UNITED STATES ARMY INTERNMENT FACILITIES



In addition to Department of Justice facilities, the US government used U.S. Army posts to hold internees. This was especially true at the beginning of the war, when there were many arrests and no good place to put the internees. At least 18 Army facilities were used to hold German internees, including two internment sites at Sand Island and Honouliuli in Hawaii. One, in Stringtown, Oklahoma, was actually a state prison.

Conditions at these locations were generally harsh. The Army administered the camps with frequently unwarranted vigor because they viewed their wards as the enemy. Most camps had double fences and guard towers with armed guards. Of the many camps where Germans were held, several are featured below. Eventually, Army sites had to be used to house Axis prisoners of war, and the internees were moved to INS facilities. Most internees were transferred to multiple sites during their years of internment. This made it hard for their families to communicate with them, and the internees wondered constantly what would happen to them next.

a pile of wood planks, men working, and square huts with tented roofs

Camp Blanding, Starke, Florida

Upon learning from Guatemalan internees that Camp Blanding in Starke, Florida was used as a detention facility during World War […]
photograph of guard tower, with barbed wire and huts in background

Camp Forrest, Tullahoma, Tennessee

Camp Forrest was located in Tullahoma, Tennessee, a rural area approxi-mately 70 miles south of Nashville. Its tenure as a […]
overview of a tent "city" behind barbed wire fences

Camp Honouliuli, O’ahu, Hawaii

In Hawai’i a number of camps housed enemy aliens, either temporarily or more permanently. Kilauea Military Camp on the island […]
one story buildings in the snow with two barbed wire fences on perimeter

Camp McCoy, Sparta, Wisconsin

Camp McCoy was first formed as the “Sparta Maneuver Tract” in 1909. It became Camp McCoy” in 1926 and since […]
sketch of guard tower

Fort Meade, Maryland

Ft. George Meade was a US Army military post located southwest of Baltimore in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. It apparently […]
rows of tents (internee housing), with dirt road and barbed wire fences

Sand Island, O’ahu Hawaii

A former INS quarantine station off the coast of Honolulu, O’ahu was converted into the Sand Island Detention Center in […]
two story building with bell tower, surrounded by chain link fence

Stringtown, Oklahoma

During the early months of World War II, and after initial processing, many internees were sent to the prison in […]