Fort Sill (detention facility)


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US Gov Name Fort Sill Internment Camp
Facility Type U.S. Army Internment Camp
Administrative Agency U.S. Army
Location Fort Sill, Oklahoma (34.6167 lat, -98.3667 lng)
Date Opened
Date Closed June 24, 1942
Population Description Held approximately 700 Japanese immigrants from the continental U.S., plus three German nationals.
General Description Located in Comanche County, 3 miles north of Lawton, Oklahoma, southwest of Oklahoma City. The camp saw unusually strong windstorms in the spring and scorching hot temperatures in the summer.
Peak Population 707 (1942-05-04)
National Park Service Info
  • In April 1942 windstorms blew so strong that internees often stayed up all night to prevent their tents from collapsing. The internees also suffered through 100 degree temperatures during the summer with no shade to escape the heat.
  • Fort Sill was run in strict military fashion. The guard towers were equipped with 30-caliber machine guns, shotguns, and searchlights. The internees slept in four-man tents and were forbidden from resting during the day.
  • On May 13, 1942, a mentally ill internee was shot dead by guards who claimed that he was trying to escape. (See Homicide in camp.)