Camp Harahan, also called Camp Plauche, was a troop staging area outside New Orleans, Louisiana during World War II.
The camp served as a staging area for troops passing through the New Orleans Port of Embarkation. Its mission changed to that of a training base in 1942. Between 200,000 - 300,000 troops, including battalions of railroad troops, port troops and hospital men were organized and trained there.
The Army Administration Officer Candidate School was established 19 October 1942 at Mississippi State College under the supervision of the Army Adjutant General. Within a few months the School was renamed the Transportation Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) and moved to Camp Harahan. The curriculum included transportation modes, terminal operations, and cargo/personnel movement.
The 765th Transportation Battalion was activated at Camp Harahan on 12 March 1943, as the 765th Railway Shop Battalion. It soon deployed to the European Theater.
The 721st Railway Operating Battalion was activated at Camp Harahan on 14 April 1943. The unit comprised men from replacement companies, reception centers, a cadre from another battalion and reservists of the New York Central System, which sponsored the battalion. While at Camp Harahan for six weeks, the men underwent a vigorous physical training program, learning to march, hurdle obstacle courses, roll full field packs, fire a gun and become indoctrinated in Army discipline, rules and regulations. The 721st deployed to the CBI Theater.
The 740th Railway Operating Battalion was activated at Camp Harahan in December 1943.
The camp was later used to hold German and Italian prisoners-of-war (POWs).