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Byron Hot Springs Interrogation Center
(Camp Tracy)

Located 20 miles west of Stockton, was a very small community and health spa of Byron Hot Springs. It was here, in a resort hotel, that the U.S. Army chose to put one of several secret interrogation centers for German naval prisoners of war (PW). The U.S. Navy had asked for these centers to gain naval intelligence. Since it was a violation of the Geneva Convention to set up such centers and question prisoners of war in this manner, the centers were made to look like PW processing centers where PWs were brought for a brief period before being sent on to established PW camps. The Americans had learned from the British that such centers were effective and copied their methods. The PWs were made as comfortable as possible with good living quarters, good food and plenty of recreation. This, the British had learned, loosened tongues. Also, anti-Nazi Germans working for the Americans, were intermingled with the PWs to draw them out. The activities were kept secret from the local citizenry and from the Swiss Government representatives who visited the center from time-to-time.

In the early morning hours 25 July 2005, embers from a small grass fire set the old hotel and two smaller out buildings that had fallen into disrepair on fire that resulted in the loss of this piece of California's military history.

Source: World War II Sites in the United States: A Tour Guide and Directory by Richard E. Osbourne

 
Acquistin, Improvement and Disposal of Byron Hot Springs Interrogation Center
 
In March 1943, the War Department leased 209.27 acres from WAG Investment Company (WDGIC), 5.80 acres from Telio Morchio, and acquired a "no area" easement from Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E). Total acreage acquired was 215.07.
 
The site was known as Byron Hot Springs Internment Center and Byron Hot Springs Interrogation Center. It was used by the Army as an interrogation center during World War II. Improvements to the site included a single-story wooden barracks and a small two-bay fire station.
 
The 209.27 leased acres were terminated on 31 May 1947 for which restoration was paid. The 5.80 leased acres terminated on 13 January 1946; records do not indicate if restoration was required. On 2 February 1948, the United States quitclaimed the no area easement to WDGIC.
 
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers

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