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

Camp Hearne World War II Prisoner of War Camp

 
 
Camp Hearne, World War II POW Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, June 10, 2015
1. Camp Hearne, World War II POW Camp Marker
Inscription. During the Second World War, Allied troops captured large numbers of Axis soldiers and transported them to prisoner of war camps established throughout the United States. More than 70 camps in Texas housed some 50,000 prisoners. In March 1942, Herne Chamber of Commerce President Roy Henry contacted Congressman Luther Johnson to request that a camp be located here. Within a month, U.S. Army staff had inspected the area and selected 720 acres as a prison site.

Construction of the camp began in September, 1942, and was completed in six months. It was laid out in three sections, each of which included a mess hall, lavatory, company office and eight barracks. The first of almost 5,000 prisoners of war (POWs) arrived in June 1943. Most of the POWs housed here were non-commissioned officers (NCOs) of the famed German Afrika Korps captured in Tunisia. Because NCOs were not required to work in prison camps according to the Geneva Convention, they spent most of their time in recreational and educational activities while the bulk of the work in the camp fell to enlisted men who comprised about twenty percent of the prison population.

In 1944, Camp Hearne became the central mail distribution point for all German POWs in the U.S., but poor supervision allowed a small group of Nazi sympathizers to infiltrate the system
Camp Hearne, World War II POW Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, June 10, 2015
2. Camp Hearne, World War II POW Camp Marker
and intimidate and terrorize both prisoners and their families back in Germany until the scheme was discovered and the operation shut down in July 1945.

A few hundred Japanese prisoners were brought here in the summer of 1945 shortly before the end of the war. All POWs were gone and the camp closed by January 1946.
 
Erected 2003 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14755.)
 
Location. 30° 53.143′ N, 96° 37.186′ W. Marker is near Hearne, Texas, in Robertson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Farm to Market Road 485 and Fairground Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Drive west on FM 485 out of Hearne. Turn left at the "POW Camp" sign and the right on first road. Marker is on left in front of brick building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12299 Fairground Road, Hearne TX 77859, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Port Sullivan (approx. 4.9 miles away).
 
Regarding Camp Hearne World War II Prisoner of War Camp. The Camp Hearne Museum is in the reconstructed barracks building across the road from the marker.
 
Also see . . .  German Prisoners of War article in Handbook of Texas
Reconstructed barracks and tower at Camp Hearne image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, June 10, 2015
3. Reconstructed barracks and tower at Camp Hearne
Barracks contains a very nice museum.
. (Submitted on June 24, 2015, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas.)
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesWar, World II
 
Model of Camp Hearne in the museum building. image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, June 10, 2015
4. Model of Camp Hearne in the museum building.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 24, 2015, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 460 times since then and 161 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 24, 2015, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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