California Travel Tips

American Prisoner of War Camps in California

Published on: April 10, 2019


Nationwide, more than 428,000 POWs were in Continental US camps during WWII. German, Italian and Japanese Prisoners of War were housed in a total of 110 California POW camps and hospitals–59 in the North and 51 in the South.

Historian Kathy Kirkpatrick, author of two fascinating books — “American Prisoner of War Camps in Northern California” and “American Prisoner of War Camps in Southern California” — tells the American POW story from a national and state perspective.

The author even has a Death Index, Burial Locations List, Museums & Website Roster and Indexes to assist you in your search to find information about where the German, Italian and Japanese POWs were located.

These well-documented books include bibliographies, enabling you to research further about ancestors, friends and others.

“Historian Kirkpatrick is to be commended for her tireless effort to bring history alive and preserve it for future generations,” says historian Craig MacDonald. Read his book review…>

Fascinating Facts

  • Many California counties had Prisoner of War camps.
  • German & Italian Americans were given permission to hire POWs to work on their farms, in their canneries and at other businesses.
  • ¬†The majority of prisoners in California were Germans.


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