Near Gila River in Pinal County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Gila River Internment Center - Rivers, Arizona
The Gila River Indian community brought claims against the United States in 1971 for failure to comply with the terms of the permit agreed to in 1942. Damages were finally awarded to the community in 1976.
The War Relocation Authority designated this site as Rivers, Arizona in honor of Jim Rivers, the first Pima Indian killed in action during World War I.
The center was closed in November, 1945 and Rivers, Arizona became only a name in history. The former internees, The Arizona Chapter of Japanese American Citizens, League and Friends who organized and funded these commemoratives, sincerely appreciate the permission and cooperation of the Gila River Indian Community in allowing these dedications.
Canal High School graduated 97 seniors in 1944. The schools in both camps were accredited by the Sate of Arizona. Canal High published a bi-weekly newspaper "High Tide" and an annual year book called "Rivulet".
Over 1,100 loyal citizens from both camps served in the U. S. Armed Services. A plaque honoring those that served and those that died for their country is located at the Butte Camp Memorial.
Up to 8,000 acres adjacent to the Canal Camp were farmed growing 42 different varieties of vegetables as well as live stock. A dehydration plant, a cannery and vegetable packing shed were also located near the Canal Camp. Nearly 1,000 internees from both camps worked on the farms.
Canal Camp was closed in October, 1945.
July 20, 1942 November 16, 1945
Four and one half miles south of this location, remains what was the Gila River Internment Center.
Displays, panels and photographs can be found inside the Museum of the Arts and Crafts Center as well as monuments located at the two camp sites. These stand as constant reminders that we must be ever vigilant that constitutional rights are protected for all in our struggle for a more perfect union.
The main center hospital was located at Butte Camp with an annex and clinic located at Canal Camp. The hospital had a 250 bed capacity. Five churches of Buddhist and Christian denominations were established. Other services such as a canteen, shoe repair shop, etc. were also available.
Butte High School graduated 136 seniors in 1944. The high school published a newspaper "Desert Sentinal" and an annual year book called "Years Flight." A total of 872 students graduated high school from both camps in 1943, 1944, and 1945.
The center newspaper "Gila News Courier" was published up to tri-weekly with a Japanese section and was operated by the internees.
The Butte camp and the Gila River Internment Center were officially closed on November 16, 1945.
The Monument committee gratefully acknowledges the permission granted by the Gila River Indian Community to erect these monuments on their land.
They fight for freedom not for fame
Upon his will he binds a radiant
Vet honor claims them as her own
chain for freedom's sake he is no longer free
While their families were interred at Gila River, many U. S. Citizens of Japanese ancestry volunteered to serve or were inducted into the U. S. Military services. They fought on both the European and Pacific fronts in defense of the United States. Sacrifices were made by these
This monument honors all those who served in the U.S. Military during World War II. It was originally dedicated on April 23, 1944 with 458 names. When the center was closed in November 1945 over 1,100 internees had entered the Military Services.
The following list names some of the service men who gave their lives. Some names may be unlisted by choice while others were not located, but they are all equally honored.
Araki, Pfc. Masashi Fujino, S/Sgt. Russel Furukawa, Pvt. Tatsumi Hasimoto, Sgt. John Hiyama, Pvt. Yeiichi Ishida, Pvt, Min Kanada, Pvt. James Kojaku, Pfc. Shaw Komoto, Pfc. Nobuo Kondo, Pvt. Henry Kurokawa, T/4 Ben Masuda, S/Sgt. Kazuo Masumoto, Pfc. George Nishi, Pfc. Takanori Ota, Pvt. George Otani, S/Sgt. Kazuo CMH Sakohira, Pfc. Todd Shikata. T/3 George Takasugi, T/Sgt. Katsumi Teramoto, Sgt. Toshiaki Wakita, Pfc. Masuo Yeto, Pvt. Misuru Yoshihara, Pvt. Makoto
Erected 1995 by Arizona Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native Americans • War, World II.
Location. 33° 7.05′ N, 111° 51.133′ W. Marker is near Gila River, Arizona, in Pinal County. Marker can be reached from Casa Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bapchule AZ 85121, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. In Memory of the Men of St. Peter's Mission (approx. 1.9 miles away); Gila River Indian Reservation (approx. 6½ miles away); Gadsden Purchase (approx. 6½ miles away); Dedicated to Ira H. Hayes USMC (approx. 6.7 miles away); Dedicated to the Memory of Matthew B. Juan (approx. 6.7 miles away); Honoring Native American Women Veterans (approx. 6.7 miles away); Military Order Purple Heart of the U.S.A. (approx. 6.7 miles away); a different marker also named Gila River Indian Reservation (approx. 7.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gila River.
Regarding Gila River Internment Center - Rivers, Arizona. The Canal and Butte Camps sites are sacred to the tribe; therefore public access is restricted. "No Trespassing" signs are posted and a permit must be obtained from the Gila River Indian Tribe to visit either site.
Additional keywords. Japanese WWII Internment Camps
Credits. This page was last revised on May 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 5,244 times since then and 134 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on August 17, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.