship Wisconsin and a mock-up of the conning tower of a submarine. Also expect to see an entry from the dark side when Carrabelle is visited by a group of SS reenactors.