Digging holes here and there in American history.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013


     I recently visited one of the 750 prisoner of war camps established in the United States during World War II.  While there's not much left of Camp Monticello, Arkansas, many of the features of the facility are still evident in a thick pine forest.  Most WWII POW camps in the U.S. have been completely razed with no trace remaining.
     Camp Monticello housed Italian prisoners of war captured in North Africa and Italy.  Other camps housed German prisoners and the few Japanese who allowed themselves to be captured.
     After the war, most camps were dismantled immediately, with the buildings provided to other government entities or sold to the public.
      Here are some photos from my exploration:
POW camps were like small cities, with their own  utilities--water, electricity, sewer system.  Camp Monticello is dotted  with fire hydrants and other remnants of infrastructure.

      See more and enlarge the photos...

Chimney for the boilers servicing the huge hospital complex.  You can pass within a  few yards of this brick monster and completely miss it.

What's left of one of the hospital buildings.

Base of the camp's water tower.

Miles of barbed wire that once topped the double fence around the camp.
Odds are that if you live in the South or Midwest, you are within a few miles of a former WWII prisoner of war camp.  Here's a list of the major camps, many of which had numerous branch camps in the surrounding area:  List of U.S. WWII POW Camps

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