Youngstown in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Fort Niagara's P.O.W. Camp
prisoner of war (POW) camp
on June 12, 1944, to house Axis captives from increased Allied victories in World War II. One of 500 such camps in the United States, Fort Niagara became the central command post for 13 branch camps throughout western and central New York. Although the camp could hold up to 3,000 prisoners, there were never more than 2,200 here at one time.
Prisoners were put to work on farms and in food processing plants to combat labor shortages. Fort Niagara prisoners were treated fairly. They were allowed to organize their own school, orchestra, choir, sports activities, and pursue artistic interests. Fort Niagara began to release prisoners in late 1945, some stayed until 1946.
Ernst Wills was born on September 28, 1916. He was captured by Canadian forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944, during the Allied invasion of France in World War II. While a prisoner of war at Fort Niagara, he painted a mural entitled American History for the Bachelor Officer Quarters. He also painted portraits of officers and inmates at Fort Niagara. After the war he had great success as an artist in Europe. American culture, especially jazz music, influenced his painting style.
Location. Click for map. This historical marker is located a short drive north of the downtown Youngstown area, in the Fort Niagara State Park, a short distance north of the park entrance, and very near the parking for one of the many soccer fields. Marker is in this post office area: Youngstown NY 14174, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. POW Camp - WW II (within shouting distance of this marker); St. John's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Niagara's Rifle Range (approx. 0.3 miles away); Site of Salt Battery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Capture of Fort George (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Battle of La Belle Famille (approx. 0.4 miles away); Betsy Doyle (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Site of El Dorado Hotel (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Youngstown.
Also see . . . Fort Niagara Prisoner of War Camp. This is a link to information provided by the Info-Poland a clearinghouse of information about Poland, Polish Universities, Polish Studies, etc. (Submitted on August 7, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, World II •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 330 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.