The Camps and County Locations
Each Camp in Oklahoma was either a main camp or a branch of that camp. Some
information about the camps, broken into the counties they were in, beginning
with western Oklahoma, follows. Thank you to the OKGenWeb County Coordinaters
for their personal comments help on some of these camps.
ALVA -- This camp held the Nazi and Nazi sympathizers that were known or segregated
from the general prison populations of other camps. These were the "hard liners".
It was located a mile south of Alva on the west side of highway 281, and
was much greater than at the other camps. The first prisoners arrived July
31, 1943. The capacity of this camp was 6,000, but the population grew to
4,850. The camp closed Nov. 11, 1945, and the land now is used for the airport
and fairgrounds. Reports are 21 escapes from this camp, and 5 POWs died while
interned there, including Emil Minotti, who was shot and killed while attempting
Review Courier, Sept. 10, 1995 - by Helen Barrett
WAYNOKA -- This was a branch camp of Alva, located at the Santa Fe Railroad
Yards ice plant. There were about 100 prisoners housed here, that operated the
ice plant for the railroad. It opened Aug. 30, 1944 and closed Sept. 1, 1945.
One escape recorded.
Alva Review-Courier, Alva OK - Aug. 2, 1943- Oct. 18, 1945- Jan. 16, 1926
Reported escapes: Karl Heinz Zigann (2 times), Heinz Aulenbacher, Werner Wolf,
Heinz Roth, Max Wolff (2 times), Franz Holm, Bergmann von Schweinicher, Hienz
Homme, Eberland Wilms, Paul Zahn, Heinz Schulz
Woods County Enterprise, Alva, OK- Jan. 25, 1945
Reported escapes: Fritz Puescha, Anton Sheffer, Erich Wulf.
HOBART -- This camp opened in Oct. 1944, and was located between Jefferson and
Eastern Streets, north of Iris Ave. It held 286 prisoners, that worked the farms
in the area, It was a branch of the Ft. Sill camp, and closed May 16, 1945.
No reports of escapes were found.
(Ethel Taylor).. I have one memory of this camp, as I was pretty young when
it was there. It was a sunny day when we drove along Iris. There was a tall
fence along the street, maybe 7-8 feet tall, as it was somewhat taller than
some men. I remember some buildings (?) vaguely in the background. There were
4-5 men standing by the fence, hands on the wire, and one had his foot set on
one of the squares of the wire, so must have been a woven wire fence. They were
just standing there looking out at the cars going by. There was a lot of men
behind them, moving around, but my attention was on these by the fence. I asked
Dad who these people were, and he told me they were German prisoners. That was
the only time I remember seeing the camp, so Dad must have avoided driving by
TIPTON -- Another branch camp of Ft. Sill was located north of the railroad
tracks between 2nd and 3rd Streets in southeast Tipton, on a four acre tract
that had been a Gulf Oil Company camp. The camp opened Oct. 20, 1944 and held
276 prisoners, reportedly troublemakers from the Ft Sill camp. The camp closed
Nov. 1, 1945. Four escapes were reported.
Tipton Tribune, Tipton, OK - Oct. 13, 1944, Nov. 16, 1944, June 8, 1945
Girhart Hoike, Edmund Loos - 2 unnamed.
FT. SILL MILITARY RESERVATION - This base camp opened in Feb. 1944 on the far
west side of Ft. Sill, on the south side of Randolph Road. It had a capacity
of 2,965, but the most confined there was 1,834. The camp closed April 15, 1946.
There were 3 escapes and 1 death reported.
CHICKASHA -- This camp was located on the south side of Hwy. 62, east of Chickasha
at the fairgrounds. It opened originally on Aug. 17, 1944 as a branch of the
Alva Camp, later becoming a branch of the camp at Ft. Reno. There were 250-400
prisoners held here. The camp closed Nov. 16, 1945. There were reports of 9
CHICKASHA -- On the west side, another branch camp of Ft. Reno was located at
the Borden General Hospital. It opened April 16, 1945 and some of the prisoners
from the Chickasha POW camp may have worked at the hospital in maintenence,
before this camp opened. About 100 prisoners were confined here. The camp closed
May 1, 1945.
Chickasha Daily Express, Chicksha, OK - Aug. 17, 1944, Aug. 19, 1944, Sept.
19, 1944, Sept. 27, 1944, Oct. 17, 1944, Oct. 22, 1944, Nov. 1, 1944, May 4,
Georg Hornauf, Otto Kanich, Erich Wulf, Walter Goseman, Karl Schnieder, August
Leichweiss, Hans Giesa, Gorg Hocke, Eric Heinrich, Heinze Glocke, Otto Ammersbach.
Ft. RENO -- This base camp was located a mile north of the El Reno Federal Reformatory
and a mile east of Ft. Reno. It opened July 1943 with a capacity of 1,020, but
by May 16, 1945, there were 1,523 POWs held. The camp closed April 15, 1946.
Two escapes and one death were reported.
(Jean Kyle) The POWs buried here are in their own area back of the Old Fort
Reno Cemetery. The Italians and Germans both have come back for a visit. Each
year a group of Italians come and place a wreath at this cemetery for their
El Reno American, El Reno, OK Jan. 21, 1943
El Reno Daily Tribute, El Reno, OK, Oct. 8, 1943
Karl Kaiser, Karl Hans
TONKAWA -- This camp was located north of Hwy. 60 and west of Public St. in
the SE1/4 of Section 26, on the north side of Tonkawa. It opened Aug. 30, 1943.
It began as a base camp, but was changed to a branch camp for Alva. With a capacity
of 3,000, at one time it confined 3,280. The camp closed Sept. 1, 1945. Eight
escapes and 2 deaths were reported.
Tonkawa News, Tonkawa, OK Sept. 24, 1942, Aug. 12, 1946
Conrad Witte, Herman Bottner, Karl Bucholz. One unnamed POW escaped and was
reported re-captured in France.
(Harriette Jenson) Kaw City News, Dec. 23, 1944
Tonkawa--Fire Tuesday morning damaged an enlisted men's barracks in the 348th
Military Police Escort Guard Company at the prisoner of war camp, it was announced
by the public relations office.
The board of officers examining the cause of the fire has made no statement,
but Fire Chief Thomas stated that he believes an overheated stove caused the
blaze, which was first noticed at 11:26 AM. The camp fire department, assisted
by military personnel at the camp, quickly extinguished the fire, which damaged
about three-fourths of the roof of the building.
Fire Chief Thomas complimented the soldiers who quickly removed all cots and
other items from the barracks. This rapid work, he said, prevented any damage
to furnishings. The fire started between the roof and the ceiling of the building
in the attic or "cock loft" and was confined to this area. It is the first
fire at the camp since it's construction.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- This camp site is now Will Rogers World Airport. It opened
May 23 1945, as a branch of Ft. Reno, confining 225 POWs and closed March 1,
PAULS VALLEY -- This was a mobile work camp from Camp Chaffee, AR POW camp,
and was located at N. Chickasha St. north of the Community Building. The camp
opened July 16, 1944, confined about 270 prisoners and closed Oct. 16, 1946.
The site is now Wacker Park in Pauls Valley.
GENE AUTRY -- The camp was adjacent to the town of Gene Autry, 13 miles NE of
Ardmore, at the Ardmore Army Air Field.. It opened June 1, 1945 and held between
200- 300 Prisoners. A branch of the Camp Howze, TX base camp, it closed Nov.
MADILL -- This was the administrative headquarters for several camps in the
area including Powell and Tishomingo. It opened April 23, 1943 in the old First
National Bank building and closed April 1, 1944. There were no prisoners confined
POWELL -- Located a short distance south of Powell, about 8 miles SW of Madill,
this camp opened April 29, 1943 as a branch of the Madill Provisional Internment
Camp Headquarters. It was transfered as a branch to Camp Howze, TX. Camp capacity
was 600 and it was kept full. The POWs cleared brush and trees from the bed
of Lake Texhoma, which was just being completed. It closed Sept. 1, 1944.
TISHOMINGO -- Located on old Hwy 99, north of the Washita River and south of
Tishomingo, this camp opened April 23, 1943. Originally a branch of Madill,
it later became a branch of Camp Howze, TX. With a capacity of 600, there were
only about 300 confined there. It closed June 13, 1944, and is the site of the
airport now. Two escapes were reported.
Madill Record, Madill OK, June 17, 1943, Aug. 29, 1943
Rudolph Arens, Jacob Braun. (They did not actually escape, but was left behind
when a truck transported the work crew back to Camp. They were found walking
back to camp.)
HICKORY -- Located 4 miles east of Hickory on the Horseshoe Ranch, this camp
opened June 1, 1944 and was a branch of Camp Howze, TX, with 13 prisoners. It
closed June 16, 1944. There was 1 escape.
Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, OK - May 1, 1944
Ludwig Dahner walked away from a ranch near Hickory.
KONAWA -- This was a work camp from the McAlester POW Camp. It opened Oct.
30, 1943 in the National Guard Armory, 3 blocks north of Main St. on North
St. 75-80 prisoners were housed here. It closed the fall of 1945. Prisoner
of War Cemetery (Calvary Cemetery), McAlester, OK, a Catholic facility
SEMINOLE -- This was another work camp from McAlester, located in the Municipal
Building on the NE corner of Main and Evans. It opened June 1, 1943 and confined
about 40 prisoners. Final closing date is unknown.
WEWOKA -- Located in the NYA Building on the fairgrounds on the east side of
Wewoka, and also a branch of McAlester, it opened Oct. 11. 1943. About 40 POWs
were confined here. Closing date is unknown. There were 3 reported escapes from
Seminole Producer, Seminole, OK May 4, 1944
Hans Rosenweig, 2 unnamed.
OKEMAH -- A branch of Camp Gruber, this camp was located in the National Guard
Armory on the NW corner of 6th and W Columbia. It opened Nov. 1, 1944, confined
130 prisoners and closed Nov. 16, 1945. Prisoner of War Cemetery, Camp Gruber,
OK (transferred to Ft. Sam Houston in TX after February 1947)
WETUMKA -- Located at the old CCC Camp n. Of Wetumpka along the south edge of
Sec. 15, this branch of Camp Gruber opened Aug. 16, 1944. 401 prisoners were
held there. The camp closed Nov. 16, 1945.
CADDO -- This was a work camp from Stringtown POW Camp. It opened July 1943
and was located in the school gymnasium. About 60 prisoners were held there.
The camp closed about a month later.
STRINGTOWN -- This camp was located at the Stringtown Correctional Facility.
It opened July 19, 1943 with a capacity of 500 and generally kept full. It closed
Jan 1. 1944. This was also the site of the Stringtown Alien Interment Camp.
McALESTER -- The site of the former McAlester Alien Internment Camp, it was
located in sec. 32, north of McAlester, no. of Electric St. and w. Of 15th.
It opened as a base camp June 3, 1943, with a capacity of 4,920. There were
about 3,000 prisoners confined there. During the last months, it held convalescing
patients from the Glennan General Hospital. It closed Oct. or Nov., 1945. There
were 13 escapes and 5 deaths, 4 natural and 1 suicide.
McAlester Democrat, McAlester, Ok April 5, 1945
Heinz Polter, Johann Schroeck, and 11 unnamed.
EUFAULA -- Located in the National Guard Armory at Front and Linden St. this
camp did not appear on formal PMG reports, but it's existance comes from interviews.
It was probably a work camp similar to the one at Caddo.
GLENNAN GENERAL HOSPITAL --This was a hospital for American Servicemen until
Aug. 1, 1944, when it became a hospital for treatment of POWs and a branch of
Camp Gruber. The staff were POWs with medical training. It specialized in amputations,
neurosurgery, chest surgery, plastic surgery and tuberclulosis treatment. Because
many POWs with serious injuries or sickness were sent here, 28 deaths were reported;
22 from natural causes, 6 as a result of battle wounds. The camp was closed
and reverted back to a hospital for American soldiers July 15, 1945. There were
3 escapes reported.
OKMULGEE -- Originally a branch of Alva, later a branch of Camp Gruber, it opened
Aug. 1, 1944 at the old fairgrounds on the no. Side of Okmulgee, east of Okmulgee
Ave. And north of Belmont. It confined about 300 prisoners and closed Jan. 15,
MORRIS -- This camp was located on the Watson Ranch, 5 miles north of Morris,
on Hwy. 52 and opened July 5, 1943. Originally a work camp from McAlester, later
a branch of Camp Gruber, it confined 20-40 prisoners working as ranch hands.
The camp closed Aug. 1, 1944.
(Mike Taylor)My parents lived 9 miles west of Okmulgee on Hwy. 56 in 1944/45.
Across the highway from our home was a National Guard site locally called "The
Rifle Range". During 1944/45, this site was used to house German Prisoners.
My folks had a dairy and farm and the National Guard would bring prisoners
to work for us, milk cows, hoe garden, or whatever. I have a picture of me
setting on one guy's lap. Mom and Dad said that that prisoner would always
ask if I
could help him and that he would spend hours with me each day. Being 3/4 at
that time, I do not remember any of it. Mom and Dad always gave them stuff
eat, milk, butter, corn, watermelon, etc. They said all of them were very friendly
and VERY thankful to be out of the conflict. None of them wanted to go back
to Germany after the war.
The Rifle Range is now on private property and only a very close inspection
will reveal it's past. There are still a few underground bunkers where ammunition
was stored, though the last time I was there, they had mostly collapsed. My
parents bought the land in the ‘50's and sold it in the late 60's. They kept
the mineral rights and Mom still gets a royality from it. I have hunted deer
many times on the property. Even saw some couger tracks there once!
Okmulgee Daily Times, Okmulgee, Ok - July 25, 1944, Feb. 22, 1945, Sept. 15,
Josef Lemier, Erhard Dietrich, Seigfried Klein, 2 unnamed.
BIXBY -- Located west of S. Mingo Rd. at 136th St and north of the Arkansas
River from Bixby, this branch of Camp Gruber opened April 1, 1944. There could
have been POWs in the area earlier, being trucked in daily from another camp.
It confined 250 prisoners and closed Dec. 15, 1945.
,b> Tulsa Tribune, Tulsa, OK - Aug. 30, 1944
PRYOR -- Opened Nov. 8, 1944 5 miles so. Of Pryor on the east side of Hwy. 69,
this base camp housed only officer POWs, with a few enlisted men and noncommissioned
officers, who served as their aides and maintained the camp. It closed March
8, 1945. There were 2 escapes, probably the reason for the closure. Placed at
an explosives plant, it was feared escaping POWs might committ sabotage. The
site now is the location of Mid American Industrial District.
(Jerri Rogers Chastain) There was a German/Italian POW Camp located inside the
6 mile square area which was assigned to the Dupont Smokeless Powder Plant between
Pryor and Chouteau in Mayes County. Many people here in Pryor were very concerned
about such a danerous facility hosting a POW camp, but I don't think there were
any attempts for sabatoge. While several prisoners did escape---they usually
headed north fast, but were recaptured. It was amazing to the local guards as
to the number of cars with tags from the N/E states who came each visiting day--
prisoner's family members who were U.S. citizens.
Pryor Jeffersonian, Pryor OK, March 15, 1945
Werner Gauger, Rudi Bussman
PORTER -- This branch camp opened Sept. 16, 1944 in the Community Building in
the center of Porter. It closed Nov. 16, 1945. There were 3 escapes, the prisoners
re-captured at Talihini.
Wagoner Record Democrat, Wagoner, OK - Oct. 25, 1944
Ferdinand Vogt, Eduard Theisinger, Hans Vesser
HASKELL -- A branch of Camp Gruber, it opened at the National Guard Armory,
Creek and Spruce Sts. Dec. 1, 1943. 275 prisoners were held here before it closed
Dec. 11, 1945.
BRAGGS -- Camp Gruber POW Camp was located 1 mile north on the west side of
Hwy. 10 across the road from Camp Gruber. It opened May 29, 1943 as a base camp
for a number of branch camps and had a capacity of 5,750. During it's time,
it confined up to 4,702 prisoners. It was the last POW camp in OK, closing May
1, 1946. There were 8 escapes and 4 deaths reported.
Muskogee Phoenix, Muskogee, Ok, - May 31, 1943, July 5, 194
Walter Vanderburg, Rudolph Langhammer, Herman Bottner, Wilhelm Ehrler, Albert
Pfahl, Otto Huehnle, Gustav Goetz, Guenther Kuhnike.
SALLISAW -- Located on the north side of Sallisaw, NW of N. Oak and E. Redwood
Sts., this camp did not appear in PMG reports. One interview reports it. The
prisoners lived in tents, the number unknown. It may have been the mobile work
camp from Camp Chaffee, AR that moved across OK and appeared at several locations.
There were 2 escapes reported.
Sequoyah County Times, Sallisaw, OK - July 14, 1944
Albert Kiel, Willie Koeppe
STILWELL -- A work camp from Camp Chaffee, AR was located at Candy Mink Springs
about 5 miles NE of Stilwell, June 16, 1944. About 200 prisoners were held here
and it closed July 8, 1944. There were 2 escapes reported. But they were captured
in Sallisaw. They may have been reported twice and are the 2 listed in the Sequoyah
County Times, above
Compiled, composed and copyright by Ethel Taylor
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Web page, 1998
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