Site of World War ll Prisoner of War Camp

Site of World War ll Prisoner of War Camp (HM2E51)

Location: Beaumont, TX 77713 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 4.122', W 94° 20.292'

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(China Branch Camp)

The reduction of the labor force in the United States during World War II prompted the use of prisoners of war as laborers for various agricultural interests. The responsibility of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service at Texas A&M University, the program in Jefferson County was supervised by J.M. Combs, county extension agent. Combs determined the farm labor needs of the county and analyzed the local labor supply to coordinate his efforts with those of the base P.O.W. camp in Hunstville.

The camp at Huntsville, one of the largest base camps in Texas, opened early in 1943. Its first prisoners were members of Rommel's Afrika Korps who had been captured in North Africa. German prisoners came from the European Theater of Operations, as well. Temporary branch camps were established in areas such as China which were too distant from the base camp for daily round trips. The China branch camp opened in September 1944 on this site. The U.S. government leased the property from the Stanolind Oil & Gas Company. Local farmers and others wishing to use the day labor provided by prisoners picked them up at the camp in the morning and returned them each night. German soldiers performed general farm labor at twenty-five cents per hour and harvested rice for three dollars a day. They also worked as loggers. In January 1945 there were

148 prisoners at the China camp. At its peak in August 1945, the camp housed 403 prisoners.

The China camp was open only 15 months. It closed in December 1945 and its 350 prisoners returned to Huntsville, then eventually to Germany. At the dawn of the 21st century the only remnant of the China base camp was the water well.
HM NumberHM2E51
Year Placed2000
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 at 7:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 371016 N 3327152
Decimal Degrees30.06870000, -94.33820000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 4.122', W 94° 20.292'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 4' 7.32" N, 94° 20' 17.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)409, 936
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1736 China N Rd, Beaumont TX 77713, US
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