Alexandria in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
WW II: A Battle Fought at Home and Abroad
Under the MIS-Y program, the military utilized Fort Hunt as the nation's primary Joint Interrogation Center (JIC). At this location, known at the time only as P.O. Box 1142, Army and Navy personnel interrogated Axis prisoners-of-war (POWs) who possessed special strategic or technical information. Roughly 4,000 prisoners were questioned at Fort Hunt between 1942-1946. The War Department called the camps Temporary Detention Centers or Detained Interrogation Centers, not POW Camps, because the Geneva Convention of 1929 required certain rights and privileges for POWs which would interfere with interrogation strategies.
As a component of the MIS-X program, Fort Hunt military personnel sent secret escape devices concealed inside humanitarian aid or "care packages" to American POWs in Europe. This operation was so secret that not even the fort commander knew of its existence; only the President, a few top officials, and limited staff had knowledge of the program. American POWs were notified in advance about incoming packages via coded letters. Within the care packages, a prisoner might find a
Battery Commander's Station
The tower to your right, the Battery Commander's Station, served as the "nerve center" of fort operations during the turn of the century. From the tower, with the help of range-finding and sighting equipment, military personnel could spot enemy ships approaching the fort. Once a target was identified, staff relayed its coordinates to others at adjacent gun batteries.
Completed: August 1901
Dimension: 16.5 feet wide (base only) x 16.5 feet deep (base only) x 26.5 feet high.
Be safe and help us protect our cultural heritage
• Stay on designated paths. Please watch your step. Historic surfaces are uneven and may be damp or slippery. Use handrails when climbing stairs.
• Climbing on or attempting to access restricted areas of historic structures is unsafe and may damage park resources.
• It is illegal to remove anything from Fort Hunt Park. Everything is protected so you and future generations may enjoy these historic resources.
Erected by George Washington Memorial Highway - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 42.939′ N, 77° Touch for map. Located in Fort Hunt Park, a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway administered by the National Park Service. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22308, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. P.O. Box 1142 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In Support of American Defense (about 400 feet away); Civilian Conservation Corps (about 400 feet away); People and the Land (about 400 feet away); Fort Hunt Park (about 400 feet away); Beyond What You See Today (about 600 feet away); Battery Sater (approx. ¼ mile away); Protecting America's Legacy (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Also see . . .
1. P.O. Box 1142. National Parks Conservation Association article about the World War II activity. While most of the projects were declassified decades ago, only recently have veterans stepped forward to speak about the work. (Submitted on March 26, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Fort Hunt Park. NPS site with more history of Fort Hunt and details about the park. (Submitted on March 26, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 26, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,680 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 26, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.