2004 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Dawkins, Cuevas, Gollott, Lee (47th), Harden, Williamson, Jackson (11th), Jordan, Thomas, Simmons, Butler, Jackson (32nd), Frazier

Senate Resolution 16

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, Horace B. Labat, Sr., a World War II Veteran and longtime resident of Pass Christian, Mississippi, departed this life on Friday, January 9, 2004; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Labat was a 1941 graduate of Randolph High School and was a member of the Randolph High School football team; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Labat was an active member of the Mexican Gulf Lodge #64, having volunteered for service in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving from 1941 to 1946 as Staff Sergeant in the famed 92nd Infantry Division known as the "Buffalo Soldiers".  For decades, these African-American Regulars were the most effective troops on the western frontier.  The black regiments, which came into being in 1866, quickly won the respect of their opponents.  In 1867, fewer than 70 of the raw recruits repulsed an estimated 900 warriors and Mexican bandits.  During their years on the frontier, they had numerous pitched battles against Lipans, Kickapoos, Kiowas, Comanches and their most determined foe, the Apaches, possibly the most skillful enemy in frontier history; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Labat saw active combat in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II battles, including Rome, Anzio, the Northern Appennines and the Po Valley; his military medals and citations included:  the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in action while fighting in Italy, the Asian Theater of Operations Medal, the East African Middle East Theater of Operations Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal; Mr. Labat's Bronze Star Citation reads in part:  "Staff Sergeant Labat was in command of a squad holding one of three advance isolated strong points which received a tremendous concentration of hostile fire from all areas.  In the heat of the situation Staff Sergeant Labat calmly withheld his squad's fire until the enemy was within point-blank range.  Then he ordered such accurate countfire that the entire enemy attack was repulsed."  This brilliant display of superior personal leadership inspired all members of his organization and is a worthy example of a soldiers gallant achievement; and

     WHEREAS, after returning home from the war, Mr. Labat worked as a master carpenter and assisted in the restoration of many of the historic homes in Pass Christian and in the French Quarter of New Orleans; he was a successful businessman and civic leader; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Labat leaves to mourn his passing:  three daughters, Wanda J. Labat, Sandra Dell Labat and Patricia I. Labat; one son, Horace B. Labat, Jr.; four grandchildren, Adrena Smiley Williams; Lemuel Smiley, Horace Smiley, Austin Labat; one great-grandson, Antoine Williams; one brother-in-law, Lionel Landry (Carmen); one niece, Lynette Labat Henderson; one nephew, Ronald Labat; a longtime companion, Willie Mae Johnson; and a host of cousins and other relatives and close friends:

     NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the life of World War II Veteran Horace B. Labat, Sr., of Pass Christian, Mississippi, and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Senate on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Mr. Labat and be made available to the Mississippi Sun Herald and to members of the Capitol Press Corps.