Lordsburg (detention facility)

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US Gov Name Lordsburg Internment Camp
Facility Type U.S. Army Internment Camp
Administrative Agency U.S. Army
Location Lordsburg, New Mexico (32.3500 lat, -108.7000 lng)
Date Opened June 15, 1942
Date Closed 1944
Population Description Held internees of Japanese ancestry transferred from numerous U.S. Army- and Departmen of Justice-run internment camps; also held German nationals, German and Japanese prisoners of war (POWs), as well as U.S. Army soldiers who had been convicted of various offenses.
General Description Located on 1,300 acres of desert land near Lordsburg in southwest New Mexico.
Peak Population 2,500
National Park Service Info
  • Held the U.S. Army's largest number of Issei internees with the population peaking at 1,500.
  • On July 27, 1942, Toshio Kobata and Hirota Isomura, two elderly Issei internees, were shot and killed by a guard who claimed they were running towards the fence to escape. The guard was tried and found not guilty by an army court-martial board even after many internees testified that Kobata and Isomura were both physically disabled. (See Homicide in camp .)
  • On August 10, 1942, representatives from the U.S. State Department and Spanish Consulate visited at the request of internees who had been protesting work conditions since June. The Lordsburg military commander, Colonel Lundy, had been ordering internees to build military facilities in harsh conditions and without pay, a violation of the Geneva Convention. Protests had been met with threats and arrests.

For More Information

Culley, John J. "Trouble at the Lordsburg Internment Camp." New Mexico Historical Review 60.3 (July 1985): 225-48.

Litoff, Judy Barrett, and David C. Smith, eds. Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from American Women on the Home Front . New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. [Includes the letters of Somoko U. Iwata at Poston to her husband Shigezo at the Lordsburg Internment Camp.]

Last updated Oct. 5, 2020, 5:47 p.m..