Camp Livingston (1940-1945) - A World War II training Camp first established as Camp Tioga in 1940 near Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Named Camp Livingston after either Edward Livingston a U.S. Senator from Louisiana and later U.S. Secretary of State, or for his brother Robert R. Livingston, a negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase. Deactivated in 1945.
This 48,000-acre World War II era training Camp was originally called Camp Tioga for the nearby village. It was located about 14 miles north of Alexandria, within the Kisatchie National Forest along the Grant and Rapides Parish line.
On 30 Oct 1940 the War Department announced the name change from Camp Tioga to Camp Livingston.
Construction of the Camp began on 16 Sep 1940 and it was accepted as complete on 31 Mar 1941. At its peak, more than 14,000 men were employed in building the base. The post included 708 buildings, some 6,765 tents and 22 miles of concrete and asphalt-paved streets. The camp's hospital area occupied 9 acres with 81 buildings connected by 2 miles of corridors. The first arrivals for training were 218 officers and men of the 106th Cavalry of the Illinois National Guard.
Camp Livingston was a part of a larger military complex in Louisiana that included Camp Beauregard (1), Camp Claiborne (3), 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.
World War II
The U.S. entered World War II just days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941. Camp Livingston was designated as an infantry replacement training center and as a garrison for selected infantry divisions. Stationed at the Camp were the 28th, 32rd, 38th, and 86th Infantry Divisions, along with various other field artillery, transportation, quartermaster, combat engineer, tank destroyer, ordnance, and other Army units.
The camp included a POW facility that housed Japanese, German and Italian prisoners of war almost from the start of the war.
Camp Livingston was deactivated soon after the end of the war on 7 Nov 1945. In October 1947 about 4,500 of the buildings were sold off. On 30 Oct 1957, the government transferred 12,500 acres of the reservation to the state of Louisiana for use of the National Guard.
The former Camp Livingston area is now administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Kisatchie National Forest and offers biking, hiking, ATV trails, and other recreational opportunities. Some structural and foundational remains can be viewed in satellite photos but few intact building exist.