Camp McCoy (detention facility)


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US Gov Name Camp McCoy Internment Camp
Facility Type U.S. Army Internment Camp
Administrative Agency U.S. Army
Location Camp McCoy, Wisconsin (44.0167 lat, -90.6833 lng)
Date Opened March 1, 1942
Date Closed
Population Description Held Japanese immigrants from Hawai'i; German and Italian nationals; and Japanese and German prisoners of war (POWs).
General Description Located 9 miles west of Tomah and 92 miles northwest of Madison, Wisconsin.
Peak Population 293 (1942-03-01)
National Park Service Info
  • This camp was initially chosen by the U.S. Army because of its location on the Chicago and Northwestern Railway lines.
  • The first group of approximately 172 Issei internees from Hawai'i to be shipped to the mainland were held at Camp McCoy from early March to late May 1942. Issei internee Kumaji Furuya devotes a chapter of his memoirs to his time there; see Suikei Furuya, Haisho tenten (Honolulu: Hawai taimususha, 1964). An English translation of this book will be published by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i in 2013.
  • After the Issei internees were transferred back to Department of Justice (DOJ) camps in 1943, this facility was briefly converted into a training center for the 100th Infantry Battalion.
  • During the later years of the war, Camp McCoy was also used to hold 4,000 Japanese and German prisoners of war (POWs)—soldiers captured and brought to the U.S. There were fourteen escape attempts by the Japanese POWs; all were recaptured.