Fort Stanton (detention facility)

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US Gov Name Fort Stanton Internment Camp
Facility Type Department of Justice Internment Camp
Administrative Agency U.S. Department of Justice
Location Fort Stanton, New Mexico (33.4833 lat, -105.5167 lng)
Date Opened
Date Closed
Population Description Mostly held German nationals and German seamen from the luxury liner Columbus captured in U.S. waters in 1939. Also held those considered by the Department of Justice to be the most "troublesome" Japanese internees: ten Nisei and Kibei "renunciants" and seven Issei transferred from the Santa Fe internment camp.
General Description Located in isolated southern New Mexico in Lincoln County, 35 miles north of Ruidoso. Fort Stanton was originally established in 1855 and was used in 1899 as a tuberculosis sanatorium.
Peak Population
National Park Service Info


  • This high-security facility contained two segregated sub-camps, one for the internees of Japanese descent and the other for thirty-one Germans also labeled "troublemakers" by the Department of Justice (DOJ). There were more guards and greater restrictions here than at any other DOJ-run camp. The internees of Japanese ancestry arrived March 10, 1945, and by October 10, 1945, they were transferred to Terminal Island, California, and repatriated to Japan.
  • The exact location of the seventeen internees of Japanese descent was kept secret by the DOJ who referred to Fort Stanton as "Japanese Segregation Camp Number 1." The internees' mail was sent to and from the Santa Fe internment camp located 200 miles north.
  • Motomu Akashi's Betrayed Trust: The Story of a Deported Issei and His American-Born Family During World War II (Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2004) describe his father Sanae Akashi's internment at Japanese Segregation Camp #1 at Fort Stanton.

Last updated June 19, 2020, 3:30 p.m..