Historic Markers Across South Carolina

World War II POW Camp

Marker ID: SCHM 2-41
Location: Mattie C. Hall Health Care Center, 830 Laurens St., Aiken, SC
County: Aiken
Coordinates: N 33° 34.581    W 081° 43.22
  33.57635    -81.72033333
Style: Free Standing **


German prisoners of war were held in a camp on this site from November 1943 to May 1946. This camp, one of 21 in S.C., was at first a sub-camp of the POW camp at Camp Gordon (now Fort Gordon), in Augusta, Ga. It was later a sub-camp of Fort Jackson, in Columbia. 250 prisoners captured in North Africa were the first held here. Men captured in Italy and France in 1943-44 increased the total to 620 prisoners by January 1945.

German POWS lived in tents with wooden floors, up to five men in each. Their mess hall was a large frame barracks. They worked 8-10 hours a day, harvesting peanuts or peaches, cutting pulpwood or lumber, planting trees, or working in a fertilizer factory. POWs were paid 80 cents a day in credit at the camp store. When not working prisoners often played soccer, put on plays and concerts, and took night classes.

Erected by the Aiken County Historical Society, 2008