California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
A United States Army Museum Activity
Preserving California's Military Heritage
Historic California Posts, Stations and Airfields
Camp Tanforan
(Tanforan Assembly Center)
 
Oblique aerial view of the Tanforan Assembly Center. (National Park Service)


The Tanforan Assembly Center was located at the Tanforan Racetrack in San Bruno, 12 miles south of San Francisco. Occupied from April 28 to October 13, the assembly center held 8,033 evacuees (with a maximum of 7,816 at a time) from the San Francisco Bay area. The assembly center had about 130 barracks, half within the racetrack infield. In addition, stables were used to house evacuees, as at Santa Anita. Most of those processed here went to the Central Utah Relocation Camp at Abraham, UT.

The racetrack, opened in 1899, burned down in 1964 and the area is now a shopping mall (Tanforan Mall). At the southwest entrance of the mall there is a large statue of a racehorse and jockey and a group of historical markers. One marker has a brief description of the racetrack and assembly center. Other markers commemorate the first airplane flight from a ship, the racehorse Seabiscuit, and an early developer.

Source: Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites


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