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  1. #1

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    I mention this because it's been largely forgotten in the communities where enemy POWs were held, and because I once lived for a few of years as a youngster on a small farm located only a few hundred yards from the Italian PW camp in Portales.

    Just adjacent to our fence was a trench partially covered where we kids would find all manner of half-finished crafts such as hand-made metal cigarette cases, wood carvings, tin cans elaborately twisted or cut and riveted and designed as ashtrays, lamp bottoms etc. created by the PWs to to trade with local residents for things the PW camp didn't furnish them such as cigarettes. Evidently when the Peace was signed with the Italians the camp emptied out quickly and the PWs were shipped out with whatever they could carry, leaving just about everything in the camp that wasn't of obvious value to be discarded.

    I think there might still be a lot of that sort of thing to be found in the areas surrounding that and other PW camps in NM by people with good metal detectors.

    Here are the PW campsites in NM I've been able to learn anything about, though there were evidently a number of others.

    If you're interested in such things this might give you a leg-up to help you researching more exact locations:

    Lordsburg

    Japanese Internment Camp
    German and Italian POW Camp

    Roswell

    German PWs mostly from Gen. Rommel's elite Afrika Korps

    Las Cruces
    600 Prisoners German and Italian

    Portales
    Italian PWs - Currently County Fairgrounds - stone barracks are used for livestock show entries


    List of POW camps in the United States
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._United_States
    http://snipurl.com/2aau5 [en_wikipedia_org]

    Camp Albuquerque New Mexico
    Camp Albuquerque was an American World War II POW camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico that housed Italian and German prisoners of war. From this branch camp, the POWs did mostly farm labor, from 1943 to 1946. Most of these POWs were transferred from Camp Roswell, which was a base or main POW camp for New Mexico. Camp Lordsburg, New Mexico, and Camp El Paso, Texas, were also base camps.

    Camp Deming
    Georg Gärtner escaped on 21 September 1945, and finally surrendered in 1985. He was the last, and had remained at large for 40 years.
    New Mexico

    Camp Las Cruces
    Werner Paul Lueck escaped in November 1945, and was recaptured in Mexico City in 1954.
    Las Cruces, New Mexico

    Camp Lordsburg
    1942-1945: held Japanese American internees, and then German/Italian POWs.

    Camp Roswell
    1942-1946: German POWs.
    Roswell, New Mexico (14 miles SE of town)

    Camp Santa Fe New Mexico
    Fort Sumner New Mexico


    http://www.newmexicohistory.org/forums/?threadID=0156
    http://snipurl.com/2aaue [www_newmexicohistory_org]
    Major German Prisoner of WarInternment Camps in the United States
    http://uboat.net/men/pow/pow_in_america_stats.htm

    Italian POW Camps in the USA
    http://www.gentracer.com/powcamps.html
    http://snipurl.com/2aauj [www_gentracer_com]


    Alamogordo, New Mexico (branch camp under Ft. Bliss, TX)
    Anthony, New Mexico (branch camp under Ft. Bliss, TX)
    Camp Lordsburg, Lordsburg, New Mexico 88045
    Camp Roswell, Orchard Park, New Mexico
    Deming, New Mexico (branch camp under Ft. Bliss, TX)
    Fort Bayard, New Mexico (branch camp under Ft. Bliss, TX)
    Hatch, New Mexico (branch camp under Ft. Bliss, TX)









  2. #2
    pw
    Apr 2003
    New Mexico
    BS
    2,850
    1162 times

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    The German POW's at Fort Bayard constructed many of the improvements at the National Cemetery there. They were more under 'house arrest' than incarcerated, most of them being young soldiers more or less conscripted into service in the homeland during WWII. A number of them developed strong friendships and bonds with the locals during their captivity and when released, wanted to remain in the area but reluctantly were required to return to Europe. Some of the locals in SW New Mexico grew fond of them and tried to sponser an effort to allow them to stay, but to no avail.
    ​Adios, amigos - it's been interesting.







  3. #3

    May 2008
    new mexico
    6000xlpro
    200
    1 times

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    Not sure whats left of it since i left there but also Hobbs new mexico has an old air base there. It was also used to train pilots for wwII. wasnt much left there when i was there but foundations and one or two old hangers. found tons of silver where the old theater was on base. but that was about the only spot i hit. Know they have built a prison now and a casino....... prob needed the prison because of the casino.. but not sure it was built on the spot of the old air base.

  4. #4

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    Springfield and al nm - Good helpful info. Thanks for adding to the database.

    Gracias
    Jack

  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2007
    New Mexico
    White's MXT
    85

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    Thanks for all the posts Highmountain. They are well researched and a wealth of information. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good work...HH

  6. #6

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by OroGrande
    Thanks for all the posts Highmountain. They are well researched and a wealth of information. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good work...HH
    Thanks Oro:

    I always enjoy your posts also.

    Jack

  7. #7
    us
    Aug 2007
    Spotsylvania, VA
    X-terra 70 Sovereign GT WolfPack
    1,223
    22 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    One of my uncles was a guard at the Deming facility way back when. Unfortunately I found this out while attending his funeral last May. His oldest son has a .22 caliber pistol that looks just like a German luger but it isn't. It was given to my uncle by an Army captain for giving him a ride into town!!! My cousin has some amazing pictures of the area . I'll see if he lets me borrow them so that I can post them.
    Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. Vietnam # 10 G.I Wolfpack

  8. #8

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnycat
    One of my uncles was a guard at the Deming facility way back when. Unfortunately I found this out while attending his funeral last May. His oldest son has a .22 caliber pistol that looks just like a German luger but it isn't. It was given to my uncle by an Army captain for giving him a ride into town!!! My cousin has some amazing pictures of the area . I'll see if he lets me borrow them so that I can post them.
    During the '50s all the Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines used to have a .22 pistol called a Stoeger Lugar for sale for $19.95 mail order. Sounds as though it's the grandson of the one you've described, or Stoeger might have been manufacturing them before WWII. I had one of the 50ish versions... terrible firearm. Jammed every third round that went through it.

    Jack

  9. #9
    us
    Aug 2007
    Spotsylvania, VA
    X-terra 70 Sovereign GT WolfPack
    1,223
    22 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by Highmountain
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnycat
    One of my uncles was a guard at the Deming facility way back when. Unfortunately I found this out while attending his funeral last May. His oldest son has a .22 caliber pistol that looks just like a German luger but it isn't. It was given to my uncle by an Army captain for giving him a ride into town!!! My cousin has some amazing pictures of the area . I'll see if he lets me borrow them so that I can post them.
    During the '50s all the Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines used to have a .22 pistol called a Stoeger Lugar for sale for $19.95 mail order. Sounds as though it's the grandson of the one you've described, or Stoeger might have been manufacturing them before WWII. I had one of the 50ish versions... terrible firearm. Jammed every third round that went through it.

    Jack
    Highmountain,
    Tried to get a hold of my cousin today but he is up in Wyoming. However, on the pistol, if I remember correctly it is a Colt make. Is that possible?
    Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. Vietnam # 10 G.I Wolfpack

  10. #10

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: WWII POW Camps in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnycat
    Quote Originally Posted by Highmountain
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnycat
    One of my uncles was a guard at the Deming facility way back when. Unfortunately I found this out while attending his funeral last May. His oldest son has a .22 caliber pistol that looks just like a German luger but it isn't. It was given to my uncle by an Army captain for giving him a ride into town!!! My cousin has some amazing pictures of the area . I'll see if he lets me borrow them so that I can post them.
    During the '50s all the Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines used to have a .22 pistol called a Stoeger Lugar for sale for $19.95 mail order. Sounds as though it's the grandson of the one you've described, or Stoeger might have been manufacturing them before WWII. I had one of the 50ish versions... terrible firearm. Jammed every third round that went through it.

    Jack
    Highmountain,
    Tried to get a hold of my cousin today but he is up in Wyoming. However, on the pistol, if I remember correctly it is a Colt make. Is that possible?
    Hi Johnny: Might be. I dn't recall Colt ever making a .22 autoloader besides the Woodsman but if you're nephew has one that's a Colt WWII vintage are earlier I'd bet he's a lot more tickled to own it than I was with my Stoeger Luger. Must be worth a small fortune.

    I'm not much up on my firearms history.

    Hope your uncle eventually gets you those pics. That would be cool.

  11. #11

    Jul 2013
    1
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Exact locations requested.

    [QUOTE=Highmountain;886961]I mention this because it's been largely forgotten in the communities where enemy POWs were held, and because I once lived for a few of years as a youngster on a small farm located only a few hundred yards from the Italian PW camp in Portales.

    Here are the PW campsites in NM I've been able to learn anything about, though there were evidently a number of others.

    Portales
    Italian PWs - Currently County Fairgrounds - stone barracks are used for livestock show entries


    I just wanted to figure out if you had more exact locations for the Portales camp, and if Fort Sumner had one, or where the location of the Fort Sumner AAF base was. I am very interested in history and want to get as much as I can before I move. Thanks in advance for anything you can give.

  12. #12

    Aug 2013
    3
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    My uncle and neighbors used to work the Germans here in Dexter. I live a few miles from on camp. There are few barracks still in the area.

 

 

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