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MEXIA, Texas (AP) _ A group of 23 Germans who served as officers during World War II returned Tuesday to the prison camp where they were held more than 40 years ago, and compared experiences with the Texans who guarded them. The U.S. Army began building POW camps in the United States in early 1942 for captured Axis prisoners. During World War II, over 50,000 German prisoners of war were interned in camps throughout Texas. Marker Text: Camp Huntsville, completed here in 1942, was one of the first prisoner of war (POW) camps built in the U.S. during World War II. The POWs … The former prisoners of war said they decided to visit this central Texas town to strengthen the friendship between the United States and West Germany. Designed to house 3,000 POWs, it had more than 400 buildings, as well as eight branch camps. Not much of Fort Crockett exists today. The second largest such camp built in the US, the US Army Corp of Engineers oversaw the camp's construction at a total cost of two million dollars. Camps brought the war close to home: This brought back memories of my childhood days in Galveston-standing within a handshake of the German POWs on … Camp Huntsville served as one the first and largest POW camps in Texas. During World War II, Texas hosted 79 prisoner of war camps, one of which—located in Hereford—held over 5,000 Italian POWs captured in North Africa. This display will be completed in the next few months with a … Texas housed roughly 50,000 of these POWs in 70 camps throughout the state. A total of 650 POWs were detained at the camp until it was deactivated in 1946. The first POWs, part of Germany's Afrika Corps, arrived in spring 1943, and by fall the population peaked at 4840. Five thousand of those soldiers ended up at Camp Hearne, a seven hundred and twenty acre site in the Brazos Trail Region community of Hearne. Some of the gun batterys still exist in front of the San Luis hotel. The Camp Hearne Historic Site provides a glimpse of in the life of German and later Japanese prisoners of war during World War II. That is the location I have chosen to mark as the coordinates. (Arkansas National Guard Museum) Huntsville was the first camp to open, built from scratch and fully outfitted to comply with Geneva Convention requirements for warm and hygienic living quarters, access to medical treatment, provisions for libraries and other intellectual activities, and open spaces that encouraged physical … While imprisoned, POWs contributed to local agricultural industry in exchange for Prisoner-of-war camps in the United States during World War II.. The nearby Texas A&M Fort Crockett campus sits on some of the land where the fort stood. 1942: War officials in Great Britain are in crisis. During World War II, the Army shipped almost 425,000 military prisoners to 511 camps in the U.S. In the United States, at the end of World War II, there were 175 Branch Camps serving 511 Area Camps containing over 425,000 prisoners of war (mostly German).The camps were located all over the US but were mostly in the South because of the higher expense of heating the barracks in other areas. Camp Swift in Bastrop County operated a number of branch camps along the Texas Coast, and in 1943 Camp Wharton was established at this site. German POWs sit for mealtime at a camp in Hearne, Texas. The Case: A resident of Hearne, Texas recently heard rumors that a German POW camp was based in her town during World War II. Fair organizer sold the land to the county in 1942. Camp Hearne was one of the earliest and largest prisoner of war camps in the United States, and was in operation during the early to mid-1940s. 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