Camp Claiborne (3)
Camp Claiborne (3) (1940-1945) - A World War II era U.S. Army training camp first established as Camp Evangeline in 1940 near Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Renamed Camp Claiborne after William C. C. Claiborne Louisiana's first governor. Abandoned in 1945.
First established as Camp Evangeline.
On 30 Oct 1940, the War Department announced the name change from Camp Evangeline to Camp Claiborne.
Construction began in 1940 on the site about two and a half miles long and one and a half miles wide, encompassing some 3,100 acres. The camp name was changed from Camp Evangeline to Camp Claiborne and announced on 30 Oct 1940. In November 1940, some 12,221 persons were employed in the construction of the camp with a weekly payroll of about $250,000.
The camp was designed as a tent camp with 6.006 enlisted men's tents, 759 officers' tents, and 679 buildings for a total of 7,444 structures to accommodate some 35,000 officers and men. The enlisted men's tents were of the pyramid type with 16-foot square frame bases. Each tent housed 5 men. Separate toilet facilities were in frame buildings with showers, lavatories, and flush toilets. Officers' tents were on 9-foot square frames and housed two company-grade officers or one field grade officer. Individual frame houses were provided for division, brigade and regimental commanders.
Camp Claiborne was a part of a larger military complex in Louisiana that included Camp Beauregard (1), Camp Livingston, Esler Field, Bringhurst Field, Pollock Army Airfield, Alexandria Army Airfield and came to include Fort Polk (2). A large scale military exercise was held in the summer of 1941 called the Louisiana Maneuvers to prepare for the inevitable war.
The first units to arrive for training in December 1940 were companies E, G, and H of the 22nd Infantry.
World War II
The U.S. entered World War II just days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941. Nearly a half-million troops trained at Camp Claiborne before it was closed in 1945. A portion of the camp was used to accommodate prisoners of war as the war drew to a close.
The Camp was deactivated on 15 Dec 1945 not long after the war ended. More than 7,000 buildings on the post were sold at a public sale in March 1947.
The site of the camp is located in the Evangeline Division of the Kisatchie National Forest, about 17 miles southwest of Alexandria, in Rapides Parish. Louisiana.