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Roswell in Chaves County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Iron Cross

 
 
The Iron Cross Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
1. The Iron Cross Marker
Inscription.
During World War II a prisoner of war camp was established by the War Department near Orchard Park southeast of Roswell, which housed some 4800 German prisoners of war. On January 1, 1943, the first prisoners arrived here from the “Afrikacorps”, Rommelís men from the 8th Army.

From 1943 to 1946, during the incarceration of these POWs, the men worked as field hands on the many farms in Chaves County, as well as in the Artesia and Mayhill areas. In 1943 a 50-man detail worked on a flood-control project in Roswell by riprapping or laying rocks on the Spring River banks.

On the north bank between Pennsylvania and Kentucky Avenues the POWs used different size rocks to make an iron cross on the bank. Some Roswell citizens were incensed by this and poured five yards of concrete over the POWs handiwork. The concrete washed away over the years, and the Iron Cross is again clearly visible from this point.

 
Erected 2002 by Historic Preservation Committee, Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico, Inc.
 
Location. 33° 24.211′ N, 104° 31.589′ W. Marker is in Roswell, New Mexico, in Chaves County. Marker can be reached from West 10th Street 0.1 miles west of North Pennsylvania
The Iron Cross Marker (<i>inset photo</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
2. The Iron Cross Marker (inset photo)
This image (inset on the marker) shows German POW's working on the river bank in 1943.
Avenue. Touch for map. The marker is near the northwest corner of a large concrete deck overlooking Spring River, known as the Spring River Observation Point. This is a small public plaza at the northwest corner of the West 10th Street and North Pennsylvania Avenue intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Roswell NM 88201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Roswell and the New Deal (approx. 0.4 miles away); Continental Oil Company Station 1 (approx. half a mile away); Roswell's Military Institutes (approx. half a mile away); N.M. 200th Coast Artillery AA Regt. (approx. half a mile away); Chaves County Gulf War Monument (approx. half a mile away); Chaves County Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Roswell Pioneer Plaza (approx. half a mile away); Humble Beginnings (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roswell.
 
More about this marker. It is an engraved silver metal placard, permanently attached to the river fence railing, about waist high. It is positioned directly across Spring River from the original Iron Cross, now clearly visible in the stonework wall lining the river.
 
Also see . . .  Iron Cross built by German prisoners during WWII.
About 4800 prisoners of war were housed in a camp
The Iron Cross (<i>wide view across Spring River from the marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
3. The Iron Cross (wide view across Spring River from the marker)
from 1943 to 1946. (Submitted on May 8, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesWar, World II
 
The Iron Cross image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
4. The Iron Cross
Iron Cross Observation Point Placard image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
5. Iron Cross Observation Point Placard
Spring River & German POW Stone Work image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
6. Spring River & German POW Stone Work
Looking east from the marker toward North Pennsylvania Avenue
Spring River & German POW Stone Work image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
7. Spring River & German POW Stone Work
Looking west from the marker
The Iron Cross Observation Point image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 9, 2013
8. The Iron Cross Observation Point
Looking across Spring River from North Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Observation Point. The marker is on the fence railing (left side) and the Iron Cross is embedded in the river bank rock work (right side). Both are difficult to see from this perspective.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 3, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 793 times since then and 184 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 3, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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