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Pomona assembly center

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pomona Assembly Center
Camp Pomona
Pomona Ordnance Depot
Pomona, California. General view of assembly center being constructed on Pomona Fair Grounds for ev . . . - NARA - 536837.jpg
Pomona Assembly Center
Coordinates34°04′53″N 117°45′59″W / 34.081322°N 117.7664555°W / 34.081322; -117.7664555
DesignatedMay 13, 1980
Reference no.934.04
Location of Pomona Assembly Center
Camp Pomona
Pomona Ordnance Depot in the Los Angeles metropolitan area

The Temporary Detention Camp for Japanese Americans / Pomona Assembly Center is one of the places Japanese Americans were held during World War 2. The Pomona Assembly Center was designated a California Historic Landmark (No. 934.04) on May 13, 1980. The Pomona Assembly Center is located in what is now called the Fairplex in Pomona, California in Los Angeles County. The Pomona Assembly Center was called Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in 1942.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it was feared that some Japanese Americans might be loyal to the Empire of Japan and Emperor of Japan. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones, clearing the way for the incarceration of Japanese Americans, German Americans, and Italian Americans in U.S. concentration camps. The Los Angeles County Fairgrounds was selected as one of the Southern California detention camps. The other Los Angeles County camp selected was the Santa Anita assembly center at the Santa Anita Racetrack, which is also a California Historic Landmark (No. 934.07). A California Historic Landmark plaque is located near Fairplex, on the grassy drop off area, north of the intersection of Canyon Way and West McKinley Avenue, at around 1099 West McKinley Avenue, Pomona, CA.[1]

Construction on the Pomona assembly center began on March 21, 1942, and the camp officially opened on May 7, 1942. The Pomona Facility consisted of 309 barracks, 8 mess halls, and 36 shower and latrine facilities. The first group of 72 Japanese American citizens arrived on May 9. By May 15, 1942 the Pomona site was operating near capacity, with 4,270 internees. Pomona reached a peak population of 5,434 before its closing on August 24, 1942. Most internees there were transferred to Heart Mountain in Wyoming. The site remained in use for the duration of the war, first housing U.S. troops, and then German and Italian prisoners of war. Today, the site serves as the Fairplex parking lot.[2][3]

In California thirteen temporary detention facilities were built. Large venues that could be sealed off were used, such as fairgrounds, horse racing tracks and Works Progress Administration labor camps. These temporary detention facilities held Japanese Americans while permanent concentration camps were built in more isolated areas. In California Camp Manzanar and Camp Tulelake were built. Executive Order 9066 took effect on March 30, 1942. The order required all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California to surrender themselves for detention. Japanese Americans were held until the end of the war in 1945. In total 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry were held during the war.[4][5][6][7]


Marker on the site reads:[8]

  • NO. 934 TEMPORARY DETENTION CAMPS FOR JAPANESE AMERICANS-SANTA ANITA ASSEMBLY CENTER AND POMONA ASSEMBLY CENTER – The temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') represent the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Pursuant to Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps. These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent concentration camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country. Beginning on March 30, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention.

Camp Pomona

The last internee was moved out on August 24, 1942. On September 4, 1942 the Pomona assembly center was changed and turned over to the Army's Ordnance Motor Transport Agency and became known as the Pomona Ordnance Depot and Camp Pomona. The depot stored vast supplied needed for the Desert Training Centers in California and Arizona. Built at the depot also was a prisoner of war camp, the camp held 1,150 POWs, who did volunteer work at the depot. Units at the depot - camp: Ordnance Automotive School, Ordnance Motor Transport School, Ordnance Service Command Shop, Ordnance Unit Training Center, Pomona Ordnance Base, Pomona Ordnance Depot, Pomona Ordnance Depot Prisoner of War Camp, Pomona Ordnance Motor Base, Pomona Quartermaster Motor Base, Quartermaster Motor Transport School, and the Shop Supervisory Training Center, Pomona. At the Ordnance Motor Transport School 3,000 troops were trained. The Italian Service Units of the 2nd Italian Quartermaster Service Company and 9th Italian Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance Company worked at the Pomona Ordnance Depot.[9][10]

See also


  1. ^ Cal, Parks Marker, 655, Temporary Detention Camp for Japanese Americans/Pomona Assembly Center
  2. ^ Linke, Konrad. "Pomona (detention facility)" Densho Encyclopedia (accessed 18 Jun 2014).
  3. ^
  4. ^ Semiannual Report of the War Relocation Authority, for the period January 1 to June 30, 1946, not dated. Papers of Dillon S. Myer. Scanned image at Retrieved September 18, 2006.
  5. ^ "The War Relocation Authority and The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II: 1948 Chronology," Web page at Retrieved September 11, 2006.
  6. ^ "Manzanar National Historic Site". National Park Service.
  7. ^ Nash, Gary B., Julie Roy Jeffrey, John R. Howe, Peter J. Frederick, Allen F. Davis, Allan M. Winkler, Charlene Mires, and Carla Gardina Pestana. The American People, Concise Edition Creating a Nation and a Society, Combined Volume (6th Edition). New York: Longman, 2007
  8. ^ 934.04, Temporary Detention Camp for Japanese Americans/Pomona Assembly Center – Los Angeles
  9. ^, Pomona Ordnance Depot
  10. ^, Unit Training 1942–45
This page was last edited on 20 November 2019, at 20:42
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