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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Tonkawa in Kay County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
 

Camp Tonkawa

Site of German Prisoner of War Camp

 

—World War II — Jan. 1943 – Sept. 1945 —

 
Camp Tonkawa Marker <i>(front)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
1. Camp Tonkawa Marker (front)
Inscription. (front)
Site of German Prisoner of War Camp known as Camp Tonkawa – World War II – Jan. 1943 – Sept 1945
See other side for story

(back)
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 Tonkawa Historical Society.
 
Location. 36° 41.735′ N, 97° 18.157′ W. Marker is near Tonkawa, Oklahoma, in Kay County
Camp Tonkawa Marker <i>(back)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
2. Camp Tonkawa Marker (back)
. Marker is at the intersection of West South Avenue and Oak Street, on the right when traveling west on West South Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is just northeast of the US-60 / US-77 interchange. Marker is in this post office area: Tonkawa OK 74653, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (approx. 2 miles away).
 
Categories. War, World II
 
Camp Tonkawa Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
3. Camp Tonkawa Marker
Camp Tonkawa Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
4. Camp Tonkawa Marker
POW Marker Committee image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 1, 2012
5. POW Marker Committee
Evelyn Scoles Coyle
Rex D. Ackerson
Helen Furber Cathey
Roy C. Fath
Nancy Borst Hutchison
Marilee Helton
Terry A. White
Related artifacts displayed at
McCarter Museum of Tonkawa History.
Original base for the
entrance gate post.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 8, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 27, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 402 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 27, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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