The United States 29th Infantry was stationed in the Canal Zone at Camp Gaillard from March 1915
until September 1918. The 29th Infantry arrived from garrison duties in upstate New York.
In Panama the 29th Infantry was one of the military units responsible for guarding the
Panama Canal during World War I. The 29th Infantry participated in a number of jungle
exercises, and also guarded German prisoners of war. From Panama the 29th Infantry went to
Louisiana and prepared to deploy to Europe to fight in World War I. However, by the time
the 29th Infantry was ready to depart, the Armistice of 1918 had been signed and the war was
over. The 29th Infantry was then stationed in Mississippi and did not return to Panama.
Camp Gaillard was originally Camp Elliott where the United States Marines were based until 1914.
Camp Elliott was renamed Camp Gaillard in honor of Army Colonel David Du Bose Gaillard, who as
chief of the Central Division during canal construction was responsible for digging out the
Culebra Cut. In 1913 Colonel Gaillard took ill and died shortly afterwards from a brain tumor.
In October 1927, following the completion of the permanent military installations at the
terminals of the canal, Camp Gaillard was inactivated. The remaining buildings were either moved
or demolished, and the land was part of the area converted to an artillery practice range,
called Empire Range.