Alexandria Louisiana in World War II

Pollock Army Air Field

World War II in Central Louisiana

Central Louisiana was the site of the massive Louisiana Maneuvers staged just before World War II. Numerous military camps were built in the CenLA area are to support the growing war effort, including Camp Livingston, Camp Claiborne, Camp Beauregard, Alexandria Army Air Base, Pollock Army Air Field, Esler Field, and others.

Major World War II army camps in Central Lousiana included Camp Livingston to the east of Alexandria, and Camp Claiborne to the west.

Pollock Army Air Field

Pollock Army Air Field was located 4 miles southwest of Pollock, Louisiana, and functioned as a satellite air field for the Alexandria Army Air Base (AAAB, later England AFB). AAAB, which was 10 nautical miles distant from Pollock, was was opened on October 21, 1942 and was used during World War II for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircrew training.

Pollock Airfield is about 16 miles north of Alexandria and Pineville. The air field featured three paved runways forming a triangle (see aerial view below). It was sometimes known as Pollock Army Auxiliary Air Field.

After the war, the federal government turned the facility over to civilian control, and was renamed Pollock Municipal Airport.

Pollock Municipal Airport

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Today, Pollock Municipal Airport is publicly owned by the City of Pollock. It uses FAA Code L66, and is located at Lat/Long 31-28-38.9000N / 092-27-40.2000W.

The maximum runway length of runway 18/36 is 4,500 ft. In 2011, thehe airport was averaging about 34 operatons a day, of which 48% is local general aviation, 32% military, and 20% transient general aviation.

About Pollock Louisiana

Pollock emerged as a town in 1892, around the sawmill that was named Pollock in honor of Captain James W. Pollock, the manager of the Big Creek Sawmill and Lumber Company, one of the largest sawmills in the world.

Pollock hosts the annual Grant Dogwood Festival on the first Saturday in April. The Pollock Industrial Park is a premier industrial site in Central Louisiana.

It is also home to three United States Penitentiaries. The United States Penitentiary (USP) is a high security institution housing male offenders. This institution is part of the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) Pollock. An adjacent satellite prison camp houses minimum security male offenders. 

Today, in 2012, Pollock remains a small town located in the Kisatchie National Forest in Central Louisiana in Grant Parish. Its population is nearly 400 residents, and the population has increased drastically as a result of the annexation of the land surrounding the federal prison.

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Aerial view of Pollock Municipal Airport in Louisiana
Aerial view of Pollock Municipal Airport in Louisiana, the former Pollock Army Airfield
Military Camps in Central Louisiana in WWII
World War II military camps in the Alexandria Louisiana area Camp Livingston Esler Field Camp Beauregard Alexandria Army Air Base, later known as England Air Force Base Camp Claiborne Pollock Army Air Field
Camp Livingston Louisiana
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Louisiana Maneuvers sign, outside Hotel Bentley, downtown Alexandria Louisiana
Louisiana Maneuvers sign, outside Hotel Bentley, downtown Alexandria, Louisiana
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Camp Claiborne Louisiana
Alexandria Army Air Base, later England Air Force Base, gate
Camp Beauregard
Camp Beauregard Louisiana

Esler Field (WikiPedia) aka Camp Beauregard Army Field, and Esler Army Airfield. Construction began in 1939, and renamed in 1941 to honor Lt. Wyler Esler, a pilot who was the first casualty of the airfield when his plane crashed on April 11, 1941

Camp Polk (WikiPedia), near Leesville

Barksdale Field in Bossier City (later renamed Barksdale Air Force Base)

Ticket to World War II VictoryOther Sources of Military Camp Information

Several other sites have significant information about these military camps, including:

WikiPedia Articles: Camp Livingston and Camp Claiborne

The National World War II Museum, New Orleans

England Air Force ... by Louis Crusenberry

Louisiana Maneuvers and Military Museum operated by the Louisiana Army National Guard

Louisiana History Museum, Alexandria, Louisiana

Camp Ruston POW Facilities (PDF)

32nd Infantry Red Arrow Division Veteran Association

Camp Livingston and Camp Claiborne at WinnFreeNet including photos, maps, blueprints, current status, access, trails, roads, etc.