Camp Leroy Johnson
Camp Leroy Johnson (1940-1964) - A World War II U.S. Army Air Field established in 1940 on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, Louisiana. First named New Orleans Army Air Base, Renamed Camp Leroy Johnson on 25 Nov 1947 after Sergeant Leroy Johnson who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, recognizing his heroic actions during World War II in the 1944 assault on Leyte in the Philippines. The Camp closed in 1964.
In June 1940, before U.S. Entry into World War II, the War Department drew up a tentative list of municipal fields considered suitable for military use and submitted it to General Arnold on 15 June 1940. As individual sites were approved they activated. At New Orleans, Louisiana, the municipal airport, enthusiastically recommended as a station for a heavy bombardment group, proved to have excessively short runways when the group moved into the new post. Although some of the fields selected proved to be unsuited for their planned purposes, the Air Corps in its following expansions nevertheless made full use of them.
The New Orleans Air Base was used during the war by the Signal Corps, Quartermaster Corps and the Weather Service for training. The adjacent property across the canal was used as a cantonment area for the Air Base at the former municipal airport.
The post had more than 100 temporary buildings that housed 1,500 men at peak times of operation. Signal Corps and Quartermaster Corps units were trained on the post. It was later used as a staging area for the Port of New Orleans.
Following the end of the war, the municipal airport was returned to civilian use but the Army retained the area across the Industrial Canal (now the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal) as a logistics and training camp. In 1947 the camp was renamed for Sergeant Leroy Johnson who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor recognizing his heroic actions in the Phillipenes during World War II. In 1951 Camp Leroy Johnson became a permanent transportation training center. In its final years, it served as a replacement center and a training center for Army Reserve units.
The U.S. Air Force maintained a small gap-filler radar site on the Camp between 1957 and 1970. The radar site was normally unmanned but was serviced by maintenance crews from the Houma Air Force Station in Houma, Louisiana. The gap-filler radar occupied a 100' by 115' site at the Southwest corner of what was then the intersection of K Street and 12th Street. This area is now tennis courts.
The post was officially closed by the Department of Defense on 30 Jun 1964. The gap-filler radar remained on the site until 1970.
No remains of the Camp area, it is now overbuilt with a Federal FBI complex and educational facilities.
Visited: 29 Dec 2017