Dade City in Pasco County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Site of World War II Prisoner of War Camp
The demands of World War II created a shortage of agricultural workers here at home. To alleviate the problem, the Prisoner of War Special Projects Division of the United States Army established some 500 camps with a total capacity of 378,000 prisoners to supply laborers.
Camp Blanding, near Starke, was headquarters for the 22 Prisoner of War camps in Florida, with the Dade City camp being designated Branch Camp No. 7. Before the assignments were made, U.S. officials picked out the hard core Nazi party members for placement at locations away from the rank and file prisoners. Operations began here in March 1944, and the camp housed an average of 250 men-many from Rommel's famed Afrika Korps-during its two-year existence.
Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this camp had a three-tent mess hall which was also used for church services, classes and movies; a canteen attached to a small day room; a larger day room with table tennis and a piano; sleeping quarters and latrines.
The prisoners (PWs) worked at Dade City's Pasco Packing Association at the McDonald Mine in Brooksville where they made limestone bricks for Pasco Packing Building No. 7, and at Cummer Sons Cypress Mill in Lacoochee. They were paid local prevailing wages for their labor
Although guarded by U.S. officers, the PWs were under the command of a German officer. Religious needs were met by the minister of the Zion Lutheran Church of Tampa and priests from nearby Saint Leo Abbey.
Several who were incarcerated here have kept in touch by letter, a few have returned for nostalgic visits and many fondly recall the care they received here during this difficult time.
Erected 1995 by Pasco Board of County Commissioners and The Historical Preservation Committee.
Location. 28° 22.117′ N, 82° 11.08′ W. Marker is in Dade City, Florida, in Pasco County. Marker is on Martin Luther King Blvd 0.1 miles east of Lakeland Road (U.S. 98), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dade City FL 33525, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dade City Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Jones' Nursing Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church (approx. Atlantic Coast Line Depot (approx. ¼ mile away); Dade City Atlantic Coast Line Depot (approx. ¼ mile away); Pasco County (approx. 0.4 miles away); Whitehouse (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dade City.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Military • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 19, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. This page has been viewed 3,839 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 19, 2008, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.