Historic Markers Across Alabama



Jackson Prisoner of War Camp



Marker ID:  
Location: near 2005 College Ave, Jackson, AL
County: Clarke
Coordinates: N 31° 31.902    W 087° 53.491
  31.5317    -87.89151666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMV5X5
 



Text:

Jackson Prisoner of War Camp


(Side 1)
Just west of this spot, along Ocre Ave. on a 10-acre tract, was the site of a WWII prisoner of war camp. The camp was one of twenty such labor camps in Alabama. Hdqrs. for the camp was at Camp Shelby in Hattisburg, MS. The camp was opened on April 6, 1945 under the command of 1st Lt. Larry Sykes with a contingent of 50 soldier guards and support personnel. Guards were all disabled veterans. 253 German POWs were incarcerated here. Many were members of the famed Afrika Korps commanded by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox”, and were captured in North Africa. Camp facilities consisted of prison barracks, mess hall, bathhouse, recreation hall and


(Side 2)
guards housing. Local men away serving in the armed forces created labor shortages and the prisoners were contracted out to work for M. W. Smith Lumber Co., Scotch Lumber Co. and other timber-related interests in the area. Prisoners earned $.80 per day. Many local citizens remembered the prisoners as being hard workers, well-mannered and good-looking men. Lt. Sykes was transferred and discharged from the service and 1st Lt. Homer Cooper assumed command of the camp. The camp was officially closed on March 12, 1946 and the prisoners were transferred to other camps. Little evidence remains of the camps’ existence and the site is now occupied by commercial structures.

Erected by Clarke County Historical Society.
2005







End of Jackson Prisoner of War Camp