Port-Gentil is a leading seaport, and second largest city of Gabon, located on Cape Lopez, on an island at the mouth of the Ogooué River. Named for a French colonial administrator, it served as a seaport for the four colonies of French Equatorial Africa from the late 1800s until independence from France in 1960.
In the latter part of 1916, a Belgian shipment of machine guns, mortars and howitzers that was scheduled to arrive in East Africa ran aground near Cape Lopez. In December, Major Boucher and Captain Henri Defense (Indiana Jones) led an expedition from German East Africa across the Congo to Port-Gentil. Along the way, many of the expedition members perished from the dangers of jungle travel including yellow fever. The survivors arrived in Port-Gentil by riverboat, the Collette in January 1917 - but even at their destination, two perished, Boucher from disease, and Sergeant Barthelemy from a gunshot wound during a skirmish with rebels along the river. At Port-Gentil, Defense took over command of the expedition, delivering an Ubangi orphan to the nuns at the hospital where Barthelemy died, and meeting with Colonel Pernod, the commander of the French garrison. Pernod had the arms shipment loaded onto the Collette but was unable to provide the Belgians with any additional troops for the dangerous journey back to East Africa. Defense and his remaining men began the journey back up the Ogooué River.
Later that month, after recovering from disease at Lambarene, under Albert Schweitzer, Defense and Remy Baudouin returned to Port-Gentil, along with the German doctor and his wife, who had been taken into custody by Captain Rostand for deportation. Defense argued with Pernod that Schweitzer, though German in French territory, was no threat, but vitally needed in saving the lives of the people in the region, but Pernod was unmoved. Pernod also delivered new orders for Defense and Baudouin, to escort the arms back to Europe. At the harbor, Jones said his farewells to the Schweitzers before they were sent back to Europe.
Locations within Port-Gentil
- French garrison headquarters
- French hospital, staffed by nuns
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles