Near Tonkawa in Kay County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
Site of German Prisoner of War Camp
World War II Jan. 1943 Sept. 1945
Site of German Prisoner of War Camp known as Camp Tonkawa – World War II – Jan. 1943 – Sept 1945
See other side for story
Between October and December 1942 more than 900 construction workers labored 24 hours a day to build Camp Tonkawa on the quarter section immediately north of this marker. SE1/4 Sec 28-26n-1w. The 160 acre site contained more than 180 wooden structures for 3,000 German P.O.W.s as well as 500 U.S. Army guard troops, service personnel and civilian employees. Activated in January 1943, the post received its first prisoners in August, German troops of Afrika Corps captured in North Africa.
The facility operated at or near capacity throughout its existence. Prisoners worked on area farms and ranches as well as at an alfalfa dryer plant in Tonkawa. In November 1943, a disturbance among the prisoners resulted in the death of a German soldier. Eight P.O.W.s escaped from the camp but all were re-captured. Camp Tonkawa closed in September 1945 and the P.O.W.s were returned to Europe.
Erected 2002 by
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World II. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1943.
Location. 36° 41.735′ N, 97° 18.157′ W. Marker is near Tonkawa, Oklahoma, in Kay County. Marker is at the intersection of West South Avenue and Oak Street, on the right when traveling west on West South Avenue. Marker is just northeast of the US-60 / US-77 interchange. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tonkawa OK 74653, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (approx. 2 miles away); Oklahoma Baptist College (approx. 7.4 miles away); Homesteaders (approx. 7.4 miles away); 100 Beautiful Years (approx. 7.4 miles away); Blackwell Zinc Company WWII Memorial (approx. 7.4 miles away); 101 Dairy Barn Vent from Dairy Barn (approx. 10.7 miles away); Two Old Potato Plows (approx. 10.7 miles away); "White House" (approx. 10.7 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on December 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 27, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,167 times since then and 422 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 27, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. 3. submitted on November 25, 2022, by Addam A Lewis of Surry, Virginia. 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 27, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.