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.

WOODS

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 security 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 only about 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 an escape.
Alva Camp
Alva 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.

KIOWA

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 there again.

TILMAN


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.

COMANCHE

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.

GRADY

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 escapes.

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, 1945.
Georg Hornauf, Otto Kanich, Erich Wulf, Walter Goseman, Karl Schnieder, August Leichweiss, Hans Giesa, Gorg Hocke, Eric Heinrich, Heinze Glocke, Otto Ammersbach.

CANADIAN

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 fallen comrades.

El Reno American, El Reno, OK Jan. 21, 1943

El Reno Daily Tribute, El Reno, OK, Oct. 8, 1943
Karl Kaiser, Karl Hans

KAY

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
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, 1946.

GARVIN

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.

CARTER

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. 1, 1945.

MARSHALL

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 here.

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.

JOHNSTON

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.)

PONTOTOC

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.

SEMINOLE

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 State 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 these camps.

Seminole Producer, Seminole, OK May 4, 1944
Hans Rosenweig, 2 unnamed.

OKFUSKEE

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)

HUGHES

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.

BRYAN

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.

ATOKA

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.

PITTSBURG

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.

McINTOSH

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.

OKMULGEE

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, 1946.

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 over 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 to 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, 1945
Josef Lemier, Erhard Dietrich, Seigfried Klein, 2 unnamed.

TULSA

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
Heinrich Eich

MAYES

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

WAGONER

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


MUSKOGEE

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.

SEQUOYAH

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

ADAIR

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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